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Heathy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

September 14, 2021 (Last updated December 22, 2022) · Nicole Triebe

These healthy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy, juicy, and paired with a honey mustard sauce. So quick and easy for a busy weeknight meal!

The terrible twos are almost here, and baby dinner fairy is getting pickier with what he eats! Especially when it comes to chicken! These healthy air fryer chicken tenders have been on our rotation for a while now, and they’ve become a favorite! His plate is cleared every time. Your family will love this healthy, kid friendly dinner idea!

What do you need to make healthy chicken tenders?

These healthy air fryer chicken tenders are coated in walnuts! Walnuts are placed in a food processor and pulsed until they’re small enough to adhere to the chicken tenders, but not too much so that they turn into a paste. They should look like the picture below

Set up a breading station

Station 1: Seasoned flour. First combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl.

Station 2: Beaten egg. Whisk together the eggs in a separate bowl. This wet mixture will help the breading stick.

Station 3: This is te breading station. Place the walnuts, panko and parmesan in this bowl.

  • First coat the chicken tenders – press each side of the chicken tender into the flour, making sure both sides are fully coated with flour, then dip it into the egg mixture. When you pull the chicken tender out of the egg mixture, let the excess egg drip off of it, then transfer it to the walnut panko mixture.
  • Next Place in the air fryer basket  – once coated in the flour, egg, and walnut panko mixtures, set the tenders in the air fryer basket or tray, then repeat for each one, making sure there’s a little space between each. You may need to work in two batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
  • Finally, air fry the tenders – air fry the chicken tenders for 7 minutes at 375°F, then flip the tenders and fry for an additional 2 minutes to crisp the other side.

Tips for making the best air fryer chicken tenders

Use one hand to dip the chicken in the flour, and another to dip in the egg and breadcrumbs. You’ll create less of a mess this way.

Press firmly on the breadcrumbs when the chicken tenders are in the final step of the breading station, so that they adhere well to the chicken.

Spray with avocado oil for that beautiful golden brown crust

What should I serve with chicken tenders?

Dip these chicken tenders in a honey mustard dipping sauce! The recipe is below!

Want to make this a well rounded meal? Serve these air fryer chicken tenders with:

Crispy sweet potato fries

Kale and Pear salad

Quinoa avocado and black bean salad

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Heathy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

  • Author: Nicole Triebe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Air Fryer
  • Cuisine: American



2 lb boneless skinless chicken tenderloins

salt and pepper

1 cup walnuts

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

3 eggs

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 cup flour

Honey mustard dipping sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • tablespoon yellow mustard


Preheat air fryer to 400.

Process walnuts in a food processor until they resemble a coarse meal. If they’re too big, they won’t adhere to the chicken. Just be careful not to over-process — you don’t want a nut paste.

Add the panko, parmesan, salt and pepper to the nuts.

Process until the mixture is well combined and the panko breadcrumbs are smaller pieces

Set up a three part breading station with flour, beaten eggs and the walnut/panko mixture.

Season the chicken with salt. Working with one or two tenders at a time, dredge first in the flour, shaking off any excess.

Then dip in eggs

Then finally dredge in the walnut/panko mixture, turning and pressing firmly on the chicken so that the mixture adheres.

Air fry 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8/-10 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit with an instant thermometer.   Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

To make the dipping sauce, whisk together all ingredients in a bowl. Dip chicken tenders in the sauce

Keywords: air fryer; chicken

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