Fried chicken tenders from your favorite fast food stop aren’t a good idea on a low carb diet. Not only does the breading contain too many carbs, but the highly inflammatory oils chicken nuggets are cooked in do more harm than the breading!
The good news is you can still have crispy chicken tenders at home with this easy recipe.
Even better, these air fryer keto chicken tenders are a delicious dish that tastes just like crispy fried chicken – without the harmful oils and excess carbs. Plus, your whole family will love these juicy chicken tenders, which makes it easy for you to stick to a ketogenic diet with these easy keto chicken tenders.
Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Ingredients:
The main ingredients for this easy chicken recipe include chicken, an egg and heavy cream.
The spices these delicious chicken tenders call for include sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. You’ll also need coconut flour, plus I mix in a little baking powder as well.
When it comes to the chicken, it’s your choice to use chicken breast or chicken thighs. Both cuts slice up nicely for delicious low carb chicken tenders.
While classic chicken tenders use flour or Panko breadcrumbs for the crispy crust, the traditional route doesn’t work on a low-carb diet. The crispy crust on these low-carb chicken tenders is made from coconut flour mixed with spices.
How to Make Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders:
While I previously used coconut oil to fry homemade chicken strips, I like air fryer chicken tenderloins better. The crust is crispier, and the cooking process is easier.
Speaking of easy, when it comes to slicing chicken to make easy keto chicken recipes even easier, here’s what I do: add the thawed chicken back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. While you don’t want to leave the chicken in long enough to refreeze, slicing slightly frozen chicken into small pieces makes keto meal prep a breeze.
Keto Chicken Tenders Meal Prep:
Once the chicken is slightly frozen, remove from the freezer and slice into thin strips. Don’t cut the chicken tenders too thick since thick strips take longer to cook in an air fryer. To keep these chicken strips juicy, keep them thin.
After you slice the chicken, add it into a shallow dish. Then beat the egg and heavy cream together in a separate bowl. Pour the egg mixture on top of the chicken. Coat the chicken entirely with the egg wash.
If you chose to slightly refreeze the chicken, leave the chicken on the counter to soak up the egg mixture while you finish prepping for this easy chicken tenders recipe. If you sliced unthawed chicken, you can place the bowl in the fridge while you finish prep work.
Next, mix the coconut flour and spices together in a small bowl and set aside. My favorite mixture is 3 tbsp coconut flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/2 tbsp paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
If you don’t love any of the spices in this mix, feel free to adjust your spice mix accordingly. I often leave black pepper out of keto recipes since I have a sensitivity to pepper. I also love garlic, so I’ll often add a little bit more.
Finally, line the air fryer basket with parchment paper and set aside.
Dip and Bake:
Once everything is prepped and ready to dip, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
Next, pour the coconut flour spice mix onto a baking sheet, or another flat surface. Flatten the flour with your hands. Then grab a few paper towels since this next part gets messy.
Line up the soaking chicken, baking sheet with flour mixture, and parchment paper lined air fryer basket.
Remove each chicken tender from the egg soak and dip it into the spice mix. Coat both sides evenly with the coconut flour mixture. Then set the chicken into a single layer in the lined air fryer basket.
Once the basket is filled, add the chicken into the preheated air fryer. While the cooking time varies depending on how thin you cut the chicken strips, these should take around 5-8 minutes per side.
Check the chicken tenders at the 5 minute mark. If the tops are golden brown, it’s time to flip the chicken tenders. Then bake for an additional 5-8 minutes once all chicken tenders have been flipped.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken prior to serving. You can either use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is at 165 degrees F, or cut into one of the bigger chicken tenders to make sure it’s white in the middle.
For best results on a keto diet, it’s important to eat enough healthy fats. Since you don’t add healthy fat to this recipe during the cooking process, it’s a good idea to add a healthy fat dipping sauce.
I love to dip chicken tenders into a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. It’s made from avocado oil, mustard and a touch of honey for a natural sweetness. I always keep a jar handy to round out a quick dinner when necessary.
Other flavorful dipping sauces to complete this recipe include ranch dressing or a sugar-free BBQ sauce. If you pick these up from the grocery store, read the labels closely to make sure your choices don’t include vegetable oils like canola or soybean oil.
Of course, the best way to ensure this is to make your own dipping sauces at home.
The Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Wrap Up:
If you love air fryer recipes on a keto diet, then you’ll definitely love these keto air fryer chicken tenders. Skipping traditional fried foods in lieu of keto friendly fare will do so much for your health, as well as your waistline.
Don’t forget to save this easy keto chicken dinner recipe to Pinterest. Please share with your friends on social media too!
Keep scrolling for nutrition information and the recipe card.
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Keto Friendly Recipe
More Low Carb Chicken Dinners from Eating Fat is the New Skinny:
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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
A delicious air fryer chicken tenders keto friendly recipe.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: Recipe Serves 3 1x
- Category: Keto Dinner Recipe
- Method: Air Fryer
- Cuisine: Keto / Low Carb
- Diet: Diabetic
- 1 lb chicken
- 1 egg
- 1–2 tbsp heavy cream
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Slice the chicken into thin strips and set aside.
- Beat the heavy cream and egg together in a small mixing bowl.
- Add the cut up chicken to a shallow bowl. Then pour the egg mixture on top. Fully coat the chicken with the egg mixture. Place the bowl into the fridge while you prep the coconut spice mixture. (Keep in the fridge for approximately 10 minutes).
- Mix the spices and coconut flour together in a small bowl. Once combined, spread out onto a baking sheet or other flat surface.
- Before you dip the chicken, preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- While the oven heats up, dip the egg soaked chicken into the coconut flour mix. Be sure to coat both sides evenly and then add to a parchment paper lined basket in a single layer.
- Once full, place the air fryer basket into the air fryer. Cook for 5-8 minutes (depending on how thick you sliced the chicken).
- The chicken tenders are ready to be flipped once the tops turn golden brown. Flip the chicken strips and cook for approximately 5-8 minutes on the other side.
- Use a meat thermometer or cut chicken to make sure inside is white before serving.
- Serving Size: Recipe Serves 3
- Calories: 345.9
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 1022.5
- Fat: 11.3
- Saturated Fat: 4.1
- Trans Fat: .2
- Carbohydrates: 8
- Fiber: 3.2
- Protein: 50.9
- Cholesterol: 196.3
Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken Tenders Keto, Low Carb Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders