Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders: A Spicy Delight

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

Take Buffalo chicken tenders from bar food into a delicious family dinner or classic appetizer with this easy air fryer recipe! These golden, crispy tenders are simple to make and pack a delicious punch that will have everyone begging for more.

And since they are air-fried, they’re much healthier than their deep-fried counterparts. With just a little effort, you can make air fryer Buffalo chicken tenders that are crispy outside, tender inside, and full of spicy flavor.

These are a fun and unexpected family dinner, but they are also fabulous game-day food. You can’t go wrong with these tenders when you want an appetizer that will be a real crowd-pleaser.

Save This Recipe Form

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & I will send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes each week!

In this post, I’ll take you step-by-step through my tried-and-true recipe. We’ll cover everything from achieving that perfect, crispy coating and some tips I’ve learned along the way.

Do you love Buffalo flavor? Me too! Check out Buffalo chicken egg rolls, Buffalo chicken chili, and Buffalo chicken zucchini boats for more spicy flavor you can make at home.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Chicken tenders: You can buy chicken tenders or boneless chicken breasts and cut them into strips. I get whichever one is cheaper.
  • Buttermilk: The buttermilk tenderizes the chicken. If you don’t have buttermilk, use milk with a teaspoon of vinegar added.
  • Hot sauce
  • Flour
  • Breadcrumbs: Either panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs work fine.
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Buffalo chicken sauce

🥣How to Make Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders

  1. Start by patting your chicken tenders dry with a paper towel.
  2. Mix a cup of buttermilk and a tablespoon of hot sauce in a medium bowl. Once that’s all whisked together, throw in your chicken pieces. Make sure they’re all coated, and then let them chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes – 2 hours.
  3. Mix the flour, bread crumbs, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder in a one bowl. Take another bowl and pour in your ½ cup of buttermilk. Your dipping station is all setup and ready to go.
  4. Take each piece of chicken and dip it in the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, and then the flour again. Once you’ve coated all the chicken, set them on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before air frying. This little rest helps the coating stick better.
  5. Before you start air frying, preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees F for 3 minutes. Spray your air fryer basket with some oil to prevent sticking.
  6. Place your chicken pieces in the basket, making sure not to stack them and leaving some room for air to circulate. Spray the top of the chicken with a bit more oil and let them cook at 370 F for 5 minutes.
  7. After 5 minutes, check your chicken. If there’s visible flour, give it a little more oil spray. Flip them over and let them cook for another 5 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It should read 165 F.
  8. Put the cooked tenders on a baking sheet or plate and brush them with Buffalo sauce.
A bowl of chicken, eggs, flour and other ingredients on a counter.
Marinate chicken
A white table with bowls of ingredients on it.
Ready for breading
A person putting flour into a bowl.
Dip the chicken
Fried chicken in an air fryer.
Before air frying
Fried chicken wings in an air fryer.
After air frying
A bowl of chicken tenders in a spicy buffalo sauce, ready to be enjoyed with a spoon.
Coat the tenders in sauce

🍴Serving Ideas

Popping these golden, crispy beauties on a platter is just the start of the fun.

  • Pair them with dips: I love to pair our Buffalo chicken tenders with a classic blue cheese dressing. I also sprinkle on extra blue cheese after dipping, because I love blue cheese. But hey, ranch dressing is good, too!
  • Side it with celery: Sticking with the Buffalo wing tradition, I often serve these crispy chicken tenders with some fresh, crunchy celery sticks. They make a refreshing contrast to the spicy chicken.
  • Toss in a salad: Toss Buffalo chicken tenders in a salad. It’s a great way to turn them into a full-blown meal, and it’s a game-changer for kids who are not fans of leafy greens.
  • Make a wrap: If you’re on the go or need to pack a quick lunch, try wrapping these tenders in a tortilla with some lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of your favorite dressing. They make a tasty Buffalo chicken wrap.
A person holding buffalo wings in front of a plate of celery.

💭How to Store

You can store leftover Buffalo chicken tenders in the refrigerator in an airtight container. They’ll stay good for about two to three days.

If you want to store them longer, you can also freeze them. Just wrap them individually in foil or plastic wrap before popping them in a freezer-safe bag or container. They can last up to three months this way.

When it’s time to reheat, I recommend using the air fryer again to keep them crispy. Just set it to 370°F and heat for about 5 minutes. If you’re thawing from frozen, give it an extra few minutes.

⭐Tips

Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Tenderloins are great for this recipe. They’re the perfect size for bite-sized snacking and cook evenly in the air fryer. Or use boneless chicken breasts and slice them more thinly.
  • Breading the tenders gets messy. Just accept this and get your hands covered in breading.
  • When it comes to add the Buffalo sauce, more is definitely more, so don’t skimp. Brush the sauce all over and let it sink into the breading. Then add a second layer of sauce.
  • Don’t skip preheating the air fryer. It ensures a crispy, golden exterior on your chicken tenders. Just a few minutes should do the trick!

Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

Buffalo tenders with blue cheese and celery.
5 from 1 vote

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders Recipe

Published By Anne
Turn up the heat with Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders! The perfect blend of crunch and zesty buffalo flavor, made healthier in the air fryer.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time38 minutes
Servings: 3
Print Save Rate Pin

Ingredients
 

For the chicken

  • 1 pound chicken tenders

For the marinade

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce

For the dipping and coating

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo chicken sauce

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel.
    1 pound chicken tenders
  • Mix the cup of buttermilk and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Add the chicken pieces and refrigerate for 20 minutes to 2 hours.
    1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • Mix the flour, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl.
    ¾ cup flour, ½ cup breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Put ½ cup buttermilk in another bowl.
    ½ cup buttermilk
  • Take a chicken strip from the marinade. Dip it into the flour mixture, then the buttermilk mixture, then the flour again. Set it on a wire rack.
  • Continue to dip the chicken. The breading will stick better if the pieces rest on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before air frying.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F for 3 minutes. Then, spray the air fryer basket with some oil to prevent sticking.
  • Put the chicken in the basket. Don’t stack it, and make sure there is room for air to circulate.
  • Spray the chicken with oil to coat the top. Air fry at 370 F for 5 minutes.
  • Check the chicken. If there is visible flour on top, spray it with more oil.
  • Flip the chicken with tongs and air fry it for another 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer and verify it has reached 165 F.
  • Put the chicken on a plate and brush it with the Buffalo sauce.
    1/2 cup Buffalo chicken sauce

Notes

  • Tenderloins are great for this recipe. They’re the perfect size for bite-sized snacking and cook evenly in the air fryer. Or use boneless chicken breasts and slice them thinly.
  • Don’t skimp on the Buffalo sauce. Coat the tenders thoroughly in the sauce and then add another layer. More is better.
  • Don’t skip preheating the air fryer. It ensures a crispy, golden exterior on your chicken tenders. Just a few minutes should do the trick!

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Recommended Products

Nutrition Information

Calories: 440kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 2551mg | Potassium: 839mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 721IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 190mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Enjoy this recipe?Follow Family Friendly Foods on Facebook
Buffalo wings on a plate with celery and blue cheese.
anne

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating