12-minute Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders – Family Favorite Recipe!

Ready in just 12 minutes, these air fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders are crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The subtle flavors of the ranch seasoning in the dredge can be tasted in the crunchy Panko crumb topping.

A pinnable pinterest image of a plate of air-fried chicken tenders with lemon wedges.

What Brand Air Fryer is Best?

The best air fryers on the market are durable and dependable with features that address the demands of everyday cooking.

If you’re looking to buy an air fryer — and you’d like some advice about what constitutes a good one and which products to consider —  Forbes magazine has done the research and has rated the top 6 air fryers. There’s one in almost every budget so there’s something for everyone.

I’ve been eyeing the new air fryers for a long time. I loved the idea but I wasn’t sure I needed another small appliance, however, after all the glowing reviews, I decided to take the plunge. Last week, I splurged and bought myself an Air Fryer. It has a larger 5.3 Qt frying basket perfectly sized for a small family.

I have to admit, I had no idea how many things I could do with my Air Fryer. I was sort of shocked to learn that it does far more than just fry. It also roasts and bakes. Thinking back, this darn thing would have been perfect for me when I was in college. Good Bye toaster oven hello Power Air Fryer [paid link] XL!  

How does an Air Fryer work?

An air fryer cooks food with hot air instead of oil, making it a very healthy appliance to have in the kitchen.

 Wikipedia summarizes this the best by saying, “An air fryer is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food using the convection mechanism. A mechanical fan circulates the hot air around the food at high speed, cooking the food and producing a crispy layer via the Maillard effect.”

I have to be honest, when I ran my first test of the these air fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders, I was completely impressed with how crispy they were in just 12 minutes and using only a small spray of fat-free oil – just enough to lightly coat the panko crumbs to help with browning.  

A plate of crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders made in the Power Air Fryer XL

This is one of my favorite air fryer recipes. The chicken was not only crunchy on the outside, but it was also tender and juicy on the inside. The subtle flavors of the wet dredge can be tasted in the crunchy crumb topping. I served these with a side of Ranch Dressing, but you could also serve these with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or Polynesian Sauce. They’re also fine without any dipping sauce at all!

What ingredients are in air fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders?

  • Chicken tenders, raw – Alternatively you could use raw sliced chicken breast
  • Egg plus water – used to wet the chicken before the dredge may be substituted for all egg whites or buttermilk
  • Panko breadcrumbs – Japanese style breadcrumbs that offer a crunchy texture for air fried food over plain breadcrumbs. Plain breadcrumbs may be used with a texture loss.
  • Non-fat cooking spray – optional but helps promote browning. Only a light spray is needed.

For the Ranch Chicken Seasoning:

  • Salt – I use kosher salt but table salt may be used at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Black pepper – freshly cracked has amazing flavor but ground pepper is also okay.
  • Garlic powder – roasted garlic powder is my favorite but plain garlic powder may be used.
  • Onion powder – A strong onion flavor used in ranch seasoning
  • Paprika – paprika is used in the ranch for just a hint of color
  • Dried parsley – crumbled up fine.

How Do I prepare Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders?

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer. Warm the air fryer by setting it to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Allow it to run without any food in the basket.
  2. Set up a dredging station. Whisk [paid link] the water and egg together in a shallow bowl. Pour the Panko Breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.
  3. Prepare the Ranch Seasoning. In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings for the ranch seasoning.
  4. Season the Chicken. Sprinkle the chicken tenders with the ranch seasoning, turning to coat both sides. Some will come off in the egg wash, that’s okay as long at the majority stays intact.
  5. Dredge the chicken. Dip chicken tenders into the egg wash and then press it into the panko. Turn to coat both sides.
  6. Load the Fryer Basket. Place the breaded tenders into the fry basket. Repeat with remaining tenders. You may need to fry in batches.
  7. Fry the Chicken. Place the Fry Basket into the Power Air Fryer [paid link] XL. Spray a light coat of canola oil of non-fat cooking spray over the panko. Press the M button. Scroll to the Fried Chicken Icon (400 degrees F). Press the Power Button. Adjust cooking time to 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Halfway through cooking, flip the tenders over to brown the other side. The tenders are done when the center of the fattest part of the tender is 165 degrees F, the flesh is no longer pink, and the juices run clear.

