Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets. This is how to make chicken nuggets from scratch in the air fryer. Made with panko breadcrumbs these air fryer nuggets are crispy, moist, and perfect for quick family dinners.
You will also love how quickly you can prep these real chicken nuggets and they are also perfect for prepping with your kids, to get them involved more in cooking dinner.
These air fryer chicken nuggets were the first ever chicken nuggets in the air fryer recipe ever. We originally shared it with you back in 2015 and felt it was well overdue an update. We hope you enjoy this new version.
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Chicken Nuggets In Air Fryer
Many years ago, I was watching an episode of Jamie Oliver on the TV and it was around the time when he was trying to make every school serve healthy meals for the kids.
Whilst he had great success making changes in the UK, it was never as well appreciated in the US, and I remember an episode when he was educating kids about chicken nuggets.
Telling them everything that went into chicken nuggets and to avoid fast food ones because of all the extras that are loaded into them.
Instead, he recommended that we make our own chicken nuggets at home and use real chicken breast, instead of the leftovers of the chicken carcass.
The next day I made my own chicken nuggets from scratch, and they were amazing. But of course, they were done in the deep fat fryer. Fast forward to starting Recipe This in late 2015 and I wanted to recreate homemade chicken nuggets in the air fryer and make something that was better than the takeout and that kids would want to make with you.
If you have some panko (or other breadcrumbs) in your kitchen and some chicken breasts, then read through this recipe and let’s make what I consider to be one of the best kid friendly air fryer recipes.
Plus, as well as our free newsletter, we also have a free air fryer mini course. It is ideal for air fryer beginners or those that want to get more confident with their air fryer. The free course runs for 5 days with a new lesson delivered each day to your inbox.
Can You Air Fry Chicken Nuggets?
Yes, you can and there are so many different ways you can air fry chicken nuggets. Whilst this recipe today is the best way, here are a few other options:
Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets – You can head to your local frozen food shop, buy frozen chicken nuggets and cook them in the air fryer. They are amazing and the crisp on them is better than deep fried alternatives.
Reheat Chicken Nuggets – You can also use the air fryer to reheat your leftover chicken nuggets and even use it to reheat your McDonalds nuggets.
Or another idea is to make chicken nuggets in the air fryer without breading. Simply toss your chicken nuggets in egg and then seasonings and you will have crispy and yummy chicken that feels like it has been breaded but it just has a herb crust instead.
Can You Stack Chicken Nuggets In An Air Fryer?
Yes, you can if you are cooking frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer, but not if you are cooking fresh chicken nuggets in the air fryer.
This is because you don’t want the breading from the chicken nuggets sticking to one another and it will prevent you getting the best crispy chicken nugget.
Air Fried Chicken Nuggets Ingredients
Chicken – I recommend that you use medium to large sized chicken breast. You can then chop it into chicken cubes to make delicious homemade air fryer chicken nuggets. A good plan B though, is to use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Then with each thigh fillet chop it into a similar shape.
Panko – You can use any type of breadcrumbs for your chicken nuggets, though we used panko. Note that when you use panko it is a dryer breadcrumb, and you need to make sure you have a good layer of egg otherwise you will have dry chicken nuggets.
Egg. I recommend creating a production line with one bowl with your breadcrumbs, one with your egg and another with your flour. The egg can be any and I usually crack four eggs in a bowl, whisk them with a fork and then add in a little seasoning to make them more flavoursome.
Flour. For the flour, any will do the trick. But what I do recommend is that you season the flour before breading. You can also use chicken nuggets as an opportunity to use up those half used bags of flour that you forgot about.
Seasoning – You can mix and match your seasonings in this air fryer chicken nuggets recipe. I love salt, pepper, and tarragon, but its all about personal choice. You can also season your breadcrumbs, egg, and flour for the ultimate taste sensation.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this chicken nuggets air fryer recipe, it has just been our Philips Air Fryer. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of air fryer breaded chicken recipes and doesn’t stick to the air fryer.
Prepping Chicken Nuggets For The Air Fryer
I recommend that before you cook your chicken nuggets in the air fryer that you do your prep work together. That way you can effortlessly cook your chicken nuggets and it will speed up your time in the kitchen.
I recommend slicing your chicken breasts lengthways like this:
Then doing the opposite like this to create chunks of chicken breast:
Then creating your production line with a bowl with your egg, a bowl with your breadcrumbs and a bowl with your flour.
Then its an easy process of dunking your chicken in the bowls and loading into the air fryer.
Plus, you can follow this same method for breading many foods and cooking them in the air fryer.
How To Cook Chicken Nuggets In Air Fryer?
- Slice. Start by slicing your chicken into chicken nugget sized chunks and seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Toss. Load your chicken into the flour, the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Make sure it gets a good coating from each bowl.
- Load. Add to the air fryer and air fry until you have tender yet crispy chicken nuggets.
How Long To Cook Chicken Nuggets In Air Fryer?
The air fryer chicken nuggets cook time is JUST 12 minutes. You start with an 8 minute cook time to get the chicken nuggets wonderfully crispy, then turn the chicken over and do a final cook time for 4 minutes on the other side.
What To Serve With Air Fryer Nuggets?
For a great dinner with the kids, I recommend that you serve your air fryer chicken nuggets with our air fryer cajun fries. They are loosely based upon Five Guys and are flavoursome and you can swap the seasoning for the same seasoning as your air fryer nuggets.
Alternatively try our air fryer frozen French fries for a quicker side dish.
More Air Fryer Breaded Favourites
Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Place chicken breasts on a clean chopping board. Chop into strips first and then into cubes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Crack eggs into a bowl and mix with a fork and then season with salt and pepper. Place flour in a second bowl and season well with chicken seasoning, salt, and pepper and garlic powder. Place breadcrumbs into a third bowl and mix with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.
- Load chicken into the flour mixture, then into the egg, and then into the breadcrumbs bowl. Make sure each piece of chicken is well coated from each bowl.
- Place the chicken nuggets into the air fryer basket on a single layer.
- Cook for 8 minutes at 180c/360f. Then turn and cook for a further 4 minutes at the same temperature. Then serve with your favourite mayonnaise.