Eat This, Not That: Air Fryer Chicken

Amanda Peterson, RDN, LD | Molly Mills, RDN, LD
February 19, 2021
A late of chicken tenderloins

Air Fryers have become the craze and while they are excellent alternatives to deep fryers, it’s not impossible to cook an unhealthy meal in an air fryer (just because it has the word “air” in it does not automatically make it healthy). A prime example of this is chicken! If you are cooking seasoned chicken breast in your air fryer, it will create a juicy, LEAN and flavorful protein source. However, if you decide to cook saucy chicken wings in your air fryer, you can forget the LEAN part – this, in turn, will be a very calorie-rich protein source. The reason for this is because chicken wings contain the skin, which is a saturated fat source. Additionally, chicken wings are a dark meat (which is fattier than white meat). Not to mention, adding sauce instead of seasoning can also pack a meal full of extra calories.

An alternative to chicken wings, would be “naked” air fried chicken tenders, which you can simply make with the following ingredients:

  • chicken tenderloins
  • poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (small amount to help the seasoning stick to the chicken)

This type of recipe adds flavor without all the fat, and your air fryer will crisp the chicken nicely so you can Eat This, Not That!

Eat This: “Naked” Air Fryer Tenders

Serving Size: 4 oz
Calories: 130
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 7 g

Not That: Air Fryer Wings

Serving Size: 4 oz
Calories: 280 (varies depending on amount of sauce used, but 280 cal is the average)
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 20 g

About the Author

Amanda Peterson, RDN, LD | Molly Mills, RDN, LD
Amanda and Molly are the MUSC Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program Registered Dietitians. With 15+ years of experience combined, they facilitate behavior change through nutrition counseling for weight loss and maintenance with children through adults.
Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery

Keywords: Healthy Recipes, Healthy Eating, Diet, Weight Management, Weight Loss, Bariatric