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!
Everyone likes chicken strips right? Every kid I know will choose chicken strips over just about anything else at a restaurant, 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!
Chicken– We use a pound and a half of fresh chicken breast tenderloins. We have another recipe for air fryer frozen chicken tenders if you prefer to use frozen ones.
Breading ingredients– You will need flour, crumbled Ritz crackers, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
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.
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 in 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.
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!
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!
Everyone loves dipping their chicken tenders. Of course ranch and honey mustard are great, and very common. If you would like to try something else, consider one of these options!
- BBQ sauce- Smoky and rich in flavor.
- Chick Fil A Sauce- Creamy, tangy, and wildly popular.
- Yum Yum sauce- A Japanese steakhouse favorite, pairs great with chicken too!
- Garlic aioli- Creamy and full of garlic flavor.
- Sweet and sour sauce- Popular in Chinese restraunts, this is wonderful for dipping tenders into!
- Bang Bang sauce- This has a little bit of spice with it, you can get the recipe for this in our bang bang shrimp recipe.
- Buffalo sauce- An American favorite usually used for chicken wings. Why not use it as a dipping sauce?
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More recipes you can serve with your chicken tenders:
- Roasted sweet potatoes
- Waffle fries
- Avocado and tomato salad
- Million-dollar mac and cheese
- Garlic French fries
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Ritz cracker crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Avocado oil spray
- 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.
- 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.
- Spray the chicken liberally with cooking spray.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
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Comments & Reviews
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?
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 says
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?
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. 🙂
Sounds so good! I love chicken tenders so I’ll be making this recipe soon!
Hope you love them, Vicki! 🙂