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Air Fryer Low-Carb Chicken Tenders

Air Fryer Low-Carb Chicken Tenders

PER 4 ounces chicken (about 2 tenders) + 2 tablespoons sauce: Calories 342 | Fat 16g | Carbohydrates 13g | Fiber 4g | Sugar Alcohol 3.5g | Net Carbohydrates 5.5g | Protein 40g

More often than not, fried foods are a no-go on keto.

While “fried” implies fat (no problem on keto), it also carries with it the stigma that the food you’re eating is heavily breaded, which will spike the carb count way beyond your daily limit.

Perhaps this is true most of the time, but not with these low-carb chicken tenders.

First, we use our favorite handy gadget (the air fryer) to drastically reduce the amount of oil you need for regular chicken tenders.

Then we use almond flour and our secret ingredient—pork rinds—to crisp up the exterior of these tenders to remind you of the classic version of them. 

Trust us when we say you won’t be thinking of these chicken tenders as a low-carb alternative. They’re just as good as the regular version!

We included a low-carb barbecue sauce recipe with this chicken tenders recipe. But full-fat ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing are also delicious options. Really, any low-carb sauce will work with these delicious tenders, or no sauce at all!

bbq sauce

Ingredients You’ll Need 

  • Chicken
  • Almond flour
  • Pork rinds
  • Eggs
  • Garlic powder

Air Fryer Low-Carb Chicken Tenders

Ingredient Spotlight: Pork Rinds

Okay, sure—when you think of “diet foods,” the first thing that comes to mind isn’t exactly pork rinds. 

But if you think about it, the keto diet isn’t really a normal diet, either. Heck, until about ten years ago, people would say you were ridiculous for eating a high-fat, low-carb diet to lose weight [1]

But times have changed—and science has confirmed—that cutting carbs is an effective way to lose weight and improve health markers, meaning it’s time to update our views on foods like pork rinds, too [2].

Also called ‘cracklings,’ pork rinds are deep-fried pig skin pieces that have a consistency not unlike chips. They’re often fried and salted, then served as a snack.

And when it comes to low-carb diets, their macro breakdown is pretty much perfect. After all [3]:

  • Pork rinds contain zero carbs.
  • They’re loaded with protein (1 ounce has more than 17 grams)!
  • They have about 9 grams of fat per serving.

Surprised? Now you might see why we use crushed up pork rinds to give these low-carb chicken tenders a crunchy exterior without jeopardizing your diet.

chicken tenders

All the Ways to Use Pork Rinds on Keto

Now that you know how keto-friendly pork rinds are, here are some of the other ways we like to use pork rinds in our low-carb recipes:

  • On top of a chicken broccoli casserole: Traditional casseroles are topped with french fried onions, which are packed with carbs [4]. You can still add a crunch to the top of your savory dish without going off your diet! (We do something similar with our keto meatloaf, too.)
  • On keto Chinese food night: Forget Chinese takeout—we use pork rinds in our low-carb General Tso’s chicken recipe as part of the breading.
  • On Brussels sprouts au gratin: Looking for a killer side dish with only 7 grams of net carbs per serving? You’ve found it, and you have pork rinds to thank!

Oh yeah, and we almost forgot—pork rinds are probably our favorite low-carb snack, too.

So whether you’re looking for a flavorful way to ditch the breadcrumbs, a crunchy topping for your dinner entree, or a tasty, satisfying snack to tide you over until your next meal, pork rinds fit the bill!

What to Serve with Chicken Tenders

Other Air Fryer Keto Recipes You Might Like

Air Fryer Low-Carb Chicken Tenders

ir Fryer Low-Carb Chicken Tenders

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. In a shallow dish, mix the almond flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. In a second shallow dish, beat the eggs.
  3. In a third shallow dish, place the crushed pork rinds.
  4. Place the three dishes in one line. Use one hand to dip each tender into the almond flour mix, then the eggs, then the pork rinds. With your other hand, take the coated tender out and place it on a plate. Repeat the process for each piece of chicken.
  5. Set the air fryer to 375°F. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes until thoroughly cooked.
  6. Make the sauce while the chicken is cooking. Start by adding the erythritol, vinegar, and water to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the erythritol has dissolved.
  7. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to blend and increase heat until the sauce boils. Reduce heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency.

bbq sauce

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