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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

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Say goodbye to soggy breading thanks to these air fryer buffalo chicken tenders! The buffalo sauce is cooked right into the chicken itself so your breading can stay dry and crispy.

Several air fryer buffalo chicken tenders with one bitten into

While I love dipping chicken tenders in sauces, I don’t like when they make the breading soggy before I’m done eating. That’s what gave me the idea to try these air fryer buffalo chicken tenders with the sauce cooked right into the chicken!

By coating the chicken in buffalo sauce before breading it, we get super-flavorful tenders that don’t even need to be dipped. They stay crispy, crunchy, and perfect the entire time you eat them! How amazing does that sound?

And if you love buffalo sauce, you need to try our buffalo chicken thighs and buffalo chicken dip recipes!

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make crispy buffalo chicken tenders in the air fryer
  • How to substitute chicken breasts in this recipe
  • Other sauces you can use for your air fryer chicken tenders
  • Tips for making the best buffalo chicken strips

The breading process for this recipe is super simple. After that, let the air fryer work its magic, and you can have this delicious dinner ready in less than 30 minutes! These air fryer spicy tenders are the perfect way to add some flavor to even the busiest weeknight.

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

prepared ingredients for air fryer buffalo chicken tenders

How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.

STEP TWO: Place the egg and buffalo sauce in a shallow bowl and whisk until well-combined. In a second shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, paprika, and garlic powder.

I love to use my homemade buffalo sauce in this recipe for the best flavor, but you can also use storebought.

STEP THREE: Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess, then transfer to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining tenders.

dip chicken tenders into egg and buffalo sauce mixture
dip chicken tenders in panko breadcrumbs

STEP FOUR: Spray both sides of the chicken tenders generously with oil.

STEP FIVE: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.

STEP SIX: Lay the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket and cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time until they are cooked through and golden brown on the outside and reach 165 degrees using an Instant-Read Thermometer.

place buffalo chicken tenders in single layer in air fryer

STEP SEVEN: Serve with more buffalo sauce or your favorite dipping sauce and blue cheese, if desired.

air fryer buffalo chicken tenders being dipped in sauce

Can I Use Chicken Breasts Instead?

You bet! However, I recommend cutting them into strips about the size of tenderloins. This will ensure the chicken cooks all the way through without overcooking the breading.

The Best Sauces to Use For This Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders Recipe

I love using my homemade buffalo sauce for this recipe, but you could try it with 2 ingredient BBQ sauce or honey sriracha sauce!

You could also use your favorite store-bought sauce like Sweet Baby Ray’s, Frank’s Red Hot, or even Buffalo Wild Wings Parmesan Garlic Sauce.

How to Store Leftover Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Make sure to let the chicken tenders cool completely. If you try to store them while they’re hot, the condensation will seep into the breading and make it soggy.

Once the buffalo tenders have cooled, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should be enjoyed within four days.

buffalo chicken tenders placed around buffalo sauce for dipping

Tips for Making Crispy Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

  • Pat the chicken tenders with paper towels to get them as dry as possible. This will help the coating stick to the chicken.
  • Make sure to flip the tenders halfway through the cook time. This ensures even cooking and allows the breading to get beautifully crispy on all sides.
  • If you’re looking for a keto dish, try making air fryer buffalo chicken tenders with no breading. Dip the chicken in the egg and Buffalo sauce mixture, but skip the breadcrumb step. Follow the rest of the recipe like normal.

Can I Make Regular Chicken Tenders and Coat Them with Buffalo Sauce Instead? 

Absolutely! Just keep in mind that if you smother them with sauce afterward, it will start to make the breading soggy. When you coat the chicken with sauce before cooking, it ensures your breading stays crispy the entire time you’re eating them.

If you would rather make plain chicken and dip them in the sauce later, try my Air Fryer Chicken Tenders! They’re easy to make for a delicious dinner the whole family will love.

several buffalo chicken tenders next to dipping sauce on the side

How to Make Tyson Buffalo Chicken Strips in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F.
  2. Place the frozen buffalo chicken strips in the air fryer.
  3. Cook for about 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.

For more details about how to cook frozen brands like Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrims, and more, check out my Frozen Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer article!

How to Reheat Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook for about 3-5 minutes until warmed through.

I love to use my leftovers to cut up and make in my buffalo chicken wrap recipe. I love the crispiness and spiciness the chicken tenders bring to the wrap!

close up of two air fryer buffalo chicken tenders

Other Air Fryer Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

And check out our massive list of air fryer chicken recipes too!

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Yield: 2-3 servings

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Several air fryer buffalo chicken tenders with one bitten into

Air fryer buffalo chicken tenders feature sauce cooked right into the chicken! When you don’t dip, the breading can stay perfectly crispy.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup buffalo sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil spray
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  2. Pat chicken tenders dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place egg and buffalo sauce in a shallow bowl and whisk well. In a second shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, paprika, and garlic powder.
  4. Dip chicken in the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess and place on a large plate. Spray both sides of the chicken generously with oil.
  5. Air fry the chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time until they are cooked through and golden brown on the outside. 
  6. Serve with more buffalo sauce and your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.

Notes

How to Reheat Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.

2. Place the leftover chicken tenders in the air fryer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until warmed thoroughly.

How to Cook Frozen Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:

1. Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees.

2. Place the frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer and cook for about 12 minutes until heated to 165 degrees.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 738Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 2542mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 36g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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