Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders

If you’re on a keto diet and craving something crunchy and delicious, these air fryer keto chicken tenders are the perfect solution. With a crispy coating and tender, juicy chicken inside, they are a healthier alternative to traditional breaded chicken tenders. Made with almond flour and a blend of spices, these chicken tenders are low in carbs and high in flavor. Plus, they are cooked in an air fryer, which means they require less oil and are ready in just a fraction of the time. Get ready to indulge in this guilt-free, keto-friendly version of a classic comfort food.

Choosing the Chicken

When it comes to making delicious and healthy chicken tenders in an air fryer, the first step is selecting the right chicken. Opting for boneless, skinless chicken breasts is a great choice as they are lean and provide a blank canvas for the flavorful coating. Make sure to choose chicken breasts that are fresh and free of any discoloration or strong odors.

Trimming excess fat

Before preparing the chicken for coating, it’s important to trim any excess fat from the chicken breasts. This helps reduce the overall calorie content and ensures the tenders cook evenly. Use a sharp knife to carefully remove any visible fat, being mindful not to remove too much of the meat.

Pounding the chicken thin

To ensure the chicken tenders cook evenly and have a tender texture, it’s a good idea to pound the chicken breasts thin. To do this, place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, gently pound the chicken until it reaches an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. This will also help the coating adhere better to the chicken.

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Preparing the Coating

Creating a low-carb breading mixture for the chicken tenders is a key step in making them suitable for a keto diet. In a shallow dish, combine almond flour, ground flaxseed, and a pinch of salt and pepper. These ingredients provide a crispy texture and a nutritious alternative to traditional bread crumbs.

To enhance the flavor of the coating, add a variety of herbs and spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and dried parsley. These aromatic additions will give the chicken tenders a delicious and savory taste.

For an extra burst of flavor, mix in some grated Parmesan cheese to the coating mixture. This cheese adds a tangy and nutty element that pairs beautifully with the chicken. Plus, it helps create a crispy and golden crust.

11. Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders

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Egg Wash

To help the coating adhere to the chicken and achieve a crispy texture, an egg wash is essential. In a separate shallow dish, whisk the eggs until they are well beaten. This will ensure that the eggs are evenly distributed throughout the chicken tenders.

For an extra touch of richness and creaminess, add a splash of heavy cream to the beaten eggs. This will give the chicken tenders a luscious texture and enhance the overall flavor.

Season the egg wash with a pinch of salt and pepper to elevate the taste of the chicken tenders. The salt will help bring out the natural flavors of the chicken while the pepper adds a hint of spice.

Coating the Chicken

Now that both the coating mixture and egg wash are ready, it’s time to start coating the chicken. Dip each chicken tender into the egg wash, making sure to coat it evenly on all sides. This will allow the coating mixture to adhere well to the chicken, ensuring a crispy and flavorful exterior.

After dipping the chicken tender into the egg wash, gently shake off any excess liquid to prevent the coating from becoming too soggy. This will help ensure the tenders cook evenly and develop a nice crunch.

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Next, coat the chicken with the breading mixture by placing it into the shallow dish with the coating mixture. Press the chicken down and gently pat the coating mixture onto all sides, ensuring it is evenly coated. This will create a delicious and crispy exterior on the chicken tenders.

Preheating the Air Fryer

To achieve the perfect crispy texture on the chicken tenders, it’s crucial to preheat the air fryer. Set the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and allow the air fryer to preheat for approximately 5 minutes. This will ensure that the chicken tenders cook evenly and develop a nice golden color.

To prevent the chicken tenders from sticking to the air fryer basket and to make cleanup easier, line the basket with parchment paper. This will create a non-stick surface and ensure that the chicken turns out perfectly every time.

Air Frying the Chicken

Once the air fryer is preheated, it’s time to cook the chicken tenders to crispy perfection. Place the coated chicken tenders in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. Overcrowding may lead to uneven cooking and a less crispy texture.

Cook the chicken tenders in the air fryer for approximately 10 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process. This will ensure that both sides of the chicken tenders become crispy and golden brown. The air fryer’s hot circulating air will cook the chicken tenders evenly while giving them a satisfying crunch.

11. Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders

Checking for Doneness

To ensure that the chicken tenders are cooked to perfection, it’s important to check their internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the thickest part of a tender. The chicken should reach 165°F (74°C) to be considered fully cooked and safe to eat. This will also ensure the chicken is moist and tender.

If the chicken tenders haven’t reached the desired internal temperature during the cooking time, cook them for additional minutes until they reach the recommended 165°F (74°C). It’s crucial to ensure that the chicken is cooked thoroughly to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

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Serving and Enjoying

Once the chicken tenders are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy them. Carefully remove the tenders from the air fryer using tongs or a spatula, being mindful of the hot cooking basket. Allow them to cool slightly before serving to avoid burning your mouth.

Pair these crispy and flavorful chicken tenders with your favorite keto-friendly dipping sauce for a satisfying meal. Whether it’s a tangy ranch dressing, creamy Caesar sauce, or a spicy buffalo sauce, the options are endless. The combination of the juicy chicken and the crispy coating will satisfy your cravings without compromising your dietary goals.

11. Air Fryer Keto Chicken Tenders

Storage and Reheating

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The crispy coating may become slightly less crispy when refrigerated, but the tenders will remain delicious. When you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers, simply reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes until heated through. This will help restore some of the original crispy texture and ensure the chicken tenders taste just as good as when they were freshly cooked.

Variations and Additions

To add a twist to your air fryer keto chicken tenders, feel free to experiment with different seasonings. You can try adding a pinch of cayenne pepper to the coating mixture for some heat and extra flavor. The slight kick will add excitement to your taste buds without overpowering the dish.

Another variation is mixing in grated cheddar cheese to the coating mixture. This will give the chicken tenders a cheesy flavor that melts perfectly into the crispy coating. The combination of the tangy Parmesan and the creamy cheddar will take these tenders to the next level in terms of flavor.

With these variations and additions, you can personalize your air fryer keto chicken tenders to suit your taste preferences. Whether you want them spicy, cheesy, or just the classic crispy and flavorful, the possibilities are endless. Get creative and have fun exploring different combinations of herbs, spices, and cheeses to make your own signature chicken tenders.