These delicious Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Made with just a few simple ingredients these tenders are so good, no one will ever know they are gluten-free!
FREE EASY KETO DINNERS EBOOK
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Recipe
- Same wonderful crunch as traditional fried tenders
- Great for a quick meal or hearty appetizer
- Kid-approved! They'll never know they are a healthy, low carb version!
- Gluten-free and Keto friendly breading
Chicken tenders have always been one of my favorite quick fix meals when I am running short of time. I have made them several different ways, pan-fried Chicken Tenders, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders and even Blackened Chicken Tenders and I love them all.
I recently had my air fryer out, making the most delicious Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts ever, when I decided to try a new chicken tender recipe. They turned out ah-mazing! You will be shocked at just how closely they are to traditional fried tenders!
They are the easiest, crispiest and tastiest air fryer chicken tenders you'll ever make! These air fryer chicken strips are seasoned and coated with a gluten-free breading that gives them a crispy and delicious crust that you’re looking for. Since they are cooked in the air fryer, the circulating heat cooks them quickly, leaving the tender perfectly cooking and super juicy on the inside.
Because these tenders are fried with a flour free coating, they're perfect for Keto, paleo, gluten-free and low-carb diets! They're great served as they are with your favorite dipping sauce for a hearty appetizer or throw in a Keto Side Dish and you’ll have a healthy and super satisfying dinner that kids and adults alike will love!
Whether you’re hosting a party or having friends over to watch a game, or just needing a quick and easy weeknight meal, these chicken tenders in the air fryer are about to become your new best friend.
What's in Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders
- Chicken tenders
- Almond flour
- Parmesan cheese
- Pork rinds
- Garlic salt
- Smoked paprika
- Ground black pepper
*Exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
Add all the ingredients except the chicken and egg to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the beaten egg to a separate bowl.
Dip each chicken tender into the egg, allowing any excess egg to drain off.
Then dip the chicken into the breading mixture.
Add the chicken tenders to your air fryer baking rack, that’s been sprayed with olive oil spray. Spray more oil olive all over the chicken tenders.
Then air fry for 12-13 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F and the breading is golden.
Half way through cooking, flip them over (basket type of air fryer only) and spray with more olive oil spray. And by spray, I don’t mean a light mist, I mean SPRAY them well! This will give them that crispy traditional crust that you want.
Serve with just as they are or with Keto Honey Mustard Sauce, BBQ Sauce or Zesty Dipping Sauce.
Chicken, in general, is a zero-carb protein that you can enjoy on any diet. The question as to if they are Keto really comes into play with the way they are prepared.
For instance, one regular fried chicken tender from a popular fast-food chicken restaurant has 5 net carbs per tender as compared to these Keto chicken tenders that only have a little over 1 net carb per tender. That's a huge carb savings and they are much healthier too.
A key ingredient in many fried food recipes is panko. It's a type of white bread that is used to make light and fluffy breadcrumbs. But they loaded with unwanted ingredients and way too many carbs for those on Keto.
Luckily, you can use pork panko, like in this recipe, as an excellent substitute to give you a wonderful crispy and gluten free coating that's also carb-free. You can grind your own using pork rinds, or you can buy pork panko already ground and ready to use.
Air Fryer Chicken Strips Variations and Add-ins
This is such a versatile recipe, and you can easily change up the flavors by adding in just a few different seasonings to the gluten-free breading mixture:
- Ranch Tenders: Omit the garlic and add in this homemade dry Ranch Seasoning Mix.
- Southwest Tenders: Omit the smoke paprika and garlic and add in this Taco Seasoning
- Zesty Dill Tenders: Add a little dill weed, or fresh dill, to the breading mixture and serve them with this Creamy Dill Sauce.
- Cajun Tenders: Again, leave out the smoke paprika and garlic and add in the Cajun Seasoning Mix and serve them the homemade the Remoulade Dipping Sauce that's used in this recipe.
- Spicy Tenders: Add a little cayenne pepper to the breading mixture but be careful; a little goes a long way. Serve them with a drizzle of this homemade Buffalo Wing Sauce.
You certainly can and a lot of people do. I have to say, my personal preference to allow the chicken to thaw before seasoning and coating it. The coating sticks better and because they aren't frozen the cooking time is just long enough to turn the coating nice and golden brown.
If you want to try air frying them from frozen, you should plan on cooking them about 20-22 minutes at 380°F or until they reach 165°F on an instant read meat thermometer.
What is the Best Air Fryer?
I used my Power Air Fryer Oven (with the racks) to make mine, but you can use any air fryer you have. What I love about the Air Fryer Oven is that you never have to flip anything you bake, because the air circulates around everything perfectly!
It has 3 racks that will fit a good amount of food on them! But it also comes with skewers, fry basket (great for nuts) and a rotisserie rack that rotates!
I also use these silicone mitts for removing the racks while they're hot. They're nice and slim, so you can easily fit your hand in there to retrieve the racks. I absolutely love them!
If you have another type of air fryer, you can certainly use what you have. Just be sure to follow the instructions per the manufacturer and the cooking temp/time should be the same.
More Keto Air Fryer Recipes
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings
- Bacon Wrapped Chicken Tenders
- Jalapeño Poppers
- Pork Tenderloin
- Zucchini Fries
- Buffalo Wings
FREE 20 EASY KETO RECIPES EBOOK
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- ⅓ cup almond flour
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup pork rinds, ground
- 1 whole egg, beaten
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Add the beaten egg to a separate bowl. Dip each chicken tender into the egg, allowing any excess egg to drain off. Then dip the chicken into the breading mixture.
- Add the chicken tenders to your air fryer baking rack, that’s been sprayed with olive oil spray. Spray more oil olive all over the chicken tenders, then air fry for 12-13 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F when checked with a meat thermometer and the breading is golden.
- Half way through cooking, flip them over (basket type of air fryer only) and spray with more olive oil spray. And by spray, I don’t mean a light mist, I mean SPRAY them well! This will give them that crispy traditional crust that you want.
*Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and is accurate to the best of my knowledge. You can verify it using the nutrition calculator of your choice. All data is based on net carbs, without sugar alcohol: Swerve, Erythritol, Monk Fruit or Allulose.
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I really liked this breading. I have a question. Is the breading suppose to be enough for just 4 tenders? I had a lot left over. Or is it suppose to be enough for 1lb of tenders?
Keto Cooking Christian
I am glad you liked it. The breading is for the whole recipe, which is one lb. of tenders.