Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders ~ buttermilk air fried chicken. Crispy outside, juicy inside cooks in under 15 minutes!
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make a meal meal that everyone likes? The struggle is real; the answer is yes! The person that loves deep fried, the picky kids, the healthy eater. Am I missing anyone? They will all love these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders.
Lightly dipped in ranch, doused in spicy buffalo sauce or ketchup – slice and add to a salad. There you have it. One meal for all. Can I get an Amen to that?
The recipe calls for buttermilk but don’t let that scare you off and please don’t make a special trip to the store for it. You can make your own buttermilk with just 2 household ingredients you probably already have.
HOW to make buttermilk:
Whisk 1 cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl then let it stand 5 minutes or until it thickens. That’s it.
What’s in Air Fryer Chicken Tenders?
- chicken tenders (or breasts sliced into strips)
- garlic powder
- all purpose flour
- baking powder
- black pepper
- cooking spray
How to make Air Fryer chicken tenders:
NOTE: for the best flavor marinate the chicken in buttermilk 15 minutes up to 2 hours. It makes the chicken tender and juicy and helps the breading stick for the ultimate crispy chicken tenders.
If you’re using chicken breasts, slice them into about 1 1/2″ wide strips then blend the marinade ingredients in a medium size bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade then cover and refrigerate 15 minutes up to 2 hours.
Add the breading ingredients to a shallow bowl then whisk to combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup then remove the tenders from the marinade one at a time and add them to the breading, pressing firmly to coat each one.
Transfer the breaded tender to the waiting baking sheet then continue until all the chicken is breaded.
Preheat the air fryer to 400° for 3 minutes, then generously spray both sides of the tenders with cooking spray.
Working in batches, add the tenders to the air fryer basket cooking 10-12 minutes total, turning halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary depending upon the air fryer and exact size of the tender.
What goes with Chicken Tenders?
There are so many side dish options to serve with these chicken tenders. Here are a few options:
Potato Salad – best, old fashioned Potato Salad with tender potatoes, hard boiled eggs and crispy bacon, blended with creamy mayonnaise.
Baked Potato – perfect crispy skin with fluffy soft potato inside. Steakhouse style baked potato cooked in the air fryer!
Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad – cheese tortellini + all the antipasto favorites: salami, pepperoni, cheese, peppers, olives and onions dressed in a simple homemade vinaigrette.
Why Air Fry?
I love air frying because it gives you deep-fried crispy texture and taste without all the oil! Plus the air fryer has a nonstick surface that makes it super easy to clean too.
If you tried this Air Fryer Chicken Tenders recipe or any other on the blog then I’d love to hear from you with a comment or star rating!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders breasts may be used - slice into 1 1/2" strips
- 1 cup buttermilk see post for How to Make Homemade Buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- cooking spray
- If you’re using chicken breasts, slice them into about 1 1/2″ strips then add the marinade ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the chicken to the marinade then cover and refrigerate 15 minutes up to 2 hours.
- Add the breading ingredients to a shallow bowl then whisk to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Remove the tenders from the marinade one at a time then add them to the breading, pressing firmly to coat them. Transfer the breaded tenders to the waiting baking sheet then continue until all the chicken is breaded.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400° then spray generously both sides of the tenders with cooking spray. Working in batches, add the tenders to the air fryer basket cooking 10-12 minutes total (4-6 minutes per side) or until the chicken is cooked through, turning halfway. Cooking times vary depending upon the air fryer and exact size of the tender.