Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe

6 Servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are the perfect kid-friendly dinner recipe. Use your air fryer to cook perfectly crispy nuggets in just 10 minutes.

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets are a hit with kids and adults alike, especially when you serve them up with flavorful dipping sauces. Practically any of your favorite dipping sauces will taste incredible with Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets. Ketchup, BBQ Sauce, mustard, Ranch, and Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce are just a few of the excellent options.

Plus, you can have the whole recipe done in about 15 minutes. Prepping the chicken pieces in the crumb mixture takes almost no time at all. Then you can air fry them to crispy perfection in 10 minutes. It’s a foolproof recipe that’s perfect for lunch or a hassle-free dinner. 

Sabrina’s Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

If you’re looking for a quick Crispy Chicken Nugget recipe, this one is perfect. The air fryer recipe is much healthier than regular frying, but they turn out just as delicious with a crunchy outside coating and juicy chicken inside. They’re even better than your favorite fast food nuggets. 

There is already a recipe up for Classic Homemade Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Tenders. But, air frying is a healthier and easier option that gives you just as scrumptious of a Chicken Recipe

Can These Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes, these are great to make ahead and freeze until needed. Be sure to cool them completely before putting them into an airtight container in the freezer. Keep them for up to 3 months for the freshest taste.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Breasts: We are using boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. Since there are no bones, they’re easy to slice into nuggets, and the pieces of chicken crisp up nicely on the outside while the inside stays tender and juicy.
  • Flour: To prep the chicken for the breadcrumb coating, start by covering them in flour. This will absorb excess moisture and help the rest of the coating stick to the chicken.
  • Eggs: Then, you have to coat the nuggets in whisked eggs. The egg wash acts as a glue to secure the breadcrumb coating.
  • Bread Crumb Mixture: For the crispy coating, use panko breadcrumbs seasoned with onion and garlic powder.
  • Oil Spray: Spray the prepped chicken with vegetable oil spray before frying it. This will give the Air Fried Chicken Nuggets the same crunchy coating that regular frying would.

    Kitchen Tools & Equipment

    • Air Fryer: Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit as instructed in the recipe. Ensure it’s clean and in good working condition for optimal cooking results.
    • Shallow Bowls: You’ll need three shallow bowls for the flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumb mixture. Use wide, shallow bowls to easily coat the chicken pieces without making a mess.
    • Whisk: A whisk is essential for mixing the eggs, kosher salt, and black pepper in one of the shallow bowls. Ensure the eggs are well-beaten for proper coating.

    How to Make

    Time needed: 15 minutes.

    1. Step One: Preheat the Air Fryer

      Set your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) to preheat while you prepare the chicken.Ingredients portion out for Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

    2. Step Two: Prepare the Chicken

      Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks.

    3. Step Three: Prepare the Three Bowls

      In one shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, kosher salt, and black pepper. In another bowl place the flour. In the third bowl combine panko breadcrumbs, onion powder, and garlic powder.bowls with coating ingredients

    4. Step Four: Coat Chicken

      Add the chicken to the flour, then into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumbs then place them into the air fryer in a single layer. chicken nuggets being dipped into the three coats in three bowls

    5. Step Five: Coat and Fry

      Spray with vegetable oil spray lightly and cook for 5 minutes,chicken nuggets uncooked in an air fryer

    6. Step Six: Flip

      After five minutes, flip and spray lightly with vegetable oil again. Cook for an additional 5 minutes. chicken nuggets cooked in an air fryer

    7. Serve

      Serve fresh with your family’s favorite dipping sauces!chicken nuggets being served in a box with sauce

    Nutritional Facts

    Nutrition Facts
    Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 190 Calories from Fat 36
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 4g6%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 110mg37%
    Sodium 379mg16%
    Potassium 344mg10%
    Carbohydrates 16g5%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 1g1%
    Protein 21g42%
    Vitamin A 113IU2%
    Vitamin C 1mg1%
    Calcium 35mg4%
    Iron 2mg11%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    How to Store

    Storing

    Any leftover nuggets can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat them in the air fryer or place them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and heat them in the oven.

    Freezing

    You can also store Air Fry Chicken Nuggets in the freezer. Frozen nuggets can keep well for up to 3 months. You can reheat them in the oven or lay them on a baking sheet to reheat in a 400-degree oven. 

