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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

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These air fryer buffalo chicken tenders are the perfect gameday appetizer or easy dinner option for the whole family. This air fryer recipe requires less than 10 simple ingredients, and the whole process takes about 20 minutes from prep to plate. Plus, no need for breading stations or pots of oil for deep frying.

Buffalo Chicken Tender with mayo dip and hot sauce on the side

Why Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

There are so many reasons to make this air fryer buffalo chicken strips recipe. But, here are my top few:

  • Perfect appetizer and easy dinner: These air fried buffalo chicken tenders are the perfect appetizer for game day and an easy dinner option for any day of the week. Plus, you can add them to things like buffalo chicken wraps or buffalo chicken tacos for a meal.
  • Easy recipe with simple ingredients: Making buffalo chicken tenders in the air fryer is easy and requires a few basic ingredients.
  • No breading and breading process: This recipe doesn’t involve breading. So, it is a low-carb and healthier alternative to fried chicken tenders. But, you also don’t have to go through the trouble of making an egg mixture or setting up a breading station with a seasoned flour mixture or panko crumbs.

Ingredients Needed

Making these buffalo chicken tenders without breading doesn’t require much. Here’s the full list of ingredients to gather:

  • Chicken Tenderloins: I’m using raw chicken breast tenderloins that I picked up from the grocery store. I remove the tendons using this easy tutorial. You can also use boneless skinless chicken breasts and cut them into strips.
  • Natural ancient sea salt: Optional 
  • Black pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Avocado oil

Homemade Buffalo Sauce

  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • Butter: Unsalted

Be sure to check out the recipe card at the end of the post for the exact ingredient amounts.

ingredients needed to make buffalo chicken breast tenders: Chicken Breast Tenderloins, Natural Ancient Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Smoked Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Avocado Oil, Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce and Butter on separate bowls

How to Make Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

  1. Mix the spices in a small bowl. Remove the tendons from the chicken breast. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken breast tenderloins to a large bowl with the spices and oil. Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  3. Place the seasoned chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry at 400 for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Mix the sauce ingredients, toss the cooked chicken into the sauce, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Serve. Leftover sauce can be served with the chicken in a dipping cup.
steps to make Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the air fryer

Recipe Tips & FAQs

  • Mix the spices in a small bowl: Mixing the spices before adding them to the meat, helps the spices distribute on the meat evenly.
  • Remove tendons: Tendons can be tough even after cooking.
  • Salt is optional: To be able to control the salt content since the buffalo sauce contains some salt, too.
  • Preheat the air fryer: Preheating the air fryer helps get a golden brown sear on the meat.
  • An option for crispy low-carb tenders: Use my keto chicken tenders with the homemade buffalo sauce.
  • You can also use breaded chicken tenders from the grocery store, like air fryer frozen chicken tenders. 
  • Increase the heat: If you want spicy hot sauce, you can add a dash of cayenne pepper or ghost pepper flakes to the buffalo sauce.

Storage & Leftovers

Refrigerate leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Suggestions For Toppings & Garnishes

  • A small bowl of blue cheese dressing, leftover buffalo sauce, or ranch dressing
  • Celery sticks
Why are my chicken tenders soggy from the air fryer?

Soggy tenders may be due to low cooking temperatures or an overcrowded air fryer basket. You can preheat your air fryer and be sure to give your chicken tenders space in the air fryer basket.

How long to air fry buffalo tenders?

Cook buffalo chicken tenders in the air fryer for about 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees. The cooking time will vary based on whether or not you add breading.

Can you air fry frozen buffalo chicken strips?

Yes, but they’ll take longer to cook.

Buffalo Chicken Tender with mayo dip and hot sauce on the side

More Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Recipes

close up shot of Buffalo Chicken Tender with mayo dip and hot sauce on the side

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

These air fryer buffalo chicken tenders are the perfect game day appetizer or easy dinner option for the whole family. Requires less than 10 simple ingredients, and takes about 20 minutes.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 254 kcal

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 1.25 lbs Chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1/4 tsp Natural Ancient Sea Salt optional
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

Buffalo Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Wing Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Butter unsalted

Instructions
 

  • Mix the spices together in a small bowl.
  • Remove the tendons.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken breast tenderloins to a large mixing bowl with the spices and oil. Toss to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Place the seasoned chicken tenders in a single layer on the air fryer basket.
  • Air fry 400 for 10-12 min, the goal is to cook them through.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients.
  • Toss the cooked chicken into the sauce, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, and serve. Leftover sauce can be served with the chicken in a dipping cup.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1152mg | Potassium: 567mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 286IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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