Ready in just 12 minutes, these Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Tenders are doused in a sweet & spicy sticky sauce that you will love. Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Tenders are great as an appetizer, snack, game day, and as a main dish.
I love that these chicken fingers are fried in my Power Air Fryer, but you’d never know it from tasting them because they are so incredibly crunchy! We achieve this by using Panko breadcrumbs, which, if you haven’t already noticed, I’m completely obsessed with and use them on just about everything these days. They lend such a great texture to foods over traditional breadcrumbs.
Even though the sauce is sweet, it still packs a little kick from the hot sauce but this delicious sauce is one I crave!
But, if you still need help pushing back the heat, you can always serve these with creamy ranch (or blue cheese) dressing with their cooling effects. A new favorite of mine is honey mustard – and far as flavor mash-ups go, sweet and spicy sticky sauce and honey mustard is one mashup you wouldn’t imagine together but married and it’s insane.
Look how that sauce just clings to the chicken. It’s thick and tangy!
Looking for more Air Fryer Recipes?
- Air Fryer Cheddar Bacon Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Zesty Breaded Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Falafel
- Air Fryer Ravioli
Air Fryer Sweet & Spicy Sticky Chicken Fingers
- 8 chicken breast tenders , raw
- 2 large , whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1-1/2 to 2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Frank’s hot sauce , original or buffalo
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Prepare the sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat hot sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, and butter in a saucepan over medium-high stirring to combine. Continue heating until the mixture comes to a boil and the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir until smooth. Taste and season with salt and ground black pepper, to taste. If the sauce becomes too thick once it cools, add a splash of water to thin to desired consistency.
- Pre-heat the air fryer according to manufacturer instructions.
- Set up a two-stage dredging station: Whisk the eggs and water together in a bowl. In a second bowl combine the panko, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
- Season the chicken: Dip the chicken pieces 3 or 4 at a time, into the egg mixture, then toss them in the seasoned panko, shaking to coat all sides. Repeat this procedure until all the tenders are coated.
- Place chicken in the air fryer taking care not to over-crowd the pan. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with canola oil.
- Air-fry the chicken in two batches at 360ºF for 12 minutes, flipping the pieces over halfway through the cooking process.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate, but do not cover. Repeat with the second batch of chicken tenders.
- When chicken strips are done cooking, toss in the sticky sauce.
- Serve warm with ranch, blue cheese, or honey mustard dressing, if desired.