If you didn’t know it was possible, I’m here to tell you it is. Air fryer chicken tenders are real and they are crispy, golden, crunchy, and juicy!
They only take 12 minutes in the air fryer and they’re honestly just as good as deep-fried chicken strips. I made these the other day and we went nuts for them!
The secret is the panko breadcrumbs. Panko is a Japanese style breadcrumb that is more flakey rather than crumb-like and they’re crunchy right out of the package. Add some spray oil and some heat and bam, they get even crunchier.
This recipe is such a game-changer for us because we love chicken tenders and with this air fried version, it’s not only healthier but so much easier than deep frying.
What you need to make air fryer chicken tenders:
- Chicken – I prefer cutting up chicken breasts rather than buying a pack of tenders because I don’t exactly like the tendon. If it doesn’t bother you and you’d rather save time, stick with the tenders.
- Panko breadcrumbs – A Japanese style breadcrumb that is more flakey rather than crumb-like and is crunchy right out of the package. It’s key to getting super crispy chicken strips.
- Flour – This just helps the egg adhere to the chicken.
- Eggs – I used two large eggs.
- Spices – Cayenne pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. I use this spice combo for a lot of dishes and it’s one of my favorites.
- Spray oil – I use an avocado spray oil because it has a high smoke point of 500°F and is neutral in flavor.
As a bonus, I’m also sharing my honey mustard sauce recipe. I’ve been making this stuff for years and it’s my favorite dip for chicken! It’s creamy, tangy, and sweet. You just need mayo, yellow mustard, honey, and fresh cracked black pepper. It’s incredibly tasty, so if you’re a big sauce person, maybe double the recipe. You won’t regret it!
If you like this recipe, be sure to let us know. Leave a comment & rating and if you share a photo on Instagram, tag @DUCKSOUPKITCHEN so we can see it. Thanks, y’all!
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce
- air fryer
For the chicken tenders
- 1.5 lbs chicken tenders or chicken breast, sliced into tender-sized strips
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional if serving kiddos!)
- avocado oil spray
For the honey mustard sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- fresh cracked black pepper to taste
For the chicken tenders
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C)
- To set up the dredging station, line up 3 medium-sized bowls. (You might want a larger one for the panko.)
- In the first bowl, add the flour. In the second bowl, add the eggs and whisk them. In the third bowl, add the panko and all of the seasonings and stir to combine.
- Dip each piece of chicken into each bowl, coating well, in this order: flour, egg, panko. When you get to the panko, make sure you really press it into the chicken to completely coat the chicken.
- Lightly spray both sides of the chicken and set them in the air fryer basket in one layer. You will need to work in batches. My air fryer basket fit 4-5 tenders at a time.
- Air fry for 6 minutes, flip and then air fry an additional 6 minutes. The chicken tenders are done when they become golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- While the chicken is cooking, whisk together all the ingredients for the honey mustard sauce. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container until ready to use.