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Air Fryer Paleo Chicken Tenders with BBQ Sauce

August 31, 2020

Air Fryer Paleo Chicken Tenders with BBQ Sauce

Most kids, no matter how old, adore chicken tenders. OK, maybe some (or most?) adults love them, too. These eat-with-your-hands family favorites are breaded with a spiced coating then usually deep fried until they reach golden perfection. Moist on the inside, crunchy on the outside, chicken tenders are fun to dunk in BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, ketchup, honey mustard, sweet and sour sauce, and on and on. Instead of buying frozen pre-made chicken tenders, or ordering them out at a sports bar, we created a Primal/paleo chicken tender recipe that includes no eggs, dairy, gluten, or grains. Our paleo chicken tenders have an extra special zip, as we use Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch Dressing in the wet batter to ensure that our seasoned grain-free coating sticks to the chicken pieces. Dip the chicken tenders in Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce for tangy, smoky BBQ-ranch flavor. 

Instead of deep fried in canola or vegetable oil, we coated our breaded chicken tenders with sprayable avocado oil then baked them in the Air Fryer. If you don't have an Air Fryer, you can bake these chicken tenders in the oven at 425ºF for about 8 minutes per side (turn over halfway through baking) for a total of 16 minutes. 

Air Fryer Ranch Chicken Tenders with BBQ Sauce

Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 10; 2 chicken tenders per serving


Paleo chicken tenders ingredients: grain-free flour mixture, wet ingredients, Primal Kitchen Vegan Ranch Dressing


Paleo chicken tenders in an Air Fryer basket

  • Blitz pork rinds into crumbs in a food processor (or crush with rolling pin in a ziplock bag), and pour into a shallow dish or plate.
  • Spray the Air Fryer basket with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Spray.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Pour the sparkling water in another shallow bowl or dish. Add the Vegan Ranch Dressing and stir well to combine. 
  • Dip one chicken tender into the wet batter and let excess drain off.
  • Dip the wet chicken tender into the pork rind crumbs and gently use clean hand or fork to coat all sides of it. Repeat with all of the chicken tenders.
  • Lay six breaded chicken tender onto greased Air Fryer basket.
  • Spray each tender with avocado oil.
  • Air fry at 425º for 15 minutes.
  • Air fry remaining breaded chicken tenders, six at a time, until all are cooked.
  • Serve chicken tenders with Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce, or any other sauce you like, for dipping.

Paleo chicken tenders on parchment paper

Nutrition info (per serving)*:

Calories: 471

Carbs: 15 grams

Fat: 20 grams

Protein: 55 grams

*Nutrition info calculated with 2 tablespoons Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce as a dip.

Nutrition info calculated using Cronometer.

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