Air Fried Vegetarian “Chicken Tenders”

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Great-grandma’s timeless recipe for crispy fried ‘chicken.’ The best part: because it is adapted for an air fryer, it’s a healthier version compared to its fried cousin! Serve with honey-mustard sauce for dipping.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (16 ounce) packages imitation chicken breast halves (seitan), cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • cooking spray


Pour flour onto a large plate. Place eggs in a shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, chili powder, and salt in another shallow bowl.

Coat imitation chicken strips in flour, dip into eggs, then dredge in bread crumb mixture, and place on a plate.

Heat an air fryer to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).

Place a row of coated strips in the air fryer basket. Spray with a light coat of cooking spray.

Cook strips in the air fryer for 6 minutes. Open fryer to flip strips with tongs. Continue cooking until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes more.

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Servings: 4 – Yield: 4 servings



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