Dorito Chicken Tenders (Baked or Air Fried!)

10 views 7:11 pm 0 Comments March 29, 2024

These Dorito Crusted Chicken Tenders are incredibly delicious and so easy to whip up in the air fryer or oven!

Yes, this is me slowly creeping the air fryer out 😅 To be fair I’ve had one for years, I’ve just upgraded it and wanted to show off. It’s big and shiny and there’s plenty of room for chicken tenders! Follow me…

close up shot of Doritos chicken tenders in bowl with brown parchment paper

Crushed Doritos Chicken

I boldly claimed on social media that Chilli Heatwave Doritos were in the top 5 greatest crisps of all time. I stand by this. In fact, they’re my personal number 2 favourite of all time (closely behind Thai Sweet Chilli Sensations, of course).

Obviously, Doritos work great dunked into copious amounts of Sour Cream and Chive Dip or Onion and Garlic Dip, but they also make the perfect ‘crumb’ for chicken.

How do you crush Doritos for chicken?

My preferred method is a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin, but you can also use a food processor. Failing that, just crush them with your hands in the bag. You’ll want to crush the cornflakes until they mimic the texture of large Panko breadcrumbs. Save a bit of the flaky texture; don’t crush them into a fine dusty crumb.

4 step by step photos showing how to crush doritos

Dorito Crusted Chicken Tenders

I love using tenders because they’re the perfect snack/finger food, which celebrates everything Doritos stand for!

Chicken Tenders vs Chicken Strips

Strictly speaking, a chicken tender is actually a strip of meat located underneath the breast. It is, as the name suggests, ever-so-slightly more tender than the breast itself. Having said that, you can slice up some chicken breasts into strips, which for all intents and purposes will work perfectly fine!

Dorito Chicken Seasoning

I originally used minimal seasoning with the expectation the Doritos would carry the tenders. Unfortunately, it appears Doritos lose some of their flavour as they bake. As such, you will need a simple seasoning mix to bring them to life and enhance the Chilli Heatwave flavour. We’ll mix it through the flour to stick to the chicken. I also like to season the meat directly with a bit of salt.

When coating the chicken, make sure you coat it thoroughly (especially in the Doritos). From there just handle them gently so the Doritos don’t fall off.

Process shots: mix flour and seasoning (photo 1), coat chicken tender in flour (photo 2), coat in beaten egg (photo 3), coat in crushed Doritos (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to coat chicken in doritos

Dorito Chicken Tenders

They work perfectly in both the air fryer and oven. If I’m making a big batch I’ll do them in the oven, however the air fryer is a lot quicker.

In both cases, they’ll need a light coating of oil to help crisp them up and prevent them from burning. I tend to flip the tenders in the air fryer, but you won’t need to flip them in the oven if they’re on a wire rack.

Timings will depend on size, so just be vigilant. Some tiny specs of char are expected but try to avoid too many. Just lower the heat if you need to.

2 step by step photos showing how to cook dorito chicken tenders

close up overhead shot of dorito chicken tenders fresh out the air fryer

Dorito Chicken Tenders FAQ

Are they spicy?

There is some cayenne pepper in the flour, but I wouldn’t say these are spicier than the Doritos themselves.

Can I use different flavours of Doritos?

The seasoning mix is based on the Chilli Heatwave Doritos, so stick to them for this recipe. After that, you can experiment with seasoning/flavours if you fancy!

How do I know when they’re done?

They should be golden and crisp on the outside and white/piping hot right through the centre.

close up overhead shot of hand holding doritos chicken tender

Serving Dorito Chicken Tenders

I LOVE these with Ranch. I also love dicing them up and making my Chicken Tenders Sandwich (recipe coming very soon). They’re also of course great with a side of Wedges or Fries!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these Doritos chicken tenders shall we?!

close up shot of doritos crusted chicken tender dunking into small pot of ranch

How to make Dorito Chicken Tenders (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of Doritos chicken tenders in bowl with brown parchment paper

Print

Dorito Chicken Tenders (Baked or Air Fried!)

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These Dorito Crusted Chicken Tenders are incredibly delicious and so easy to whip up in the air fryer or oven!
Course Finger Food, Lunch
Cuisine Western
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 – 5
Calories 481kcal
Cost £2 / $2.50

Equipment

  • Large Zip-Lock Bag & Rolling Pin
  • 3 Large Shallow Dishes
  • Air Fryer or Oven
  • Large Tray with Wire Rack (if baking)

Ingredients

  • 600g / 1.3lb Chicken Tenders OR Chicken Breast, breast sliced into strips (see notes)
  • 200g / 7oz Chilli Heatwave Doritos (see notes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp Salt (1/4 tsp is to season the chicken directly)
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp EACH: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
  • 50g / 1/3 cup Plain Flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • Oil Spray, as needed

Instructions

  • If using the oven preheat it to 200C/400F.
  • Place the Doritos in a large zip-lock bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they resemble large Panko breadcrumbs. Keep a bit of that flaky texture (see video for guidance).
  • Season the chicken with 1/4 tsp salt.
  • Line up 3 large shallow dishes: 1st with the flour + seasoning, 2nd with the beaten eggs and 3rd with the crushed Doritos. One by one, coat a chicken tender in the flour then the egg and finish in the Doritos. Thoroughly coat the tender at each stage, namely the Doritos. Place on a wire rack above a tray (if baking) or straight in the air fryer (if air frying). Handle them gently so the Doritos don’t fall off. Repeat with the remaining tenders.
  • Air Fryer: Space out the tenders, spray them with oil then cook for 10-12 minutes at 200C/400F. Flip and spray them halfway. Work in two batches if you need to.
  • Bake: Spray the tenders with oil then bake for 15-18 minutes.
  • Timings may differ for both depending on the size of the tenders. They should be golden and crisp on the outside and white/piping hot right through the centre. Some tiny specs of char will likely form, but if they look like they’re burning just reduce the heat slightly.
  • Serve up and enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Chicken – A chicken tender is actually that strip of meat located underneath the breast. I find i to be ever-so-slightly more tender than the breast itself, so if you can get a pack of chicken tenders go for that. However, sliced chicken breast works absolutely fine.

b) Doritos – I find a 180g/6.3oz bag JUST about coats 12 fairly large tenders, so I typically grab another small bag too just in case. Make sure you’re using Chilli Heatwave, as that’s what the seasoning mix is based on (you can of course experiment with different seasonings for different Doritos flavours if you’d like).

c) Crumb-size – Don’t crush them into absolute oblivion, you want them the size of large panko breadcrumbs. Keep a bit of that flaky texture (see video for guidance).

d) Seasoning – The Doritos lose flavour as they cook, so the seasoning mix is essential to bring the tenders to life. I like to season the chicken directly with a bit of salt too, just for extra security so you don’t end up with bland tenders! You can also serve with a pinch more if you think they need it.

e) Serving – I LOVE these with Ranch. I also love dicing them up and making my Chicken Tenders Sandwich (recipe coming very soon). They’re also of course great with a side of Wedges or Fries!

f) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 4 (slight overestimate as not all the egg/flour gets used).

Nutrition

Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.55g | Protein: 41.11g | Fat: 15.19g | Saturated Fat: 2.702g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6.564g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.395g | Trans Fat: 0.414g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 1000mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 3.5g | Sugar: 0.66g | Vitamin A: 779IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 3.3mg

For another delicious Dorito recipe check out my Cheese Stuffed Doritos!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

Chicken Tender Recipes

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