Air-Fryer Bbq Chicken Tenders Recipe

Air-Fryer Bbq Chicken Tenders Recipe 

The kids will love these crispy air-fried BBQ chicken tenders breaded and dunked in a sweet, fiery BBQ sauce! Serve them with some corn on the cob or a big salad.

If you love your air fryer as much as I do, you’ll love this easy chicken recipe! I made these Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Tenders for my family, and they loved them. They have a bit of a kick, are covered with BBQ sauce, and are air fried until crispy with minimal oil. These easy chicken fingers are great for lunch, dinner or a quick family dinner. 

Why This BBQ Chicken Tenders Works

Healthy: These chicken fingers are much lighter because they aren’t fried and only require a small amount of oil.

Delicious: Using shortcut ingredients, like BBQ sauce, seasoned panko, and seasoned breadcrumbs, pack these chicken strips with so much flavor.

Kid-Friendly: For a kid-friendly dinner, skip the cayenne and serve these chicken fingers with fries for a meal the whole family will enjoy.

High Protein: 3 chicken tenderloins are 43 grams of protein!

What to Serve with BBQ Chicken Tenders

Sauce: Serve the chicken fingers with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

BBQ Sides: Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Brown Sugar Baked Beans, Coleslaw

French Fries: Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries, Air Fryer French Fries, Garlic Parmesan Fries

Salads: BBQ Chicken Salad, Cobb Salad, Corn, Tomato, and Avocado Salad

What kind of chicken is used for chicken fingers?

Chicken tenders are used for chicken fingers. Tenders are cut from the tenderloin muscle, which is underneath the breast, and are more tender than breast meat.

What is the best temperature to cook chicken tenders at?

For crispy BBQ chicken tenders, cooking them at a higher temperature, like 400°F, is best

PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins

TOTAL TIME: 30 mins

YIELD: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS FOR Air-Fryer Bbq Chicken Tenders Recipe 
  • 3 tablespoons favorite BBQ sauce
  • olive oil spray
  • 12 chicken tenderloins (1 1/2 lbs total)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs* (or gluten-free crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned panko (plain or gluten-free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • olive oil spray
INSTRUCTIONS FOR Air-Fryer Bbq Chicken Tenders Recipe 
  1. Combine BBQ sauce in a small bowl with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of water, to thin down.
  2. Season chicken with salt, garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
  3. Combine egg and egg white in a medium bowl. In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, panko and cayenne pepper.
  4. Dip chicken in the egg wash, then into the breadcrumb mixture and shake off excess and place on a large dish or cutting board. Spray both sides of the chicken generously with oil.
  5. In batches, cook the chicken 400F 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning halfway, until the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside. Brush or drizzle chicken with sauce until fully coated. Serve right away.


Chicken: If you can’t find chicken tenders, buy a package of breasts and cut them into strips.

BBQ Sauce: Make homemade BBQ sauce instead of buying it.Spiciness: If you prefer chicken fingers with less of a kick, omit the cayenne.

Breadcrumbs: If you don’t have seasoned breadcrumbs or panko, add spices, like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika.

No air fryer? Bake these chicken fingers in the oven at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes.

*1/4 cup of crumb mix gets tossed, it is deducted from n.i.


Store chicken strips in an airtight container for up to four days. To reheat, you can microwave them, but air frying will result in crispier chicken.


Serving: 3pieces, Calories: 312kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.5g, Protein: 43g, Fat: 6.5g, Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: 171mg, Sodium: 751.5mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g – WW Points: 4

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