This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe – These crispy, tender and delicious chicken fingers are baked to perfection in the air fryer.
Chicken tenders have always been one of my son Sam’s favorite foods since he was just a wee little fella. It was always one of those recipes that I knew I could whip together in no time and that he would love – even when we went through the pickiest of eating stage (you know, from the age of two until sometime earlier today! 🙂 ).
And since I’ve discovered the amazingness of my air fryer, you better believe that his favorite chicken tenders were one of the first things I knew I had to make!
After testing and testing, I have discovered a few tricks that make the most delicious chicken tenders without all the mess (or having to allow them to drain on paper towels!)
I start by seasoning my buttermilk with a little bit of hot sauce. You can add as little or as much as you like. I generally use about ½ teaspoon per cup of buttermilk, but again, if you like a little more of a spicy kick for your chicken tenders, you can add a little bit more. I would recommend experimenting before adding a great deal more, especially if you are serving to children or to someone that doesn’t like much spice in their foods.
Once you’ve added the hot sauce, give it a quick stir into the buttermilk and then add your chicken tenders. If you can, cover them with wrap or a tight fitting lid and then let them soak in the buttermilk mixture overnight. It makes them even more delicious! If not, let them soak in the buttermilk mixture while you are preparing all of the other ingredients. Every little bit helps!
When ready to cook, mix together your flour and Stone House Seasoning in a bowl or dish that you’ll use for dredging your chicken tenders. Once I have both in my bowl, I like to run a whisk through them to mix them together well and remove any of those lumps in the flour! 🙂
Next, add just about ¼ cup of your buttermilk mixture into your flour mixture and whisk together.
Next add a few of your chicken tenders at a time to the flour mixture and make sure that they are well coated. I like to gently press the flour mixture into the chicken tenders to make sure that as many of the clumps adhere to the chicken as possible. This is messy business at this point. I recommend being close by to a sink for washing your hands. Another recommendation is to have a wet hand (the hand you take the chicken from the buttermilk with) and a dry hand (the hand that you handle the flour and coated chicken tenders with). It makes it a little bit less messy, but you’ll still want to be close to a sink! 🙂
Once I have them well coated. I spray my air fryer basket well with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray. I then add my chicken tenders to the preheated air fryer basket. Then, spritz the chicken tenders with the olive oil spray or cooking spray.
I like to work in batches only cooking the amount of chicken tenders at a time that will allow for good air flow around them so that they cook evenly and quickly. The number will depend on the size of your chicken tenders and the size of your air fryer.
And for me, it works out fine. I start serving as soon as the first batch is cooked and then pop the second batch into the air fryer basket to cook while we begin supper. Then, if anyone wants more chicken tenders, they are freshly cooked and warm straight from the air fryer!
Cook your chicken tenders at 370º F for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through and spritzing the top side again with olive oil or cooking spray. Once your chicken tenders have cooked through, remove them from the air fryer and serve with your favorite dipping sauces! We like homemade ranch dressing, comeback sauce, and honey mustard to name a few! A few delicious suggestions for side dishes that we always love are sweet potato fries, coleslaw, potato salad, or fruit salad! Yum!
Here’s my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe. I hope you love them as much as we do!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe
- Add hot sauce to buttermilk and whisk together to combine. Add chicken tenders to the buttermilk mixture and refrigerate overnight, if possible. If not possible, allow the chicken tenders to soak in the buttermilk as you prepare your other ingredients.
- Preheat air fryer to 370º F.
- Add flour and Stone House Seasoning to a bowl or a large, shallow dish. Whisk to combine. Pour in ¼ of the buttermilk mixture and whisk to incorporate.
- Remove half of chicken tenders, a few at a time, from the buttermilk and place into the flour mixture. Coat all sides of the chicken tenders with the flour mixture. Lightly press the flour mixture onto the chicken tenders to make sure that the clumps of the breading adhere to the chicken tender.
- Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil spray. Arrange chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, making sure that they are not touching so air can flow around the chicken tenders as they cook. Spritz the chicken tenders with the olive oil spray (or nonstick cooking spray) and set the timer for 10 minutes.
- Using tongs, turn the chicken tenders over in the air fryer basket and spritz the chicken tenders with the olive oil spray (or nonstick cooking spray) and set the time for another 10 minutes.
- As the first batch of chicken tenders finishes, prepare the second half of the chicken tenders for cooking and repeat the steps for cooking.