Flamin’ Hot Chicken Strips

by Karly

You’ll never want to eat a plain chicken strip again after you try these Flamin’ Hot Chicken Strips! Spicy, cheesy, and crispy on the outside, these chicken strips are begging to be dunked in ranch. Can you handle the heat?

Overhead view of chicken strips and ranch dressing next to a bag of spilled cheetos

This recipe is like a dream of mine from my childhood. What kid isn’t obsessed with chicken strips and Cheetos?

Between chicken strips for lunch and Cheetos as a snack, these two foods were a major staple of mine.

And here I am now, combining my two loves into one amazing chicken strip!

Of course, now that I’m an adult with a *sophisticated* palate, I upgraded to the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. You can definitely use regular if you’re not a fan of spice.

close up of chicken strips and ranch dressing on a plate.

Ingredient list:

Chicken Tenderloins – We buy the tenderloins since they’re already strips, but you can also cut a chicken breast into strips.

Flour

Eggs

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos – If you can’t handle the spice, use regular cheetos

Salt and pepper

Oil Spray

cheetos next to an air fryer basket with coated chicken strips in it.

How to make the chicken strips:

  • Breading- Add flour, salt, and pepper to a shallow dish. Add eggs to a second shall dish and whisk together. Process your Cheetos in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add those crumbs to another shallow dish. Dip your chicken strips into the flour dish, then egg, then Cheetos.
  • Cook-Spray your chicken tenders with oil spray and place in a single layer in your air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees F for 12 minutes flipping half way through.
  • Serve-Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or eat plain. Ranch dressing is perfect for cooling things down a bit.
Close up of chicken strips coated in cheetos cooking in an air fryer basket

5 tips for cooking chicken strips:

  1. Be sure the center of the largest chicken strip is 165 degrees F before you stop cooking.
  2. Don’t use non stick cooking spray for this recipe. Use a pump spray bottle or mister to apply your oil.
  3. Don’t let the chicken strips touch each other, or the sides. The spots that touch will be less crisp than the rest.
  4. Serve these over salad or macaroni and cheese to really up your lunch game!

More recipes you might like:

Overhead view of cheeto coated chicken strips
overhead view of cheetos spilling out of a bag next to a plate of chicken strips

Flamin' Hot Cheetos Chicken Strips

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

These chicken strips come out crispy and spicy! There are some substitution options to knock down the heat, but if you can take it, you will love this twist on chicken tenders!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9 ounce bag Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
  • Oil spray

Instructions

  1. Add the flour and salt and pepper to a shallow dish. Add the eggs to a second shallow dish and beat well.
  2. Add the Cheetos to a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Alternately, use a rolling pin to smash the Cheetos into crumbs. Place the Cheetos crumbs into a shallow dish. 
  3. Dip the chicken strips in the flour, then egg, then Cheetos. Press the strips into the Cheetos to ensure the chicken is evenly coated.
  4. Spray the chicken with cooking spray.
  5. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
  6. 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.
  7. Air fry for 6 minutes and turn the chicken over. Continue cooking for 6 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden.

Notes

Use plain crunchy Cheetos if you want to make these without the spiciness.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 546Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 161mgSodium: 685mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 42g

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