Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders: An easy, crispy chicken tender made with 5 ingredients: buffalo sauce, panko crumbs, salt, pepper, and chicken!
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
It is NO secret around here about how much I love making air fryer recipes.
From the moment I pulled it out of the box and made my first batch of chicken wings, to today, sharing my family’s new favorite air fryer recipe… buffalo chicken tenders.
It only uses 5 ingredients, and cooks in only 10-15 minutes!
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How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
If you’re not a fan of buffalo sauce, or if you simply want to experiment a little bit with the chicken tenders, feel free to use some of the other flavor combinations and seasonings that we also like to use!
More Breading Options:
- coating chicken in milk, egg, and then in panko crumbs. (Maybe a little salt and pepper too!)
- coating the chicken in melted (but cooled) butter and rolled in a mixture of parmesan cheese and garlic powder
But I’ll be honest… this buffalo chicken tender recipe is our favorite out of all of them! It COULD be because we currently have a mad crush on anything “buffalo” related, like in these buffalo chicken sliders, this buffalo chicken soup recipe and buffalo chicken lasagna… but the fact that this chicken is ready in about 15 minutes is making it the top favorite!
Ingredients for Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer:
- 2 cups Panko crumbs (If you have extra, consider making this panko cod recipe too! So good!)
- 1 cup mild buffalo sauce (we use Frank’s in this and our buffalo dip recipe)
- 8-9 tenderloins
- salt and pepper
To Preheat or Not to Preheat
So I’m not a fan of preheating my air fryer (<— That’s the air fryer I use.)
Why? It’s simple. I usually forget to before I start cooking and then I don’t want to wait on it. Ha! (I’m a busy momma… when the kids are hungry, the kids are hungry. Amiright?)
Anyhow, IF you like to preheat your air fryer, this is the time to do it. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
Season and Coat Your Chicken with Panko Crumbs
Begin seasoning your chicken tenders with salt and pepper. (Your desired amount… however I sprinkle on about a tablespoon of kosher salt and about a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.)
Next, coat the chicken tenders in buffalo sauce (I pour the sauce in a shallow dish) and then immediately dip them in a shallow bowl of panko crumbs and fully coat each tender.
Once coated, place the tenders in to the air fryer basket and cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes if air fryer is preheated or 15 minutes if not preheated.
NOTE: Once the timer goes off, check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer of the chicken after cooking to make sure it has reached 165 degrees.
Dips to Serve with Chicken Tenders:
In case you’re a dip lover like we are, I want to share our favorite dips with you so you can serve them alongside this recipe and even the alternate recipes I mentioned earlier (garlic parmesan, plain, etc.)
- homemade ranch
- chipotle aioli sauce
- blue cheese
- honey mustard
- bbq sauce
- copycat Chick-fil-A sauce
- fiesta ranch (Use the Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Seasoning packet to make the dip.)
- melted cheese
Side Dishes for Buffalo Chicken Tenders
If dinner is going to be this easy, the side dishes might as well be too, right? Here are our favorite quick and easy side dishes to have with the buffalo chicken tenders:
- 3 Bean Salad Recipe
- Baked Fiesta Potato Wedges
- Apple Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Garlic Roasted Broccoli
Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- air fryer
- 8 chicken tenderloins
- 2 cups panko crumbs
- 1 cup buffalo sauce
- salt as desired
- pepper as desired
- If you prefer to preheat your air fryer, preheat it to 400 degrees.
- Coat the chicken tenders with your desired amount of salt and pepper. (I use about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt about 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.)
- Pour buffalo sauce in to a small, shallow dish.
- Pour panko crumbs in another shallow dish.
- Begin dipping each chicken tender in to buffalo sauce, then immediately in to panko crubms.
- Once fully coated, place each chicken tender in to air fryer basket. (Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do multiple batches.)
- Cook on 400 degrees for about 10 minutes if air fryer has been preheated and about 15 minutes if not preheated…. flipping half way thorugh cooktime.
- When cook time has completed, check the internal temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer, making sure it has reached 165 degrees.
- Serve with your favorite sauce! (See notes in blog post for dip ideas and side dish sugestions!)
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear from you below! What is your favorite dip? What did you love about these? Have any other fun ideas!