Air Fryer Nashville Chicken

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I’m obsessed with making food in the Air Fryer! This Nashville chicken is juicy, crispy and delicious fried chicken brushed with hot sauce for a delicious dinner. Using the Air Fryer means the chicken is super crispy without the mess and effort of deep frying.

Some of us are well-versed in all things Air Fryer and some are just coming around to it’s awesome-ness. No matter if you’re a novice or an expert, this recipe will be really easy for you. (Almost all of the Air Fryer recipes are easy, to be honest)

Air Fryer Nashville Chicken 

The flavor is incredible and the best part is that it’s cooked so quickly in the Air Fryer. That has always been one of my favorite things about this fantastic appliance. I love any way I can make meal time quicker and easier on me.

Ingredients you will need:

  • Boneless Chicken Breast Tenders – you can cut down down a chicken breast if that’s what you’ve got, the tenders just make it a bit easier.
  • Salt and Pepper – for flavor.
  • Hot Sauce – pick your favorite one.
  • Pickle juice – just pour it right from the pickle jar!
  • All purpose flour – to coat the chicken.
  • Egg – also for coating the chicken.
  • Buttermilk
  • Cooking Spray – so you don’t get the food stuck to the Air Fryer.

Sauce ingredients:

  • Spices: cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika.
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Olive Oil
Nashville Chicken in the Air Fryer

How To Make Nashville Chicken In The Air Fryer

  1. Coat the chicken. Toss it in a bag with the salt & pepper, hot sauce and pickle juice. Cover the chicken tightly with some plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for an hour to take on the flavors.
  2. Make the dredge. Put flour into one shallow bowl, then in another whisk up the milk, eggs and hot sauce.
  3. Dredge the chicken. First, toss each piece of chicken in flour to coat it, then the milk mixture, then back to the flour.
  4. Cook the chicken for about 5-7 on each side until it’s that perfect golden brown color.

Nashville Chicken in the Air Fryer

How To Make The Sauce

To make this delicious, hot spicy sauce, just whisk together the spices, the brown sugar, and the olive oil. Then, pour it right over the chicken tenders.

Air Fryer Nashville Chicken Sandwich

Serve these up with a side of cole slaw, a pickle, maybe some fries… whatever sides sound great to you. You can also pile them onto a bun for a delicious sandwich. However you serve these, everyone will enjoy them.

More Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Dry Rub Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Mashed Potato Cakes

Avocado Fries

Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Blackberry Hand Pies

Air Fryer Chicken Parmesan

Nashville Chicken in the Air Fryer
4.50 from 6 votes

Nashville Chicken in the Air Fryer

I’m obsessed with this Nashville Chicken in the Air Fryer. The flavor is incredible and the best part is that it’s cooked so quickly in the air fryer. 
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 3 hrs 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 3 hrs 30 mins


  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breast tenders
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. pickle juice
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • cooking spray


  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 tablespoon of pickle juice until well combined.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Pour the flour into a bowl and mix in remaining 1/2 teaspoon or salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and remaining tablespoon of hot sauce in a separate bowl.
  • To dredge the chicken, first place it in the flour toss each piece to evenly coat.
  • Then place it into the buttermilk mixture, and then back into the flour.
  • Place the breaded chicken on a baking sheet in a single layer.
  • Continue to finish the other tenders.
  • Let air dry for 10 minutes.
  • Set your Air Fryer to the chicken setting or 375 degrees.
  • Place your tenders in the Air Fryer dish (in batches) in a single layer and lightly coat with cooking spray.
  • Cook for 5-6 minutes or as your Air Fryer sets on its chicken settings. Then turn over the chicken and coat with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown 5-7 minutes longer.


  • To make the hot spicy sauce, whisk together the spices, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of olive oil until evenly combined.
  • Immediately pour it over the fried chicken tenders.
  • Serve with pickles.


Serving: 8g | Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 555mg | Potassium: 507mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 814IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg


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11 comments on “Air Fryer Nashville Chicken”

  1. Ok just made this and it is AMAZING, love the flavor!!! Definitely make the sauce with it! I went a little short on the cayenne and it’s still super spicy but yummy

  2. 5 stars
    Very delicious but also very spicy. Next time I will cut the hot sauce and cayenne in half. Thank you for posting! We will make it again

  3. 5 stars
    This is seriously our absolute favorite air fryer recipe!  Every time I tell my husband I’m going to make it, he gets as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. We put it on toasted buns with mayo and sriracha pickles and it’s delish! 

  4. Tracey White

    This sounds like a great recipe, however, I’m from Australia, can you tell me an Aussie equivalent to pickle juice?

    1. Base:  
      One cup of water
      1/2 cup of white vinegar
      kosher salt as much as 2 tbsp
      Then add various combinations of spices like peppercorn, mustard seed, dill….
      You can google how to make pickle juice for all sorts of recipes.

  5. 4 stars
    I just made your Nashville Chicken and I changed a few things. I substituted almond milk for butter milk and  egg whites for 3 eggs. The chicken tasted amazing! Now for the sauce, 6 tablespoons of Cayenne for only 2 lbs of chicken is way pushing it. I used only 3 and it cleared my sinuses. I love spicy food but it can’t be so over powering that it masks the taste of the food. If I were going to serve this for company then I’d use even less. I’ve just never seen a recipe that calls for that much Cayenne in anything, and I’m from the south. Other than that, I’d highly recommend this recipe. Good job and thanks

  6. Pete (female)

    I bought an air fryer but have not used yet. I will try the chicken tender recipe. Hopefully you will share more air-fryer recipes in the future. Thanks

    1. Marge Yearsley

      Where were these air fryer when I was a single working Mom with 3 hungry boys when I came home from work…you ladies don’t know how easy you have it today!! 88 year old grandmom today…sorry ladies, life is hard either way!!  but it does get better!!! I KEEP SAYING WHEN! WHEN! WHEN!….I’ll take the life with  my 3 hungry young boys….and a “AIR FRYER!! any time!!

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