Cheetos Chicken

Cheetos 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!

plate of cheetos chicken with text overlay

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Easy Cheetos Chicken Strips

Oh, let me tell you, these Cheetos Chicken Tenders are a flavor sensation like no other! With each crispy bite, you’re treated to an irresistible symphony of textures and tastes. The outer layer, coated in crushed Cheetos, brings that bold and cheesy crunch that’s nothing short of addictive. But it’s the tender, juicy chicken inside that takes it to the next level, offering a delightful contrast to the crispy exterior. The marriage of savory and cheesy notes is a true culinary masterpiece, leaving your taste buds dancing with joy. Whether you’re enjoying them as a game day snack, appetizer, or even a main course, these chicken fingers are a mouthwatering adventure that you won’t soon forget!

cheetos chicken in an airfryer basket

How to Cook Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

These chicken fingers are super easy to make with only a few simple ingredients. Season boneless skinless chicken tenders with salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Pour honey mustard dressing into a bowl. Coat the raw chicken all over with dressing. Place crushed Cheetos in a shallow dish. Using tongs, dip chicken in the Cheetos. Place the coated chicken on a baking sheet and refrigerate for an hour. When ready to cook, place the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Lightly spray oil on the chicken strips. Cook the chicken until it is golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 

Helpful Tips & Frequently Asked Questions

  • You can use any chicken that you have on hand. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins.
    • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces to make chicken nuggets.
    • You can use this coating on bone-in chicken and chicken wings.
    • Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165ºF in the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Season the chicken with your favorite spices.
    • onion powder
    • garlic powder
    • paprika
    • cayenne
  • You can use any flavor of Cheetos that you prefer.
    • Regular Crunchy Cheetos
    • Baked Cheetos
    • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
  • 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.
  • 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, bakeas directed below.
  • Don’t have an air fryer? No problem! You can make the chicken in the oven. Prepare the chicken the same way and place on a baking pan. Bake the chicken at 475ºF for about 15 minutes.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
chicken resting on a cooling rack

What to Serve With Cheetos Chicken Fingers

These crispy, cheesy wonders deserve some fantastic accompaniments to elevate your meal. Start with a side of creamy macaroni and cheese to keep the cheese theme going strong. The velvety mac and cheese pairs perfectly with the crunchy tenders. For a touch of freshness and balance, add a crisp and vibrant coleslaw salad. Its refreshing crunch and tangy dressing make it an ideal counterpart. And of course, don’t forget your favorite dipping sauce – ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing– it’s the finishing touch that ties everything together. With this combination, you’ll have a meal that kids and adults gobble up!

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chicken fingers resting on a cooling rack with text overlay

Cheetos Chicken

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Cheetos 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!

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Pulse Cheetos in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Season chicken with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Toss tenders in honey mustard dressing, then dredge in Cheetos crumbs.
  • Place chicken in air fryer basket and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  • Set air fryer to 375ºF and cook chicken for 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • 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.

Notes:

  • You can use any chicken that you have on hand. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or chicken tenderloins.
    • Cut chicken into bite-size pieces to make chicken nuggets.
    • You can use this coating on bone-in chicken and chicken wings.
    • Use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165ºF in the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Season the chicken with your favorite spices.
    • onion powder
    • garlic powder
    • paprika
    • cayenne
  • You can use any flavor of Cheetos that you prefer.
    • Regular Crunchy Cheetos
    • Baked Cheetos
    • Flamin’ Hot Cheetos
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Steph

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chicken tenders in an air fryer basket with text overlay

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Comments

  1. 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…

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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

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