If you love a sweet and spicy sticky and crispy chicken tender this is for YOU! These Sticky Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer whip up like a dream. If you don't have an air fryer no worries I've got you covered with oven instructions too.
Ramp Up Basic Frozen Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
For this recipe we will be using fully cooked frozen chicken strips. We douse them in a delicious sweet spicy buffalo sauce and throw them back in the air fryer so the sugar can caramelize. Creating the perfect sticky texture.
Why You Will Love This Air Fryer Chicken Tender Recipe:
Besides being a quick and easy dinner or impressive game time snack these chicken tenders are
- done in under 30 minutes
- better than your favorite sports bar wings
- use few ingredients you already have in your pantry!
- inexpensive option for feeding a lot of guest
- man-approved for all the game nights
What You Need for Chicken Tenders in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer! ok if you dont have an air fryer you can totally use an oven. Any type of air fryer will work.
- Pre-Breaded Chicken Strips or wings in the freezer section. You do want them fully cooked. If they are uncooked then follow the directions until cooked and then skip to the coating step.
- Frank's Hot Sauce- this deliciousness gives you the best buffalo flavor. Find it by the bbq sauces
- Brown sugar- The molasses and sweetness pairs perfect with the hot sauce for a killer combo.
How To Make Sticky Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer
First: Cook your chicken tenders in the air fryer until they are nice and crispy. Usually your air fryer will have a setting for this, but typically about 350 for 10 minutes.
Bake the Sticky Glaze For Frozen Chicken Tenders
This step is key for the best sweet and spicy chicken tenders.
STEP 1-3: In a pan combine your brown sugar, hot sauce, water and butter.
STEP 4: Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then remove from stove.
Coat Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
STEP 5: Place cooked chicken tenders in a large bowl.
STEP 6: Pour sweet and spicy chicken glaze over the chicken tenders
STEP 7: Toss until the chicken tenders are coated.
STEP 8: Place back in air fryer for 5 minutes.
Why Do I Place Chicken Tenders Back in Air Fryer?
When you place the chicken back into the air fryer the glaze will thicken, sugars caramelize coating the chicken with all that spicy sugary goodness. And you have your self a nice sticky lip-smacking glazed chicken strip.
Can I make these Sticky Chicken Strips in the Oven?
Yes. The oven directions are included in the notes below! They cook up beautiful in the oven.
These are mild in spice heat. My kids love them and are sensitive to spicy food.
You can make these ahead of time before traveling to a destination but I don't really recommend making them hours or days before. They are best if made and served immediately.
Store them in an airtight container for 5-7 days in the fridge. To reheat just microwave or air fry!
What Do I Serve With These Chicken Strips?
We love to dip them in this homemade Ranch recipe. There is nothing like homemade ranch. If serving as an appetizer add some carrots and celery sticks with the dip and tenders. When serving as a meal sweet potato fries or mashed potatoes are a great side.
Looking for more delicious recipes? Try These!
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Sticky Chicken Strips in Air Fryer
- air fryer
- 8-10 pre-breaded chicken tenders
- 3 Tbsp. Frank's Original Hot Sauce
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 Tbsp. Water
Air Fryer Method
- Air Fry Chicken as directed. 350 for about 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, hot sauce, and water. Bring to a boil and whisk together. When the brown sugar has melted, put chicken in a bowl and pour sauce over.
- Cover with a lid or covered tight with saran wrap then shake to coat. Place chicken back into air fryer basket and cook for 5-10 more minutes so that the sauce forms glaze on the chicken.
- Place chicken on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 Degrees F.
- Turn chicken over and bake for another 10-12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, hot sauce, and water.
- Bring to a boil and whisk together.
- When the brown sugar has melted, put chicken in a bowl and pour sauce over.
- Cover with a lid or covered tight with saran wrap then shake to coat.
- Place chicken back on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 more minutes so that the sauce forms glaze on the chicken.
I use parchment paper on all things cooked that may stick or greasy,
Chicken especially , also great for nachos that the cheese will stick, cleanup is always easy . I use a hot wing sauce that I can buy at the dollar store , spicy but cheaper than Franks .
Erin V says
I'm a sucker for hot sauce and I love that this requires minimal prep-- thank you!!
Hi Jane! Good question! You know its really not bad.. I have a silicone baking mat that I use and those always clean up like a dream. If you don't have one, I would suggest lining the pan with foil and giving it a quick spray with a cooking oil like PAM. That should make for some easy clean up.
Jane Peterson says
What did you use to unstuck chicken from baking sheet for the Wingers chicken strips? Was it a total disaster to clean up?