Go Back
+ servings
finished hot chicken tenders in a plate with pickles on top

Nashville Style Hot Chicken Tenders (Air Fryer Recipe)

These Nashville style hot chicken tenders are so easy to make in the air fryer! These tenders are so wonderfully crispy and juicy, they rival any you've had in a restaurant! Ready to serve in less than half an hour.
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer chicken tenders, hot chicken tenders, nashville style chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 488kcal
Author Tanya


  • 1 lb chicken tenders
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Oil for spraying Canola, Olive Oil, or any oil with a high smoke point

Hot Paste


  • Season tenders with a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Create a dredging station by whisking milk and hot sauce in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix panko bread crumbs, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Start by coating chicken tenders with milk mixture and drain off excess milk, then coat chicken in panko bread crumbs mixture, ensuring all of the chicken is coated.
  • Place chicken in greased air fryer basket or use a parchment sheet liner. Cook on 375 degrees for 14-16 minutes, flipping and spraying chicken halfway through cooking, until chicken is fully cooked and has reached a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Meanwhile, when there are about 5 minutes left on the chicken, create the hot paste. Add peanut oil, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, dry mustard, garlic powder, and salt to a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Once your mixture starts to bubble and simmer, remove from heat.
  • Once chicken tenders are done, remove from air fryer and add them to a large bowl. Pour the hot paste over the chicken and toss to combine, making sure hot sauce covers all of the chicken. Serve and enjoy.



  • Be sure to pre heat your air fryer before you add your chicken, so that the tenders cook through evenly.
  • Place the tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook them in two batches if you need.
  • This chicken is really really really hot. If you’d like a milder chicken, reduce the cayenne pepper.
  • Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat them in the air fryer at 400F for 3 to 4 minutes.


Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1428IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 1mg