This is the chicken tender “glow up” you didn’t know you needed. These air fryer cacio-e-pepe style chicken tenders lend an easy yet elevated twist to traditional chicken tenders. Crispy, cheesy, and peppery this flavor combination is hard to resist.

Drizzle these tenders with a touch of honey and a squeeze of lemon for the ultimate flavor bomb. The sweetness from the honey pairs beautifully with the salty parmesan cheese and pepper. While the squeeze of lemon adds a burst of freshness…These tenders are NEXT level good. Let me know if you give them a try!

Air Fryer Cacio e Pepe style Chicken Tenders – Healthyish Foods

How to Make Air Fryer Cacio-e-Pepe style Chicken Tenders

Bread the Chicken

Pat the chicken tenderloins dry with a paper towel. Add two whisked eggs to one plate. On a second plate combine, AP flour, cornstarch, grated parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.

Start by dredging the chicken through the flour mixture, followed by the whisked eggs, then back through the flour mixture. Make sure to press the breading on well. Repeat for all chicken tenderloins.

Air Fry the Chicken

Next, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. I use the COSORI 4qt air fryer. Spray the basket with avocado oil spray. Line the basket with the breaded chicken making sure there is no overlap.

Spray the chicken with avocado oil spray. Air fry for 10-12 minutes flipping halfway through. Option to spray the chicken with a touch more avocado oil spray once you flip it over to ensure both sides are golden brown. Remove from the basket.

Drizzle with honey right before you are ready to enjoy. Option to add freshly grated parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon.

Air Fryer Cacio e Pepe style Chicken Tenders – Healthyish Foods

Pro Tips for Air Frying

  • Do not overcrowd the basket. Overcrowding the basket can prevent the chicken from cooking evenly.  Work in batches as needed!
  • Avocado oil works best in the air fryer because it has a high smoke point. Olive oil can brown at high temperatures, leaving behind a bitter taste.
  • Place each batch of cooked, air fried chicken on a cooling rack. This will prevent steam from accumulating under the chicken and making the breading soggy while the remaining chicken cooks.
  • Cooking time may vary based on the type of air fryer used and thickness of your chicken. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees to ensure doneness.
Air Fryer Cacio e Pepe style Chicken Tenders – Healthyish Foods

Storage

Any leftover chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to four days. Reheat leftovers in the microwave until warmed through. Looking for more air fryer recipes? Try my Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos.

Air Fryer Cacio e Pepe style Chicken Tenders – Healthyish Foods

Air Fryer Cacio-e-Pepe style Chicken Tenders

This is the chicken tender “glow up” you didn’t know you needed. These air fryer Cacio-e-Pepe style chicken tenders lend an easy yet elevated twist to traditional chicken tenders. Crispy, cheesy, and peppery this flavor combination is hard to resist.
Drizzle these tenders with a touch of honey and a squeeze of lemon for the ultimate flavor bomb. The sweetness from the honey pairs beautifully with the salty parmesan cheese and pepper. While the squeeze of lemon adds a burst of freshness
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken tenderloin, Smart Chicken
  • avocado oil, spray
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • ¼ cup AP flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 +¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Optional Toppings

  • honey, option to add a drizzle of honey right before enjoying
  • lemon wedge, option to add a squeeze of fresh lemon right before enjoying
  • parmesan cheese, option to grate fresh cheese over the top
  • cracked black pepper, option to add a touch of cracked black pepper over the top before enjoying

Equipment

  • 1 air fryer
  • 2 plates
  • 1 cooling rack

Instructions 

How to Make Air Fryer Cacio-e-Pepe style Chicken Tenders

    Bread the Chicken

    • Pat the chicken tenderloins dry with a paper towel. Add two whisked eggs to one plate. On a second plate combine, AP flour, cornstarch, grated parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
    • Start by dredging the chicken through the flour mixture, followed by the whisked eggs, then back through the flour mixture. Make sure to press the breading on well. Repeat for all chicken tenderloins.

    Air Fry the Chicken

    • Next, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Spray the basket with avocado oil spray. Line the basket with the breaded chicken making sure there is no overlap.
    • Spray the chicken with avocado oil spray. Air fry for 10-12 minutes flipping halfway through. Option to spray the chicken with a touch more avocado oil spray once you flip it over to ensure both sides are golden brown.
      Remove from the basket. Drizzle with honey right before you are ready to enjoy. Option to add freshly grated parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.

    Video

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1chicken tender, Calories: 114kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 202mg, Potassium: 214mg, Fiber: 0.2g, Sugar: 0.1g, Vitamin A: 101IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 1mg