Golden, crispy, perfectly juicy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders couldn’t be easier to make and can be served in so many ways.

I have so many great air fryer recipes, including Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, Potato Wedges, and Chicken Wings!

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders served in a basket with dipping sauce.

I love a good chicken basket and fries as much as my kids do, and these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders win everyones approval! Serve them with baked or air frier french fries and any favorite dipping sauces, like BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, ketchup, or Chick-fil-A sauce!

How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:

Marinate: Place chicken tenders in a bowl or ziplock bag with pickle juice and marinate for 30 minutes.

Chicken tenders marinating in pickle juice.

Make Breading: Add flour, powdered sugar, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, salt, and baking powder to a ziplock bag.

Prep Egg Mixture: Add milk, and egg to a separate bowl and mix together. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees.

Coat the Chicken: Remove chicken from pickle marinade and add to the bowl with the egg mixture. Spoon out tenders and place them in the ziplock bag with the dry seasonings. Seal and shake bag to evenly coat all of the chicken tenders.

Four process photos for dipping chicken tenders in egg, breading and adding to an air fryer basket.

Cook: Spray bottom of the fry basket with nonstick cooking spray. Take each tender from the bag and place tenders in a single layer in the bottom of the fry basket. Space them out so they don’t stick together. Generously spray the top of each piece of chicken with cooking spray so that flour is not visible. Then flip the chicken over in the fry basket and spray the other side.

Chicken tenders cooking in an air fryer basket.

Air Fry: Cook chicken tenders for 6 minutes at 360 degrees. Open air fryer, flip chicken to the other side, and spray tops again with cooking spray. Increase air fryer temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until crisp and cooked through.

Serve With:

An Air Fried chicken tender being dipped in sauce.

Freezing Instructions:

To Freeze: Freeze cooked chicken tenders in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in air fryer at 380 degrees until golden, crispy, and warmed through.

Recipe Variations:

  • Healthier Chicken Nuggets: leave out the powdered sugar, and use wheat flour or panko instead of all-purpose flour.
  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten free flour or breadcrumbs.
  • Spicy Chicken Tenders: add 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
  • Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets: prepare the same, and bake on a baking tray at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

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Recipe

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders served in a basket with dipping sauce.
Prep 30 mins
Cook 9 mins
Total 39 mins
Save Recipe

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 lb raw chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large eggs

Breading for chicken tenders:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions
 

  • Marinate: Place chicken tenders in a bowl or ziplock bag with the pickle juice and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Make Breading: Add flour, powdered sugar, paprika, black pepper, chili powder, salt, and baking powder to a ziplock bag.
  • Prep Egg Mixture: Add milk, and egg to a separate bowl and mix together. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees.
  • Coat the chicken: Remove chicken from pickle marinade and add to the bowl with the egg mixture. Spoon out tenders, letting any excess egg mixture drip off, and place them in the ziplock bag with the dry seasonings. Seal and shake bag to evenly coat all of the chicken tenders.
  • Air Fry: Spray the bottom of the fry basket with nonstick cooking spray. Take each tender from the bag, shaking it well to get rid of any excess flour, and place tenders in a single layer in the bottom of the fry basket (you will likely need to do two batches). Space them out so they don't stick together. Generously spray the top of each piece of chicken with cooking spray so that flour is not visible. Then flip the chicken over in the fry basket and spray the other side.
  • Air Fry the chicken tenders at 360 for 6 minutes. Open air fryer, flip chicken tenders to the other side, spray tops again with cooking spray. Increase air fryer temperature to 400 degrees and cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until crisp and cooked through. (Exact cooking time will vary depending on the size of your tenders, your air fryer, etc.).

Notes

Freezing Instructions: Freeze cooked chicken tenders in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat in air fryer at 380 degrees until golden, crispy, and warmed through.
Healthier Chicken Nuggets: leave out the powdered sugar, and use wheat flour or panko instead of all-purpose flour.
Gluten-Free: Use gluten free flour or breadcrumbs.
Spicy Chicken Tenders: add 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper to the flour mixture.
Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets: prepare the same, and bake on a baking tray at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcalCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 36gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 690mgPotassium: 679mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 521IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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