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Buffalo chicken Bites

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Buffalo chicken bites are boneless chicken wings breaded and glazed with a tangy, lightly-spicy buffalo sauce. Bake them in the oven, or cook them in an air fryer. Serve with dipping sauce. They’re perfect party appetizers!

PIN BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES

Small stainless steel tray of homemade buffalo chicken bites served with ranch dipping sauce.

If you’re familiar with Tyson buffalo chicken bites, this homemade recipe tastes 10 times better. It’s so much healthier and tastier than the store-bought version. It features a spicy tangy kick that’s irresistible!

Below, I’ll show you how to make this wholesome recipe 2 ways: baked buffalo chicken bites and air fryer buffalo chicken bites. Both healthy cooking styles result in a yummy dish with a delicious taste and texture.

For snacking, pair buffalo chicken bites with a creamy dipping sauce like ranch dressing, tzatziki sauce, or tartar sauce. Serve them with crunchy veggies like celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell peppers and radishes.

During football season, these easy chicken appetizers are a game-day staple. Please the crowd by serving them alongside fried zucchini, jalapeno bacon deviled eggs and gooey cheese dips. You’ll be a tailgate party hero!

To make these buffalo chicken bites a meal, pair them with a crisp garden salad plus a baked potato or air fryer corn on the cob. They also go well with cheesy breadsticks and the elevated version of Jiffy cornbread.

RECIPE VARIATION: For a vegetarian appetizer, use cauliflower florets.

Buffalo chicken bites on a wooden appetizer board along with ranch dressing for dipping.

INGREDIENTS

Assemble these boneless buffalo chicken bites with common refrigerator and pantry items and a few simple spices. Here’s what you’ll need.

Chicken Bites

  • Chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika
  • Buttermilk
  • Large egg
  • Canola oil non-stick cooking spray

Buffalo Sauce

  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • Butter
  • Honey

Garnish & Dipping Sauce

Ingredients for making buffalo chicken recipe.

EASY INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

Missing an ingredient for these buffalo chicken bites? Don’t put on your shoes and head to the market. Instead, head to your fridge or pantry. Check for these easy ingredient swaps.

It’s convenient and money-saving to use ingredients you already have on hand! Especially during stay-at-home times.

  • Chicken Breasts: The best swap is pre-cut chicken strips. Slice the strips into cubes and you’re ready to make this recipe.
  • All-purpose Flour: Sub with bread flour as an even 1:1 swap. Or completely replace the flour with a mix of 1 1/4 cups cornstarch plus 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder.
  • Paprika: Feel free to leave this ingredient out. Or for a spicier option, use chili powder instead.
  • Buttermilk: Use whole milk instead. Or make buttermilk at home with 1 (scant) cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar). Add lemon juice to a 1-cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the cup with milk. Gently stir to combine. Let mixture sit for 5 to 8 minutes. The milk will slightly curdle, giving it a buttermilk taste and texture.
  • Frank’s Red Hot Sauce: This hot sauce brand is the industry favorite for this chicken recipe. It gives these buffalo chicken bites an authentic taste. But in a pinch, use a medium-spice hot sauce instead.
  • Butter: This luscious ingredient off-sets the hot sauce so it isn’t too spicy. If you don’t have butter, use margarine or ghee.
  • Garlic Powder: Use finely-minced fresh garlic.
  • Green Onions: Garnish the dish with chopped Italian parsley or chives.
A boneless buffalo chicken bite at the end of a metal fork.

RECIPE STEPS

Chicken Bites – Oven Method

RECIPE PREP: Trim fat off the chicken breasts. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and an oven-safe wire rack (Amazon affiliate link below). Spray rack with cooking spray. (If no wire rack, flip chicken halfway through baking.)

  • STEP 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Working with a few pieces at a time, roll chicken in flour mixture until well coated, then into the wet mixture, and back into the dry mix.
  • STEP 2: With tongs, transfer breaded chicken to the prepared tray with wire rack. Arrange them in an even layer, leaving 1 inch between the pieces. Spray the top of the chicken bites with cooking spray.
  • STEP 3: Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. If needed, flip the chicken over half way through the cooking time. While the bites are baking, prep the homemade buffalo sauce.

Chicken Bites – Air Fryer Method

RECIPE PREP: Trim fat off the chicken breasts. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Preheat air fryer to 390°F for 5 to 6 minutes.

  • STEP 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Working with a few pieces at a time, roll chicken in flour mixture until well coated, then into the wet mixture, and back into the dry mix.
  • STEP 2: Carefully line the hot air fryer basket with parchment paper. With tongs, transfer breaded chicken to the lined air fryer basket. Arrange pieces in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the basket. (If needed, cook chicken in batches.) Lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray.
  • STEP 3: Air fry the chicken for 8 minutes. Flip the pieces over. Spray them with cooking spray. Air fry 5 to 8 minutes more, or as needed, until chicken is crisp and internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. While chicken is cooking, prep homemade buffalo sauce.
How to make air fryer buffalo chicken bites in 3 easy steps.

Buffalo Sauce

  • STEP 1: In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Immediately remove the pan from heat. Add in hot sauce and honey. Whisk to combine. Let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  • STEP 2: Baked and breaded chicken bites in a glass bowl tossed in tasty homemade buffalo sauce.
  • STEP 3: Transfer buffalo chicken bites to a serving dish. Garnish with sliced green onion. Serve with a side of ranch dressing. Enjoy immediately.

KITCHEN SMARTS: Do not heat the buffalo sauce before coating the chicken. Covering breaded chicken with a warm sauce will make the crispy breading limp and soggy.

