Air fryer spicy chicken tenders are a great choice when you are in the mood for some spice. Chicken tenders are coated in a spicy breading, which gives them a kick, and the accompanying BBQ yogurt sauce provides a refreshing and tangy complement.
These chicken tenders are crispy and delicious and perfect for an easy dinner or appetizer. They are air fried too which makes clean up easy!
If you like spicy food, try these air fryer buffalo chicken tenders too!
🤍Why you will love this recipe
- Unlike deep frying, an air fryer uses less oil, making it a healthier fried chicken recipe.
- It's a family-friendly dinner made with simple ingredients that everyone will love.
- It's customizable; adjust the amount of heat to your taste.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this easy recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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- Panko breadcrumbs
- Chicken tenderloins
- Cayenne pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Plain Greek yogurt
- BBQ Sauce
How to make homemade chicken tenders in the air fryer
Prepare the ingredients: Measure the different spices and breadcrumbs, whisk the egg in a shallow bowl, and preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees f.
Mix the barbecue sauce and yogurt together to make the dipping sauce.
Step 1. Mix the spices and the breadcrumbs on a plate.
Step 2. Dip each raw chicken tender into the egg mixture
Step 3. Next, dip the egg-coated chicken tenders into the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring they are completely covered in crumbs.
Step 4. Place the breaded chicken onto an air fryer tray or basket in a single layer and air fry for 12 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
Cooking time may vary depending on the model of your air fryer. Use a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is fully cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees f.
Ingredient notes and substitutions
The complete list of ingredients to make this easy recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Panko bread crumbs -I prefer using unseasoned panko for air frying because of their coarse texture and crispy results. Regular breadcrumbs can be used as a substitute or gluten-free breadcrumbs can be used for a gluten-free version.
Chicken tenders - These are the perfect size for making this recipe. If they aren't available, you can also boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut them into chicken strips.
Greek yogurt - Look for plain Greek yogurt that is not sweetened or flavored. Greek yogurt can be replaced with plain yogurt or Icelandic yogurt.
Barbecue sauce - Any type of BBQ sauce will work. If you want to try making your own barbecue sauce, here is my recipe for sweet and spicy beer bbq sauce.
How to store crispy chicken tenders
Store leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Enjoy leftovers cold or reheated and tossed in a salad, wrap or sandwich.
You can also freeze leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container or freezer safe bag for up to three months. Defrost frozen chicken in the refrigerator overnight.
Asian Inspired Spicy Chicken Tenders - For an Asian flair, leave out the oregano and thyme and add ¼ teaspoon or more to taste of ginger and a teaspoon of soy suace to the egg wash, and dip the tenders in spicy sriracha dipping sauce instead.
Parmesan-crusted spicy chicken tenders - Mix in grated parmesan cheese with breadcrumbs and spices for a cheesy and savory twist. These taste great dipped into marinara sauce.
GET YOUR FREE GUIDE!
Whip up quick and delicious meals with the ingredients you have in your kitchen!
- For the crispiest chicken tenders, don't overcrowd the air fryer basket which can lead to uneven cooking.
- Spray a little bit of olive oil spray or avocado oil cooking spray for extra crispy tenders.
- Make sure that the chicken is evenly coated with the breadcrumb mixture before air frying them.
These can be made in the oven by placing them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and placed into a 400 degree f oven; bake for 10 minutes, flip and bake until they become crispy.
For crispy leftover chicken tenders, it's best to reheat the chicken in an air fryer or oven instead of the microwave. Place the tenders in the air fryer or oven and heat at 350 degrees until they are heated through and crispy.
You might like these air fryer recipes
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons bbq sauce
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and set it aside.
- In a small bowl whisk the egg and set it aside.
- Mix 2 teaspoons garlic powder,1 ½ teaspoons onion powder,2 teaspoons oregano,½ teaspoon thyme,1 teaspoon paprika,½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the egg, then the bread crumbs making sure they are completely coated with the bread crumbs.
- Place the coated chicken pieces into an air fryer and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400.
- While the chicken is cooking, mix up the sauce by combining 3 tablespoons of bbq sauce with ½ cup of Greek yogurt.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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