Chick-fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

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Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!

Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!
Chick-fil-A Nuggets with Sauce

Chick-fil-A Nuggets are a sore subject in our house because we are evenly divided between these nuggets and KFC popcorn chicken. As a mom, when we’re out and about to stop in a fast food option I tend to go with Chick-fil-A or In-n-Out just for small wins that make me feel like at least they seem freshest.

Chick-fil-A has become our non-burger favorite spot. It also helps that they make the best lemonade of all time (recipe coming soon). One of my only frustrations with them is the lines and the cost. Anytime we go there is a giant line in the drive-thru and with little kids in the car my patience is usually shorter than the wait.

We LOVE these Chick-fil-A nuggets and they're so easy to make!So when we buy these chicken nuggets I also drive through to get popcorn chicken to avoid hearing about the “I don’t like sweet nuggets” from the peanut gallery. Yes, Chick-fil-A nuggets have a hint of sweetness in them (recreated here with powdered sugar), I personally like them but given my options I would probably choose a less sweetened version of chicken nuggets.

Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets with dipping sauce.

Looking for more Copycat recipes? I have a TON of them on the blog! Here is a whole Index of Copycat Recipes.

The best and easiest copycat for Chick-fil-A Nuggets.

Tools Used in the making of these Chick-fil-A Nuggets:
Lodge Cast Dutch Oven: – I use this dutch oven for a lot of frying and braising.
Pig Tail Flipper: – I use this *almost* more than I use tongs in the kitchen. Flipping is so quick and doesn’t smash foods.
Spider Strainer: Love these strainers for quickly draining oil away and scooping out fried food.
Breadcrumbs: Great plain breadcrumbs, I normally use panko, but for this recipe I recommend these.
Breading Station: I use this because the pans are wide with a flat bottom. If you have small rectangular plates use those, I wouldn’t use curved bowls for breading stations as it could knock some breading off.



Chick-fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

4.99 from 61 votes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 inches of peanut oil


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. In a food processor, add the breadcrumbs and process until very fine.
  2. In a large ziplock bag or a bowl add the chicken pieces, the milk and the eggs and combine. (I usually just close the bag and squish it together)
  3. Put the chicken in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.

  4. In a large dutch oven fill it 3 inches deep with peanut oil and heat to 365-375 degrees (medium high heat until a piece dropped in immediately bubbles up but doesn’t burn quickly).
  5. Put the breadcrumbs, flour, powdered sugar, Kosher salt, white pepper, chili powder in a bowl and whisk together.
  6. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture and let dry for a few minutes.
  7. Fry in batches (avoid crowding them) until golden brown (2-3 minutes) and remove to a sheet pan.

  8. Don’t drain on paper towels, it’ll create steam and soften the nuggets.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4 servings, Amount per serving: 379 calories, Calories: 379g, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 160mg, Sodium: 1502mg, Potassium: 595mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 290g, Vitamin C: 1.3g, Calcium: 128g, Iron: 2.9g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Chick Fil A Nuggets (Copycat)
Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!
Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!
Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!
Chick-fil-A Nuggets made with chicken breast meat and no pickle juice are an spot on copycat of the original nuggets without the hefty price tag!

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  1. Tried this recipe last night and it was delicious! I made one difference, that was to air fry. I am a Pampered Chef Consultant and our new Air Fryer is wonderful, I will never fry again!

  2. The recipe itself has a great flavor but the salt content is over the top, will try again with half the salt also gonna cut the sugar by a third and then it should be just right

  3. In complete seriousness, I have never made or had better chicken nuggets. 100% recommend to anyone who likes great chicken tenders/nuggets. I added a little extra salt, used black pepper instead of white pepper, and a bit extra chili powder. AMAZING.

  4. These are similar to general tso’s chicken. I actually followed this recipe by the book and it came out perfect. Thanks, Sabrina for the recipe.

  5. Really thankful for this recipe. Two of us are gluten free and can’t eat chick fil a fried nuggets anymore. I used King Arthur GF flour and GF breadcrumbs and my son says they are amazing! Thank you!!

