Homemade air fryer chicken strips are a game changer! There’s no reason to buy them frozen or take-out. It’s quick and easy to make fresh air fried chicken tenders in under 30 minutes.

Chicken tenders strips in air fryer basket

Air Fryer Chicken Strips or Tenders

Making your own air fryer chicken strips costs less and more wholesome when they’re homemade. If you buy organic chicken breasts, then they’re even better. By air frying them, they are way healthier than deep frying. Even if you made a baked batch, we found that they don’t get as crispy in the regular oven as they do in the air fryer.

chicken strips or tenders on a plate with dip

How to Air Fry Chicken Strips (Fresh, Homemade)

  • Choose your breading: regular bread crumbs, panko, low carb almond flour or keto friendly crushed pork finds. What ever you use, don’t let it burn in the air fryer!  The hot circulating air will blow around the dry breading, which will touch the heating coils and burn. So it’s important that you spray enough oil on the bread to hold it to the chicken.
  • Spray enough oil to cover the breading evenly so it doesn’t blow around and burn. You need enough oil spray to make chicken crispy. If you miss oiling any breading spots, they will cook dry and hard, not crispy.
  • Cut your chicken strips smaller for a more crunchy bite.
  • Refer to the recipe box below for all recipe details and
  • instructions.

Better Than Frozen. We have a recipe/time/temps here for frozen chicken tenders and frozen chicken nuggets, but if you can make these fresh, even better! You can season the chicken the way you want and cook it to your personal liking.

Can You Freeze Air Fried Chicken Tenders?

Yes, you totally can! Just make sure they are cooked through and completely cooked. Then freeze them in air tight freezer safe containers or bags. When it comes time to re-heating follow the time and temp here.

air fried chicken tenders on a plate
chicken strips or tenders on a plate with dip

Air Fryer Chicken Strips {Crispy}

We love using the crispy, flakiness of Panko for the chicken strips. There are also so many other options for the breading that come out crispy and accommodate different dietary choices (breadcrumbs, gluten-free breadcrumbs or Panko, almond flour, crushed pork rinds, etc). We love them all, each giving slightly different texture and flavor.
Several factors will influence how the chicken strips cook. The size and thickness, the breading you use, your brand or model of air fryer, etc. Adjust timing as needed. Once you cook your first batch, you’ll know more of what works for your model of air fryer and size of food.
Make sure to spray the tenders to completely coat all the dry spots of breading or else is may cook up dry and crunchy instead of crispy. Want to know what oils and sprayers are best for an air fryer? Check out our write up on What are the Best Oils and Pump Sprays for Air Frying.
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 g) chicken tenders , or boneless skinless chicken breast, tenders, or thighs
  • 1-2 cups (240-480 ml) Panko – or breading of choice-breadcrumbs, crushed pork rinds, almond flour, etc
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt , or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper , or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) paprika
  • Cooking Spray

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Preheat the Air Fryer at 370°F/188°C for 4 minutes.
  • If not using tenders, cut the chicken into strips. Make sure they are evenly sized. The thicker they are, the longer they will take to cook.
  • Combine the seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika). Season the chicken strips with the spices. ?Put the Panko (or breading of choice) in a bowl large enough to dredge the chicken. In another bowl, beat the eggs until smooth.
  • ?Coat the chicken cutlets strips in egg, then in the Panko (or breading of choice). Press chicken strips into the Panko so that it sticks and completely coats the chicken. Repeat for all chicken pieces.
  • Generously spray both all sides of all the coated chicken with oil spray to coat all dry spots. If you have air fryer parchment sheets, lay one in the air fryer basket. Lay the coated chicken strips in a single layer, don’t overlap them.
  • Air Fry at 370°F/190°C for 6 minutes. Gently flip the tenders and lightly spray any dry spots. Continue to air fry for another 2-8 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of your tenders), or until they are crispy brown or internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F/74°C. ??Serve chicken strips with your favorite dip: ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, etc.

Notes

Air Frying Tips and Notes:
  • Make sure to spray with oil to completely coat the breading.
  • Shake or turn if needed. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Cook in batches if needed.
  • If you don’t want to pre-heat the air fryer, just add a couple minutes to your first batch.
  • Adjust cooking time as needed for your make/model of air fryer.
  • Remember to set a timer to shake/flip/toss as directed in recipe.

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 154mg, Sodium: 855mg, Potassium: 503mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 400IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2mg

Hope you enjoy our air fried chicken tenders recipe! Check out our Easy Air Fryer Chicken Recipes Here.