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Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets


See my guide on how to use an Air Fryer.

These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are perfectly crispy and deliciously seasoned. Once you try this easy recipe, you won’t want to make chicken nuggets any other way!

Close up of crispy air fryer chicken nuggets served with ketchup.

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Are you looking for the best way to make chicken nuggets? Cook them in the air fryer! These air fryer chicken nuggets are one of my family’s favorite dinners. Even our youngest who usually won’t eat chicken gobbled these up!

An air fryer works by circulating hot air around the food in the basket, and this makes the best chicken nuggets. Like these crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders, these air fryer chicken nuggets are perfectly crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside. They’re seasoned with a simple mix of spices that give them incredible flavor.

Air fryer chicken nuggets served on a plate with a small dish of ketchup.

You’ll love how easy this recipe is – you can have these crispy chicken nuggets on your table in less than 30 minutes. This is one of our very favorite air fryer recipes, and I think it will become one of yours, too.

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make these air fryer chicken nuggets.

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast: You’ll need one pound of lean boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe. You can double the recipe, if desired.
  • Butter and Olive Oil: We coat the chicken pieces with melted butter and olive oil so that the seasonings and bread crumbs will stick. I like to use a combination of butter and olive oil; the butter adds flavor and the olive oil has healthy fats.
  • Seasonings: Paprika (I used sweet), garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper add delicious flavor.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: The larger crumbs of panko bread crumbs make the nuggets especially crispy. You can substitute regular bread crumbs if that’s all you have on hand.

How to Cook Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer

Here’s an overview of the simple steps to make homemade chicken nuggets in the air fryer. If you’re new to air fryer cooking, see my guide on How to Use an Air Fryer.

First, cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes.

Then, prepare the chicken nugget coating. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, olive oil and seasonings. Put the panko bread crumbs in a large zip-top bag. Preheat the air fryer to 400° F for 5 minutes.

Melted butter, olive oil and seasonings in mixing bowl.

While the air fryer preheats, coat the chicken with the butter/oil/seasoning mixture. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat all of the chicken.

Chicken pieces in bowl coated with butter and seasonings.

Then transfer the chicken to the bag with the panko, seal the bag, and shake until the nuggets are coated with the bread crumbs.

Chicken pieces added to zip-top bag with panko bread crumbs.

Air fry the chicken nuggets at 400° F for 5 minutes. Then flip them over and cook for 4-5 more minutes, until cooked through. That’s it – so easy!

Uncooked chicken nuggets added to air fryer basket in a single layer.

Recipe Tips

  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes before cooking the chicken nuggets. Preheating allows the chicken to start cooking and crisping up as soon as it hits the hot basket.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces that are approximately the same size so that they will cook in the same amount of time.
  • Don’t crowd the air fryer basket. Put the chicken nuggets in a single layer with just a bit of space in between them so that the hot air can circulate around. Cook in batches as needed.
  • To freeze: Leftover cooked chicken nuggets can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You don’t need to thaw them before reheating.
  • The best way to reheat chicken nuggets is to heat them in the air fryer for a few minutes, until hot.
Cooked chicken nuggets stacked in air fryer basket.

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

Crispy chicken nuggets are even better when you serve them with a few dipping sauces! Try Ranch Dressing, BBQ Sauce, Honey Mustard, ketchup or Marinara Sauce.

On the side, try one or more of these side dish recipes:

Chicken nuggets on a plate with one nugget dipped in a small dish of ketchup.

More Easy Air Fryer Chicken Recipes

We just love cooking chicken in the air fryer! Here are a few more of our favorite air fryer chicken recipes:

Forget fast food, you can have these air fryer chicken nuggets on your table even faster than picking up takeout. And they’re much tastier, and healthier too.

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets in air fryer
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time22 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 304kcal
These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are perfectly crispy and deliciously seasoned. Once you try this easy recipe, you won't want to make chicken nuggets any other way!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Instructions 

  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Whisk until well combined.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400° F for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and use a spoon to toss gently until all of the chicken pieces are coated.
  • Pour the panko breadcrumbs into a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, seal, and shake to coat the chicken in the panko.
  • Add the chicken to the air fryer basket in a single layer, with a bit of space in between each piece of chicken (cook in batches if needed). Air fry at 400° F for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for 4-5 minutes on the second side, until cooked through to 165° F in the center. Serve immediately

Notes

  • Leftover cooked chicken nuggets can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. You don’t need to thaw them before reheating.
  • The best way to reheat chicken nuggets is to heat them in the air fryer for a few minutes, until hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces chicken | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 534mg | Potassium: 471mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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