Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

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If you’re a fan of chicken then you might just want to know how to cook Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets. It’s quick and easy and a healthier option than popping to the local drive-through. Whether cooking homemade chicken nuggets or air frying ready-made frozen chicken nuggets, we have the recipe and instructions for you!

air fryer chicken nuggets

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Healthier Option: Enjoy the crispiness of fried nuggets without the extra oil and calories.
  • Kid-Friendly: A sure hit with kids, these nuggets are perfect for meal or snack time.
  • Quick and Easy: With minimal ingredients and the air fryer, you’ll have nuggets in no time.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast: Provides a lean and healthy source of protein that becomes irresistibly juicy and tender in the air fryer.
  • Salt: Brings out the natural flavors of the chicken and enhances the overall taste of the nuggets.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a subtle heat to the nuggets, giving them a slight kick and depth of flavor.
  • Butter Melted: Adds a rich, savory taste and helps achieve a golden, crispy exterior.
  • Breadcrumbs: Are key for creating that classic crunchy coating on the outside of the nuggets, making each bite a delight.
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated): Melts during cooking to give the nuggets an extra layer of umami and a mouthwateringly cheesy crust.

How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

This is a guide to making chicken nuggets in an air fryer. Whether you are cooking homemade or frozen chicken nuggets, this will work for both. I’ll share the instructions for both methods.

  1. Preheat for your air fryer at 400°F/205°C for 3 minutes.
  2. Slice your chicken breast into nugget size slices.
  3. Season your chicken nuggets with seasoned salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Combine melted butter with 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. (Add the parmesan cheese if you opt to use this).
  5. Dip your chicken strips into the breadcrumbs.
  6. Place in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  7. Set the timer for 9 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, place chicken nuggets on a plate to cool.


  • Avocado Nuggets: Simply switch out your chicken breasts for avocado and you can make crispy avocado nuggets in the air fryer. Now that’s an idea!

Best Dipping Sauces for Air Fryer Nuggets

  • So which dipping sauce will go best with air-fried chicken nuggets? I guess that depends on your personal preference, however, these tend to be the most popular.
  • Sweet And Sour Sauce – A sweet and sour sauce is the perfect choice for chicken nuggets.
  • Ketchup – Ketchup with chicken nuggets is always a good option, particularly if you’re making homemade chicken nuggets.
  • BBQ Sauce – Perfect for any time of year, barbecue sauce is great with nuggets, even when it’s a little too cold to barbecue.
  • Hot Sauce – A spicy sauce will work perfectly with chicken nuggets, especially if you’re cooking a spicier homemade recipe.
  • Sweet Chili Sauce – Sweet chilli sauce goes perfectly with any chicken recipe!
  • Aioli – A small dollop of garlic aioli will work perfectly with your nuggets.
  • Honey Mustard Sauce – This classic taste is perfect for homemade chicken nuggets.

Storage & Reheating Instructions

  • Storage :To ensure the freshness of leftover Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, place them in an airtight container and promptly refrigerate for uop to 2 days.
  • Freezing: Place the cooked chicken nuggets in a single layer on a sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours. Afterward, transfer them to a labeled freezer bag. Frozen nuggets can be stored for up to 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: Place frozen or refrigerated chicken nuggets in a single layer inside the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd. Cook frozen nuggets for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, and refrigerated nuggets for 5-7 minutes.

What To Serve With This Recipe?

  • French Fries: Who doesn’t love the combination of chicken nuggets with fries? It’s certainly a favorite in my household.
  • Side Salad: A fresh and healthy side salad is always a great option.
  • Coleslaw: A quick and easy coleslaw will work perfectly as a side for your nuggets.
  • Baked Beans: If you’re looking for something a little bit different then baked beans will go perfectly with your chicken nuggets.
  • Mashed Potatoes:Delicious air-fried chicken nuggets go great with mashed potatoes
  • Milkshakes – Make the ultimate indulgent dessert with some delicious ice cream milkshake recipes.


Why Are Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets The Best?

There are many reasons why you should consider cooking air fryer chicken nuggets instead of deep frying;
The obvious one is that they will taste the same, but the oil is in the air fryer basket and not all over your stove or kitchen floor.

You can cook frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer.
It is healthier. You can cook a huge amount of chicken fingers all at once – no more cooking in batches. There’s no need for oven-baked chicken nuggets which heat up the home on a hot summer’s day.

Do I Need to Defrost Chicken Nuggets Before Frying?

you can air fryer chicken nuggets that can be cooked directly from frozen, so there is no need to defrost them in advance. This means you can whip a bag of nuggets out of the freezer and have a tasty treat on the table in no time! Perfect on a busy weeknight and something the kids will surely love!

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Regular chicken nuggets take around 11-13 minutes to cook in the air fryer. For best results fry at 400°F/205°C.

Do I Need to Spray Frozen Chicken Nuggets?

The answer is no. Frozen chicken nuggets have already been prepped so you don’t need to use cooking spray. You’ll still get crispy chicken nuggets without the extra saturated fat.

Do I Need To Preheat My Air Fryer?

No! You don’t need to preheat your air fryer when cooking air fryer chicken nuggets from frozen. I do recommend preheating for homemade chicken nuggets.

How Long Do You Cook Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer?

Frozen nuggets take 11-13 minutes. Homemade chicken nuggets baked in the air fryer takes around 9 minutes so you can air fry the nuggets in no time.

What Is The Best Air Fryer For Chicken Nuggets?

When making chicken nuggets, you’ll want to use an air fryer which can cook at a temperature of at least 400°F/200°C.
There are plenty of air fryers to choose from, however, as an Instant Pot enthusiast, I like the Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air fryer.

We also enjoy using the Air Fryer Lid on our Instant Pot Duo Crisp. This is a machine we love and we get delicious crispy chicken nuggets every time!

So what are you waiting for? Get that crispy coating on your chicken breast and make the most delicious snack cuisine in the comfort of your own home!

More Air Fryer Recipes

Here are some more air fryer recipes you may love:

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