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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

by Karly

These AIR FRYER CHICKEN TENDERS are ready in about 15 minutes! The best part is there isn’t a big mess to clean up after!

Chicken strips near a white dipping dish of honey mustard.

Everyone likes chicken strips right? Every kid I know will choose chicken strips over just about anything else at a restraunt, every single time.

But we adults love them too, especially when they are so crispy you can hear it when you bite into it.

I am a huge fan of homemade honey mustard dressing and I was craving it with some crispy chicken strips so I started working on whipping up a batch and was out of bread crumbs.

So, I figured I would make this mistake a happy little accident and enhance the chicken tenders with some Ritz cracker crumbs to make them EVEN CRISPIER!

dipping a chicken strip into honey mustard.

How to make chicken tenders in an air fryer:

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You will need three small dishes to get started. And this is also part of what makes clean up pretty easy. The mess is pretty well contained to these dishes.

In one dish add the flour and seasonings, using only half of the salt and pepper. In a second dish add the eggs and mix them together. In the last dish, add the crumbled crackers, salt, and pepper.

Three clear glass dishes of breading ingredients.

Dip your chicken strips first into the flour, then the egg, and then into the cracker crumbs. Be sure to cover both sides of the chicken in each dish!

Raw chicken tenders dipped into breading.

Get your favorite cooking spray, I like to use avocado oil spray and liberally apply it to your breaded chicken.

When cooking it in the air fryer, cook each side for 5 minutes and check that it is cooked through. You will find the breading to be crispy and golden!

Uncooked chicken tenders in an air fryer pan.

Recipe Substitutions:

Most air fryer chicken strip recipes call for bread crumbs, but we used Ritz. You can also use Panko if you want. The Panko will also give you a good crispy breading.

If you don’t want to use eggs to get the breading to stick to your chicken you can try some melted butter or yogurt.

Chicken tenders on a white plate next to a white dipping dish.

Which air fryer do you recommend?

I am not recommending one brand over another, but I am willing to share what I most commonly use.

I use the OMORC Air Fryer XL. It’s 5.8 quarts which means that it’s large enough to hold plenty of food. Some of those air fryers are tiny (which is fine for small households!), but I wanted a bigger one for my family of four.

It’s dishwasher safe, too. Always a win in my book.

More recipes you can serve with your chicken tenders:

Stacked chicken strips with a bite taken out of the top one.
Chicken strips and honey mustard on a white plate.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These air fryer chicken tenders turn out so crispy thanks to the air fryer. We coat them in buttery Ritz crackers to add crunch and flavor.



  1. Add the flour, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, paprika, and garlic powder to a shallow dish. Add the eggs to a second shallow dish and beat well. Add the cracker to a 3rd shallow dish along with the remaining salt and pepper. 
  2. Dip the chicken strips in the flour, then egg, then Ritz crackers. Press the strips into the cracker crumbs to ensure the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. Spray the chicken liberally with cooking spray.
  4. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  5. Place chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may have to work in batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.
  6. Air fry for 5 minutes and turn the chicken over. Continue cooking for 5 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden.


You may swap the Ritz crackrs for Panko bread crumbs, if preferred.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 3 chicken strips
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 238mgSodium: 1009mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 62g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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Deanna December 19, 2020 - 2:57 am

I have attempted air fryer chicken twice with no luck. It never gets crispy! I had it in there for nearly 30 minutes! Is the setting supposed to be air fry or bake?

Karly December 19, 2020 - 1:08 pm

Hi Deanna! It should be on the air fry setting. Are you using a basket style air fryer and spraying the chicken strips with oil? You could also swap the Ritz for panko for more crunch.

Deanna Snowden December 19, 2020 - 1:44 pm

I’m using a Chefman Air Fryer Toaster oven. I guess you can call it a basket. It’s more flat, wired and has an edge. It sits below the top shelf of the fryer. I sprayed them but maybe not enough. I used a pump virgin oil I think. Should I be using something else?

Karly December 20, 2020 - 12:43 pm

Hi Deanna! We’ve found that the toaster oven style air fryers don’t crisp up as much as the basket style ones. They seem to be more like cooking in a small oven and the basket style seems to be more like frying. I’d try swapping out the bread crumbs and see if that helps a bit. πŸ™‚

Vicki August 11, 2020 - 5:13 pm

Sounds so good! I love chicken tenders so I’ll be making this recipe soon!

Karly August 12, 2020 - 9:38 am

Hope you love them, Vicki! πŸ™‚


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