With this buffalo chicken tenders air fryer recipe, you can get your buffalo wings fix without the mess of frying. Instead, chicken tenderloins are breaded, air fried, and drenched in spicy homemade buffalo sauce.
Why you will love this recipe
- It's a great recipe to serve as an appetizer, easy dinner, or lunch.
- The air fryer uses less oil to make these spicy chicken tenders making it a healthier alternative.
- These crispy chicken tenders are easy to make with just a few simple ingredients.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions.
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Here's what you will need
- chicken tenderloins
- unseasoned breadcrumbs
- garlic powder
- hot sauce such as Frank's
- avocado oil spray or olive oil cooking spray
How to make buffalo chicken tenders in an air fryer
Prepare: set up a breading station; mix together the bread crumbs with garlic powder and oregano in a shallow bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water.
Step 1. Egg wash
Dry the chicken tenders with a paper towel, place a chicken tender into the egg wash, and turn it until it is completely covered.
Step 2. Bread crumbs
Place the egg-coated chicken tender into the breadcrumb mixture and turn until it is covered in breadcrumbs.
Step 3. Place in air fryer tray
Repeat steps one and two until all of the chicken tenders are coated with bread crumbs and arrange them in a single layer in an air fryer tray or basket.
Step 4. First Air fry
Spray the chicken tenders with Avocado oil or olive oil and place the air fryer basket in a preheated (375 degrees f) air fryer. Air fry for 8 minutes until they are golden and crispy. Remove from the air fryer.
Step 5. Add the sauce
While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter and mix it into the hot sauce in a shallow bowl. Place the cooked chicken pieces into the bowl with the hot sauce and butter mixture; toss to coat.
Step 6. Second Air Fry
Place each sauce-coated chicken tender back onto the air fryer basket and air fry for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
NOTE: Cook time can vary depending on your air fryer and the size of the chicken. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 and is golden and crispy after the first air fry.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this buffalo chicken strips recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.
Breadcrumbs - I like to use regular unseasoned breadcrumbs in this recipe because they make a thinner coating on the chicken. If you prefer a heavier breaded coating, regular breadcrumbs can be replaced with an equal amount of panko breadcrumbs.
Unsalted butter - Since the hot sauce has sodium, I like to used unsalted butter. You can also use olive oil as a replacement for the butter for a diary-free option.
Chicken tenderloins - If chicken tenders aren't available, they can be easily substituted with a boneless chicken breast. Just cut boneless chicken breasts into strips about ½ to ¾ inch thick.
Hot sauce - Frank's red hot sauce is our hot sauce of choice in our buffalo recipes. It can be replaced one-for-one with your favorite hot sauce.
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There's always another way to make a recipe. Try some of these suggestions.
Low Carb Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders - Skip the breading, and toss the chicken tenderloins in the hot sauce and butter mixture. Air fry until cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees f. (This method is also gluten-free)
Gluten-Free Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders - After the egg wash, coat the chicken tenders in an equal amount of almond flour or gluten-free bread crumbs.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Nuggets - Instead of strips, cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks or nuggets.
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Breast - Instead of strips, use a boneless, skinless chicken breast and serve it in a sandwich or as the main course. Note cooking time will increase, cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees f.
These crispy tenders also taste great for a delicious dinner with a side of air-fryer french fries and a salad.
How to store leftovers
Store leftover air fryer buffalo chicken tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Freeze leftover room-temperature buffalo chicken tenders in a freezer-safe container for up to three months.
Reheat leftovers in the oven or your air fryer.
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What to do with leftover buffalo chicken tenders
These chicken tenders are great to have leftover, and perfect for meal prep.
- Be sure to pat dry the chicken tenders with a paper towel before coating them in the egg wash so that the egg sticks to the chicken.
- Be sure to leave enough space between each chicken tender on the air-fryer tray to allow the air to circulate around them for even cooking.
- If you are making buffalo chicken tenders in batches, keep the prepared tenders warm in an oven heated to 300 degrees f.
Once the chicken is coated in bread crumbs, arrange the tenders on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees F. Turn the chicken over and bake for 4 - 5 minutes longer. Remove the chicken from the oven and coat it with the sauce, and bake for 3 to 5 minutes longer.
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- Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees f
- Whisk the egg and water together in a shallow bowl and set it aside.
- In a separate shallow bowl, combine the unseasoned bread crumbs, oregano and garlic powder and set it aside.
- Dry the chicken tenders with a paper towel. Place a chicken tender into the egg wash, and turn to coat until it is completely covered in the egg.
- Place the egg coated piece of chicken into the bowl of breadcrumbs and toss to coat the tender in crumbs.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until all of the chicken tenders are coated in the bread crumb mixture
- Arrange the breaded chicken tenders on an air fryer tray or basket and spray with avocado spray. Place the chicken in a preheated air fryer (375 degrees f) and air fry for 8 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, melt the butter and combine it with the hot sauce in a shallow bowl.
- After 8 minutes remove the chicken tenders from the air fryer and place each chicken tender in the hot sauce and toss to coat. Place the coated tenders back onto the air fryer tray, and air fry for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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