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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken TendersMake crispy, crunchy buffalo chicken strips without oil and deep frying. Crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, our easy air fryer buffalo chicken tenders hit the spot; they are the perfect Quick Dinner or party Appetizer

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken tenders on a plate with vegetables in the background.

Spicy Buffalo chicken tenders are the ultimate crowd-pleaser and a perfect addition to a game-day spread. Enjoy them with Rainbow Wraps and chips with Simple Guacamole.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Chicken: Use chicken tenderloins to make this recipe. However, if you have chicken breasts on hand, you can cut them into strips.
  • Buttermilk: Because of its acidity, buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, so they remain juicy. 
  • Panko: Panko produces a more crispy exterior compared to regular breadcrumbs.
  • Spices: Season the panko mixture with garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. 
  • Eggs: Dredge the chicken in eggs for the perfect crunch.
  • Cooking Spray: I highly recommend spraying the air fryer basket before adding the chicken and spraying the tops of the tenders- so the panko turns golden brown as it cooks.
  • Buffalo Sauce: The best part of buffalo chicken tenders is biting into them after the sauce has had the tome to soak in the coating.

HOW TO MAKE AIR FRYER BUFFALO CHICKEN TENDERS 

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Add the chicken tenderloins to a mixing bowl with buttermilk and set it aside to marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Chicken tenderloins in a bowl with buttermilk.

Add the panko to a skillet with butter and toast them until they turn golden brown.

Panko toasting in a skillet.

Pat dry the chicken and season them with kosher salt. Then, set up the breading station. Combine panko, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper on one plate and the beaten eggs on another.

The chicken tender coated with panko

Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (204° C) and dredge the tenderloins in the panko, eggs, and then back in the panko, patting them lightly so that the mixture adheres.

The chicken tender dipped in egg.

Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, then arrange the chicken into the basket. Cook for 8-10 minutes.

Line the tenders in the air fryer basket.

Flip the tenders halfway through and work in batches to cook the remaining chicken. 

The chicken tenders flipped in the air fryer basket.

Meanwhile, warm the butter and buffalo sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When the chicken is done cooking, toss them in a mixing bowl with the buffalo sauce and set them on a wire rack to let them cool before serving.

Buffalo sauce and butter heating in a saucepan on the stove.

COOKING TIPS

  • Marinate the chicken in buttermilk to tenderize and add flavor.
  • Pat dry the chicken to ensure that it crisps up as it cooks.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, add 4-6 tenders at a time to ensure they cook evenly. 
  • Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken; the safe cooking temperature for chicken tenderloins is 165° F (73° C).
  • For crispier chicken tenders, consider toasting the panko in one tablespoon of butter before coating the chicken.

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If you love this recipe, try one of these Air Fryer favorites!  

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken tenders on a plate.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • TO STORE – If you plan to have leftovers or make the chicken in advance, I recommend setting some to the side and dredging them in the buffalo sauce when you’re ready to serve- so they stay crispy. Either way, store the leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep for three days.
  • TO FREEZE – Let the buffalo chicken tenders cool, then add them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders will keep for three months.
  • TO REHEAT – Bake the leftovers in the oven or air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 400° F (204° C).
  • TO REPURPOSE –  Chop up the chicken tenders and use them to top a salad, wrap, mac and cheese, or as a filling for a quesadilla.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

Can I make these without an air fryer?

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; arrange the chicken onto it and bake for 20-25 minutes at 400° F (204° C).

Why are my chicken tenders not crispy?

If you follow the coat, dip, coat method I used to make this recipe, you should end up with crispy chicken tenders to lather in all that sauce.

Do I have to use chicken tenderloins?

Chicken tenderloins are the most convenient to use, but you can also slice chicken breast into thin strips and use those.

Are chicken strips and chicken tenders the same thing?

Yes, and they go by other names like chicken fingers.

What buffalo sauce should I use to make Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders?

We often use Frank’s RedHot Original Buffalo Wings Sauce , but Crystal’s is a good option, and so is the Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

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Feedback is Valuable – It helps us improve and update our recipes, so we can provide delicious meals you love. Consider leaving a comment or rating below the recipe card, and feel free to share your adaptations or ask any questions. We cannot wait to hear about what you’ve made. 

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken tenders on a plate with vegetables in the background.

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Tressa Jamil
Make crispy and juicy buffalo chicken strips without oil and deep frying; as a meal or appetizer, air fryer buffalo chicken tenders will hit the spot.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4 People
Calories 187 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins, boneless and skinless
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup panko
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 large eggs,
  • cooking spray
  • ½ cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions
 

  • Add the chicken tenderloins to a mixing bowl with buttermilk and set it aside to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the panko to a skillet with butter and toast them until they turn golden brown.
  • Pat dry the chicken and season them with kosher salt. Then, set up the breading station. Combine panko, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper on one plate and the beaten eggs on another.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400° F (204° C) and dredge the tenderloins in the panko, eggs, and then back in the panko, patting them lightly so that the mixture adheres.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray, then arrange the chicken into the basket. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping the tenders halfway through. Work in batches to cook the remaining chicken. 
  • Meanwhile, warm the butter and buffalo sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When the chicken is done cooking, toss them in a mixing bowl with the buffalo sauce and set them on a wire rack to let them cool before serving.

Notes

Cooking Tips:
  • Marinate the chicken in buttermilk to tenderize and add flavor.
  • Pat dry the chicken to ensure that it crisps up as it cooks.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, add 4-6 tenders at a time to ensure they cook evenly. 
  • Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken; the safe cooking temperature for chicken tenderloins is 165° F (73° C).
  • For crispier chicken tenders, consider toasting the panko in one tablespoon of butter before coating the chicken.
 
Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 TendersCalories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 30gFat: 6gSodium: 1890mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
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