Golden crispy outside, juicy and perfect on the inside, these Air Fryer Chicken Fingers are very easy to make and are a great snack or meal idea!
We love making homemade chicken fingers because they are so much healthier than an actual fried chicken tender. The best thing about the air fryer is that the tenders get super golden crispy on the outside, with way less oil. We only use a little olive oil spray for each one.
Here’s What You’ll Learn in this Post
- How to make the best chicken tenders in the air fryer
- What to serve with these chicken tenders
- How to cook frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer
- Tips and tricks for making the best air fryer chicken tenders
Ingredients and Substitutions
Chicken Tenderloins – If you don’t have chicken tenderloins, chicken breasts sliced thin will work just as well. You might need to add a minute or two to the air fryer.
Breadcrumbs – Some people prefer panko over bread crumbs. We love panko but we don’t feel like it holds the added seasoning as well. If you can find flavored panko breadcrumbs, this would be perfect for this recipe.
Seasonings – We use a very simple combination of garlic powder, salt and pepper, but you can also add herbs, and different seasonings and spices to truly make the flavor pop.
Egg and Flour – These ingredients are used to hold everything together, so substitutions can be difficult to get the balance just right. Doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Make Ahead and Storage Options
Make Ahead Option
These can be prepared ahead of time, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, pop them into the air fryer for a minute or two or until hot all the way through. Reheating chicken tenders in the air fryer is so simple and creates a better result than anywhere else.
These can be prepared ahead of time and frozen. Cool in the refrigerator after cooking. Remove from the refrigerator when they are cold and divide into individual servings. Place them into freezer safe zip top bags and freeze until ready to serve.
How to Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders
These directions will work with these chicken tenders frozen as well as the pre-cooked frozen chicken tenders you purchase at the grocery store.
- Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees F. Do not cook at a higher temperature or often the outside gets cooked way faster than the inside thaws out and warms. You wind up with burnt chicken tenders. Nobody wants that.
- Place your frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer and cook them for about 7 minutes, flip the once, and then cook for about 5 more minutes or until they are heated through.
PRO TIP: If you have a lot of chicken to cook, be sure and cook in batches to ensure perfect cooking of each tender.
Recommended Air Fryers
These are the air fryers we recommend. We will not recommend an appliance that we don’t own and these are almost always the different appliances we test all of our recipes on.
Your air fryer will be a personal choice, but if you decide to purchase one through one of our links, we may earn a small commission.
FAQ about Air Fryer Chicken Fingers
Many of your questions have been answered throughout this post, but here are a few others that you may have.
Absolutely! This recipe assumes you are cooking raw chicken. We use our air fryer for both frozen and raw meats. Be sure to clean your air fryer thoroughly afterward.
The instructions for cooking chicken tenders in an air fryer are found below in the recipe card. Be sure and see our tips and tricks for the absolute best results.
If cooking raw chicken tenders, cook at 400 degrees F for about 12-14 minutes flipping halfway.
The best answer to this question is to mix any seasonings, spices or herbs into the bread crumbs to make it easier when dredging the ingredients. More information in this post.
Pro Tip: When filling the air fryer, try to leave some space in between each chicken tender to allow the air to truly flow. You will still need to flip them, but you will limit crowding allowing them to cook more evenly and quickly.
Great Dip Ideas for these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
A great dip can make or break your air fryer chicken! Try one of these dips tonight.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Air Fryer Garlic and Onion Pretzels
- Air Fryer Bacon Ranch Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Grilled Cheese Hot Dogs
- Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken
Or simply visit our extensive collection of air fryer recipes over on our sister site.
Air Fryer Chicken Fingers
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders or cut up chicken breasts into thinner strips
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 400℉. Grab 3 bowls. In the first bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside. In the second bowl, place the beaten eggs, set aside. On the bowl plate, add the flour.
- Set the bowls side by side starting with the flour, then the egg and finally the seasoned bread crumbs. Coat each tender in the flour first, then the beaten egg, and finally the seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Add the chicken tenders to the air fryer basket careful not to crowd them. Lightly spray them with cooking spray.
- At 400°F, Cook them for 8 minutes. When the air fryer goes off, flip the tenders and spray with cooking spray again. Return the basket and cook again for around 7 minutes. Check on them towards the end.
- Repeat all of these steps until all chicken tenders are cooked. Serve with a dip and enjoy!