Recipe: Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers (Air Fryer Instructions Included)

Dinner Recipes, Poultry Recipes

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Healthy baked chicken strips

Healthy baked chicken strips are possible. These homemade crispy baked chicken fingers are great on a salad or served with your favorite dipping sauces. A perfect meal for kids and an easy recipe to make any day of the week!  

My all white meat chicken fingers are solid chicken vs. the chicken nuggets from a restaurant or store that are filled with a combination of chicken and other fillers. 

By creating our own crunchy coating vs. deep frying we reduce the fat and calories drastically without skimping on flavor. So go ahead and enjoy these guilt-free chicken fingers with reduced calories but increased flavor!


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    Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Nutrition Information 

    Chicken Tenders Calories: 270 Calories 

    Chicken tenders calories don’t have to be off the charts. This recipe keeps calorie count reasonable.

    If you’re going to make homemade chicken tenders in the air fryer, you have to do it right! That means keeping the same great taste but also keeping the calorie count on the chicken fingers low. 

    How do you do this you might be asking? Well, for starters we will be using all white chicken breast, yogurt, and whole wheat bread crumbs! That’s it!! With fewer ingredients, you can keep your chicken tenders calories to under 300 calories! 

    Dietary Substitutions 

    • For gluten-free options: substitute for gluten-free crumbs. 
    • For dairy-free options: substitute for coconut or almond yogurt. 

    Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders 

    Another way to make these crispy baked chicken fingers is in the air fryer! If you are short on time, in need for a healthy recipe the entire family will like, this one’s for you! 

    I prefer making my own chicken tenders in the air fryer because they have the same great crunch as fried chicken tenders, with fewer calories and healthier ingredients. Cooking chicken tenders in the air fryer requires far less oil – plus you can choose the type of oil you are using!  

    How to Cook Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer 

    Step 1: 

    If you are using chicken breasts, you will want to cut the chicken into strips. 

    Step 2: 

    In a small bowl combine yogurt, salt, pepper, and onion powder. You will want to keep the whole wheat bread crumbs (or gluten-free bread crumbs) into a smaller, separate bowl. 

    Step 3: 

    Take your chicken strips and dip into the yogurt mixture to make sure they are fully covered. 

    Step 4: 

    Place the yogurt covered chicken strips into your breadcrumbs of choice and toss until fully coated. 

    Step 5: 

    After all chicken strips are covered in yogurt and breadcrumbs, place the strips into your air fryer and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the chicken finger reveals NO pink. 

    Step 6: 

    Serve immediately alongside your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy! 

    How long do you cook chicken tenders in the air fryer? 

    Depending on the thickness of your chicken tender slices, the time in the air fryer may vary. However, for normal slice sizes, you will fry the pieces of chicken for anywhere between 5 and 6 minutes on each side.  

    Set a timer for 5-6 minutes and then turn to the other side for another 5-6 minutes to finish. You will know the chicken fingers are complete and ready to serve when the center of the chicken finger reveals NO pink. Cut your thickest chicken tender through the center to be sure it has been cooked to completion. 

    You will also enjoy cooking these low-calorie chicken fingers in the air fryer because of their crispness. I love how golden brown and crispy these chicken fingers are once they are pulled out of the air fryer.

    Don’t have an air fryer? You can bake instead! Full recipe below:

    Have no fear, if you don’t have an air fryer, no problem! You can absolutely still make these crispy baked chicken fingers in the oven! 

    Once you have cut and seasoned your chicken strips, place the coated strips on a greased baking sheet. 

    Bake in the oven (at 400 degrees F) for 20 minutes, or until the chicken finger reveals NO pink in the center!

    It is important to note that if you bake, the outer layer of the chicken strip will not be as crispy as if you were to cook in the air fryer! Still just as tasty, however. Enjoy these healthy baked chicken strips!


    Total Time: 40 minutes

    Yield: 4 serving(s)


    • 1 cup Greek yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
    • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast


    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray large sheet pan with non stick cooking spray.
    2. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, salt, pepper and onion powder.
    3. Place whole wheat bread crumbs in a separate bowl
    4. Slice chicken into 1/2 inch thick strips and then dip into yogurt mixture.
    5. Place each dipped strip of chicken into breadcrumbs and toss to fully coat. Place coated strips on greased baking sheet as you work.
    6. Bake 20 minutes, or until cutting into the thickest chicken finger reveals no pink.
    7. Serve immediately alongside your favorite dipping sauce

    Nutrition Information Per Serving

    Calories: 270

    Protein: 31 gram(s)

    Fat: 6 gram(s)

    Carbohydrates: 22 gram(s)

    Fiber: 2 gram(s)

    From the kitchen of:

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