This 10-minute air fryer chicken tenders recipe is super crunchy and delicious! These non-breaded chicken tenders are easy to prepare and are made with pork rinds and parmesan cheese to give them extra flavor and crunch.
🌟 Why this recipe works
There's so much to love about air fryer chicken tenders! The crunchy texture is outrageously good from the crushed pork rinds, and the chicken strips are super juicy.
It takes minutes to make them from scratch compared to oven-baked or take away chicken tender, and they taste far superior to any shop-bought frozen chicken tenders.
Chicken tenders are great to make for potlucks, game night, or to serve with a side dish and make perfect meal prep. You can even make them in advance and freeze them.
As long as you have an air fryer, any home cook can make chicken tenders! Air fryer recipes are easy, and these chicken tenders take less than 10-minutes in the air fryer using only 5-ingredients. It's fast and easy!
No breaded chicken tenders mean they're completely gluten-free, keto-friendly, and even oil-free because there's no need for it in this recipe. And if you have extra chicken breasts I recommend you to try my delicious copycat creamy Ruth Chris stuffed chicken recipe.
🍽 Ingredient Notes
This air fryer chicken tenders recipe uses fresh chicken breast marinated in mayonnaise and coated in a pork rinds mixture.
Chicken breast - Ask your butchers for 2 large chicken breasts and cut them into strips (approximately 5 large tenders and 5 medium-size tenders).
Pork rinds mixture - The bread crumb mixture uses crushed pork rinds combined with a cheese blend of cheddar and parmesan and Italian seasoning for flavor.
🔪 How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air fryer chicken tenders are super easy to make with the breading & cooking process taking minutes, and you can learn how to make it with my step-by-step instructions and helpful top tips.
If your new to air fryer, learn how an air fryer works, what you can air fry, and which model's are in high demand.
Cut the chicken breasts into strips.
Add the pork rinds to a food processor, and blitz until it resembles bread crumb consistency.
Combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, and pork rinds on a plate and the mayo in a second bowl.
Dredge the chicken strips through the mayo, coating completely.
Then thoroughly coat the chicken strips with the pork rinds mixture.
Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket.
Tip: you can always put tin foil in the air fryer before placing the chicken tenders with pork rinds.
Cook chicken tenders for 5 to 9 minutes until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve hot and enjoy!
💭 Cooking tips
To make sure your chicken tenders have a nice crunchy texture, do not overcrowd them in the air fryer basket. You want to place them with enough air to flow between the tenders during cooking so that the air can circulate freely and crisp them evenly.
Finely crush the pork rinds.
If you don't have a food processor to finely crush the pork rinds, you can use a plastic zip-lock bag to put the rinds inside and bash them with a rolling pin.
📖 Air Fried Chicken Tender Variations
Air fryer chicken tenders are versatile! You can create different flavors and textures by adding a few seasonings like these three tasty variations.
BBQ air fryer chicken tenders
If you love BBQ sauce, you will enjoy making this delicious BBQ chicken tenders recipe.
All you need to do is baste the chicken strips in BBQ sauce instead of mayo and add a teaspoon of garlic powder and onion powder to the pork rinds mixture. They're sweet, crunchy, and juicy!
Air fryer chicken tenders with bread crumbs
This variation uses bread crumbs instead of pork rinds for the coating mixture, which gives the tenders a nice crispy texture and golden color. You can use panko breadcrumbs, a gluten-free variant, or ordinary breadcrumbs to mix Italian seasoning and cheeses.
Air fryer chicken tenders with buttermilk
I love using buttermilk in my cooking! It's sour, tenderizes the meat, and is an excellent substitute for milk, yogurt, and mayonnaise in this recipe. Simply marinate the chicken tenders in a bowl with buttermilk for an hour before coating them in the pork rinds mixture.
🥗 What to serve with
Air fryer chicken tenders are best served as finger food with honey mustard dipping sauce, as part of the main meal with other side dishes, or as a delicious appetizer. These are some of my favorite dishes to pair with crispy chicken tenders.
Chicken tenders with mash always go down well in my house with my kids, especially with mashed potatoes with cream cheese.
Mashed cauliflower is an irresistible low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes, and the cream cheese mashed potatoes are creamy and equally as delicious.
If you want to keep the carbs low, go with a light salad using your favorite salad ingredients. Or if you're into pesto, a Caprese salad pairs well with chicken.
Learn how to steam vegetables with chicken tenders while keeping everything healthy and contributing to my 5-a-day.
Steamed veggies are easy and flexible because you can use frozen veggies or whatever fresh veg you have in your pantry.
🙋 Frequently Asked Questions
Can you air fry frozen raw chicken tenders?
Yes, you can. It takes a little longer to air fry chicken tenders from the freezer, depending on the model of your air fryer, but in general, you should add an extra 4 to 5 minutes on top of the recipe instructions. When the chicken tenders reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit they're ready!
Do you preheat air fryers for chicken tenders?
Yes, you should preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit ( around 3 minutes) before adding the chicken tenders to the air fryer basket so that the chicken cooks quicker and ensures equal browning of the tenders.
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🧊 Storage and ♨️ Reheating
It's easy to store air fryer chicken tenders! Let them cool, and refrigerate or freeze them.
In the Fridge - Transfer any leftover chicken tenders to an airtight container and place them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
In the Freezer - For best results, you should place the cooked chicken tenders on a baking sheet in a single layer and place the sheet on a flat surface in the freezer until solid before transferring them to an airtight container.
Otherwise, If you put the tenders in a freezer bag or airtight container first, they will stick together, and it will not be easy to tear them apart.
How to Reheat Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer
To reheat chicken tenders in the air fryer, preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit:
- To cook refrigerated chicken tenders - 2-3 minutes
- To cook frozen chicken tenders - 5-6 minutes
👪 Serving Size
This air fryer chicken tenders recipe will give you approximately 3 servings for 2 large chicken breasts, but I usually scale the recipe to eat more because they are so moreish!
Give them a try! I promise you will absolutely love them! The crunch on the pork rind coating is mouth-watering, and they are so easy to make that any home cook can do it.
For more chicken recipes check out my collection of best chicken tenderloin recipes.
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Try one of my quick, easy, and affordable air fryer recipes for your next family meal! And if you have any questions, I'm here to help!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Cut the chicken breasts into strips.
- Add the pork rinds to a food processor, and blitz until it resembles bread crumb consistency.
- Combine the cheese, Italian seasoning, and pork rinds on a plate and the mayo in a second bowl.
- Dredge the chicken strips through the mayo, coating completely, then thoroughly coat the chicken strips with the pork rinds mixture.
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket
- Cook chicken tenders for 5 to 9 minutes until golden brown and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit.
- Serve warm and enjoy.