Health-ify the classic chicken tenders by tossing them in your Air Fryer! These delicious chicken tenders are gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 approved. Made without grains and perfectly crusted with some pecans for that extra crunch!
If you’re one of those people who CRAVES the fried foods, but not the stomach ache and heartburn that follow, you must be a HUGE fan of the air fryer!
Admittedly, fried foods have never been my forte (even in those college days of eating cheap processed crap), so I wasn’t sure I would get much use out of my Air Fryer. But after a friend of mine recently raved how her kids’ chicken nugget obsession disappeared with the use of an air fryer, I decided to dust mine off and try it for myself!
She asked me about making a Gluten-Free and Paleo version that would still be crispy on the outside. I’ve never been able to achieve that with the oven, so I was looking forward to challenging my air fryer.
I was NOT disappointed you guys! These are pretty much everything you want in a chicken tender:
- Crispy on the outside
- Moist and tender on the inside
- Perfectly seasoned
- Ready in less than 20 minutes!
I spiced them up with some Italian seasoning, which would make marinara sauce a perfect compliment. You could also go the traditional route with BBQ sauce or ketchup!
These are obviously perfect for many occasions: football season game day snacks, easy dinner on a weeknight, even a great lunchbox addition! My two toughest critics (the kiddos), were especially thrilled. These are now a part of their regular dinner requests. I am happy to oblige!
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp water
- 2/3 cup almond flour blanched
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- black pepper
Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Cut your chicken breasts into strips, about 1 inch thick, and 3 inches long.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg and water. In a flat bowl or plate, mix together almond flour, pecans, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and sea salt.
Dip each chicken strip into egg mixture, then into almond flour mixture, shake off any excess. Carefully place each chicken strip into the basket of your air fryer. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Sprinkle each chicken tender with black pepper, and additional salt if desired. Cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, open the basket and flip each strip over. Cook for an additional 3 minutes at 400 to get extra crispy.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce: marinara, ketchup, honey mustard, or barbecue sauce.