Easy Tortilla-Crusted Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Chicken strips are an all-time favorite food for kids! These easy air fryer chicken tenders are baked, not fried, and have a flavorful crispy breading made of crushed tortilla chips. The whole family will love these crispy chicken tenderloins!

Chicken tenders are one thing that never fails with my kids. It’s a fool-proof meal that I know my family loves and will eat every last bite. Baking them in the air fryer instead of frying keeps them healthy and easy!

Be sure to check out our other healthy air fryer recipes on this website like air fryer brussels sprouts and air fryer potato wedges. We also have an air fryer cooking chart if you want to use this breading recipe for chicken breasts and other foods.

Jump to:
  • What’s to love about crispy golden air fryer chicken tenders
  • Ingredients for chicken tenders
  • How to make chicken tenders in the air fryer
  • Storing
  • Reheating leftover chicken tenders
  • Healthy ways to serve with air fryer chicken strips
  • Chicken variations
  • FAQ’s
  • More Air Fryer Recipes You May Enjoy
  • Easy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

What’s to love about crispy golden air fryer chicken tenders

  • Baked in and ready in 20 minutes! This easy classic dinner is ready in as little as 20 minutes and bakes in the air fryer in as little as 8-10 minutes.
  • Classic kid-friendly meal! Chicken tenders are a kids favorite and you can make them gluten-free and healthy!
  • Uses up crumbs at the bottom of a tortilla chip bag! We use the crumbs or whole tortilla chips and crush them in a food processor or bag and bread each chicken strip with them for great flavor!

Ingredients for chicken tenders

  • chicken tenders – organic is best, but just to let you know you can also use chicken breasts for this recipe. Just make it the same way for air fryer chicken tenders and use chicken breast – see below for variations on how.
  • crushed tortilla chips – ok, you know those crumbled chips at the bottom of a tortilla bag? Don’t throw them out! Use them for chicken tenders! It makes a great gluten-free breading for chicken. Just make sure the bag does say “gluten-free” if you need.
  • gluten-free flour – you can also use all purpose flour if gluten is not an issue, but really any gluten-free flour works for chicken tenderloins baked. It is the glue that helps to hold the egg on the chicken tenders.
  • eggs, whisked – this is the other glue that helps to hold the tortilla chips and breading to air fryer chicken tenders.
  • garlic powder, salt, and pepper – cause we need extra flavor here, right?

See recipe card for quantities.

How to make chicken tenders in the air fryer

Full details and recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.

Place tortilla chips in a sealed zip bag and using a rolling pin, roll over them to crush them into a flour or breading consistency. You can also pulse them in a food processor. Measure out about 1 ½ cups.

Get three shallow bowls. Add flour to one, whisked eggs to the next, crushed tortilla to the third. Mix garlic powder and dash of salt and pepper to the flour. One at a time, dip chicken tender in flour then egg then tortilla. Repeat for each strip and place in a baking dish or large plate.

Start the air fryer and set the temperature to 360 degrees F. Open the tray and spray the bottom with cooking oil. When it beeps and says “add food”, then transfer the breaded chicken tenders to the air fryer and bake 8-10 minutes until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.


Cook these healthy air fryer chicken tenders first, then store any leftovers in a sealed airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Reheating leftover chicken tenders

To reheat homemade chicken tenders, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the previously cooked air fryer chicken tenders on a baking pan. Place in the oven and heat for about 10 minutes or until heated through.

Healthy ways to serve with air fryer chicken strips

These easy air fryer chicken tenders go great to top over salads, serve into tacos, and to add a side. Try them with a side of garlic parmesan carrot fries and your favorite soups like this tortilla soup.

Chicken variations

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast – Raw chicken tenders in the air fryer can easily be turned into chicken breasts in the air fryer. Simply use a chicken breast and bread it in this tortilla chip crust and then bake it in the air fryer at 360 degrees F for about 19 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.
  • Boneless chicken thighs– make then in the air fryer by heating at 380 degrees F and cooking them for 18-20 minutes, again until the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.


How long do chicken tenders take to cook in the air fryer?

To cook chicken tenders in the air fryer, it takes 8-10 minutes at 360 degrees F.

How long to cook raw chicken tenders?

In a conventional oven chicken tenders typically take about 20-25 minutes to cook at 375 degrees. The air fryer only takes about 10 minutes!

How do you tell if chicken tenders are fully cooked?

Check for doneness, by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the tenderloin. Make sure it reads 165 degrees F, which means it is safe to eat.

More Air Fryer Recipes You May Enjoy

If you make these gluten-free air fryer chicken tenders from Delightful Mom Food I would love to see your creations and share it! Follow along with me on INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE and TWITTER to be featured and for more recipe inspiration! And don’t forget to rate the recipe in the recipe area and leave a comment below!

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