Smokey Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

It’s hotter than the fires of Mt. Doom out there and I was not about to step outside. It’s nights like this that I break out my trusty air fryer and let it do the dirty work. I’ve been craving smoked meat but the hubby isn’t willing to fry his face in the sun while nurturing the smoker for 6-8 hours so I had to get creative. That and he has a full time job so it’s a lot to ask on a weeknight.

Honestly I feel like this recipe scratched the itch for me. I love the flavor that the smoked paprika brought in to it and the plantain chips added a nice crunch. No one likes soggy chicken tenders. No one.

The sauce was dictated and made by my ten year old. I won’t lie, she has potential! It’s a simple honey mustard in which no measuring took place and she poured as much honey in to the bowl as she could get away with until I caught her and gently removed the bottle from her hand. She completed with a swift squeeze of yellow mustard and boom, the world’s sweetest honey mustard was born.

If you’re interested in investing in an air fryer, THIS is the one I have. It bakes as well as fries and let me tell you it has replaced my oven during the summer time. It’s also good to have on hand when you are entertaining and are short on time, or when the oven is already occupied with a main dish and you are serving appetizers.


  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • 1 cup plantain chips, crushed/blended
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 egg, beaten

To Prepare:

  1. Select two bowls for your prep station. One for the egg and the other for the breading mixture
  2. Place you cup of plantain chips in to a blender or food processor and blend using the pulse function. I did this to avoid the chips from becoming too powdery and a little more chunky
  3. Mix the plantain chips and spices in the breading bowl of choice
  4. Crack your egg in the selected bowl of choice and whisk with a fork
  5. Open the tray of your air fryer and have it ready to place the breaded chicken
  6. Take a chicken tender and dredge in the egg
  7. Once dredged, place the tender in the breading mixture until completely covered. Place the breaded tender directly in the air fryer
  8. Once you’ve breaded enough tenders to fill the air fryer (I could fit about 6 to start, leaving a little room in between each tender), place the tray back in the air fryer
  9. Select the Air Fry feature and set the time for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I did this without preheating and 10 minutes was the perfect amount of time.
  10. While the tenders are cooking, finish your batch of tenders and prepare to swap them out once the first half is done
  11. I also use this time to prepare any sides like fresh veggies, a salad or home made sauce if you’re feeling froggy.
  12. Plate. Eat. Enjoy.


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