Made in the air fryer, these Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Tenders are crispy and flavorful; Perfect for any party, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner!
I am obsessed with my air fryer. I mean, I can crisp up veggies in less time than it takes to preheat the oven. That’s a huge draw right there. I can make a batch of chicken wings in under thirty minutes without the greasy guilt. Chicken breasts? Done in fifteen; definitely a fan, guys.
My latest air frying obsession? Buffalo Chicken Tenders! Crispy and juicy, flavorful and fast. They taste like restaurant quality, but you know exactly what ingredients are in them. Plus, no weird fry oil. I promise you, I’m not just saying that. These tenders really are that impressive and tasty.
I use a mix of almond flour, and coconut flour, with spices to coat my chicken tenders – making them whole30, gluten-free, paleo, keto…blah blah blah. All the unprocessed checkmarks you’re looking for to make these at home. You could also cube your tenders to make chicken nuggets – that would be fun, esp with little ones. Going to try that with my four-year old niece very soon!
It took me a few attempts to ensure that the homemade gluten-free coating stuck to my tenders before making in the air fryer. It was after I attempted to air fry my almond breaded pork chops that I learned what I needed to do.
How to ensure your breading will stick to chicken tenders:
- One coating is all you need; a normal egg wash, homemade breading , and a little nonstick cooking spray. No need to overdo it. Less is more in this case.
- The real trick: bread your chicken tenders and then refrigerate for 10-15 minutes!
- This will allow the breading to stick to your chicken tenders without falling off.
- This method works whether you plan to air fry your chicken tenders OR bake them in the oven. No messy, sticky breading if you refrigerate prior to cooking.
If you sensitive to almond flour, you can play around the with coconut flour ratios. I wouldn’t recommend tapioca or arrowroot starch to coat, as it can get a gummy texture if it sits too long in the refrigerator.
As a girl from Buffalo, Frank’s has always been our hot sauce of choice. It’s mild and flavorful, and it’s what my mom always uses, and so do I. If you like a little more heat, but want to keep it clean, Tabasco is another good option. For me, Tabasco is more of a garnish sauce than an all-in sauce. Again, because I am a wimp. You could also use Cholula. Any hot sauce, friend. You do YOU.
The recipe below includes instructions on how to make these Buffalo Chicken Tenders in the air fryer. If you don’t have an air fryer, or would prefer to bake: you can follow the same prep, and bake for 10 minutes at 350F, flip and bake another 7-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Just make sure the temperature of your chicken reaches 165 degrees. Chicken Tenders are small, so they should take 15-20 minutes, tops.
Serve with a side of dairy-free ranch dip, and not only is this one whole30 compliant dish, but it’s delicious too. These Buffalo Chicken Tenders are perfect for football parties [looking at the big game next week], a quick weeknight dinner, or made in advance to serve over salad for weekday lunches – enjoy!
Make sure the cooking spray you use is whole30 compliant [soy free]. Any brand where the only ingredient is the oil will work. I usually use an avocado spray like this one. Olive oil spray will also work. I don’t recommend canola oil spray if you try to eat unprocessed.
whole30 buffalo chicken tenders [air fryer]
- In a mixing bowl or shallow dish, add almond flour, coconut flour, spices, salt and pepper. Whisk well. Whisk well to combine.
- Add 1 whisked egg to another bowl. This is your egg wash.
- Dip chicken tender into egg wash, then dip into the almond flour breading. Make sure both sides are evenly coated with breading. Once all tenders are evenly coated, refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow breading to stick.
- Remove tenders from refrigerator. Spray with with cooking spray, and add to basket of air fryer.
- Cook 8-10 minutes at 350F. Using tongs, flip and cook 2-3 more minutes. Make sure temperature of chicken is 165F. Repeat if making in batches (depending on basket size).
- In a mixing bowl, combine hot sauce and vinegar. Using tongs, toss breaded, cooked chicken tenders into hot sauce mixture. Serve immediately.
Other air fryer recipes to try:
- gyro meatballs [low-carb, w30, paleo]
- low-carb chicken parm [whole30]
- crispy buffalo wings [low-carb, paleo, w30]
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