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.
Full Recipe Ingredients/Instructions are available in the
recipe card at the bottom of the post.
You can find important tips/tricks in the
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.”
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.
Then you’ll soak those beautiful chicken pieces in pickle juice for 20-30 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
And that’s it, golden delicious air fryer chicken nuggets. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy 🙂
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 more air fryer chicken recipes? Or try these out:
- Air Fryer Bacon Chicken Bites
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
- Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs
- Air Fried Chicken Tacos
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Watch this video tutorial and see how I make these air fryer chicken nuggets from start to finish.
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chic-fil-A Copycat)
- 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.