This recipe for air fryer panko chicken tenders is one dinner you can actually feel good about serving to the kids, and to yourself too! Most chicken tenders rely on loads of oil to develop any crispness whatsoever, but in the air fryer, your chicken tenders will come up nice and crunchy without all that grease! In our version, the only additional fat is a light spritz of olive oil spray (which is naturally rich in healthy omega-3’s, we might add) and your tenders are good to go. Lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, these chicken tenders also make the perfect vehicle for any of your favorite dipping sauces.
How long do you cook chicken tenders in the air fryer?
Chicken tenders should be cooked for 10 minutes in the air fryer at 350°F. You’ll need to turn the tenders 5-7 minutes in to cook evenly.
- Chicken Tender Air Fryer Time: 10 minutes
- Chicken Tender Air Fryer Temperature: 350°F
- USDA Recommended Internal Temperature: 165F
What are chicken tenders?
Chicken tenders are a cut of white meat from the area under the chicken breast (the tenderloin). There are two tenders per chicken. Chicken tenders are often incorrectly referred to as chicken fingers or chicken strips.
What are panko chicken tenders?
Panko chicken tenders are simply chicken tenders breaded with Panko bread crumbs.
Are chicken tenders the same as chicken strips?
While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Chicken strips are strips of chicken breast while chicken tenders are from an area which is under the breast meat called the tenderloin.
Are air fryer panko chicken tenders good for you?
Chicken tenders are white meat and an excellent source of protein, minerals, and vitamins like vitamin B12/B6, zinc, iron, copper, niacin, selenium, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine, and potassium.
Chicken tenders are often fried in fat, which adds a lot of unhealthy fat. However, chicken tenders cooked in an air fryer do not have the bad fat often associated with deep frying.
Should you wash chicken tenders before cooking?
No. Washing raw chicken before cooking can spread the bacteria to your sink and other surfaces utensils. The USDA does not recommend washing chicken before cooking due to the potential for cross-contamination. Cooking poultry to the USDA recommended internal temperature of 165F will kill any bacteria that would have been washed off.
Take it to the next level
For next level chicken tenders, serve with our sriracha aioli.
Air Fryer Panko Chicken Tenders
- 1¼ pounds chicken tenderloins
- 0.5 cup panko bread crumbs plain or Italian style
- 1 Egg
- 0.5 tsp Salt
- 0.5 tsp Black Pepper
- Olive oil spray
- Preheat your air fryer to 350°F
- Season chicken tenders with the salt and pepper
- Break the egg into a bowl and beat
- Place the bread crumbs in another bowl1
- Dip chicken tenders (one by one) in egg, coating both sides
- Roll each chicken tenderloin in panko bread crumbs, ensure a full and equal covering2
- Spray the air fryer basket with oil
- Add the chicken tenders to the basket and cook for approximately 10 minutes, flipping halfway3