Variation Notes:

  1. To make this recipe with mayonnaise, omit the egg wash. Then to 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, add in all the ingredients for the dredge (except the Panko breadcrumbs). Once the chicken tenders are coated in mayonnaise, roll them in panko bread crumbs. Continue cooking as instructed above.
The fry basket filled with breaded Ranch Chicken Tenders getting ready for the Power Air Fryer XL.

What side dishes go with Ranch Chicken Tenders? We served these ranch chicken tenders with a side of Homemade Air Fryer French Fries and a fresh garden salad.  

Power Air Fryer Recipe: Ranch Chicken Tenders #Chicken #AirFryer #Recipes #PowerAirFryerXL #KitchenDreaming

Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Ready in just 12 minutes, These Ranch Chicken Tenders are crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. The subtle flavors of the wet dredge can be tasted in the crunchy crumb topping.
4.93 from 26 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 197 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 chicken tenders, raw
  • canola or non-fat cooking spray

For the Dredge Station:

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of water

For the Ranch Chicken Seasoning:

  • 1/2 tsp  Salt
  • 1/4 tsp  Black pepper, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp  Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp  Onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp  Paprika
  • 1 tsp  Dried parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the Air Fryer. Warm the air fryer by setting it to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes. Allow it to run without any food in the basket.
  • Set up a dredging station. Whisk the water and egg together in a shallow bowl. Pour the Panko Breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl.
  • Prepare the Ranch Seasoning. In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings for the ranch seasoning.
  • Season the Chicken. Sprinkle the chicken tenders with the ranch seasoning, turning to coat both sides.
  • Dredge the chicken. Dip chicken tenders into the egg wash and then press it into the panko. Turn to coat both sides.
  • Load the Fryer Basket. Place the breaded tenders into the fry basket. Repeat with remaining tenders. You may need to fry in batches.
  • Fry the Chicken. Place the Fry Basket into the Power Air Fryer XL. Spray a light coat of canola oil of non-fat cooking spray over the panko. Press the M button. Scroll to the Fried Chicken Icon (400 degrees F). Press the Power Button. Adjust the cooking time to 12 minutes at 400 degrees. Halfway through cooking, flip the tenders over to brown the other side. The tenders are done when the center of the fattest part of the tender is 165 degrees F, the flesh is no longer pink, and the juices run clear.

Notes

  1. To make this recipe with mayonnaise, omit the water and egg wash. Then to 1/2 to 3/4 cup of mayonnaise, add in all the ingredients for the dredge (except the Panko breadcrumbs). Once the chicken tenders are coated in mayonnaise, roll them in panko bread crumbs. Continue cooking as instructed above.
  2. Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. Additions, omissions, or substitutions will change the calculated values shown. The addition, omission, or substitution of ingredients will alter the nutritional information shown. Nutrition percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. The FDA recommends 80 micrograms of vitamin K.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz (2 tenders)Calories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 25gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 486mgPotassium: 447mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 2.7mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1.6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

43 thoughts on “12-minute Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders – Family Favorite Recipe!”

  1. Best crunchy chicken tenders that are juicy inside. The ranch notes are present in the crumbs. I served with a side of bottled ranch for dipping.

    Reply
  2. I dont have the power fryer xl you mentioned but these worked excellent in my fryer, too. I just follwed your instructions and set the times and temp according to my machine icons etc. Thanks for the excellent recipe.

    Reply
    • Thanks Chip! I’m so glad you were able to adapt it for your air fryer. We are lovning the versatility of the air fryer for all sorts of things big and small that we’d normally do in a skillet, like hot dogs and breakfast potato patties.

      Reply
  3. It seems like the last time I made this recipe it called for mayo in it. Has the recipe changed? If so, would you be able to get provide the one with mayo please? The chicken strips were so good. Thank you

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.