These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are a fun, healthy, and delicious dinner or snack for both kids and adults! They’re super crunchy and take just 20 minutes to make.
From chicken tenders to boneless chicken thighs, there is no cut of chicken that isn’t a perfect match for the air fryer. You can even cook the whole bird in there if you want! Air frying chicken is the perfect solution whenever you need a crispy, flavorful, and quick dinner or snack.
These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are no exception! They taste so much better than fast food nuggets thanks to a few really simple and healthy ingredients. Plus, the air fryer makes the entire process incredibly quick and easy. The recipe takes 20 minutes from start to finish!
Both kids and adults are sure to love these crispy baked nuggets. Just serve them next to a few dipping sauces (chipotle aioli and buffalo sauce are my favorites) and potato wedges to make the meal complete. Pro tip: Make one or two extra batches because everyone is bound to ask for seconds!
- A healthier way to enjoy chicken nuggets.
- They’re made without oil and flour, but NOT without the crunch!
- All you need are a handful of really simple ingredients and an air fryer.
- Chicken breast - Boneless skinless chicken breasts are cut into bite-size pieces. Buy a few extra breasts if you want to double or triple your nugget stash.
- Eggs - Whisked eggs are used to coat the chicken before adding the breading.
- Breadcrumbs - Both plain and Panko breadcrumbs cover the nuggets to create a seamless coating with a big crunch. Feel free to use gluten free breadcrumbs instead. For even more flavor, replace the Panko with crushed corn flakes or Doritos!
- Seasonings - Garlic powder, salt, smoked paprika, and onion powder pack in the flavor. You can get creative here and add more spices or herbs, like parsley, parmesan cheese, black pepper, cayenne, and more.
Step 1: Set up your dredge station. Grab 3 bowls and place them in a line. Add the cut chicken breasts to the first bowl, whisk the eggs together in another, and toss the breadcrumbs and seasonings together in the last bowl.
Step 2: Coat the chicken. Dunk half of the chicken pieces in the eggs, then toss them in the breadcrumbs. Place them in an even layer in the air fryer basket.
Step 3: Air fry the nuggets. Cook the nuggets until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp. Dredge and cook the other half of the nuggets.
Step 4: Serve and enjoy. Serve the nuggets with your favorite dipping sauces and sides, then enjoy!
Oven baked instructions
No air fryer at home? Bake the nuggets instead! Place the coated chicken nuggets on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and bake in a 400ºF oven for 15-20 minutes.
Expert tips and FAQs
- You don’t want the nuggets to touch in the air fryer basket because they won’t crisp if they’re piled on top of each other. Work in batches if needed.
- Don’t forget the dipping sauce! Homemade chicken nuggets are delicious dunked in barbecue sauce, chipotle aioli, honey mustard sauce, sweet and sour sauce, caesar dressing, ranch dressing, or ketchup.
Why aren’t the breadcrumbs sticking to the nuggets?
This can happen when the eggs don’t sufficiently cover the nuggets. Work in smaller batches to ensure each piece is coated evenly before being tossed in the breadcrumbs. Use clean hands to press the breadcrumbs into the chicken to really get them to stick.
What can you serve with chicken nuggets?
Air fryer chicken nuggets go well with all kinds of fun, kid-friendly side dishes, like mac and cheese, french fries, cheesy cauliflower bake, fried brussels sprouts, broccoli salad, or everything bagel green beans.
Refrigerator: The leftover nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezer: Transfer the cooked and cooled nuggets to a baking sheet and place them in the freezer. Once solid, pour the nuggets into an airtight container or bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: Reheat the nuggets in the air fryer to retain their crispy crunch.
More family-friendly air fryer recipes
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Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Air fryer
- 1.5 lb. chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 eggs whisked
- ½ cup plain breadcrumbs regular or gluten free
- ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs regular or gluten free
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Place the cut chicken into a bowl, then the whisked egg into a separate bowl and last, the breadcrumbs and seasonings into a third bowl, forming an assembly line.
- Dunk half of the chicken into the egg mixture, them directly into the breadcrumbs mixture.
- Spray your air fryer with nonstick spray, then transfer the breaded chicken into your air fryer, making sure none of the chicken is touching.
- Air fry the chicken at 380° for 6 minutes, then flip it over and cook it for 4 more minutes.
- Repeat this process with the remaining chicken. Serve with your favorite condiment(s) and enjoy!