Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Tenders With BBQ Yogurt Sauce

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.

a close up picture of chicken tenders on a plate with dipping sauce

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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.
The ingredients for the recipe yogurt,bbq sauce, egg, chicken, thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder bread crumbs, garlic powder

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
  • Egg
  • Chicken tenderloins
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Paprika
  • 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.

a picture of bread crumbs on a white plate with a wooden spoon

Step 1. Mix the spices and the breadcrumbs on a plate.

Step 2. Dip each raw chicken tender into the egg mixture

a picture of chicken tenders dipping into egg
chicken tender on a plate covered with breadcrumbs

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.

a picture of chicken tenders on an air fryer tray

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.

Baked chicken tenders on a baking sheeet.

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.

Recipe variations

Asian Inspired Spicy Chicken Tenders – For an Asian flair, leave out the oregano and thyme and add 1/4 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.

Tex-Mex Chicken Tenders – Add a Tex-Mex twist by seasoning the breadcrumbs with chili powder and ground cumin instead of thyme and oregano. Serve them with guacamole or salsa.

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.

Are you too tired to cook dinner?

If you’re feeling uninspired when it’s time to cook dinner, this free guide will help you make a quick and healthy dinner with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

Serving suggestions

Spicy chicken tenders with BBQ yogurt sauce are great to serve for an appetizer or dinner. You can also change up the sauce and use sriracha dipping sauce or Popeye’s Spicy Mayonnaise. We like to serve them for dinner with a salad, roasted brussels sprouts, or buffalo cauliflower bites.

overherad view of chicken tenders on a plate with sauce


  • 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.
How can I make air fryer chicken tenders in the oven?

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.

How can I prevent the coating from becoming soggy after reheating leftovers?

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

Do you like this recipe?
Please comment and give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below!

spicy chicken tenders on a white plate with dipping sauce

Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Tenders With BBQ Yogurt Sauce

Spicy chicken tenders, a twist on traditional chicken tenders, are coated in a cayenne spiced bread crumb mix, and air fried
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: spicy air fried chicken tenders
Servings: 4
Calories: 255kcal
Author: Anne


Scale this Recipe 4


  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons bbq sauce
  • 1/2 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 1/2 teaspoons onion powder,2 teaspoons oregano,1/2 teaspoon thyme,1 teaspoon paprika,1/2 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 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt.


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
See article above for tips, oven instructions and more !


Serving: 1/4 pound | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 403mg | Potassium: 586mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 503IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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