If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal, these Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders are just the thing. You can cook parmesan crusted chicken tenders in less than 15 minutes, and they taste amazing! Garlic parmesan tenders are perfect for serving as an appetizer or main dish at your next party. You’ll be sure to impress all of your guests!

plate of crispy homemade chicken tenders with broccoli and a lemon wedge
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Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Few things are more delicious than a crispy, crunchy chicken tender. The texture of the breading in your mouth is so satisfying, and the flavor is to die for. But there’s one problem with traditional fried chicken tenders — they’re deep-fried! This means that you have to deal with all the messy cleanup afterward.

Air fryer garlic parmesan chicken tenders are an easy way around this dilemma. These air fried beauties come out just as tasty but without any mess at all! So if you want to eat some fantastic food tonight while also saving yourself some time and effort, get started on these parmesan chicken tenders right away!

Parmesan crusted chicken tenders are such an excellent lunch for the kids. They are full of flavor and come out perfectly crispy! Try more Easy Air Fryer Lunch Recipes like AIR FRYER PIZZA TOAST, AIR FRYER TURKEY AND CHEESE PINWHEEL SANDWICHES, AIR FRYER TUNA MELT WRAPS, and AIR FRYER HOT DOG TAQUITOS.

Why You’ll Love Parmesan Chicken Tenders

  • No messy cleanup
  • Healthier than other recipes
  • Kid-approved
  • Homemade tenders in 30 minutes
  • Great for snacks, lunches, and dinner!

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Ingredients Needed To Make Garlic Parmesan Tenders

bowl of raw chicken tenderloins surrounded by fresh seasonings
  • Chicken Tenders: Buy these precut or slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts into long pieces.
  • All-purpose Flour: Feel free to use a keto or gluten-free alternative if needed.
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic
  • Dried Basil
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: Easily swap these with your favorites — seasoned, plain, or gluten-free. For a keto and low-carb breading, use crumbled pork rinds!
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese

How To Make Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Step 1: Prep dredging station

In a shallow bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and pepper.

Add olive oil to a second bowl.

In a third bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs with garlic, basil, and shredded parmesan cheese.

Step 2: Coat the chicken

Working one at a time, place the tenders in the flour and flip to coat both sides.

Dip in oil, shaking off any excess, then place in the breadcrumb mixture. Press the seasoned breadcrumbs onto all sides of the chicken.

Step 3: Air fry parmesan chicken tenders

Spray your air fryer basket to ensure nothing sticks. Then, place the parmesan crusted chicken tenders in the basket and air fry for 7 minutes at 370 degrees F.

Flip and cook for another 7 minutes. Check for doneness with a meat thermometer, then plate and serve!

parmesan panko crusted chicken on a plate with steamed broccoli

Pro Tips for the Best Chicken Tenders

When you’re making chicken tenders from scratch, it can be tough to get them just right. Here’s some great information to guarantee your garlic parmesan chicken tenders are juicy and delicious, not tough or dry.

  • Pat dry: Drying the chicken before dredging ensures that your ingredients stick well to the surface. Use paper towels and toss them immediately.
  • Oil: After dredging the tenders in flour, dip them into olive oil to keep them light and tender. You can also use egg whites if you prefer.
  • Spices: Use any of your favorite blends to add more flavor. Some of my favorites are Creole, Slap Ya Mama, or even simple cayenne pepper. 
  • Keep the breading on: Use your hands to pat the breading on the chicken so it sticks better.
  • Line your basket: Add a piece of parchment paper or a reusable silicone liner, to prevent sticking and help you keep the breading on your garlic chicken tenders! 
  • Avoid overcrowding: Leave space between your garlic parmesan chicken tenders so the hot air can circulate all around. Otherwise, they won’t cook evenly and may not crisp on all sides. If needed, work in batches.

How Long to Cook Chicken Tenders in an Air Fryer

Homemade chicken tenders take about 12 to 15 minutes at 370 degrees F when cooked in an air fryer. The exact time will depend on the air fryer you own and how thick your tenders are.

The key is to use a meat thermometer and check the internal temperature in the thickest part of the tenders. Cook the chicken until it reaches 165 degrees F, then let it rest for a couple of minutes, before serving.

You can also cook parmesan chicken tenders from frozen. Simply increase the cooking time by a few minutes and use the internal temperature as your guide — no need to thaw first!

Storing and Reheating

Storing: There is nothing better than leftover garlic chicken tenders as a snack or lunch for the next day.  Let them cool to room temperature, then place them into the refrigerator. They will last for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container.

Freezing: Once the garlic parmesan tenders have cooled to room temperature, you can freeze them for up to 1 month. For best results, place the cooled chicken onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop it into the freezer. Once the chicken tenders are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container.

Reheating: Place leftover garlic parmesan chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, spray them with cooking spray, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes at 370 degrees F, air fryer setting. 

What Dipping Sauces Go Best With Garlic Chicken Tenders?

There are so many options that it’s up to you! In fact, why not try a few at a time for variety? Popular choices include:

Should I Use Fresh or Pre-Grated Parmesan For Better Flavor?

You will always get the best flavor and texture from freshly grated cheese, but pre-grated is fine as a convenient option. Just be sure to use the shredded kind for garlic parmesan chicken tenders and not the powdered pasta topping!

What’s The Secret For Extra Crispy Chicken Tenders?

First, pat the chicken dry thoroughly before adding any coatings. This removes excess moisture and helps the breading stick better to the surface.

I like to use oil between the flour and breadcrumb coatings, which helps both crisp up better than milk.

Then, use your air fryer! It gets the outer layer just as crispy as shallow frying without leftover oil or grease that can turn your tenders soggy.

More Air Fryer Recipes:

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders

4.25 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders are such a great lunch for the kids! They are full of flavor and come out extra crispy in the air fryer!


  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Start by placing your flour, salt, and pepper in one dish. Mix well.
  • Then in another dish, put your olive oil.
  • In another bowl, place the garlic, basil, and panko, and Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  • Dredge your chicken in the flour (so it is fully covered)
  • Then dip it in the olive oil.
  • Then dip it in the panko, so the entire chicken tender is covered in panko.
  • Spray your air fryer basket with olive oil spray. This will ensure that the chicken doesn't stick.
  • As you finish covering the chicken tenders in the panko, place them in the air fryer basket.
  • Set your air fryer basket to 370 degrees for 7 minutes.  After 7 minutes, flip the tenders and set the timer for another 7 minutes.
  • Check your chicken with a meat thermometer. Once fully cooked, remove from the air fryer basket.
  • Plate, serve, adn enjoy!
    Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders


  • Air Fryer


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 534kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 45gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1196mgPotassium: 741mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 163IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 182mgIron: 3mg

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