Crispy and bold, these Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders take a homemade spice blend and turn chicken into a satisfying dish.
No need to hit the drive-thru; you can easily air fry these tenders to perfection right in your kitchen with this simple recipe!
Why you’ll love this buffalo chicken tender recipe
Buffalo sauce and chicken are culinary best friends, that’s not news to anybody! Whether it’s buffalo chicken egg rolls, buffalo chicken tacos, or just a classic batch of buffalo wings, I love serving up this hot and comforting buffalo chicken recipe as perfect appetizers or even a main dish.
These super tasty homemade buffalo chicken tenders (with no breading!) are beyond easy to make and hit the spot every time. I’ve created a foolproof blend of seasonings that deliver the perfect flavor every time.
Air fry up a batch of these tenders, pair with some french fries and a dipping sauce like blue cheese dressing or my homemade herb ranch dressing, and you’ve got a filling and satisfying meal or crowd-pleasing appetizer! This easy recipe is low carb and made with simple ingredients, and it’s become one of my favorite ways to make a satisfying and quick dinner.
Ingredients you will need
Chicken tenders: Most grocery stores sell raw chicken tenders or chicken tenderloins, which are a cut of chicken that comes from the underside of the breast. They’re great for handheld, dippable chicken bites!
Seasonings: Aside from buffalo sauce, I use a dry rub made of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper to add lots of savory flavor to these tenders. You could also add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for additional heat.
Buffalo sauce: Feel free to use your favorite store bought buffalo sauce. Frank’s RedHot is always a great option! I love Noble Made for a dairy free and sugar free option.
Butter: Adds a nice rich and buttery flavor to your wings.
Honey: Balances out the spicy and bold flavors with some sticky sweetness.
Green onions: Adds a pop of colors and a tasty garnish.
Blue cheese: a classic pairing option for buffalo wings, and adding blue cheese crumbles to your tenders adds an extra layer of flavor.
How to make buffalo chicken tenders
- Prepare the seasoning. In a large bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, brown sugar, salt and black pepper.
- Prepare the chicken. Pat dry your chicken tenderloins using a paper towel, then add it to the bowl with the spices and toss until everything is well coated.
- Air fry the chicken. Place the chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook.
- Make the buffalo sauce. While chicken air fries, prepare the homemade buffalo sauce by heating a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter, buffalo sauce, and honey, and stir until the butter melts. Set aside.
- Coat the chicken. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the air fryer and brush or drizzle with the sauce. Caramelize the sauce by air frying for another 2 minutes or so.
- Serve and enjoy! Top with chopped green onions and blue cheese crumbles.
Oven baked buffalo chicken tenders
If your air fryer is occupied or you prefer to use the oven for a larger batch, you can easily use this recipe to make oven baked buffalo chicken tenders instead!
- Make the same seasoning blend and sauce.
- Instead of air frying, arrange the chicken tenders on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 165F.
- Add the sauce to the chicken and broil for 2-3 minutes, then garnish and serve.
How to store chicken tenders
Knowing how to store chicken properly is a great way to meal prep for the week! Allow your leftover buffalo chicken strips to cool, then transfer them to an airtight container or ziploc bag.
They will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze your homemade chicken tenders for quick and easy dinners down the road. They’ll last several months in the freezer!
How to reheat buffalo chicken tenders
Pop leftover buffalo chicken tenders back in the air fryer or the oven at 350 degrees until they’re warmed through again. You can even cook them right from frozen! Just add a few additional minutes of cooking time.
What to serve with buffalo chicken tenders
Pair your no breading chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauces: ketchup, herb ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, or a batch of homemade Chick-fil-A sauce are all great options! You could also serve with more hot sauce or buffalo sauce for extra bold flavor.
If you have leftover chicken tenders, use them to make this crispy buffalo chicken salad, add them to wraps, and more!
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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- olive oil spray, for cooking
- 3/4 cup buffalo sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray and preheat the air fryer to 375 F.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh parsley, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.
- Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels. In a bowl, toss the chicken tenders with the seasoning mixture until evenly coated.
- Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket in a single layer and air fry for about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F and the chicken starts to brown.
- While the chicken is cooking, heat the buffalo sauce, butter and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Stir and set aside.
- Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and brush the buffalo sauce all over the chicken tenders and toss until they are well coated. Place them back in the air fryer for 2 more minutes to caramelize the sauce.
- Serve the buffalo chicken tenders warm and topped with blue cheese crumbles and sliced green onions.
- Follow the directions up until step 3, then bake in the oven, on the middle rack at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.
- Remove the chicken tenders from the oven and set the broiler on high with a rack 2 inches from the heating element.Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and brush the buffalo sauce all over the chicken tenders and toss until they are well coated. Place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the sauce.