Our Hot Honey Chicken Tenders are juicy and tender with a crispy crunchy panko breading that’s all coated in a simple sweet and spicy hot honey sauce! This air fryer recipe is a keeper!
We love chicken tenders for snack time, dinner time, appetizers, or parties! They’re easy to make and they always come out perfectly golden and crispy in the air fryer.
Plus, chicken tenders are a kid favorite and nothing is better than serving up a dinner that doesn’t get a bunch of complaints from the little ones!
These hot honey chicken tenders turn out juicy inside and crispy outside, like all good chicken tenders do.
But the real star of this recipe is the hot honey sauce! It’s simple to prepare and perfect for drizzling over the tenders or serving it as a dip. These would be great as a bird dawg too!
We have lots of great chicken recipes for the air fryer and you can see them all here!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Ingredient Notes:
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Chicken – We will use a pound and a half of chicken tenderloins. If they don’t have any chicken tenders at the store you can also just buy chicken breasts and cut them into strips. Either will work fine!
Breading – The breading for these chicken tenders is nice and crispy and full of flavor. You’ll make it with all-purpose flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs.
Seasoning – For the seasoning you will need salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder.
No panko? No problem! You could also use crushed up Ritz crackers or other similar crackers instead.
If you’d rather not use egg to make the breading stick you could try using melted butter or some yogurt!
Homemade Hot Honey Recipe Ingredients:
Honey – If you can find local honey that’s usually the best, but just about any type will do for this sauce.
Butter – We add extra richness to the honey with a bit of melted butter.
Seasoning – I’m adding smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and cracked pepper to the hot honey sauce. You can use more or less of the cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you’d like it to be!
How to Air Fry Chicken Tenders:
- Flour – To prepare the breading for these air fried chicken tenders add the flour, a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of pepper, the paprika, and the garlic powder to a shallow dish. Dip each chicken strip in the flour mixture.
- Egg – Add the eggs to a second dish and beat well. Dip the chicken tenders in the egg to coat.
- Panko – Finally, add the panko bread crumbs to a 3rd dish along with the remaining salt and pepper. Coat the chicken tenders in the panko mixture. Press the strips into the panko to ensure that the chicken is evenly coated on all sides. Spray the chicken with some cooking spray.
- Air Fry – Place the tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You may need to work in batches depending on how large your air fryer is. Air fry at 400 degrees for 4 minutes and then flip them. Spritz with more oil and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to a safe temp of 165 degrees and the coating is crispy and golden!
We use and love this ThermoPro meat thermometer anytime we’re making chicken, steak, or pork chops! It’s the easiest way to ensure meat is cooked to the perfect temperature every time and is a great gift for beginner cooks too!
How to Make Hot Honey Sauce:
- Combine – To prepare the sauce add the butter, honey, and seasoning to a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Whisk those together until the butter has melted and the sauce is well combined.
- Finish – Once you’ve prepared the sauce all that’s left to do is drizzle it over the tender or serve it as a dip!
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It should take about 8 to 10 minutes at 400 degrees for the tenders to cook through and the breading to crispy and golden. The cooking time may vary as some air fryers cook at different temps. If you’re not sure use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken reaches a safe temperature of 165 degrees.
You can keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. I’d probably store the sauce separately if you can or just prepare more sauce after reheating the tenders.
If you don’t want to prepare the breading or you just don’t have the time you could also just make air fryer frozen chicken strips. The hot honey chicken tenders won’t be quite as good as homemade but they’ll still be tasty, thanks to our homemade hot honey sauce!
These are sweet and spicy already and the only way to improve upon that is with a side of ranch dressing for dipping! The combo goes amazing together!
More Popular Air Fryer Chicken Recipes:
- Air Fryer Chicken Katsu
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets
- Air Fryer Chicken Patties
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Wings
Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
For the chicken tenders:
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the hot honey sauce:
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
To make the chicken tenders:
- Add the flour, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, paprika, and garlic powder to a shallow dish. Add the eggs to a second shallow dish and beat well. Add the panko to a 3rd shallow dish along with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Dip the chicken strips in the flour, then egg, then panko. Press the strips into the panko to ensure the chicken is evenly coated.
- Spray the chicken liberally with cooking spray.
- 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 at 400 degrees for 4 minutes and turn the chicken over. Spritz again with oil spray. Continue cooking for 4-5 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through and the coating is crispy and golden.
To make the hot honey sauce:
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan and heat over low heat, stirring often, until the butter has melted and the sauce is combined.
- Drizzle the sauce over the cooked chicken strips or serve as a dip.