This Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe creates the most tender and crispy chicken bites. A healthier homemade option that is easy, delicious and enjoyed by everyone!
Who doesn't love chicken nuggets? I know I do and so does the rest of my family. My homemade chicken nuggets made in the air fryer are so much better than the frozen pre-packaged kind and way healthier. Homemade chicken nuggets don't have to be complicated and this recipe will prove it.
I have fallen in love with this appliance and created some tasty dishes. If you'd like some more air fryer inspiration check out these recipes that we all love: Green Beans, Garlic Parmesan Broccoli, Roasted Chickpeas, Garlic Mushrooms, Zucchini Fries, Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes, and Homemade Bagels all made in the air fryer!
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Ingredients
- Chicken Breast, boneless & skinless
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Baking Powder
- Olive Oil Spray
- Buttermilk: For a substitute combine 2 cups of milk with lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Breadcrumbs: Plain breadcrumbs, Italian breadcrumbs or even Panko crumbs will all work. I like to use plain and season them myself.
- Whole Wheat Flour: All purpose flour can be substituted.
- Paprika: Regular paprika is what I usually use, but Smoked Paprika adds another depth of flavor that is really delicious.
- Olive Oil Spray: This helps get that perfect crispy outside and adds great flavor. However, any neutral cooking spray can be used.
How to Make Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer
- Cut the chicken breast into 1½ inch cubes.
- Season the chicken with paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
- Cover the seasoned chicken with buttermilk and marinate for 15 minutes up to a day.
- Drain the chicken.
- In a large bowl or zip top bag, combine breadcrumbs, whole wheat flour, paprika, garlic powder, baking powder, salt and black pepper.
- Place chicken bites into breading mix and evenly coat all sides.
- Place breaded chicken bites on sheet pan.
- Spray both sides of breaded chicken with olive oil.
- Place chicken in 400°F preheat air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Cook chicken nuggets in batches for 7-8 minutes, shaking the basket half way through.
- To keep chicken nuggets warm while the rest finish cooking place the cooked chicken on a sheet pan and keep in a 170°F oven.
Tips for the Best Chicken Nuggets
- Cut the chicken pieces of equal size so they will all cook in the same amount of time.
- Use the olive oil spray, it helps create the crispy coating that has all the flavor.
- Cook the chicken in single layer batches. Over crowding the basket will create soggy chicken nuggets.
- For easy breading, add the breading to a zip top bag and shake a few pieces of chicken at time. So much faster and the clean up is way easier.
Can I make these chicken nuggets ahead of time?
Yes! Make a huge batch, cook them in the air fryer, and let them cool completely on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the freezer to flash freeze the chicken nuggets. Then place the chicken nuggets in a freezer safe air tight container or zip top bag. Freeze the chicken nuggets until ready to use.
How to cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer?
Place a layer of these frozen chicken nuggets in a 400°F preheated air fryer basket and heat for 8-10 minutes until warmed through and crispy.
Can I make these chicken nuggets in the oven?
Yes, bake the chicken nuggets at 400°F for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked and 165°F. For extra crispiness flip the chicken bites half way through cooking.
FAQs About Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
For this recipe cook the chicken nuggets for 7-8 minutes, shaking the basket half way through.
Cook frozen precooked chicken nuggets for 8-10 minutes until heated all the way through and crispy on the outside.
This recipe calls to cook the chicken nuggets in a 400°F preheated air fryer.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes:
- Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
- Oven Fried Chicken Legs
- Chicken Dumpling Soup
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Corn Flake Chicken Tenders
- Crock Pot Pizza Chicken
- Perfect Roast Chicken
- Simple Roasted Chicken Breasts
- Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Instant Pot Salsa Chicken Nachos
- Baked Cumin Chicken
- Chicken and Noodles
- Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Broccoli Chicken
- Chicken and Potato Stew
- Herb Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe
- Season chicken with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
- Pour the buttermilk over the chicken and let marinate for 15 minutes or up to a day in the fridge.
- Drain the buttermilk from chicken.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, whole wheat flour, baking powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl or in zip top bag.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the breadcrumbs and place on a sheet pan.
- Spray both sides of the chicken pieces with olive oil.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Place chicken pieces in a single layer.
- Cook in batches for 7-8 minutes and shake half way through.
- Place cooked chicken on a sheet pan and keep warm in a 170°F oven until ready to serve.