Crispy Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer


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Make Crispy Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer in no time! This recipe is hands-down the best air fryer chicken nuggets recipe on the internet.

Air fryer chicken nuggets with BBQ sauce.

Why Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets?

Are you looking for a chicken nugget recipe that leaves you with crispy and delicious chicken nuggets? Using an air fryer to get a crispy outside of a chicken nugget with a juicy inside is the ticket!

We love using the air fryer because it leaves you with crispy food that tastes like it’s fried in a ton of oil, but in reality you’ve only used a fraction of the amount of oil that you usually use! It’s amazing.

All the Ingredients You Need

Chicken breastwhite meat is best when making homemade chicken nuggets. Make sure to buy boneless, skinless chicken breast.

Breadcrumbs: for this recipe, you can either use plain breadcrumbs, whole wheat, or gluten-free. Any of these options will work. Heck, you could even use Italian-flavored breadcrumbs!

Eggs: eggs are used as an egg wash to make sure the breadcrumb topping sticks.

Olive oil: olive oil helps crisp up the breadcrumbs. Don’t skip this part!

Spices: spices used in the topping include garlic powder, thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. Feel free to add whatever else you are craving.

ingredient change-ups

Make them spicy

If you want to spice these air fryer chicken nuggets up add a 1/4 teaspoon of any of the spices below to the spice mixture and you’ll be left with a little kick.

  • cayenne pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • dried adobo pepper

bread crumbs substitute

If you don’t have regular bread crumbs, no fret! You can use panko, gluten free bread crumbs, or even crushed up corn flakes.

go for the spice mixes

Another way to take the flavor profile of the air fryer chicken nuggets up a notch is to skip the spices in the recipe and add a couple teaspoons of any of the spice mixes below to to the bread crumbs.

All the ingredients for air fryer chicken nuggets on the counter.

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Dipping chicken in bread crumbs.

A Quick Look- How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

  1. Make your nuggets: first, slice the chicken breast into nuggets. We cut ours into 1-inch-thick nuggets.
  2. Dredge in egg wash: dip each nugget into an egg wash.
  3. Dredge in breadcrumb topping: dredge the chicken nuggets into the breadcrumb topping. It’s best to do this one at a time to make sure things don’t end up with clumps of breadcrumbs or with soggy chicken nuggets.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil: arrange chicken nuggets on a wire rack that is situated on top of a baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil.
  5. Layer your nuggets: Unless you have a large air fryer you will most likely have to fry your chicken nuggets in batches. Spray your air fryer basket with oil and then place a layer of chicken nuggets in the basket. Drizzle the chicken nuggets with oil.
  6. Fry the chicken nuggets: Fry for 4 minutes at 400ºF in the air fryer. Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. 
Chicken nuggets in the air fryer basket.

Why do I have to fry the chicken nuggets in batches?

You want to cook your chicken nuggets in batches because you don’t want to overcrowd the air fryer basket when you are making chicken nuggets. You want the oil and the air to be able to circulate around the chicken nuggets so the WHOLE nugget gets crispy and delicious.

Can I cook these in the oven?

Yes, you can cook these in the oven. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and place the chicken nuggets on the rack. Bake them for 14-16 minutes at 400ºF, flipping them half way through.

Air fryer chicken nuggets after they've been cooked.

Pro Tips for Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Make sure your nuggets are the same size: The key to getting perfectly cooked chicken nuggets in the air fryer is to be sure all the chicken nuggets are relatively cut the same size. You want them all to cook for the same amount of time.

Use enough oil: Yes, you don’t need to use a cup of oil to get these chicken nuggets crispy, but you still need to drizzle oil over the chicken nuggets in a bit in the bottom of the air fryer so the chicken nuggets “fry” up.

Don’t let the chicken nuggets touch: We said it once and we’ll say it again. Be sure not to let your chicken nuggets touch or else they will not fully cook.

A hand holding an air fryer chicken nugget.

Serving Suggestions

These are some of our favorite recipes to serve with these tasty air fryer chicken nuggets.

Dipping Sauce Options

If you are looking for a delicious dipping sauce for your chicken nuggets, we suggest any of the delicious dipping sauces below.


Got leftovers? Simply let your baked chicken nuggets cool completely. Then, transfer them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

Can I freeze chicken nuggets?

  1. Let chicken nuggets cool completely.
  2. Then, transfer them to a baking sheet.
  3. Freeze for 1 hour.
  4. Then, transfer them into an airtight container or gallon-size plastic bag.
  5. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Air fryer chicken nuggets on a plate with BBQ sauce!

Air fryer chicken nuggets.

Crispy Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer

This air fryer chicken nuggets recipe is a perfect weeknight meal and they are even easy to freeze for later.

Prep: 10 minutesCook: 13 minutesTotal: 23 minutes

Fat 6 Carbs 14 Protein 31

Yield 46 1x


  • 11.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • ½ teaspoon paprika 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400ºF and spray the basket with non-stick cooking spray. 
  2. Prepare the chicken breasts by cutting the chicken into 1-inch chicken nugget pieces. Set aside. 
  3. Next, add the panko, flour, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and stir everything together until combined. 
  4. Crack eggs into a separate bowl and whisk the eggs until combined. 
  5. Then, dip each chicken nugget into the egg wash, completely coating each piece of chicken. Then, dip the nuggets into the bread crumb mixture, coating each side. It’s easiest if you do this one at a time to make sure that the chicken gets fully coated.
  6. Place the chicken nuggets into the air fryer basket being sure not to overcrowd the basket. You may have to do this in batches to make sure the chicken nuggets don’t touch.
  7. Drizzle the chicken nuggets with olive oil and cook the chicken nuggets for 4 minutes at 400ºF in the air fryer. Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. 
  8. Remove the chicken nuggets from the basket and repeat steps 6 and 7 until all the chicken nuggets are cooked. 
  9. Serve with honey mustard, bbq sauce, ketchup, or any other dip. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Calories: 234 Sugar: 1 Fat: 6 Carbohydrates: 14 Fiber: 2 Protein: 31

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: ChickenMethod: Air FryerCuisine: American

Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

About Linley Richter

Linley is a 5′ nothing spitball of positive energy who joined Team Fit Foodie in the Spring of 2014. Linley has worked on the digital side of small businesses and nonprofits since 2011, where she specialized in social media community management. Lin has a passion for food and an incredible palate. She is FFF’s chief recipe developer, so you can thank her for these incredible recipes!

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