  6. Awesome. My kids are raving- and they are teenagers so that says a lot. I didn’t have peanut oil just vegetable oil. They are delicious! My son can’t stop eating them and he never eats!

    1. I haven’t tested it but I would think you can flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then place in a freezer-safe storage bag for up to 3 months.

  7. The nuggets were great with the crushed panko bread crumbs in the flour mixer. BUT, to get the chicken to taste exactly like Chick-fil-a, you have to brine the chicken in pickle juice. That is their secret ingredients to make them taste the way they do. Without the pickle juice, their just chicken nuggets.

    1. One of our staff members worked at Chick-fil-a all through High School and can confirm there is no pickle juice in the chicken nuggets 🙂

      1. Sam’s sells some that have pickle juice in them. No way fors chick fil a uses puckle juice. I’ve never tried adding sugar to the mix. Umm

      2. That’s because the nuggets (along with everything else) come pre-marinated now. They used to be soaked in pickle juice.

    2. I cant wait to try this recipe because it is NOT brined in pickle juice. My die hard chick-fil-a loving son loves the nuggets but cant stand the strips. From what I understand they do brine the strips in pickle juice but not the nuggets. I tried a recipe using pickle juice & my son who also despises dill pickles hated it. He easily picked up on the faint pickle taste & said they did not taste like chick-fil-a. So hoping he loves this recipe!!!

    1. I worked there too and there is absolutely no pickle juice in the chicken. The chicken breasts come plain and frozen, at the store its thawed, put in a solution of egg wash (buttermilk and eggs) where it sits in the cooler for a few hours. It’s then tossed in the breading and fried. The end, and no pickle juice

      1. My ex husband worked for the company that delivered the frozen chicken. I was brined in pickle juice and seasoned before frozen and sent to the stores.

        1. This is what I thought, because there it doesn’t seem possible that the ingredients listed could produce that slight tang taste.

        1. It was good but idk if it was chick fila good. my first time using peanut oil i had it on like level 7 but it seemed like the chicken browned pretty quickly. Anything doing wrong? i dont have a dutch oven. I do have a cast iron but i just used a skillet.

  8. This recipe was perfect! The ingredients were inexpensive and were totally worth getting rid of the drive thru wait! I substituted chili powder for paprika and the white pepper for black pepper and it still came out tasting like Chick-Fil a and it was amazing! 5 Stars!

  9. Thank for you this dish.
    I tried my best to find a way to increase the flavor but each batch was bland. More salt was added and I tried Cajun seasoning. The meat and coating were bland for each flour batch I made.
    I might try to use pickle or olive juice then leave it overnight in the fridge. Like a brine? I’m not giving up on this recipe because I did like the coating and my kids did eat their protein portion for the meal. Maybe peanut oil would change the flavor as well since all I had was canola and olive oil??
    Again Thanks for all your hard work making these dishes and posting them??

      1. I need a *close enough* substitute for the peanut oil due to two of my children developing peanut allergies in the last three years. TIA.

  10. I love love love your sense of humor!! Will be trying your nugget recipe tonight! Thanks so much!!

  11. I followed this to the letter and it’s AMAZING!!!!! I made 3 lbs. so I would have some left over, but my kids finished them off in seconds and begged for more! This is going to be a staple around our house. The flavor and texture are right on. I’d love to know how well they bounce back from being frozen. Once we have your recipe for Chickfila BBQ sauce we may never have to wait through the line again.

  12. Tried it, loved it & thanks for the recipe.
    I used canola oil instead because that’s what I had available. Can’t wait to tey it again with peanut oil.
    I’ve also heard that chick fil A uses pickle juice in the batter??? I’ll contiue to perfect this.

  13. DO NOT TRY IN AN AIR FRIER!!!! IT does not work, half of it burnt and the other half was raw . it looked really gross. Make sure you do what the direction says. If I could show you a picture you would probably hurl. If you’re smart enough you will know what that means you nincompoop.

      1. You want to pour enough peanut oil into your dutch oven so it reaches 3 inches deep. Hope this clears things up for you. Enjoy!

  14. I made these today and will not make again. Tasted nothing like the restaurant and the powdered sugar taste was disgusting.

