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Air fryer chicken tenders

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I absolutely LOVE my air fryer! It has to be my favourite ever kitchen gadget and some days I use it three times a day. These air fryer chicken tenders are really simple to make, delicious and you can use either shop bought or homemade breadcrumbs for these.

I own two Ninja Foodi models, an AF400UK double air fryer and a Ninja Foodi OL750UK which is a multi-cooker. I’ve tested this recipe in both models, and the timings are the same. So you should be good to use any air fryer, just keep an eye on the cooking near the end to ensure they don’t over brown or even burn.

Making your own chicken tenders in the air fryer allows you to make crispy but healthier food without all of the added oil that a lot of the shop bought chicken goujons have.

I love to serve this with air fryer chips, either homemade or frozen air fryer chips. Sometimes I use these chicken tenders in homemade tortillas for a simple lunch with a bit of salad and sauce. Other times I serve with onion gravy and air fryer mashed potatoes. However you enjoy them they’re absolutely delicious, super simple and ready in under 20 minutes from start to finish.

I’m a busy working Mum and I LOVE a hot lunch, making these tenders perfect to put on my meal plan. I love to cook up a batch and then just reheat for lunch for a couple of days. You can enjoy them cold too once cooked, and they’re just as tasty.

This recipe just requires a few herbs and seasonings, breadcrumbs and mini chicken fillets that you can find in any UK supermarket. It’s the perfect recipe for fussy little ones as you can cater the seasonings to their taste or even just make plain.

If you’re looking for some alternative serving ideas then be sure to check out my air fryer side dishes, this tasty Roasted Cauliflower Salad and Ninja air fryer recipes. These Nashville Hot Cauliflower Bites would work well with chicken tenders too.

Cooked air fryer chicken tenders

Ingredients for air fryer chicken tenders:

320g chicken mini fillets (serves 2)

Salt and pepper

Spray oil

30g white breadcrumbs – I typically make my own by blitzing one piece of bread in the food processor but you can buy them from Tesco.

1/4 teaspoon herbs or seasoning of choice – some of my favourites are Old Bay, rosemary, garlic granules or sage

Air fryer chicken nachos, air fryer hunters chicken, air fryer whole chicken, air fryer peri peri chicken, air fryer breaded chicken breasts, air fryer chicken tikka breast, air fryer chicken kebabs and air fryer frozen chicken fries.

Method for cooking chicken tenders in the air fryer:

Place your breadcrumbs into a bowl or onto a flat plate.

Season the breadcrumbs.

Prepare your chicken mini fillets by removing any gristle or skin and then drying thoroughly.

Spray your chicken mini fillets with oil or brush lightly with olive oil.

Roll the chicken fillets in the breadcrumb mix.

Lay on the bottom of the air fryer basket ensuring there is a small amount of space between each fillet to prevent them sticking together.

Air fry at 200C (390F approx) for 6 minutes.

Turn the chicken tenders over to avoid them sticking to the air fryer basket OR give a good shake if you prefer.

Air fry again at 200C (390F approx) for 6 minutes.

Check that the chicken is at the safe internal cooking temperature for chicken (75C/165F approx) before serving. 

Air fryer jerk chicken thighs with air fryer potato wedges and tomato ketchup.

What to serve with chicken tenders?

I have lots of fantastic air fryer recipes and some of my favourites that work great with this recipe are air fryer diced potatoes, air fryer roast potatoes, air fryer green beans, air fryer broccolini and air fryer corn on the cob. Air fryer hasselback potatoes work great too and are packed full of flavour.

Want to cook your vegetables at the same time?

The cooking time for these chicken tenders is short, meaning it’s ideal to put your vegetables in either at the beginning or halfway through, depending on what you’re cooking.

I love cooking peppers, onions, green beans, tenderstem broccoli, carrots, butternut squash or courgettes with this chicken as they all work great for the cooking time. They bring some extra health to the dinner too and I love cooking using as few appliances and pans as possible.

A cooked air fryer frozen chicken burger in a sesame seed topped bun with burger cheese and tomato ketchup.

Looking to try this recipe with a different cut of chicken?

You can use any cut of chicken really for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time upwards for full sized chicken breasts. Add on some extra minutes for bone in cuts such as wings, legs, thighs or drumsticks.

Want to try some of my other chicken recipes instead?

Lemon pepper fries with lemon pepper seasoning, a lemon, olive oil, peppercorns and a yellow tea towel.

Are your chicken tenders soggy?

Avoid overcrowding the basket and try cooking at 10C – 20C higher to prevent the chicken tenders from being soggy.

Are your chicken tenders rubbery?

This is a sign that you’ve overcooked them so just cook for 1-2 minutes less next time and see how you go.

A cooked batch of air fryer Nando's chicken.

What is the difference between chicken tenders and goujons?

They’re the same, just different names for different countries/regions.

Can you cook raw chicken tenders in the air fryer?

Yes, this recipe is based on raw chicken tenders. Just ensure they’re cooked through, with no pink, before serving.

Looking for some alternative seasonings to use on air fried crispy chicken breast?

A Nando's bag and bake kit in medium

Want to use cornflakes as breading?

Just take 30g of cornflakes and smash them up really well. I like to place them into a ziplock bag and then use a rolling pin to break them up. You could try crushing between two plates if you don’t have a rolling pin to hand.

Once smashed up use this mixture instead of breadcrumbs.

Want to make chicken tenders and fries at the same time?

Air fryer frozen french fries take around 12 minutes to cook, at 200C, so you could add these to the air fryer basket at the same time. Just ensure you leave some space for the tenders to cook evenly and avoid sticking together.

Cooked chicken fajitas with red, yellow and orange peppers and red onion wedges on baking paper in an enamel baking dish

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

These are some of my favourite air fryer cookbooks and accessories: 

How to make air fryer chicken tenders:

Cooked air fryer chicken tenders
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5 from 1 vote

Air fryer chicken tenders

How to make chicken tenders in the air fryer
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword air fryer, breadcrumbs, chicken
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 234kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 320 g chicken mini fillets serves 2
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spray oil
  • 30 g white breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbs or seasoning of choice rosemary, garlic granules or sage

Instructions

  • Place your breadcrumbs into a bowl or onto a flat plate.
  • Season the breadcrumbs.
  • Prepare your chicken mini fillets by removing any gristle or skin and then drying thoroughly.
  • Spray your chicken mini fillets with oil or brush lightly with olive oil.
  • Roll the chicken fillets in the breadcrumb mix until they're well coated.
  • Lay on the bottom of the air fryer basket ensuring there is a small amount of space between each fillet to prevent them sticking together.
  • Air fry at 200C (390F approx) for 6 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken tenders over to avoid them sticking to the air fryer basket OR give a good shake if you prefer.
  • Air fry again at 200C (390F approx) for 6 minutes.
  • Check that the chicken is at the safe internal cooking temperature for chicken (75C/165F approx) before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal

Note: All calorie information is for demonstration purposes only and is based on the specific uncooked ingredients that I used when creating the recipe.

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Cooked air fryer chicken tenders
Recipe Rating




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Paula

Monday 9th of October 2023

These chicken tenders look scrumptious! Can't wait to try them with my hot cauliflower.

katykicker

Monday 9th of October 2023

Thank you so much!

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