Try this easy and delicious homemade air fryer chicken nuggets recipe. Making these simple golden, crunchy nuggets takes less than a half hour.
Cooking chicken nuggets in the air fryer is a healthier alternative to traditional deep-fried ones. Made with lean chicken breast or tenderloin, they are coated in a crispy breading and cooked perfectly with hot air. The result is a tender and juicy chicken nugget with a satisfying crunch on the outside.
The best thing about making homemade chicken nuggets is controlling the ingredients' quality. You can choose organic or free-range chicken and opt for gluten-free breading if needed. Additionally, using an air fryer instead of deep frying can significantly reduce the amount of oil used in cooking.
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are also incredibly versatile. They make for a quick and easy weeknight dinner option or can be served as an appetizer at parties or game nights. Kids love them too! Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce like ketchup, honey mustard, or ranch dressing for added flavor.
Starting with fresh, high-quality ingredients ensures the best taste and texture.
- chicken tenderloins
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- panko breadcrumbs
- parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Scroll down to the recipe card for the quantities used.
You'll use panko breadcrumbs to make these air fryer chicken nuggets extra crispy and delicious. They are larger and crispier than regular breadcrumbs, giving your chicken nuggets that perfect crunch.
Lastly, don't forget about an oil spray to coat the air fryer basket before you start cooking. This will prevent your chicken nuggets from sticking to the basket while they cook.
First, gather all the ingredients needed for making chicken nuggets. Cut the chicken breast into small bite-sized pieces and season them with salt, pepper, and other desired spices.
Combine the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a small shallow bowl.
Sift together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder in another bowl. Whisk an egg in a third bowl.
Dredge each seasoned chicken piece in the flour mixture.
Dip each floured piece into the beaten egg.
Add a final coating of the Panko mixture.
Transfer coated chicken into a greased pan and place the pan with the nuggets into the air fryer.
Cook the chicken until crispy and golden brown on the outside and thoroughly cooked on the inside.
Air fryers are a great way to cook healthy chicken nuggets, and there are several variations that you can try.
- Experiment with different coatings for the nuggets. Try crushed cornflakes or shredded coconut instead of Panko.
- Change the seasoning to find the perfect flavor profile for your air-fried chicken nuggets. You can use a simple salt and pepper blend or get creative with spices like garlic powder, paprika, or Italian seasoning.
- Try using almond flour and pork rind crumbs instead of regular flour and Panko for a low-carb variation of this recipe.
- Mix in some chili powder or cayenne pepper for a spicy kick.
- Make it low-carb. Omit the breading and use the same chicken seasoning used in these keto air fryer chicken tenders.
Air fryer chicken nuggets are a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken nuggets. These cooking tips will help to ensure they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Cut chicken into similar size pieces to cook evenly.
- Preheat the air fryer before placing the coated chicken in it.
- Place the nuggets in a single layer, and don't overcrowd the basket or tray. Overlapping pieces will reduce airflow and the final texture.
- Flip halfway and cook until golden on both sides.
These crispy and delicious bites can be served as a snack, appetizer, or main course meal. They can also be served alongside your favorite side dishes like French fries or sweet potato fries.
For a more filling meal, serve air fryer chicken nuggets on top of a salad filled with fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers. Adding some avocado slices or shredded cheese will give the salad an extra boost of flavor and texture. You can also make a wrap by wrapping the chicken nuggets in a tortilla along with some lettuce and your preferred dressing.
Another fun way to serve the nuggets is to create a DIY taco bar! Set out bowls of toppings such as shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole so everyone can customize their tacos according to their taste preferences.
Consider serving your air-fried chicken nuggets with different dipping sauces. Classic options like ketchup, honey mustard, and barbecue sauce are always popular, but you could also try something more exotic like sriracha mayo or ranch dressing infused with herbs like dill or parsley.
Once cooled, place the nuggets in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Place the nuggets in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag for longer storage and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, reheat the nuggets in an air fryer or oven until they are warmed through.
Depending on the size of your air fryer and the number of nuggets, the cook time is usually about 10-15 minutes to air fry frozen nuggets.
Yes, you can make air fryer chicken nuggets without breading. All you need to do is coat the chicken in some oil and seasonings of your choice.
You can, but chicken nuggets and fries may require different cooking times and temperatures. You'll have to keep an eye on them to make sure each is cooked thoroughly without burning either one. It is best to consult a recipe or instructions for each item before beginning.
Here are a few more air fryer recipes you may want to try next.
- Air fryer home fries are a perfect side to any meal.
- Garlic bread in the air fryer is a great way to start dinner.
- Frozen chicken wings in an air fryer is a fast way to cook chicken right from the freezer.
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- ½ pound chicken tenderloins cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup Panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg.
- Sift together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to a third shallow bowl, and stir to combine.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, dip it into the egg, and coat it in the Panko mixture.
- Place the coated nuggets into a well-greased pan and air fry for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Turn the nuggets halfway through cooking to ensure that both sides get crispy.