Failsafe Chicken Tenders (Air Fryer Recipe)

FAILSAFE chicken tenders that are crisp and delicious.

One of the things my daughter misses the most about being on a FAILSAFE diet are chicken tenders and chicken patties. I knew I had to try my hand at making at least one of them for her so she could enjoy her beloved again. Turns out, that hasn’t been as easy to do.

The first batch of chicken tenders that I made were gluten free and deep fried. The husband and I thought they were delicious, the kids not so much. They also took forever to make and created such a mess that I deemed them worthy of making 1-2x a year max.

The second batch I made were baked in the oven and they weren’t all that great. Definitely not worth the effort there either. Plus, they were kind of dry.

When I shared about our struggles online, it was suggested to try it again in an air fryer. Everyone claimed it would make for less mess and better results. How could I resist? So I bought an Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer a few weeks ago and the very first thing I made in it were… failsafe chicken tenders! OBVIOUSLY.

I have to say that I was thrilled with how easy the air fryer is to use. And the mess was significantly less than deep frying (huzzah!). And the amount of oil needed is significantly less. And by less, I mean almost non-existent (double huzzah!).

The only drawback with these (and with the air fryer in general) is that you can’t see how brown they are getting while they cook, which is a big concern for anyone sensitive to amines (which my daughter and I both are). It felt like a bit of a gamble when I opened the basket to flip the tenders and will err on the side of lower cooking times from now on.

One last thing: make sure to go light on the salt. I was a little aggressive with my salt usage for these and it was almost inedible. Thank goodness for the Pear + Carob BBQ Sauce. It helped to cut the saltiness and made for a delicious dipping sauce.

What’s your favorite thing to make in the air fryer?

Prep Time 25 mins Cook Time 12 mins Total Time 37 mins
Servings: 20 Calories: 97 kcal


Deliciously crunchy and tender, these failsafe air fryer chicken strips sure hit the spot. Eat them plain or with your favorite (failsafe) dipping sauce for a tasty treat the whole family is sure to enjoy.



  1. Set up a breading station with 3 shallow bowls or plates and into the first bowl add your gluten free flour, garlic powder, and salt. Into the second bowl beat 2 eggs with the rice milk. And into the third bowl, add the ground puffed rice cereal.

  2. Taking one piece of chicken at a time, dip the strip in the flour, then the egg, then ground puffed rice cereal and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Once you’ve finished breading your chicken, let it sit for 10-15 minutes so the breading can adhere.
  4. Turn air fryer on and set temp to 400°F/200°C and set time for 12 minutes. Spray the chicken strips with canola oil and place in the bottom of the air fryer basket. (I had to cook our strips in two batches, which worked for me since the first batch cooled down enough for the kiddos to eat while the husband and I got fresh hot tenders.) Cook for 5-6 minutes per side.

  5. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (or enjoy plain like my daughter did).

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Calories 97kcal


This recipe is failsafe and RPAH Elimination Diet friendly. It is also gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and nightshade free. 

Keywords: air fryer, chicken, dairy free, failsafe, gluten free, low salicylate, nightshade free, rpah elimination diet, snack, soy free

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