    Tips & Tricks

    • Choose the Right Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for lean and tender nuggets. Thighs work too if you prefer a richer flavor.
    • Preheat for Success: Always preheat your air fryer as per the recipe instructions. It ensures even cooking and crispy results.
    • Shake Off Excess Flour: After coating the chicken in flour, give it a little shake to remove any excess. This helps prevent clumps in the egg mixture.
    • Even Coating is Key: When dipping the chicken into the egg mixture and breadcrumbs, make sure each piece is evenly coated for uniform crispiness.
    • Don’t Overcrowd the Basket: Arrange the coated nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer basket to allow proper air circulation. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking.
    • Use Oil Sparingly: While a light spray of vegetable oil enhances crispiness, don’t overdo it to avoid a greasy result. A little goes a long way.
    • Check for Doneness: Cooking times can vary slightly depending on your air fryer model. Always check the nuggets for doneness; they should be golden brown and cooked through.
    • Serve Fresh: For the best experience, serve your air fryer chicken nuggets immediately after cooking. They’re at their crispiest and most delicious when hot.

    Frequent Questions

    Can I cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer?

    You can as easily cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer as fresh chicken. Just add the still-frozen nuggets to your air fryer basket and cook at 380 degrees for 10-14 minutes. 

    What to serve with Air Fryer Nuggets?

    You can enjoy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets with homemade fries. We recommend our Garlic Fries or Sweet Potato Fries as two delicious options. You can also put out some more healthy, kid-friendly sides like carrots and dip or sliced fruit. 

    Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?

    Yes, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer. Just make sure to remove the skin and bone, and cut them into 1-inch chunks like you would with chicken breast.

    What if I don’t have an air fryer?

    If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the coated chicken nuggets in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden and crispy.

    Can I use a different type of breadcrumb?

    es, you can use regular breadcrumbs instead of panko breadcrumbs if that’s what you have on hand. Panko breadcrumbs tend to give a slightly crispier texture, but both work for this recipe.

    Recipe Card

    Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

    Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are the perfect kid-friendly dinner recipe. Use your air fryer to cook perfectly crispy nuggets in just 10 minutes.
    Yield 6 Servings
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Course Dinner
    Cuisine American
    Author Sabrina Snyder

    Ingredients
     

    • 1 pound chicken breast , boneless and skinless
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • vegetable oil , to spray

    Instructions

    • Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees.
    • Cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks.
    • Whisk the eggs, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl.
    • Place the flour into a shallow bowl.
    • Mix the breadcrumbs, onion powder and garlic powder together in a shallow bowl.
    • Add the chicken to the flour, then into the egg mixture and finally into the breadcrumbs.
    • Add chicken pieces to the air fryer basket in a single layer
    • Spray with vegetable oil spray lightly.
    • Cook for 5 minutes, flip and spray lightly with vegetable oil again.
    • Cook for 5 minutes.

    Notes

    Notes:
    • Click on the “yield” amount to slide and change the number of servings and the recipe will automatically update! 
    • Click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
    • To convert measurements to grams, click on the “Metric” option next to “Ingredients” in the recipe card.
     

    Nutrition

    Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg

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    Variations

    • Parmesan nuggets: To make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets with a delicious parmesan coating, just add fresh parmesan cheese to the breadcrumb mixture. Mix the shredded cheese in with the breadcrumbs, and then coat the nuggets in it. The parmesan mixture will crisp up nicely and add an extra layer of amazing flavor to the batch of chicken. 
    • Seasoning: Another way to add extra flavor to this recipe is with chicken seasoning. You can mix parsley flakes, pepper flakes, chipotle chili powder, and cumin with the breadcrumbs to season chicken pieces. 
    • Bacon-wrapped nuggets: Instead of adding a breadcrumb coating, you can wrap each chicken bite in a piece of bacon. Then stick a toothpick through to keep the bacon in place. Lay the chicken pieces in the basket. Air fry for 5 minutes, then flip the bacon-wrapped chicken and fry again. 

    More Homemade Dipping Sauces

    Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Pin

    About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

    Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

    Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

    She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

    She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

    As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

    Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

    As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

    Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

    Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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