This Air Fryer Sweet and Spicy Walnut Chicken Tenders Recipe is a quick, easy, healthier twist on a fast food classic! Only seven ingredients necessary!
Today’s post is sponsored by the California Walnut Board.
Sweet. Spicy. Crunchy. Wal-nutty. Yum.
These air fryer sweet and spicy walnut chicken tenders (say THAT five times fast) are my latest quick, easy, pretty darn nutritious, delicious, yum-tastic dinner obsession.
You with me?
After one bite, I KNOW you’ll be with me.
Two things. If you haven’t jumped on the homemade chicken tenders train or air fryer train yet . . .
You’re missing out.
These homemade chicken tenders are better than store bought, frozen, or fast food chicken tenders, because
- They’re FAR more nutritious. We’re using the air fryer, so there’s absolutely no oil or deep fat frying involved.
- They’re FAR tastier. I mean. Honey. Sriracha. Walnuts. Doesn’t that just sound so much tastier?!
- They’re FAR easier. You probably have all of these ingredients on hand already, so you don’t even have to leave your house!
Nutritious. Tastier. Easier.
Air fryer sweet and spicy walnut chicken tenders for the win!
Because I know you guys are just as excited about this recipe as I am, let’s just get to the point, ok?
What are the ingredients for homemade chicken tenders?
The ingredient list for these air fryer sweet and spicy walnut chicken tenders is actually simpler than you might think.
- Raw chicken tenders. You can usually find these in a package or just ask your butcher to cut some up for you!
- California Walnuts – I LOVE the additional flavor and healthy fats these add to the tenders
That’s it! Isn’t that crazy?
So, how do you make air fryer chicken tenders?
You’ll start by marinating the chicken tenders in honey, sriracha, and buttermilk for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
While that’s marinating, get your “breading” ready.
All you need: panko, finely crushed walnuts (just pulse them in a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs), and salt. Place the three ingredients into a gallon sized ziplock baggie, seal, and shake to combine.
Discard the extra marinade, then place the chicken tenders into the ziplock baggie. Seal the bag again and give it another shake until the chicken tenders are fully coated in the breading.
From there, you’ll pre-heat your air fryer to 400 degrees F, then bake ’em up – three tenders at a time – until they’re crispy and golden – about 8 minutes.
From there, dip ’em and eat ’em.
I LOVE these with a little extra honey and sriracha, but they’d also be great with ketchup, ranch, honey mustard, or plain without any dipping sauce.
A little sweet, a little spicy, crazy crunchy, super juicy . . .
What are you waiting for?!
You’re only 7 ingredients and a handful of minutes away from the BEST, the EASIEST, the TASTIEST air fryer sweet and spicy walnut chicken tenders.
Do you want more easy air fryer recipes like this? Show Me the Yummy!
- 1 pound raw chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup Sriracha
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup California Walnuts finely crushed*
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- Honey, sriracha, ranch, honey mustard, etc for dipping
- Place raw chicken tenders into a large bowl.
- Pour honey, sriracha, and buttermilk over chicken and stir to combine.
- Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, drain excess marinate and set the chicken tenders aside.
- Place panko, California Walnuts, and salt into a gallon sized ziplock baggie.
- Seal and shake to combine.
- Place drained chicken tenders into the ziplock baggie, seal again, and shake until the chicken tenders are fully coated in the panko/walnut mixture.
- Set aside.
Hit “ON” on the air fryer.
Then hit “PRE-HEAT”. Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and set the timer to 8 minutes.
Hit “START”. The air fryer will beep at you when it’s finished preheating.
Open up the air fryer and spray the basket with cooking spray.
Place in the chicken tenders, work with about 3 at a time, so you don’t over crowd them. Close the air fryer. It will beep at you when it’s finished cooking.
Repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
- Taste and re-season with more salt, if necessary and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!
*Run the walnuts through a food processor until they resemble fine crumbs
** Nutritional information includes the value for ALL the marinade, even though most of it gets discarded, so these are actually slightly lower in calories than listed, but it's too hard to get a fully accurate count.
Thanks again to our friends at the California Walnut Board for sponsoring today’s post!