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Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-fil-A Copycat)

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These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are golden, delicious, and full of amazing flavor. Your family will love this copycat version of the Chic-fil-A nuggets.

air fryer chicken nuggets in a basket with bbq sauce to the side


Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the 
recipe card at the bottom of the post. 
You can find important tips/tricks in the
blog post.

The Air Fryer and chicken make the perfect combination, especially when it comes to chicken nuggets. I like to make homemade chicken nuggets as they are healthier and almost as easy as the premade kinds. My family loves the Chick-fil-A nuggets so whenever we get the craving and can’t make it to the restaurant, we make these yummy nuggets. 

Now I’m not going to say that these taste exactly like Chic-fil-A nuggets but they come pretty darn close. Those nuggets are fried in peanut oil. These nuggets are air-fried (saving on fat and calories) and I use whatever oil I have on hand to spray the nuggets. According to my 10 year old, both nuggets are “yummo.”

Make sure to try my Air Fryer Fried Chicken and my Air Fryer Chicken Wings too.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets?

First, you’ll need to cut your chicken pieces in large chunks, about 2 inches big. That will give you nice and juicy pieces of chicken. 

raw chicken on teal cutting board

Then you’ll soak those beautiful chicken pieces in pickle juice for 20-30 minutes. 

raw chicken pieces in clear bag with pickle juice

After your chicken pieces are done soaking in the pickle juice, you’ll prepare your coating station for your nuggets. Grab two shallow bowls. Place egg and milk in one bowl and whisk to combine. Place flour, corn starch, powdered sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt and black pepper in the next bowl and whisk to combine. 

Time to Air Fry…

Prepare your air fryer basket by lightly spraying the bottom with oil from a spray bottle. I don’t recommend aerosol spray bottle oils in air fryers as it can cause the bottom of your air fyrer to peel over time. I discuss this in my air fryer tips post. I use a spray bottle and place my oils in it.

Using metal tongs, grab a piece of chicken and coat it in the egg mixture, then coat it in the flour mixture, then shake off any excess flour and place it in the air fryer basket. 

egg in a bowl, flour in a bowl, and air freyr basket with coated chicken in it

Repeat this step with all of your chicken pieces until the bottom of your air fryer is full. Do not overlap the pieces and make sure they are not touching. You’ll need them spaced apart so that air can flow around them. 

air fryer chicken pieces in air fryer basket before cooking

Close the air fryer basket and cook on 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 6 minutes. Open and spray any flour spots that appear on your chicken and then flip the pieces. If you see any flour spots on the chicken after flipping, spray that as well. Cook for 6 more minutes.

Once the cook cycle is done, if your chicken is done to your liking and has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, feel free to remove it and enjoy. If you like them a little darker, close the basket and increase the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 2 minutes more.  

cooked air fryer chicken nuggets in basket

And that’s it, golden delicious air fryer chicken nuggets. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy 🙂

hand holding air fryer chicken nugget showing inside of nugget

What Dipping Sauces Should I use for these Nuggets?

The choices are endless when it comes to dipping sauces. You could use store-bought sauces or try your hand at some homemade favorites, like my homemade bbq sauce or homemade ranch. You could also dip these copycat nuggets in some copycat Chic Fil A sauce.

How to make Frozen Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Frozen nuggets come in handy and come out great in the air fryer. To make store-bought nuggets in the air fryer, add the frozen nuggets in the air fryer and cook on 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway.

If you want to make these homemade nuggets from frozen, you would need to fully cook them and then freeze them. Then cook them from frozen when ready.

Notes on Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets:

  • The longer your chicken soaks in pickle juice, the stronger the pickle flavor will be. I usually opt for 20 minutes.
  • I use the pickle juice that is in a jar of dill pickles. My hubby and my oldest love pickles so we always have a jar around. 
  • You can use any oil with a high smoke point to cook these nuggets. We’ve used olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. The only oil I do not recommend using is extra virgin olive oil as it does not have a high smoke point.
  • These chicken nuggets are best served fresh. If you need to reheat, reheat in the Air Fryer or oven.

Looking for a recipe to serve these with? Try these copycat air fryer potato wedges or these Air Fryer French Fries.

Looking for more air fryer chicken recipes? Or try these out:

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Watch this video tutorial and see how I make these air fryer chicken nuggets from start to finish.

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4.54 from 54 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chic-fil-A Copycat)

These Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are the perfect Chic-fil-A Copycat. These nice golden pieces of juicy chicken are perfect for any weeknight meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer chicken nuggets, copycat chic-fil-a nuggets
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Brining time 20 minutes
Total Time 44 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 166kcal
Author Tanya


  • 2 6 oz chicken breast cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbs milk
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • oil for spraying


  • Place chicken pieces and pickle juice in a plastic bag. Close and place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl whisk together egg and milk.
  • In another bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, powdered sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Set Aside.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the refrigerator. Grease the Air Fryer basket with a little oil. Coat chicken pieces in egg mixture, then coat it in flour mixture, then shake off any excess flour and place it in the basket. Repeat until the bottom of the air fryer basket is full. Make sure none of the pieces are overlapping nor should they be touching. 
  • Close the air fryer basket and cook on 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes, flipping halfway. Spray any flour spots when flipping.
  • After 12 minutes is up, increase the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 2 minutes. 
    Remove and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. 



You can use this technique and batter to make chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, etc. 
As always, different air fryers cook differently. Use a quick read thermometer to ensure you food is thoroughly cooked.  


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 1782mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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Recipe Rating

Kris H

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Was the recipe changed? I made it once a few months back and it was amazing and this time it was just ok. Followed instructions both times but something seemed different this time.


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

Hi Kris H., Thanks for the feedback. This recipe has not been changed. My only guess is that either the ingredients used were different this time or the air fryer isn't functioning like it used too. Was it the apperance that was different or the actual flavor?

Beverly Mount

Thursday 28th of September 2023

Made it according to instructions, only i doubled the spices. It looked great and had 0 taste. Not sure why there are so many rave reviews.


Friday 29th of September 2023

Hey Beverly, if you doubled the spices and it was bland, then your spices may likely be the issue.


Tuesday 8th of August 2023

the chix recipe is good. pickle brine excellent idea, such a good flavor, I did brine for 1 hour. the picture of final dish is not the same as yours, mine is unappealing, yours is gorgeous. what's your secret?


Wednesday 9th of August 2023

Hi Pam, it may be the actual brand of air fryer. I used a Cosori 5.3 qt. I'm also very careful when I flip them, to ensure the breading does not come off. I also only spray during halfway when I flip. I don't spray before cooking.


Sunday 22nd of January 2023

My whole family loved this recipe. We all thought they were delicious!


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

Thanks Tabitha! So happy you all liked the recipe :)

Kim F

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Just finished the first batch of these nuggets and we ate them all and are (not so patiently lol) waiting for the 2nd batch. Not as pretty as the picture but delicious! I also made a copy cat dipping sauce which is yummy. Will try using the same recipe on boneless chicken filets to make a nice sandwich. Glad I tried this recipe, thank you!