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Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Bites

Crispy on the outside yet soft and flavorful on the inside, these air fryer buffalo chicken bites are the perfect game day snack or appetizer. They’re quick, tasty, and so easy to make!

A hand holding a chicken ball over the plate of the appetizer
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

These crispy yet succulent chicken balls are a satisfying appetizer to serve at your next gathering. The flavors of the simple ingredients mixed together makes for such a delicious taste treat and the instructions couldn’t be any easier.

The history of this recipe

Every once in a while, we go to a famous New Hampshire restaurant with my sister. Not only does The Tuckaway have unbelievable food, especially their famous steak, but their appetizers are out of this world, and the cocktails are fabulous.

I’ve recreated some of their dishes/drinks, like their sweet potato biscuits and this buffalo chicken balls recipe. In my version, I air fry them where they cook them in a deep fryer. I’ve also changed the name, as they call them “Rooster Balls.”

And if I do say so myself, I’ve nailed it.

I also have plans to blog about my favorite cocktail on their menu – mai old fashioned ways.

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Helpful tips

  • Although I use cooked chicken breasts for this recipe, you can also use thigh meat if you prefer.
  • I use a small amount of hot buffalo sauce because I don’t want to overpower the taste of the rest of the ingredients, so this recipe is only mildly spicy. Dip them in your favorite hot sauce if you want them to be spicier.
  • I recommend using a food processor to chop the chicken into little pieces but you can chop it yourself. Just know it will take longer.
  • Usually you need some type of oil to help things crisp up in air fryers, but I don’t add any because the panko bread crumbs make these bites crispy. If you do need oil, use either olive oil spray or vegetable cooking spray and use it sparingly.
  • Although I use an air fryer that has trays, you can also cook these chicken bites in an air fryer that has a basket. But you may have to cook them in batches.
  • I like different types of sauces to dip these bites in – buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, and ranch dressing are my favorite sauces.
  • You can dribble some buffalo sauce over the chicken bites if you know you’re going to eat them in one sitting, otherwise they will get soggy. I don’t usually drizzle on sauce before serving, as I like everyone to choose how much sauce they want to eat.
  • If just hubby and I are eating this delicious appetizer, we usually have chicken bites leftover. We store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • We enjoy placing leftover buffalo chicken bites in a medium flour tortilla. We flatten them with the back of a spoon, drizzle on buffalo sauce, wrap them up, and devour them. So good.

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Chicken breast – cooked. I use rotisserie, but you can cook your own chicken.
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cream cheese – 1/2 a block. I use full fat, but you can use lower fat if you prefer.
  • Shredded cheese – cheddar cheese but you can use Mexican cheese if you prefer.
  • Buffalo sauce – I use Frank’s sauce. It’s deliciously spicy.
  • Flour – white, all purpose flour.
  • Egg – large.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – I love how chunky they are, but if you want to use plain Italian breadcrumbs, go for it.
a white plate with three chicken bites on it. One with a bite taken out of it and sauce off to the side
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make air fryer buffalo chicken bites

Pre-step

Get your food processor, air fryer, large bowl, baking sheet, three shallow bowls or plates, and rubber spatula.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – cooked chicken, salt, pepper, shredded cheese, cream cheese, buffalo sauce, flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs.

Chicken, breadcrumbs, cheese, buffalo sauce, cream cheese, egg and flour on a table
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step two

In a food processor, add the chicken and pulse until the meat is in little chunks. Measure out 3 cups.

Step three

Add the chicken, salt, and pepper to the mixing bowl. (A)

Step four

Add cream cheese, shredded cheddar, and buffalo sauce to the chicken. (B)

Left - shredded chicken and salt in a bowl. Right - cheese, cream cheese, and buffalo sauce in chicken
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step five

Take a rubber spatula and mix the ingredients together. (C)

Step six

For the coating, add flour in one of the bowls, egg in another – whisk until smooth, and panko crumbs in the last bowl.

Step seven

Take a little chicken mixture in your hands and roll it together into a ball. I like the chicken balls to be between 1 and 1 1/2 inch rounds.

Step eight

Add a few chicken bites in the bowl with the flour and roll them around until coated. (D) Continue until all the chicken mixture is done.

Left - chicken bites ingredients mixed together. Right - rolled chicken in flour
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step nine

Next, dip each flour coated ball in the bowl with the egg and promptly roll it in the bowl of panko.

Step ten

Place each ball on the air fryer trays, make sure they don’t touch each other. Or if you have the basket type of fryer, add them to a jelly roll pan as you will preheat the basket in the air fryer.

So, once the basket air fryer has come to temperature, add the chicken balls to the basket leaving room between each one. Remember, you will probably have to do them in batches.

