It might go without saying, but these Doritos Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are one of my kids’ favorite dinners! If your family loves crispy homemade chicken tenders as much as we do, this is one version you need to try.
Is your family as Doritos-obsessed as mine? Try my easy Doritos Taco Pasta Salad, too!
Air-Fried Chicken Tenders With Crispy Dorito Breading
If my boys could eat Doritos for every meal, they likely would. And chicken tenders are a close second. So we compromised with this easy, extra crispy air fryer chicken coated in a homemade Doritos breading!
I love making dinner in the air fryer because it makes my time in the kitchen ultra hands-free! Plus, cleanup is a breeze, with no greasy pans or splattering oil. These chicken tenders are a win for everyone.
What You’ll Need
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken tenders are readily available in most grocery stores.
- Doritos: You’ll need a large bag of Doritos Corn Chips.
- Panko Crumbs: Or regular breadcrumbs.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour will do.
- Seasoning: I like to up the heat and flavor of the crispy coating with a couple teaspoons of cayenne and cajun spice.
- Eggs: For the egg wash layer.
- Olive Oil: When air frying, use a spray oil in a mister instead of a nonstick cooking spray like PAM. Some agents in cooking sprays can damage the coating on your air fryer basket!
What Kind of Doritos Should I Use?
Any flavor you wish! You can customize these chicken tenders with any kind of Doritos you prefer. Try classic Nacho Cheese, Cool Ranch, or even Flamin’ Hot Doritos for a bit of kick!
How to Make Doritos Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
It’s super easy to air-fry these flavorful chicken strips until they’re crispy and golden on the outside, and tender and juicy on the inside. Here’s how you do it in 3 steps:
Prepare the Coating: Crush up your Doritos until they’re about the same texture as your Panko breadcrumbs, and then combine the two in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and seasonings together. Finally, in a third bowl, beat the eggs into a wash.
Coat: Place one chicken tender into the flour, then into the egg wash to evenly coat. Finally, dredge the chicken in your Doritos and Panko mix. Place the breaded chicken on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken strips.
Cook: Cook the tenders in your air fryer at 380ºF for about 12-14 minutes, until they’re good and crispy. You may need to work in batches to prevent overcrowding the fryer. Once all the chicken is air fried, it’s time to serve!
Tips for Success
This recipe is super easy, but here are a few tips to make sure your air fryer chicken tenders come out perfectly crunchy and irresistible:
- Crush the Doritos Up Finely: The Doritos don’t need to be pulverized, but crushing them up into a finer crumb rather than larger pieces will make it easier for them to coat the chicken.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Air Fryer: Too many chicken tenders in the basket at once will lead to chicken that’s more steamed than fried! Work in batches as needed, and be sure to leave space between the chicken strips so that the hot air can really get around them to crisp up the breading.
- Check the Temperature: Not all air fryers are the same, so be sure to check your chicken tenders as they near the end of the cooking time. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Use a meat thermometer to double check!
The kids absolutely love dunking and smothering their chicken tenders in dipping sauces. Then again, so does everyone! Some of our firm favorites are:
Wondering what sides you can serve with these Doritos chicken tenders? Try these tasty and easy ideas:
- Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes
- Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- Broccoli Salad
- Cilantro Lime Coleslaw or Copycat KFC Coleslaw
- Instant Pot Glazed Carrots
- Crispy Baked Zucchini Fries
How to Store and Reheat Extras
Although the breading is best the day they’re made, these chicken tenders are a cinch to store if needed. Just pop the chicken strips into an airtight container or Ziploc bag to keep in the fridge until you’re ready to reheat them. You can also freeze them for longer storage – see the next section!
To reheat your chicken tenders so that they’re nice and crispy again, place them back into a hot air fryer for a few minutes before serving.
Can I Freeze Chicken Tenders?
Yes! Once they’re completely cooled, store the chicken tenders in a freezer-safe bag or container. Take them out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Coca Cola Chicken Wings
- Easy Air Fryer Bacon
- Air Fryer Pickles
- Copycat Air Fryer Chic-Fil-A Nuggets
- Air Fryer Donuts
Doritos Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 8-12 boneless skinless chicken tenders
- 1 large bag of Doritos
- 1 cup Panko crumbs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. cajun spice
- 4 eggs beaten
- Olive oil cooking spray as needed
- Using a sealed Ziploc bag add your Doritos, crush the Doritos so that they are a texture similar to Panko crumbs.
- Pour the Dorito crumbs and Panko into a medium sized bowl and set to the side
- Place flour, cajun spiced, and cayenne pepper in one bowl and eggs in another.
- Whisk the eggs.
- Preheat your Air fryer (if needed) to the chicken pre-set temperature or 380.
- Take a chicken tender and put it in the flour and dredge them.
- Shake off any excess flour.
- Place it in the egg wash and turn them so they are evenly coated in egg.
- Now dredge it in the crushed Doritos Panko mix.
- Place on a baking sheet.
- Do this with the remaining chicken strips.
- Place the tenders in your Air Fryer and cook for 12-14 minutes.
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