Crispy Air Fried Chicken Tenders

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Air fried chicken tenders are one of the first foods I want to master with my new air fryer. I finally jumped on the air fryer bandwagon, and can instantly see the hype. 

My mission is to create the crispiest air fried chicken tenders without the use of breadcrumbs. 

Secret Ingredient for Crispiest Chicken

Argo® Corn Starch is the secret ingredient for the crispiest chicken. Add corn starch to your crispy coating batter. Whether you bake, deep fry, or air fry, Argo® Corn Starch is what you need to create the crispiest chicken with an airy texture. 

Tub of Argo Corn Starch.

One of our favorite foods to eat is fried chicken. In the form of a nugget, strip, tender, or otherwise, it’s a food normally purchased via takeout. 

My goal is to make the crispiest chicken from home so I can control the ingredients and save money. 

Bowl of chicken strips with Argo Corn Starch in the background.

About Argo® Corn Starch

Argo® Corn Starch has many uses beyond chicken. Do you remember the tub from childhood? I sure do, and my Gram still always has a container of Argo® Corn Starch in the cabinet. Makes sense since it’s been a trusted brand for over 100 years!

Be sure to visit their site for more recipes.

Crispy chicken coating batter in a bowl.

Here are some uses and benefits of using cornstarch:

  • Use as a thickening agent in sauces, soups, and gravies.
  • Acts as a binding agent in baked goods.
  • Create crispy meats and veggies quickly (flash-frying).
  • Use in crafts such as sidewalk chalk and slime.
  • Naturally gluten-free.

Using the Air Fryer to Make Crispy Chicken Tenders

In the past, if I chose to bread chicken, I’d use crushed crackers or breadcrumbs. Although a decent option, I never fell in love with the texture. I also prefer to avoid all the added carbs. 

After hearing that Argo® Corn Starch is the secret ingredient to crispiness, I was eager to give it a test. Please know you do not need an air fryer to try the crispy chicken. Simply add Argo® Corn Starch to your preferred coating batter.

Chicken coat in flour mixture with Argo corn starch.

I’ve used the flour mixture in this recipe without the Argo® Corn Starch many times before. So, it’s clear to me the difference that adding Argo® Corn Starch makes. Undoubtedly, it’s the ticket to crispy!

If you are on the air fryer train, here’s the recipe I created for air fried chicken tenders. 

Cornstarch, flour, seasoning, and cheese in bowls. Coating chicken in the mixture, and airfrying the chicken strips.
Yield: 10 chicken tenders

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Tenders

Overhead shot of chicken strips

How to make super crispy chicken tenders in the air fryer.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Cool time 5 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes


  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Argo® Corn Starch
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • .5 tsp salt
  • cooking spray
  • choice of dips


  1. Cut chicken breast into tenders. Or purchase packaged chicken tenders.
  2. Mix flour, Argo® Corn Starch, cheese, seasoning, and salt in a bowl.
  3. Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture. Discard any unused mixture.
  4. Line air fryer with aluminum foil.
  5. Spray coated chicken pieces with cooking spray evenly.
  6. Air fry chicken tenders at 380 degrees for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 400 degrees and air fry an additional 3 minutes. Check using a meat thermometer.
  7. Cool chicken on a rack before serving. Serve with choice of dips and a side salad.


Don't overpack the air fryer. Air needs to circulate properly between each piece of chicken. I used a rack to create two layers of chicken. The pieces on the top rack browned better.

Be sure to spray cooking spray or oil evenly on the chicken pieces. If you miss any spots, they won't crisp well in that area. I checked after a few minutes to find floury spots to do another spritz.  

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 chicken tender

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 15g

Nutrition facts are an estimate only.

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09/09/2023 03:37 pm GMT

Yum, yum, YUM! Crispy chicken strips achieved. This is the first time I’ve had that crunch we crave in a chicken strip made from home. 

Crispy air fried chicken strips on a rack.

Argo® Corn Starch is most definitely the key to crispy chicken strips. The coating locks in the moisture, too, creating juicy bites of chicken that are delicious even without dip. 

More chicken recipes to try next

Pin to save and share!

Chicken tenders in a bowl and cooling on a wire rack.

For dessert make cookies in the air fryer, too! Make air fryer pizza rolls for an easy after school snack.

Be sure to grab some Argo® Corn Starch during your next grocery shopping trip!

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  1. Oh so smart using corn starch! We only like crispy chicken in this house – I’ll need to try this!!

  2. How many tenders is considered a serving in order to apply the nutritional information correctly? Want to make this for my daughter who has a lot of food allergies and finds it hard to get enough nutrition in her limited diet.

    1. HI Kathy,
      The nutrition facts in the recipe card are for one tender. So, one serving is one tender.
      Hope that helps. Thanks!

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