Love Chick Fil A nuggets but want to make them at home? We have a killer homemade chicken nuggets air fryer recipe that is a great copycat! If you love our air fryer frozen chicken nuggets but want to make them from scratch this one is great.
I bet you’re like us and love this popular fast food chain. When you try this homemade chicken nuggets air fryer recipe you’ll be surprised at how similar they are. One of many easy air fryer recipes here on our site. (affiliate links present, originally published 1/22)
Copycat Air Fryer Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
We have made many air fryer chicken recipes. This and our air fryer popcorn chicken can be plain or amped up. Add as much seasoning as you’d like, or use tricks like marinating in pickle juice to add flavor.
Using healthy chunks of chicken breast these are much better than processed right out of a bag for sure. If you want to use ground turkey or chicken, follow our homemade chicken nuggets with ground chicken recipe. Those can be air fried too instead of fried.
FIRST – You should sign up for my free newsletter so you get new posts emailed to you twice a week and never miss out on anything! If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
- My Favorite Air Fryer is a Cosori or for a dual machine, the Foodi.
- You can find more easy air fryer recipes here, we have Ninja Foodi recipes as well; bookmark them both!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer
Did you read that last sentence above right? Yes, the tip to that great taste you love is pickle juice!! I mean you can use what’s in your jar at home and have a snack at the same time with a few dills while you’re at it. 😉
Another surprise is you’ll use some powdered sugar as well! You’ll be surprised at how great this savory and sweet combo really is. Other items needed are:
- Cubed chicken breasts
- All purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
Olive oil cooking spray is needed for most chicken in air fryer recipes to get the outside nice and crispy. BUT they use peanut oil so if you want that authentic taste you’d need to add that to a kitchen spray bottle.
You can drain some of the liquid out of your Vlasic or Claussen jar unless you make homemade pickles at home. Then use some of that.
Chick Fil A Nuggets Recipe
Once you have your meat cut into about 1″ pieces you’ll start by marinating it for just a bit. I mean you can let it sit longer than 30 minutes if you want a much stronger dill flavor.
What is Chick Fil A Nuggets Made of?
They use real chicken breast pieces, no fillers like some other fast food joints. They are actually fried in peanut oil so if you want a genuine taste you’d need to use that in a spray bottle instead of olive oil.
Copycat Chick Fil A Nuggets Recipe
Then you’ll need two shallow bowls so you can create the coating for the outside. This will create crispy chicken nuggets air frying style. Ensure that each piece of chicken is in 1″ size pieces and all are the same so they cook evenly.
If you are making a large batch have a sheet pan handy. Then you can bread them, set them on the pan and lay a single layer of pieces in each time.
Cook, remove from air fryer basket, and add another batch and bake chicken nuggets again until they’re all done. If you serve it with a batch of frozen waffle fries in air fryer you’ll get the full restaurant affect.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
You’ll want to dredge them in the flour, then into the egg mixture, and back into the flour. Shake off the excess and place into a preheated basket. Once you are ready to cook a spray of oil on top will be necessary.
I have not used Panko bread crumbs before but I would assume a mixture of Panko parmesan would work well too. If you needed a low carb and or gluten free version you might want to try that instead.
Chicken Breast Nuggets
Get your kids involved in the kitchen making these and dipping, dipping, and dredging. Mine love cooking and baking now that I have worked with them over the years.
It makes them want to try new things when they can say “I made it myself.” Of course you need to do the slicing and anything involving heat with little ones but as they get older they can take over more responsibilities.
Now that my girls are teens and young adults they are quite comfortable cooking, and even make meals for us once a week to help out. Boy has that been a blessing.
Air Fryer Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe
Tips to remember when using your Cosori or other hot air machine: Always preheat your machine, this will make it cook more evenly. Make pieces the same size so they’re all done at the same time and don’t get too done.
- Lay cubed meat on paper towels to remove moisture on the outside. This will help coating to stick.
- Spray non stick cooking oil into the basket so nothing sticks. Breading with flour likes to do that and can remove it entirely.
- Do not overlap your food, even when cooking frozen chicken breast in air fryer it can inhibit the air from circulating properly.
- Oil spray is necessary to moisten the outside as well as getting that really crispy chicken crunch you’ll want.
If you follow these tips you will get the best result possible. You may never buy them ready made or at restaurants again after this. 😉
What goes best with chicken nuggets?
Super kid friendly if you serve them with all sorts of different dipping sauces on the side! I’m telling you that you’ll be the coolest mom if you serve it this way for dinner some night. Plate for everyone with chicken divided up. Then put some of each sauce in a small dixie cup to dip away!
- You could just sprinkle parmesan cheese on top if you wanted a less messy option.
- Honey mustard is easy and you can get it ready made in a jar.
- Our bang bang sauce is incredible, or salsa verde for a bit of spice.
- The most popular would be ketchup or fry sauce around here.
Our Copycat Chick Fil A macaroni and cheese recipe is my girls’ favorite one by far.
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Here are quick step by step directions but there is a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post as well. Pour pickle juice on chicken pieces in a bowl. Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
- On a plate combine flour, powdered sugar, slat, pepper and paprika. Mix together. In a shallow bowl whisk together milk and egg.
- Preheat air fryer to 370 F for 5 minutes. Remove meat from marinade and place on a few paper towels just so excess moisture is absorbed and coating will stick well.
- One at a time dredge chicken into flour mixture, then into egg wash and back into flour mix. Shake off excess and place into air fryer basket in a single layer.
Spray coated chicken pieces with peanut or olive oil spray. When full but pieces are not overlapping cook for 8 minutes flipping pieces over halfway through. For extra crispy pieces spray with olive oil again after flipping over at minute 4. To make homemade air fryer fish nuggets follow this recipe too!!
When reheating chicken in air fryer there are a few tips you should remember too, we go over them in the above post.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets Air Fryer
- Pour pickle juice on chicken pieces in a bowl. Let it marinate for 30 minutes. Lay pieces on paper towels just to remove excess moisture on the outsides.
- On a plate combine flour, powdered sugar, slat, pepper and paprika. Mix together.
- In a shallow bowl whisk together milk and egg.
- Preheat air fryer to 370 F for 5 minutes.
- One at a time dredge chicken into flour mixture, then into egg wash and back into flour mix. Shake off excess. Spray non stick or olive oil spray in preheated basket. Place coated pieces into air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Spray chicken with olive oil spray. When full but not overlapping cook for 8 minutes flipping pieces over halfway through.
- For extra crispy pieces spray with olive oil again after flipping over at minute 4.