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Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy golden outside and tender juicy inside with a hint of garlic and tons of flavor. They are perfect for a quick dinner, lunch or even snack.

These are so easy, and so good, you’re family is going to love these! Serve these scrumptious tenders with a Caesar Salad, Honey Lime Poppy Seed Fruit Salad, and Homemade Air Fryer French Fries for a well rounded satisfying dinner.

Crispy golden crust, juicy tender inside. Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe

Cooking chicken tenders in the air fryer is one of the best ways to cook chicken. It’s juicy, tasty, crunchy, and healthy (no more dealing with all that messy oil)! It’s the best of both worlds. The other winning feature of this dish is it’s super fast. I love things that are quick and healthy.

These are so good you will reach for them over and over. Serve this tasty finger food with your favorite dipping sauce. My favorite is The Famous Cane’s Sauce or my classic Fry Sauce. Try something new, try two or three, or just experiment with your favorites! They’re so easy and go with just about everything.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

These ingredients are simple and flavorful and leave you with the same great taste you would get if you deep-fried them! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

  • Chicken Tenders: Boneless and skinless chicken breast work best for this recipe.
  • White Flour: White flour will adhere best to the chicken
  • Salt and Pepper: These enhance the flavors of the chicken.
  • Olive Oil or Butter: Either will produce a crisp and wonderful flavor.
  • Garlic: You can either use fresh garlic cloves or minced garlic from the jar.
  • Basil: I use dried basil so that it can mix well with the other seasonings.
  • Paprika: Creates flavor and adds a bit of color.
  • Panko: Panko creates a great crunch, but you can use bread crumbs too.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Freshly grated parmesan works best for the best seasoning

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer

Cooking up these chicken tenders in the air fryer is so quick and easy! You will be done from start to finish in less than 10 minutes.

  1. Trim: If there is any excess fat on the tenders, trim it.
  2. Bowls: Set out three bowls. In the first one, fill it with flour and salt, and pepper. In the second bowl, fill with either olive oil or butter and garlic. Then, place the basil, paprika, panko, and parmesan cheese in the third bowl. Stir all of the bowls to mix.
  3. Coat: Dip the chicken first in the flour mixture, then the garlic butter, then the panko mixture. Make sure to evenly and thoroughly coat each piece.
  4. Cook: Place the tenders in the air fryer and then cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 min. Flip and cook for another 8-9 min or till the internal temp is 165 degrees F.
Dipping, dredging and coating of Air Fryer chicken tenders.

Tips and Substitutions

There are a few things that you can change up or substitute to make sure that your air fryer chicken tenders turn out perfectly!

  • Panko: You really want to use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. They are lighter and airier, and because of that, they will absorb less oil and end up crispier. Breadcrumbs will work, but they’ll be heavier.
  • Shake: A fun way to involve your kids in the baking is to put the panko and seasoning in a large ziplock bag. Then, place the chicken tenders in and let the kids shake it up.
  • Spices: You can definitely mix this up and add different spices to your panko mixture. You can mix up the spices with Italian, Mexican, Cajun, or whatever you want.
  • Dry: Pat the Chicken dry before you dredge it. It’ll help all the goodness stick together.
  • Press: To help your coating stick, press the crumbs onto the chicken strips.
  • Crowding: You don’t want to overcrowd the air fryer. They shouldn’t touch to allow maximum airflow; they’ll cook nice and even.
  • Over Cooking:  This is a no-no. Use a meat thermometer and test them before you think they are done to ensure you don’t overcook them. You are looking for a temp of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Overcooking the tenders will dry them out.
Crispy golden outside, juicy tender inside, Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.

Storing Leftovers

These air fryer chicken tenders can easily be stored and reheated the next day! It’s the perfect, easy lunch or snack option for any day of the week.

  • In the Refrigerator: Store leftover tenders in an airtight container or large resealable bag in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • In the Freezer: Freeze these after they have cooled completely. To keep from sticking, line them on a baking sheet for 2 hours in the freezer. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: To keep them crispy, reheat them in the air fryer. Heat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, till hot.
Crispy golden Air Fryer Chicken Tenders being dipped in honey mustard sauce.

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Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

4.78 from 9 votes
By: Alyssa Rivers
Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy golden outside and tender juicy inside with hint of garlic and tons of flavor. They are perfect for a quick dinner, lunch or even snack.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil or melted butter
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


  • Trim the fat from the tenders.
  • Set out three bowls. Fill one with white flour, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, & 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir. Fill the next bowl with olive oil or butter and minced garlic. Stir. Place the basil, paprika, Panko, and Parmesan cheese in the last bowl. Stir.
  • Place the tenders in the flour mixture, then the garlic oil, then the panko mixture making sure to evenly and thoroughly coat each piece.
  • Place the tenders in the basket of the air fryer.
  • Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 minutes, flip the tenders, and cook for another 8-9 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.



Originally Posted on November 2, 2020
Updated on August 2, 2023


Calories: 284kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 34gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 275mgPotassium: 586mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 104IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, Snack
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic!
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About Alyssa Rivers

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Alyssa Rivers and the food blogger behind The Recipe Critic. The blog launched in 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family. Each recipe is tried and true, family-tested and approved.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    As a recent owner of an Air Fryer I was worried that I’d struggle to find good recipes. These were absolutely delicious! The chicken was so succulent and tasty, we had them with a Caesar salad. Can’t wait to play about with the herbs/spices. I also used Gran Padano instead of parmesan as it’s got a more nutty flavour. Such a winner in our house!

  2. 5 stars
    We’ll never by chicken strips at a restaurant again!
    I soaked my chicken in buttermilk for 5 hours before I dredged them, making them really tender.
    I used shredded parm instead of grated and wow! My hubs is in love with them

    I can’t wait to try different types of spices! I’m thinking of tossing a packet of ranch dressing mix in to the flour.

    The best strips ever!