Famous Recipe for Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Are you looking for a kid-friendly dinner? Well, you are at the right place; you have just got yourself the best version of air fry chicken nuggets, an easy-peasy and fast recipe, baked and breaded in an air fryer just like the air fryer cheese sticks.

If you are parents of small kids, most probably you know what air fryer chicken nuggets mean to the kids. But the only struggle you may go through while making the nuggets is not to shape the nuggets, rather the texture of rubbery and soggy nuggets.

However, when it comes to the taste and texture, an air fryer is bound to beat a microwave any day. Moreover, these nuggets are, as chicken nuggets go, comparatively healthy.

To prepare the air fryer chicken nuggets, you need to cut the chicken breast into nuggets, then dipped in melted butter, seasoned, and of course, baked for a certain period to reach perfection in the air fryer. Interestingly there is no oil involved, and this dish is sure to be a hit and win the hearts of both adults and kids at the same time.


  • Skinless and boneless chicken breast (1 piece)
  • Grated parmesan (2 tablespoons; optional)
  • Melted and unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
  • Breadcrumbs (1/2 cup)
  • Black pepper (1/8 teaspoon)
  • To taste, salt (1/4 teaspoon)


  • At first, take 4 minutes to preheat your air fryer to 390-degree Fahrenheit.
  • Get rid of any fat items that may be present on the chicken breast. Then slice the chicken breast into 1/2-inch-thick slices. After that, make 2 to 3 nuggets from each of the pieces. Perfectly season the chicken nuggets using pepper and salt.
  • Take a small bowl and place the melted butter in it. In another small bowl, place the breadcrumbs along with parmesan, if using.
  • Now, dip all the pieces of chicken nuggets in butter at first, then in breadcrumbs one by one.
  • Now, on your air fryer basket, place the chicken nuggets maintaining a single layer. If your air fryer is not big enough to hold all the nuggets in a single layer, go for two or more batches.
  • Then, set the timer to 7 or 8 minutes.
  • At last, with a meat thermometer, check out the interior temperature of the chicken nuggets. The temperature must be at least 165-degree Fahrenheit.
  • Now take the nuggets out of the basket with tongs and place them on a plate to cool down.

Cooking in an oven

In case you don’t have an air fryer in place, you can also prepare the chicken nuggets in your oven. Of course, oven-baked chicken nuggets won’t be as perfect as that of air fryers, yet it’s a fantastic alternative to an air fryer.

  • At first, following the same method, as you have done for air fryer, prepare the ingredients. Dip the nuggets twice, both in the melted butter and breadcrumbs.
  • Then bake on a tray for around 10-12 minutes at 400-degree Fahrenheit.
  • Then flip over and cook for another 10 minutes or more until the nuggets are thoroughly cooked.

Recipe Notes

In this recipe, one chicken breast yields 21 pieces of chicken nuggets. But you can always increase the number of chicken breasts, increase the relevant ingredients proportionately, and get more chicken nuggets.
You can even utilize plain breadcrumbs, but I always use and prefer the Italian style.
And, as I have mentioned already, the Parmesan cheese is absolutely optional. So, it doesn’t have any noticeable effects on the dish. If you don’t like it or can’t manage it, skip it by all means.

Recipe Variations

There are at least four well-known variations of this recipe. The good news is, you can go for many more variations using alternative, relatively same ingredients. For instance:

  • To make the recipe gluten-free: All you need to do is using gluten-free breadcrumbs or flour. So simple!
  • To make the nuggets healthier: You can add panko or wheat flour to the ingredients list. But at the same time, there is no scope to use powdered sugar. Just utilize the wheat flour or panko.
  • To make the chicken nuggets spicier: The trick is pretty simple than you could ever imagine! Just add 1 or 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper with breadcrumbs or grated parmesan, if using.

How to serve the air fry chicken nuggets?

This dish is open to a wide range of serving options, so you can pick almost any of your favorite side dishes.

  • Any type of sauce goes perfectly with chicken nuggets, such as chick-fil-A sauce, ranch, BBQ sauce.
  • Any kind of steamed, roasted vegetables.
  • Yogurt
  • On a salad.
  • Sugar-free applesauce, or fresh fruits.
  • Any veggie tray or dip.
  • Finely baked potato fries.

Freezing Instructions

You have to cook the chicken nuggets at 360-degree Fahrenheit for a few minutes. So, technically, you should give the nuggets enough time to cool down. Then you can put the nuggets in a freezer-safe container or bag and place the bag/container in the freezer. This way the nuggets can be stored for up to 90 days.

When you take the nuggets out later, thaw the nuggets for at least 15 hours in the refrigerator. Then use your air fryer at 380-degree Fahrenheit to reheat the nuggets. When thoroughly warmed, crispy, and turned golden, remove from heat and enjoy.

Nutritional Information

Nutrient Fact (Per 85-gram serving)ValueDaily Value
Calories160 (656kJ)
Protein15g 23%
Carbohydrates15g 5%
Dietary Fiber2g
Total Sugars3g 9%
Total Fat4g 5%
Saturated fat0g
Trans Fat0.001g
Polyunsaturated Fat2g
Monounsaturated Fat1g
Sodium520mg 23%
Potassium300mg 6%
Note:  Daily Value percentage is based on a 2,000-calorie diet a day.

We all have struggled to prepare chicken nuggets for a long time. But with the instructions followed, you are going to get great-tasting, mouth-watering, and crisp nuggets every time.

So, collect the ingredients from your local grocery store and get into preparing the best air fry chicken nuggets right away. And don’t forget to let me know your variations for this fantastic air fry chicken nuggets recipe.

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