Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders – Make crispy, crunchy buffalo chicken strips without oil and deep frying. Our easy Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders are crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, and like our Crispy Cauliflower Bites with Buffalo sauce, these tenders hit the spot as a quick weeknight Dinner or party Appetizer.
Spicy Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders are the ultimate crowd-pleaser and a perfect addition to your game-day spread. Enjoy them with Rainbow Wraps and chips with Guacamole!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Chicken: Chicken tenderloins are the easiest option. However, if you have chicken breasts on hand, cut them into strips.
- Buttermilk: Because of the acidity, buttermilk tenderizes the chicken, so they remain juicy as they cook.
- Panko: Panko produces a more crispy exterior compared to regular breadcrumbs.
- Spices: Add dry spices like garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper to spice up the panko mixture.
- Eggs: Dredge the chicken tenderloins in eggs to bind the bread crumbs and spices.
- Cooking Spray: Spray the air fryer basket before adding the chicken, and gently spray 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 time 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.
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.
Flip the tenders halfway through and 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.
- Tenderize the chicken by marinating the strips in buttermilk.
- Pat dry the tenderloins to ensure that they crisps up as they cooks.
- Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you can easily 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 is 165° F (73° C).
SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS?
If you love this recipe, try one of these Air Fryer favorites!
- Dip – Best Ranch Dressing Recipe, Honey Mustard Sauce, Bleu Cheese
- Salad – Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad, Vinegar Coleslaw, Vegetable Chopped Salad, Chickpea Salad
- Sides – Celery and Carrots, French Fries, Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts, Onion Rings, Frozen Sweet Potatoes Fried in the Air Fryer, Roasted Potatoes, Southern Baked Mac and Cheese
WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS
- Refrigerate – If you plan to have leftovers or if you are preparing 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.
- Freeze – Let the chicken tenders cool, then add them to a freezer-safe container or bag. Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders will keep for three months.
- Reheat – Bake the leftovers in the oven or air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 400° F (204° C).
- 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.
MORE APPETIZER FAVORITES:
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Gluten Free Chicken Wings
- Crispy Baked Chicken Wings
- Chicken Lollipop
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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- 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
- Add the chicken tenderloins to a mixing bowl with buttermilk and set it aside to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
- 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.