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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

These Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders are one of my all-time favorite meals. They’re perfectly lightly breaded with a sweet and spicy buffalo sauce that pairs well with ranch for dipping, on sandwiches, in salads or straight out of the fridge for a quick and easy protein packed snack. 

Why you'll love this recipe

  • These tenders are ready in under 30 minutes with no baking required.
  • You’ll never need to go out for chicken tenders again once you try these air fryer buffalo chicken tenders. 
  • Adjust the spice by adding more sweet or less hot. 
  • Use the buffalo sauce in wraps or on salads. 

Can you bake these tenders in the oven?

Yes, follow the instructions as directed for the air fryer buffalo chicken tenders but place them on a baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 minutes on each side instead of air frying. 

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Do you have to use chicken tenderloins?

No! You can use chicken breast and cut into strips similar to the Air Fryer Blackened Chicken, or get pre thin cut chicken breast and cut into strips. This is also great on thighs for higher fat option. 

What air fryer do you use?

I have the COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max XL Large Cooker, linked here. I do find it is pretty loud in the kitchen but it gets the job done and makes perfect air fryer buffalo chicken tenders. We have had it for years without any issues.

We use our air fryer all the time for recipes like Air Fryer Blackened Chicken and Cinnamon Cream Cheese Roll Ups

air fryer buffalo chicken tenders

Ingredients and Substitutes:

These are the main ingredients and substitutions. See recipe card below for full ingredients list and instructions for Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders.

Chicken Breast: you can use any chicken breast. Chicken tenderloins, chicken breast, chicken cutlets or even thighs. 

Breadcrumbs: this recipe calls for Italian Breadcrumbs as it adds some flavor to the breading. You can use unflavored, add salt, pepper and garlic powder to the breadcrumbs. You can also substitute with your favorite gluten free breadcrumbs. 

Tapioca Flour: if you do not have tapioca flour you can substitute with cornstarch, potato starch, cassava flour, and arrowroot 1:1. 

Egg: egg is what keeps everything together. I would not omit this. 

Franks Red Hot: any hot sauce will do but I love Franks for making any kind of buffalo sauce. 

Franks Red Hot: any hot sauce will do but I love Franks for making any kind of buffalo sauce. 

Lite Maple Syrup: if you do not want to use lite syrup you can use regular pancake syrup, 100% maple syrup or honey.  

Butter: unsalted or salted works fine. 

air fryer buffalo chicken tenders

How to make air fryer buffalo chicken tenders:

Step 1

Prep your chicken by removing the tendon. You can do this by placing a fork between the tendon tip and putting the tendon up with a paper towel. The fork will slide down the tender and the tendon will come out. Discard the tendon. 

Step 2

Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Tapioca flour on a separate plate and one whisked egg in a shallow bowl. 

Step 3

Using a fork or your hands coat the chicken in tapioca flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and transfer to a plate or directly into the air fryer basket. 

Repeat the steps for all the chicken. 

Step 4

Add the chicken to the air fryer basket. Be sure not to overlap the tenders. Work in batches if you cannot fit all the tenders in the air fryer. 

Step 5

Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. Air fry at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Flip. Spray the other side with cooking spray. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. 

Step 6

While the chicken is in the air fryer prep your buffalo sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium. Bring to a low boil and simmer while the chicken cooks. Stir often so the sides do not burn. 

Step 7

Remove the chicken from the air fryer and transfer to a bowl for mixing. 

Top the chicken with the buffalo sauce. Be careful mixing the chicken with the sauce so the breading does not come off in the bowl. 

Step 8

Place the coated chicken on a plate. Pour any remaining sauce over top or in a small bowl for dipping. 

Sprinkle finely chopped green onions on top if desired and serve with your favorite ranch for dipping. 

Serving Size Notes

If tracking, one serving is 3 oz. cooked chicken not including the breading and sauce. Be sure to weigh your final chicken and divide by 4. This is the easiest way to have accurate serving sizes. 

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What to serve with this recipe?

Definitely ranch for dipping! These air fryer blackened chicken tenders are terrific on their own but great paired with Air Fryer Smashed Potatoes

TIP!

Make multiple batches .. these are addicting. Enjoy!

If you like this recipe be sure to check out some of our other easy air fryer recipes!

Yields

4 Servings

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“ohsnapmacros Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders”

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings
1 lbs. Chicken Breast Tenders
1/3 cup Italian Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Tapioca Flour
1 Egg
Buffalo Sauce
1/3 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
1/4 cup Light Maple Pancake Syrup
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder

Nutritional Information

221 Calories
6 Fat (g)
7 Carbs (g)
28 Protein (g)
0.3 Dietary Fiber (g)
961 Sodium (mg)

Directions

1.

Prep your chicken by removing the tendon. You can do this by placing a fork between the tendon tip and putting the tendon up with a paper towel. The fork will slide down the tender and the tendon will come out. Discard the tendon.
Mark as complete
2.

Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Tapioca flour on a separate plate and one whisked egg in a shallow bowl.
Mark as complete
3.

Using a fork or your hands coat the chicken in tapioca flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and transfer to a plate or directly into the air fryer basket.
Mark as complete
4.

Repeat the steps for all the chicken.
Mark as complete
5.

Add the chicken to the air fryer basket. Be sure not to overlap the tenders. Work in batches if you cannot fit all the tenders in the air fryer.
Mark as complete
6.

Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray. Air fry at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Flip. Spray the other side with cooking spray. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Mark as complete
7.

While the chicken is in the air fryer prep your buffalo sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small sauce pan over medium. Bring to a low boil and simmer while the chicken cooks. Stir often so the sides do not burn.
Mark as complete
8.

Remove the chicken from the air fryer and transfer to a bowl for mixing.
Top the chicken with the buffalo sauce. Be careful mixing the chicken with the sauce so the breading does not come off in the bowl.
Mark as complete
9.

Place the coated chicken on a plate. Pour any remaining sauce over top or in a small bowl for dipping.
Sprinkle finely chopped green onions on top if desired and serve with your favorite ranch for dipping.
Mark as complete
10.

If tracking, one serving is 3 oz. cooked chicken not including the breading and sauce. Be sure to weigh your final chicken and divide by 4. This is the easiest way to have accurate serving sizes.
Mark as complete

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