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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders – A Beautiful Mess

I have already admitted in the past that we make air fryer chicken wings almost every week at our house. And now, these air fryer chicken tenders are on heavy rotation as well!

Today, I am sharing the made-from-scratch version of this recipe, but I am not above buying already breaded chicken tenders and throwing those in the air fryer, too.

But if you are looking to make your own breading with simple ingredients like flour, egg, and panko, then this is for you.

Ingredients for air fryer chicken tenders:

  • Chicken Tenderloins – raw (or thaw first if they’re frozen)
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko & Italian Breadcrumbs – or you can make your own breadcrumbs from leftover bread
  • Olive Oil Spray – normally, I toss things in a tiny bit of oil to air fry but that won’t work with the breading here, so an oil spray is best.

How long do chicken tenders take in an air fryer?

Air fry at 390°F for 12 minutes, rotating the chicken once in the middle of the cook time.

Again, this is for raw chicken (or raw frozen chicken that has been thawed). The cook time would likely be less for fully cooked store-bought chicken tenders.

Can you put raw chicken in an air fryer?

Yes, absolutely. This air fryer chicken tender recipe is made from raw chicken. The air fryer chicken wings recipe is made with raw chicken wings.

I don’t have trouble with things sticking in my air fryer, but if you do you can add parchment paper before cooking.

Ideas for what to serve with chicken tenders:

You could also turn these air fryer chicken tenders into a simple chicken parmesan by adding some tomato sauce and melted mozzarella cheese. Enjoy! xo. Emma

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

made from scratch chicken tenders recipe

  • 1
    chicken tenderloins
    see note
  • ¼
    all-purpose flour
  • ½
    seasoning salt
  • 2
  • 1
  • ½
  • ½
  • olive oil spray

  1. Cut the chicken tenderloins into chicken tender-size pieces (some may already be, but some may need to be cut in half).

  2. Set up the breading area. One plate with the flour and seasoning salt mixed together, one plate with the eggs and water whisked together, and one plate with the breadcrumbs mixed together.

  3. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour.

  4. Then dip into the egg mix.

  5. Then, dip/coat with the breadcrumbs.

  6. Once all the pieces have been breaded, lightly spray (each side) with the olive oil spray.

  7. Air fry at 390°F for 6 minutes.

  8. Flip with tongs. Then, air fry at the same temperature for an additional 6 minutes.

  9. Check the chicken by cutting through the largest/thickest piece and making sure no pink remains.

You can use anywhere from 1 pound to 1.5 pounds of chicken for this amount of breading. If your chicken is frozen, thaw before beginning the recipe. 

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