How to Make Healthier Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

How to Make Healthier Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer

Chicken tenders are a classic comfort food, perfect as a game day appetizer or a quick and easy family dinner. But what if you could get that crispy, breaded, deep-fried flavor without the excess calories and saturated fat? You can be crunching on healthy chicken tenders in 15 minutes with this easy air fryer recipe!

Our recipe uses almond flour instead of the traditional refined flour. Paprika, black pepper, and yellow mustard give it plenty of flavor to satisfy your fast-food cravings.

It’s got that perfect crunch due to the air frying technique, which uses fast-moving hot air to “fry” your food instead of dunking it in oil. If you haven’t flirted with air frying in the past, this recipe is sure to make you fall in love!

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chicken tender on plate| healthy chicken tenders

Healthy Chicken Tenders Ingredients

  • 16 oz. raw chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
  • ¾ cup fine almond flour
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika

Yep, only six ingredients! These chicken tenders are made with almond flour, which is higher in protein and lower in carbs than white flour. It’s a must-have staple when you want to make healthier versions of fried foods.

Paprikablack pepper, and yellow mustard are all believed to have antioxidant properties, plus they give these healthy chicken tenders their sweet and tangy flavor.

And by air frying instead of oil frying, you’re getting a fraction of the calories compared to traditional chicken tenders. For example, these fast food tenders have 499 calories, 25.7 grams of fat, and 31.7 grams of carbohydrates per serving — but our air-fried tenders have 265 calories, 14 grams of fat (and only 1 gram of saturated fat!), and 6 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

As yummy as baked chicken breast can be — if you know how to cook it right! — sometimes you want to switch up your chicken options. This recipe couldn’t be simpler: Just pat your chicken dry, toss the ingredients in a bag to evenly coat, and throw them in the air fryer for 8 to 10 minutes, and you’ve got a chicken dinner that tastes like a takeout treat.

 

chicken tenders on cooling rack | healthy chicken tenders
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Air Fryer Chicken Strips

We're giving you a taste of the south with this delicious (but healthy!) air fryer chicken tender recipe.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Calories 265 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pat chicken breast dry with paper towels; cut into 2-inch strips. Set aside.

  2. Add egg and mustard to a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine. Pour into a gallon-sized, resealable plastic bag; add chicken. Seal bag; toss chicken in bag to evenly coat.

  3. Add almond flour, pepper, and paprika to bag; reseal. Massage chicken until evenly coated.

  4. Arrange chicken tenders in air-fryer basket.

  5. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown, or a thermometer inserted in the center of one reads 165° F.

Recipe Notes

The Nutrition Facts box below provides estimated nutritional information for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Chicken Strips
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 184mg8%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 32g64%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photography by Anguel Dimov, AB Creative

Chelsea Frank

About

Chelsea Frank was born and bullied in Los Angeles, CA. When she's not performing stand up comedy or crying while doing squats, Chelsea writes about all things health, beauty, and travel. Her work has been featured in Shape, Uproxx, TripSavvy, The Daily Beast, Thrillist, and Reductress, among others. Fun fact: she's traveled to over 50 countries and has gotten sick in pretty much all of them! Follow her on Twitter.