It’s so easy to make delicious Chicken Nuggets at home in your air fryer! Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and perfect for dipping into your favorite sauces, these easy air fryer chicken nuggets are so much tastier than any fast food restaurant.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer
If you love chicken nuggets, then you are really going to love air fryer chicken nuggets. They are super easy to make! All you do is chop fresh chicken breasts into small pieces, mix them with egg, coat them with seasoned panko breadcrumbs, and bake them in your air fryer for about 10 minutes. The breading is golden and crispy while the inside chicken breast stays tender, juicy, and perfectly delicious. So much healthier than deep-fried or frozen chicken nuggets, but just as fun to eat with all of your favorite dipping sauces (like this ranch dressing or honey mustard sauce).
Ingredients to Make Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Chicken breast (or chicken thighs)
- Salt and Black pepper
- All-purpose flour
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Smoked paprika
- Cooking oil
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (205°C) and spray the inside basket with nonstick cooking spray or brush with oil.
2. Cut the chicken into small pieces, about 1-inch (or cut them into smaller pieces and make “popcorn chicken” just remember to decrease the total cooking time). Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and black pepper.
3. Whisk together the egg and the flour in a small bowl and then add them to the chicken pieces. Mix well to totally coat the chicken pieces with the egg mixture. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
4. Coat the chicken pieces in the panko mixture. Transfer the dredged chicken pieces to the air fryer basket in a single, non-touching layer. Spray with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray.
5. Cook the chicken nuggets for 5 minutes, flip, spray, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove to a clean plate and repeat with any additional chicken remaining (you will probably need to cook this recipe in two batches).
How Long to Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer
To cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer, first, preheat the air fryer to 400°F (205°C) and spray the inside basket with nonstick cooking spray. Add the frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer. Air fry for 8 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for an additional 4 minutes, or until golden, crispy, and heated through.
- Cut the chicken into equal-sized pieces to ensure the even cooking of each chicken nugget.
- Cook the chicken in a single, non-overlapping layer with a little space between each chicken nugget.
- Chicken thighs may be substituted for chicken breasts.
- Spray the chicken lightly with non-stick cooking spray to get a nice, golden, crispy crust.
- To make gluten-free, use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese to the panko mixture for a fun parmesan twist!
Serve with a side of your favorite french fries, fruit, salad, and all of your favorite dipping sauces!
Have you tried making these easy air fryer chicken nuggets?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Preheat your Air Fryer to 400°F (205°C). Spray the inside basket with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and cut the chicken into small 1-inch pieces. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl and season generously with salt and black pepper.
- In a small bowl beat the egg with the all-purpose flour until combined. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl filled with the chicken and mix well to coat.
- In a separate, shallow bowl combine the panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
- Dredge one piece of chicken in the panko mixture. Cover each side by pressing gently with a fork. Transfer the dredged chicken pieces to the air fryer basket in a single, non-overlapping or touching layer.
- Spray with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, spray, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 165°F. Remove and cook any additional chicken pieces that may remain.
- Best served immediately.
- Leftovers: Store in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through and crispy.
- Freezing: Cool completely and transfer to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or reheat in your air fryer until heated through.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)