Cheetos Chicken Fingers

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cheetos Crusted Chicken Tenders

Cheetos Crusted Chicken Tenders - Only 3 ingredients! Chicken tenders coated in honey mustard and crushed Cheetos and baked in the air fryer or oven - SO yummy! Kids gobble these up! Can make in advance and freeze for later. Great weeknight meal! #chickenfingers #chickentenders #airfryer #weeknightdinner #cheetos

Post updated 7/23/19
baked chicken tenders on a plate

Easy Cheetos Crusted Chicken Tenders

A little while back we made some awesome Cheez-It Chicken Fingers.  They were so good!  I started thinking about what other snack foods that would be good on chicken fingers.  I had a bag of Cheetos in the pantry, and I thought I'd give them a try. I mean, who wouldn't want to eat Cheetos for dinner?!?!?!

baked chicken in an air fryer basket

How to Cook Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

My favorite way to cook chicken tenders is in the air fryer. They cook up so nice and crispy with only a spritz of cooking spray. I own the Philips XXL Air Fryer. It is my favorite small appliance! I use it at least once a week. 

These Cheetos Chicken Fingers were super easy to make. Start with raw chicken tenderloins. Spread both sides of the chicken with some honey mustard and then coated with crushed Cheetos. Place the chicken in the air fryer and bake. I used Baked Cheetos because that is what I had in the pantry.  I think these would be even better with regular Cheetos. 

You can make these chicken fingers ahead of time and freeze baked or unbaked for later. To cook the chicken tenders from frozen, add 2 or 3 minutes to the cooking time. If the coated chicken has been thawed, bake as directed below.

How to Cook Chicken Tenders in the Oven

Don't have an air fryer? No problem! You can make these yummy Cheetos Chicken Fingers in the oven. Prepare the chicken the same way and place on a baking pan. Bake the chicken at 475ºF for about 15 minutes.

baked chicken tenders on a baking sheet

What to Serve With Cheetos Chicken Fingers

These chicken fingers were really good. They are everything you love about Cheetos but without the orange fingers! This was a fun dish. I think kids would really love this - who doesn't want to eat Cheetos for dinner?! To balance out the meal, we like to serve this Cheetos Chicken Fingers with some green beans or asparagus. Here are a few of our favorite recipes from the blog that go great with these Cheetos Crusted Chicken Fingers:

baked chicken tenders on a plate
collage of two photos of chicken tenders
baked chicken tenders on a baking pan
baked chicken tenders on a plate
chicken tenders in an air fryer basket

quick, easy, simple, make-ahead, freezer, air fryer, back to school, weeknight dinner, weeknight, chips
Main Dish, Entree
Yield: serves 3 to 4

Cheetos Crusted Chicken Tenders Recipe

prep time: 5 minscook time: 8 minutes total time: 13 mins
Cheetos Crusted Chicken Tenders - Only 3 ingredients! Chicken tenders coated in honey mustard and crushed Cheetos and baked in the air fryer or oven - SO yummy! Kids gobble these up! Can make in advance and freeze for later. Great weeknight meal! #chickenfingers #chickentenders #airfryer #weeknightdinner #cheetos


  • 1 lb raw chicken tenderloins
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup finely crushed Cheetos
  • 1/3 cup honey mustard dressing


  1. Pulse Cheetos in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper, if desired. Toss tenders in honey mustard dressing, then dredge in Cheetos crumbs.
  3. Place chicken in air fryer basket and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Set air fryer to 375ºF and cook chicken for 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. To bake in the oven, preheat oven to 475ºF. Arrange coated chicken on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Cook for 15 minutes.


Can freeze chicken tenders baked or unbaked for later.
Can use light honey mustard dressing and baked Cheetos chips.

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Philips XXL Air Fryer
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  1. I never would have thought of this! Definitely going to try this recipe.

  2. Great and easy recipe. Thanks for posting.

  3. Are you serious? This is like my dream come true-- i LOVE cheetos! These look awesome.

  4. I made this tonight and it was AMAZING!!!! I mixed some sour cream, melted butter and hot chili oil in with the mustard. I also used some pretzels as well because I didn't have enough cheetos. After two bites, my kiddo requested this once a week for dinner! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I'd like the recipe for the mac and cheese on the plate please!

  6. Beverly - the mac & cheese is a Knorr side. It is the bacon mac & cheese - quick and easy!

  7. I made this did not turn out. So sad. Is the oven temp correct? Mine did not coat pretty like yours.

  8. Altered Orange - oh no! Did you use honey mustard salad dressing? I did cook them at 475, but every oven is different. Try cooking them at a lower temp - maybe 425 or 450 will do better. I also use the non-stick aluminum foil - the coating doesn't stick to it.

  9. Cheetos for dinner! I'm in :) Sounds super.

  10. Is there an alternate for honey mustard dressing? Really wanna try these but I don't like Honey Mustard :(

  11. I've made this and it was great! I have also used the cooking time for any of my chicken tender recipes and it's perfect. I have been cooking mine at 350 for 25 minutes for years and they always came out dry. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. No Cheetos on hand tonight so I used Doritos. I got a "Love it" from the 4-year-old! YES!

  13. I would love to have the self-discipline to have Cheetos in the pantry. They are such a trigger for me :(

    I'm going to try this, but will have to buy them specifically for the recipe, and only the size necessary for the recipe...