Crispy and delicious chicken meets a creamy spicy sauce for this ultimate crowd pleasing Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken! Your childhood self will thank you for this glorified chicken nugget recipe. And any kids in your house will be begging for more! No air fryer? No problem! Instructions for the oven, too. 15 minutes of cook time and less than 30 minutes total is all you need.
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an Air Fryer recipe around here, it was definitely time to fix that!
Recently, my 10 year old was asking me to make him some Bang Bang Shrimp. Let’s be clear that I don’t eat shrimp, and had never eaten this dish in my life. He told me he remembered it after seeing an ad from Bonefish Grill, and it was one of his favorite meals ever. As his personal chef, I tried not to be offended, haha! In all seriousness, when my kids come up with a meal request, I always listen and try to recreate.
First up for this recipe, I had to look up the sauce. I learned it’s a creamy, spicy, and slightly sweet sauce. Definitely my kind of flavor profile! Second, I decided we would try it with chicken first (something I know I can make), and we could possibly do a shrimp variation at a later time. He was definitely okay with that!
So on a college football Saturday, I went to work making these crispy chicken bites coated with a fantastically delicious sauce. And we were all THRILLED!!!!
As a nutritionist, nothing makes me more happy than taking a traditional comfort food meal and letting my kids see that you can make it even better with healthier ingredients!
How to make Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken:
We’ll start by gathering up our ingredients for both the chicken and the sauce:
- chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
- lime juice
- almond flour
- tortilla chips or plantain chips (optional)
- sea salt
- mayonnaise (I use Primal Kitchen)
- Chili garlic sauce (found in Asian sections of the grocery store) I like this brand
- Rice vinegar
- In a small bowl, you will whisk the egg and lime juice. In a separate shallow bowl or plate, combine the almond flour and sea salt with the chips or plantains (if using). I like the additional crunch and texture of adding this ingredient!
- We’ll start by dipping each chicken piece in an egg wash, then coat in the flour mixture.
- Place in one single layer in the air fryer. You want to avoid stacking the chicken so that it cooks properly. Halfway through cooking, flip over so that it cooks evenly.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Whisk together the mayonnaise with chili garlic sauce, rice vinegar, and honey.
Serve by dipping in the sauce, or lightly drizzling over each of the chicken pieces.
Can I make this in the oven?
The answer is yes! You will follow the same instructions, but add to a sheet pan. Bake at 450 and flip over at the 12 minute mark.
Keto and Whole30 friendly:
You can make this dish Keto friendly by omitting the honey and the chip/plantains. In place of honey, you add nothing (it won’t be as sweet), or you can add the tiniest amount of monk fruit sweetener. To make it Whole30, just omit the chip/plantains and the honey (no sweetener).
Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken
Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken has a crispy and delicious texture with the most amazing sauce! So simple to make in less than 30 minutes.
Bang Bang Chicken
- 1 lb chicken breast (cut into 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup crushed plantain chips or tortilla chips*
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Bang Bang Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce**
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey***
Begin by prepping the chicken. In a shallow bowl, combine the almond flour, salt and crushed up chips.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice and egg.
Take each chicken piece and dip into the egg mixture first, then dip into the flour/chip mixture. Place all chicken pieces in one layer in the air fryer (you may have to do in batches if you have a small air fryer).
Set the air fryer to 380 and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Flip over each chicken piece, and cook for another 6-8 minutes, or until nice and crispy.
While chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chili garlic sauce, honey, and rice vinegar.
Once chicken is done place on a large plate and drizzle with sauce. You can also use as a dipping sauce.
For the oven:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees while you prepare the chicken. Lightly grease a large sheet pan. Place each chicken piece on the sheet pan and bake for 12 minutes, flip over the chicken, and bake another 10-12 minutes.
*Omit for Keto or Whole30
**You can also use sriracha in place of chili garlic sauce. It will not be Paleo, Keto, or Whole30 compliant.
***Omit the honey for Keto or Whole30. You can use a tiny amount of monk fruit sweetener for a Keto option.