These healthy Crispy Chicken Tenders can be made in the air fryer or in the oven and are served with the most amazing creamy honey mustard sauce! 21 Day Fix, Weight Watchers and kid-friendly!
Hey guys! How are all the things? Today is my kiddos’ last day of school (I know, so late in the year, right?!) and we’re getting ready to move (again!) in 10 days so things are getting pretty wild over here at this point!
After 21 years serving in the Coast Guard, my husband retired at the beginning of the month, so we’re moving to be closer to our families and we’re pretty freaking excited ♥
Lots of big changes over here 🙂
What hasn’t changed though, is how absolutely delicious these healthy chicken fingers are! If you’ve made my Healthy Chicken Parmesan, then you already know what’s up. This chicken comes out so crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, and full of flavor!
These air fryer chicken tenders use the same breading recipe as my beloved chicken parm and I’ve paired them with a super yum creamy honey mustard sauce that’s been a HUGE hit with my kiddos!
Let’s have a little Q&A and then I’ll show you how to make ’em!
Are air fryer chicken tenders healthy?
These ones are! This recipe uses whole wheat flour and whole wheat panko for a delicious crispy coating for the lean chicken tenders! They’re also 21 Day Fix and Weight Watchers friendly (counts and points included in the recipe card) 🙂
Are these 21 Day Fix chicken tenders gluten-free?
Nope, but I’ve got a couple of delish gluten-free recipe options from my lovely friends for the GF peeps!
- Crunchy Chicken Tenders from Grandnanny’s House
- Krispie Baked Chicken Tenders from Confessions of a Fit Foodie
What temperature is used to air fry chicken tenders?
I use 390° or 400° – whichever your air fryer gets to. That’ll give these chicken tenders and great, crispy crust on the outside and keep them nice and juicy on the inside!
Are Crispy Chicken Tenders best made in the air fryer or in the oven?
Personally I like them best in the air fryer, I find they get the crispiest that way! That being said, if I’m making a lot, it’s nice to use the oven because you can do a ton at once!
Aside from eating healthy crispy chicken tenders as is, what else can be done with them?
Here are a few of my favorite things to do with them!
- Slice them and put them on a salad! They add such a nice crunch and extra flavor to a salad 🙂
- As a base for a taco – crispy chicken, cheddar, ranch and pico de gallo is such a killer combo!
- Toss with some BBQ sauce at the last second like boneless wings!
- Use to make an amazing buffalo chicken pita pizza (mix a little plain greek yogurt with some Frank’s Red Hot for the sauce, top with cheddar, blue cheese, then the chicken and cook until the pita is crispy either in your air fryer or your oven – then I like to drizzle a little extra franks on top) – so good!
- Use on a chicken sandwich!
I’m not into honey mustard, do you have any other sauces that’ll be good with these air fryer chicken fingers?
You bet your bottom dollar! I’m obsessed with sauces, you guys.
- The BEST Apple Cider BBQ Sauce Recipe (this is hands down my fave BBQ sauce ever!)
- Mustard BBQ Sauce
- Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce – Grandnanny’s House
- 21 Day Fix Barbecue Sauce
- Smokey Raspberry Chipotle Bbq Sauce – Grandnanny’s House
- Healthy Ranch Dressing
- Easy Homemade Ketchup
How to air fry chicken tenders:
Prep your breading station: whole wheat flour in the first bowl, whisked eggs in the second and then the breading mixture in the third.
Season your chicken, then dip in the flour…
then the egg, then the breading mixture. Add to your air fryer basket, spraying the top with olive oil cooking spray. Air fry at 390° for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
If you guys give these Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Tenders a try, please let me know what you think!! You can leave a comment below or tag me on Insta @thefoodieandthefix. Or if you’re in my private Facebook group, I’d love to see a photo of your creation in there! I hope you enjoy ♥
Don’t forget to save this Air Fryer Chicken Tender recipe to Pinterest! ⇓
Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce:
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard (it's also great with other mustards for slightly different flavors!)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 to 3 1/2 Tbs honey (depending on the sweetness level you prefer, start with 3 and go up to 3 1/2 if necessary)
- 3 1/2 tsp white distilled vinegar
Crispy Chicken Tenders:
- 2 1/2 lbs chicken tenders (about 12-14 chicken tenders)
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour or brown rice flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 6 Tbs whole wheat panko
- 6 Tbs whole wheat bread crumbs
- 6 Tbs grated pecorino-romano or parmesan cheese (grated on the small side of your box grater)
- 1/4 tsp salt
Make the Creamy Honey Mustard:
- Whisk all ingredients together, refrigerate until ready to serve.
Crispy Chicken (Air Fryer Instructions):
- Preheat air fryer to 400° or 390° (depending on your air fryer). A few minutes is really all it takes.
- Season chicken lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Make a breading station with 3 bowls – the first for the flour, the second for your beaten eggs and in the third, you’ll mix together the panko, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Give a light spray of olive oil or coconut oil cooking spray to the bottom of your air fryer basket.
- Dredge your chicken piece by piece first in the flour (shaking off any excess), then the egg, then the breading and place in your air fryer basket. Repeat until basket is full and then lightly spray the tops of the chicken with olive oil cooking spray, you may need to do 2-3 batches depending on the size of your air fryer. Cook between 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your tenders – until temperature reaches 165 degrees or it’s no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.
- Bread the chicken tenders exactly the same as in the AF instructions, cooking in a preheated 400° oven on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165 degrees or the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.
Serve your crispy chicken tenders with the honey mustard sauce and enjoy!
*note: when I want to use the sauce as a salad dressing, I like to add 1/4 tsp vinegar to a serving (2 Tbs) of the creamy honey mustard sauce.
21 Day Fix Container Counts per Serving: Honey Mustard Dressing: 2 oil tsp, 1 1/2 sweetener tsp (you can also call this an orange if you prefer!); Chicken Tenders: 1 Red, 1/2 Yellow (I don't count the blue because it's too little per serving)
Weight Watchers Smart Points:
- Blue Plan: Crispy Chicken: 2 points; Honey Mustard Sauce: 5 points
- Purple Plan: Crispy Chicken: 2 points; Honey Mustard Sauce: 5 points
- Green Plan: Crispy Chicken: 4 points; Honey Mustard Sauce: 5 points
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Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 2 crispy chicken tenders and 2 Tbs honey mustard sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2 chicken tenders: 295; honey mustard: 114Total Fat: 2 chicken tenders: 5; honey mustard: 7g