Chicken bites rolled in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs on air fryer pans
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step eleven

Pre-heat the air fryer to 370 degrees F and set the timer to 10 minutes. If you have the tray air fryer, you won’t have to turn the chicken balls, but if you have the basket type, use tongs to turn each ball after 5 minutes.

When the chicken bites are almost done cooking, get whatever sauces you want to serve with them. You may even want to add some celery stalks to the mix.

Once the appetizer is done, transfer the chicken bites to a serving plate and serve immediately.

Buffalo chicken balls on a white plate with sauces in the back
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Check out how crispy they look.

I want to pop one in my mouth, but I must wait.

Let’s plate some.

Sauce added to the plate with the chicken balls
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

YUM.

Overhead view of a big plate with the appetizer in and a small plate with chicken bites on it
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

I hope you enjoyed this air fryer chicken bites recipe. It’s so yummy.

Other air fryer chicken recipes

And as always, may all your dishes be delish.

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Big plate filled with the chicken bites with sauce in the back - square

Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Bites

Crispy on the outside yet soft and flavorful on the inside, these air fryer buffalo chicken bites are the perfect game day snack or appetizer. They’re quick, tasty, and so easy to make!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer buffalo chicken bites, air fryer recipe, buffalo chicken bites
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 20 bites
Calories: 89kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken breasts (cooked – and chopped small in the food processor)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce (Frank's)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (full-fat, half a block)

For the coating

  • 1/2 cup flour (white, all purpose)
  • 1 large egg (whisked)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (or more if needed for the coating)

Instructions

  • Place chicken in the food processor and pulse until it's in small chunks.
  • Measure out 3 cups of the chicken into a mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper.
    3 cups chicken breasts, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Add buffalo sauce, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese. Take a spatula and mix the chicken with the rest of the ingredients until fully combined.
    1/4 cup buffalo sauce, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 4 ounces cream cheese
  • Add flour to a shallow bowl. Add egg to another bowl and whisk until combined. And in the third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
    1/2 cup flour, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Take a little chicken mixture in your hands and roll it into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on a baking sheet until all the chicken mixture has been used.
  • Place a few chicken balls in the flour mixture and roll them until they are covered. Continue until all the balls are covered.
  • Add each ball to the egg and roll it around. Next add to the panko breadcrumbs and make sure all the chicken balls are covered.
  • If you have the air fryer that has the trays, take them out. Place each ball on the trays. Make sure there is space between each chicken bite.
    If you have the basket type, just place each covered ball back on the baking sheet.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit and set the timer to 10 minutes. (You will leave the basket in the air fryer if you have that type.
  • Once the air fryer comes to temperature, add the trays – you won't need to turn them. But if you have the basket type, you will turn the bites after 5 minutes.
    Also if you have the basket type of air fryer, you may have to do these chicken bites in batches.
  • Place some buffalo sauce in a dipping bowl and whatever dressing you prefer. I love dipping them in buffalo sauce.
  • Eat
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • Although I use cooked chicken breasts for this recipe, you can also use thigh meat if you prefer.
  • I use a small amount of hot buffalo sauce because I don’t want to overpower the taste of the rest of the ingredients, so this recipe is only mildly spicy. Dip them in your favorite hot sauce if you want them to be spicier.
  • I recommend using a food processor to chop the chicken into little pieces but you can chop it yourself. Just know it will take longer.
  • Usually you need some type of oil to help things crisp up in air fryers, but I don’t add any because the panko bread crumbs make these bites crispy. If you do need oil, use either olive oil spray or vegetable cooking spray and use it sparingly.
  • Although I use an air fryer that has trays, you can also cook these chicken bites in an air fryer that has a basket. But you may have to cook them in batches.
  • I like different types of sauces to dip these bites in – buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing, and ranch dressing are my favorite sauces.
  • You can dribble some buffalo sauce over the chicken bites if you know you’re going to eat them in one sitting, otherwise they will get soggy. I don’t usually drizzle on sauce before serving, as I like everyone to choose how much sauce they want to eat.
  • If just hubby and I are eating this delicious appetizer, we usually have chicken bites leftover. We store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • We enjoy placing leftover buffalo chicken bites in a medium flour tortilla. We flatten them with the back of a spoon, drizzle on buffalo sauce, wrap them up, and devour them. So good.

Nutrition

Serving: 2bites | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 216mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 153IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.4mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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14 Comments

  1. Girrrrl these are absolutely DELISH and I LOVE that they’re made in the air fryer! These are going to be perfect for Sunday football snacks 🙂

  2. Wow! Another dish for our very reliable Air Fryer, this buffalo chicken recipe looks absolutely delicious and yummy! Such an addition to our list of comfort food! Perfect food for watching a movie with the family!

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