Quick and Delicious Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Unlock the secret to making irresistibly crispy chicken nuggets in the comfort of your own kitchen with this Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets recipe. This dish offers a healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried nuggets, without sacrificing any of the crunch or flavor that makes them a universally loved treat. Perfect for families, these nuggets are made with simple, wholesome ingredients, ensuring that you’re serving up a meal that’s not only delicious but also nutritious. Whether you’re catering to picky eaters, looking for a quick and satisfying snack, or adding a protein-packed option to your meal, these air fryer chicken nuggets are sure to delight everyone at the table.

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets:

  • Healthier Option: Enjoy the deep-fried taste without the excess oil, thanks to the air fryer’s magic.
  • Kid-Friendly: A surefire hit with children, making mealtime a breeze.
  • Quick and Convenient: Ready in under 30 minutes, perfect for busy schedules.
  • Versatile: Easily adaptable with different seasonings or dipping sauces to suit any palate.

Ingredients Notes For Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets:

  • Chicken Breast: Lean and high in protein, chicken breast is cut into bite-sized pieces for the perfect nugget.
  • Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs ensure a lighter, crunchier coating, but traditional breadcrumbs can also be used.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a savory depth of flavor to the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Eggs: Help the breadcrumb mixture adhere to the chicken, ensuring a crispy exterior.
  • Seasonings: A blend of garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper enhances the flavor, making each bite a delight.
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Recipe Steps:

  1. Prep the Chicken: Cut chicken breast into nugget-sized pieces, aiming for even sizes for consistent cooking.
  2. Season: Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge: Set up a dredging station with beaten eggs in one bowl and a mixture of breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, garlic powder, and paprika in another. Dip each chicken piece in the egg, then coat in the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Air Fry: Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the nuggets in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t touch. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden and cooked through.
  5. Serve: Enjoy hot with your favorite dipping sauces.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for best results.
  • Freeze: Freeze cooked and cooled nuggets on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Reheat from frozen in the air fryer.


  • 1 lb (450g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk (optional, for marinating)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (panko or regular)
  • Cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil)


  1. Marinate the Chicken (Optional):
    • If time allows, soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight in the refrigerator). This step helps tenderize the chicken and adds flavor.
  2. Prepare the Coating:
    • In a shallow dish, mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    • Place the beaten eggs in a second shallow dish.
    • Place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.
  3. Coat the Chicken:
    • If you marinated the chicken, drain off the excess buttermilk. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Then, dip it into the beaten eggs, and finally, coat it well with the breadcrumbs.
  4. Preheat the Air Fryer:
    • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 3 minutes.
  5. Arrange the Chicken in the Air Fryer:
    • Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Arrange the breaded chicken pieces in a single layer in the basket, making sure they are not touching. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray.
  6. Cook:
    • Air fry the chicken nuggets for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time, until they are golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
  7. Serve:
    • Serve the chicken nuggets hot with your favorite dipping sauces, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or ranch dressing.
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