  15. I happened to come across your website earlier this week and have made 3 dishes so far. Two of the Panda Express copycats (Mushroom chicken and chow mein) and my family LOVED them and the chick-fil-A nuggets last night. They also LOVED them. Thank you so much for posting these recipes. The recipes are very easy to follow. I am not a good cook at all so you have saved my kids and fiance from the terrible dinners I have put on the table in the previous weeks. Bless you Sabrina. I now look forward to cooking when I get home and no longer visit the drive-thru 🙂

      1. Those look good and I’m sure they’re tasty, but if you’re trying to re-create Chick-Fil-A, you lost me at the breadcrumbs. CFA’s chicken is breaded southern-style, with egg wash and flour, no crumbs.

  16. My kids actually loved this and they said they do taste like the ones from chick-fil-a. We wanted to thank you for a great recipe and saving us money. Its funny some of the ingredients are similar to KFC’s original recipe. Now if we could just recreate their BBQ sauce, for now we’re using Sweet Baby Ray’s.

  17. Sabrina, you’re a genius! I made these last night and they came out fantastic! We all couldn’t stop eating them. They were also tastier and fresher than what you buy at Chick fil A. My son ate some for breakfast this morning. He put them in buns! Needless to say, I will make these again and again and…(you get the idea).

  18. I thought these were great chicken nuggets but they didn’t taste like Chick-fil-A to me. They lacked the same sweet flavor and were in separate need of salt. That being said they were very good as a stand alone nugget recipe.

  19. Oh. My. Gosh. I made these for me and my sister for our school lunch and I’m actually blown away! They fried perfectly and tasted like actual heaven. It took me a while, but it was worth every chicken juice, eggy/floury handed, sweaty moment! I will definitely be making this again!!!!

      1. Chic-fil-a used to use pickle juice in their marinade for strips and nuggets, right up until Tyson took over their operation. Now it’s all pre-breaded. Shhh.

  20. I live in Saudi Arabia most of the year, so we suffer from Chick-fil-a withdrawals regularly. I made these tonight and we loved them! I followed the recipe to the letter and it actually made more than a pound and a half of nuggets! When I make them again, I will add salt to the chicken while it’s in the bag with the eggs and milk. We added salt when they were finished frying, but the chicken itself was a bit bland. The coating was spot on! And they looked just like the real thing! Great recipe!!!

  21. I used this recipe tonight and it came out awesome! Not exactly like Chick Fil A taste-wise but very, very good. The consistency and crispiness was spot on. It probably would’ve tasted closer to CFA if I’d had peanut oil, which I’ll try next time. Great job!

  22. I made this tonight with rave reviews!! Everyone absolutely loved them. My son especially who can’t get enough of Chick-fil-a nuggets. We don’t live that close to one it’s a town over, so this is perfect. Thank you!!

  23. I just made these today for my 2 1/2 year old who will not eat any meat, only chick fil a nuggets ?. He ate almost all of them! I made exactly as recipe states but will try to cut sugar a little next time. They are perfect tasting though! You did it again, girl! Thank you!

  24. This is the best copycat recipe ever! I have a friend who is going to love this! Her little boy will only eat chicken nuggets from there!

  25. Just found you and love your site. I am looking for Chick Fil A Dipping Sauce, hoping it is their Honey Mustard not their own sauce but cannot find it. I wish you post had a date on them it would make searching your archives easier.

    1. So sorry, your comment must have gotten stuck in my spam file as I am just now seeing it BUT it must be fate because I just posted the dipping sauce recipe 🙂 You can use the search bar if you’re having an issue finding recipes too.

    1. How does chikfila use peanut oil with all these allergies? I’m trying this tonight. Minus the peanut oil. 

      I made it! Best ever!! Wow thank you. My family is so impressed! I’m mom of the year today!!! 

      1. I was trying to stay as authentic as possible and they do use peanut oil but you could definitely use any oil you have at home. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s nice to get a mom win every now and then, lol!

      2. They use refined peanut oil. refined peanut oil is not considered an allergen since the refining process removes the protein that triggers the peanut allergy. my daughter has a peanut allergy and chic fi la doesn’t bother her at all