Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Tenders

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.

A plate of chicken tenders being drizzled with sticky sauce.

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.

A plate of chicken tenders being drizzled with sauce

Even though the sauce is sweet, it still packs a little kick from the hot sauce but this delicious sauce is one I crave! 

A close-up shot of chicken tenders coated in a sticky sauce.

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. 

Process shot of a hand holding a breaded chicken tender doused in sticky sauce.

 Look how that sauce just clings to the chicken. It’s thick and tangy!

A process shot of a small white pot pouring sticky sauce over a plate of chicken tenders.

 Looking for more Air Fryer Recipes?

KD Email Graphic
Ready in just 12 minutes, these Air Fryer Sweet & Spicy Boneless Buffalo Chicken Tenders are doused in a sweet & spicy sticky sauce that brings sweet heat to your dinner table. #Sweet&Spicy #StickySauce #Chicken #Tenders #AirFryer #Dinner #KitchenDreaming

Air Fryer Sweet & Spicy Sticky Chicken Fingers

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
Ready in just 12 minutes, these Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Tenders are doused in a sweet & spicy sticky sauce that brings sweet heat to your dinner table. #Sweet&Spicy #StickySauce #Chicken #Tenders #AirFryer #Dinner #KitchenDreaming
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 27 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, main meal
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 540 kcal


  • 8 chicken breast tenders , raw
  • 2 large , whole eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water

Panko Dredge:

  • 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)

Sticky Sauce

  • 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.


Serving: 2TendersCalories: 540kcalCarbohydrates: 93gProtein: 24gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 2024mgPotassium: 592mgFiber: 2gSugar: 81gVitamin A: 2033IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 5µgCalcium: 95mgFolate: 14µgIron: 2mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts on “Air Fryer Sticky Chicken Tenders”

  1. Awesome as an appetizer for like a tapas dinner. I cut the tenders into nugget sized bites and put the sauce in the center of the tray. They were gone!


Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating

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