Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Chicken nuggets have been a firm favourite of kids for generations, and these healthy, modern-day air fryer chicken tenders will keep them happy and satisfied.

Air fryers have been around for an age, but their popularity in recent times has increased exponentially. It’s quick and easy to produce a “fakeaway” in record time without the high levels of sodium, additives and trans fats. 

Simple ingredients for an all-time favourite

This firm favourite is produced in minutes using fresh chicken tenders and a simple mix of crumbs to make them super crunchy outside and luscious and tender inside. Chicken breasts cut into strips work just as well if tenders are unavailable.

To simplify, we’ve used mayonnaise instead of eggs to adhere the crumbs to the chicken tenders and add an extra level of zing to the flavour.

Change up your chicken tenders

Traditional breadcrumbs and panko crumbs take the crunch of your tenders to a different level. And if you want a Mexican twist, use crushed taco chips as the breading, and serve with a squeeze of lime, and a little salsa.

Want to try popcorn chicken instead? Use our diced chicken with the same recipe for bite-sized morsels of air-fryer goodness.

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Skinless chicken breast tenders (2-3 per person)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Mayonnaise

  • Crushed tortilla chips (or seasoned breadcrumbs if you don’t have these)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • Olive oil spray

  • ½ lime, cut into 4 wedges

  • Chopped fresh coriander

  • ½ cup salsa of your choice to dip


  • Dry the chicken tenders with paper towels to aid the mayonnaise adhering.
  • Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Crush the taco chips in a zip-lock bag, add the garlic powder and cumin and shake to mix.
  • Prepare two bowls, one with the mayonnaise and one with the crushed taco chips.
  • Coat the chicken tenders in the mayonnaise, then the crushed taco chips, and lay them on parchment paper as you work.
  • Place a single layer in the air fryer and spray lightly with oil.
  • Air fry at 400F for 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through. Time will be dependent on the model of your fryer.
  • Sprinkle with coriander and serve with a wedge of lime and salsa for dipping.