Chicken in a bowl tossed with buffalo sauce, then buffalo chicken bites served with ranch dressing.

recipe faq

These are the most commonly asked questions when making buffalo chicken bites, and the most helpful answers for recipe success.

WHAT ARE BONELESS CHICKEN WINGS?

Buffalo chicken bites are often considered to be boneless wings. The term “boneless wings” became popularized by wing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings. But truth is, boneless wings are not wings at all. They’re actually formed from breast meat, similar to chicken nuggets.

CAN FROZEN CHICKEN BE USED FOR THIS RECIPE?

No. The chicken must be thawed before starting this recipe.

DO I NEED TO PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER BEFORE COOKING?

Yes. This will help the chicken cook evenly and become beautifully crisp. Preheating also cuts down on the cooking time. But do not preheat the fryer basket with parchment paper. With nothing to weigh it down, the paper will fly into the heating coil and get burnt.

WHAT IS THE SAFE MINIMUM COOKING TEMPERATURE FOR CHICKEN?

For breast meat, the safe minimum cooking temperature is 165°F. For more information about food safety, refer to this USA government website: foodsafety.gov.

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE FASTER?

To shave off time, instead of the homemade buffalo sauce recipe, use (bottled) Frank’s Red Hot Wings Buffalo Sauce, or Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce.

HOW TO MAKE BREADING ON BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES CRISPIER?

For very crispy breading, use a 50/50 mix of flour and cornstarch.

HOW TO MAKE BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES SPICIER?

Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the flour mixture. To further turn up the heat, add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the buffalo sauce.

HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES?

Store cooked chicken bites in an air-tight container and refrigerate. They’ll stay good for 3 to 5 days. To reheat, place the chicken bites on a lined metal tray. Briefly broil them in the oven until heated through.

Homemade Tyson buffalo chicken bites with dipping sauce and green onion garnish.

MORE EASY PARTY APPETIZERS

Complete your game day menu with these easy party appetizers. Select 3 or more to pair up with the buffalo chicken bites. Print out the recipes, or pin them Pinterest to save them for later.

Buffalo chicken bites garnished with sliced green onions and served on a wooden board with ranch.

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Friends and family say these are the BEST buffalo chicken bites they’ve ever tasted. Better than Tyson buffalo chicken bites.

If you agree, give this easy chicken appetizer a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero! Share it with a friend.

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Small stainless steel tray of homemade buffalo chicken bites served with ranch dipping sauce.

Buffalo chicken Bites


Description

These irresistible buffalo chicken bites are 100% more tasty than frozen ones bought at the store. Make this wholesome recipe 2 ways: oven baked or air fried. Serve with a side of ranch dressing.


Ingredients

Units Scale

CHICKEN BITES

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Canola oil non-stick cooking spray

BUFFALO SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey

GARNISH & DIPPING SAUCE


Instructions

CHICKEN BITES – OVEN METHOD

RECIPE PREP: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and an oven-safe wire rack. Spray rack with nonstick cooking spray. (If no wire rack, flip the chicken halfway through baking.)

  1. Trim fat off the chicken breasts. Slice chicken into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Working with a few pieces at a time, roll chicken in flour mixture until well coated, then into the wet mixture, and back into the dry mix.
  3. With tongs, transfer breaded chicken to the prepared tray with wire rack. Arrange them in an even layer, leaving 1 inch between the pieces. Spray the top of the chicken bites with cooking spray. 
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. If needed, flip the chicken pieces over half way through the cooking time. While the bites are baking, prep the homemade buffalo sauce.

CHICKEN BITES – AIR FRYER

RECIPE PREP: Preheat the air fryer to 390°F for 5 to 6 minutes.

  1. Trim fat off the chicken breasts. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. Working with a few pieces at a time, roll chicken in flour mixture until well coated, then into the wet mixture, and back into the dry mix.
  3. Carefully line the hot air fryer basket with parchment paper. With tongs, transfer breaded chicken to the lined air fryer basket. Arrange pieces in a single layer. Don’t overcrowd the basket. (If needed, cook chicken in batches.) Lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray.
  4. Air fry the chicken for 8 minutes. Flip the pieces over. Spray them with cooking spray. Air fry 5 to 8 minutes more, or as needed, until chicken is crisp and internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. While chicken is cooking, prep homemade buffalo sauce.

BUFFALO SAUCE

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Immediately remove the pan from heat. Add in hot sauce and honey. Whisk to combine. Let the sauce cool to room temperature.
  2. Add cooked chicken bites to a wide bowl. Pour buffalo sauce over the pieces. Gently toss until all pieces are well coated in sauce.
  3. Transfer buffalo chicken bites to a serving dish. Garnish with sliced green onion. Serve with a side of ranch dressing. Enjoy immediately.

KITCHEN SMARTS: Do not heat the buffalo sauce before coating the chicken. Covering breaded chicken with a warm sauce will make the crispy breading limp and soggy. 

Notes

FOR CRISPIER CHICKEN BITES: Use a 50/50 mix of flour and cornstarch.

FOR SPICIER CHICKEN BITES: Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the flour mixture. To further turn up the heat, add 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the buffalo sauce.

  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Appetizers, Snacks
  • Method: Air Fryer, Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Buffalo Chicken Bites, Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites, Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Bites

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

BUFFALO CHICKEN BITES > JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Do you occasionally buy Tyson buffalo chicken bites? Would you like to try this easy homemade recipe? Do you prefer air frying the bites or baking them? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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