Crispy and delicious air fryer chicken tenders are ready in less than 20 minutes. Enjoy restaurant quality tenders at home for a fraction of the price.

Closeup of air fryer chicken tender dipped in ketchup.

We love Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.

The kids love chicken tenders and it is a popular menu choice any place we go. I wanted to recreate some at home that tasted just as amazing. The results? Everyone declared Air Fryer Chicken Tenders better than at a restaurant.

They are perfectly crispy on the outside and golden brown. The chicken is tender and not dry at all.

Plus, the air fryer cooks them in less than 20 minutes. No need to stand over hot oil frying these when the air fryer does all of the work.

I love that my family can enjoy crispy chicken tenders without tons of oil or work. It is easy enough for busy school nights and so tasty.

How do you make chicken tenders from scratch?

Start with chicken tenders that you dredge in flour and an egg mixture. This is where the flavor and tasty coating comes into place.

Place in the air fryer and cook.

How long to cook chicken tenders in air fryer

The chicken cooks for 7 to 8 minutes per side. You want it to be golden brown.

Ingredients for recipe: chicken tenders, flour, breadcrumbs, seasoning, eggs.

Ingredients you need

  • Chicken Tenderloins 
  • Flour 
  • Garlic Powder – Sometimes, I also use onion powder.
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • panko Bread Crumbs 
  • Large Eggs 
  • Cooking Spray 

How to make air fryer chicken tenders

  • First, preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees. No worries if your air fryer does not have a preheat option. Just set the air fryer to 390 degrees and let it run for 5 minutes.
  • Second, put the flour in a bowl. Then beat the eggs and put them in a separate shallow bowl. Get out a 3rd bowl and combine the bread crumbs and seasoning together.
  • Start to coat the chicken tenders in the flour mixture. Then dip the chicken in the eggs and then coat the chicken in the bread crumbs mixture. 
3 bowls with flour, eggs and bread crumbs for coating chicken tenders.
  • Keep doing this until all of the raw chicken has been coated.
  • Once the chicken has been coated, spray it with cooking spray and get ready to air fry.
Chicken tenders in air fryer basket ready to be cooked.
  • Finally, place the chicken in the air fryer basket. Make sure it is in a single layer and does not overlap.  Allow the chicken to cook for 8 minutes and then flip the chicken and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to spray the other side with cooking spray so it does not stick.
Cooked chicken tenders in air fryer basket.

Keep repeating the cooking process until all of the chicken is cooked. Depending on how much chicken your air fryer basket will hold, you might need to cook this in several batches.

Cooked chicken tenders in air fryer basket.


I like to place several containers of dipping sauce on the table for everyone to choose from.

Closeup picture of air fryer chicken tenders cut in half.

Best side dishes with airfryer chicken tenders:

  • Air Fryer Tator Tots Recipe– Air fryer tator tots give you all the flavor from deep frying without the fat. These crispy tator tots make the best side dish.
  • Oven baked sweet potato fries– This easy oven baked sweet potato fries recipe is one of my favorites. It is delicious, much healthier than traditional fries and they are fun to make with the kids.

How to store Crispy Air fryer chicken tenders recipe:

Refrigerate the leftovers in an air tight container for up to 5 day in the fridge.  To reheat the leftovers, cook them in your air fryer at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes to warm them up while still keeping them crispy! 

Can I make chicken tenders in advance?

Yes, we do this frequently and place in the freezer until ready to bake. Follow the freezer instructions below.

How to freeze chicken tenders:

Skip store bought frozen tenders and make your own. Just dip the tenders in flour and the egg mixture as normal.

Flash freeze on a baking sheet for 2 to 3 hours until the chicken is frozen solid. Once frozen, put the chicken inside a freezer bag or container.

When you are ready to cook, place the frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer as normal. Since it is frozen, they may need a few extra minutes per side.

Air Fryer Chicken tenders on a plate with ketchup for dipping.

Can I make this with chicken breast?

Yes you can. If you are using chicken breast instead of chicken tenders, cut the chicken breast into pieces.

Dredge as normal and cook following the same instructions.

Air Fryer Chicken tenders on a plate with ketchup for dipping.

What about drumsticks?

If you want to use drumsticks, feel free. This is a tasty and frugal substitution idea.

Coat the chicken legs as you would the tenders and place in the air fryer.

They cook for the same amount of time as chicken tenders. You will also need to flip them half way.

Can I make them in the oven?

Yes, just bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Flip the chicken tenders half way through the cooking time.

Air Fryer Chicken tenders on a plate with ketchup for dipping.

How to make gluten free:

Omit the flour and breadcrumbs and use almond flour instead.

Make chicken tenders in air fryer.

It is one of our favorite chicken recipes.

Print this air fryer chicken tenders recipe:

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 26 mins
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Calories 196
Author Eating on a Dime


  • 1 lb Chicken Tenders
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • Cooking Spray


  • Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F.  If your air fryer does not have a preheat option, then set the air fryer to 390 degrees F and run for 5 minutes.
  • Place the flour in 1 bowl, beat the eggs together in a separate bowl and combine the bread crumbs and seasoning together in a 3rd bowl.
  • Coat the chicken tenders in the flour mixture, then dip the chicken in the eggs and then coat in the bread crumbs mixture.
  • Complete this process all the chicken tenders have been coated.
  • Spray the coated chicken with a the cooking spray.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer basket in a single layer.  Cook for 8 minutes at 390 degrees F.
  • Flip the chicken and spray the other side with the cooking spray as well.
  • Cook for 7-8 more minutes or until the chicken is golden brown.
  • Follow the same process until all the chicken is cooked. You might have to work in batches depending on how many chicken tenders your air fryer basket can hold.
  • Serve with favorite type of dipping sauce and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 196kcal, Carbohydrates 16g, Protein 21g, Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 1g, Cholesterol 130mg, Sodium 580mg, Potassium 346mg, Fiber 1g, Sugar 1g, Vitamin A 142IU, Vitamin C 1mg, Calcium 37mg, Iron 2mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families.

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