Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

by Eat Well with Lex
homemade air fryer chicken nuggets

Homemade air fryer chicken nuggets are crispy, tender, and full of flavor. Delightfully crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, these healthier kid-friendly nuggets will become a family favorite without sacrificing flavor. Serve them as a filling snack, lunch, or even dinner with a mouthwatering, naturally sweetened sauce like Primal Kitchen Tad Sweet Ketchup.

For more toddler-friendly recipes, try these Vegetable Chicken Fingers for Babies.

a hand holding crispy air fryer chicken nuggets

Air fryer chicken nuggets made from scratch are incredibly easy to prepare. There’s no standing over a pan filled with hot grease. They are also healthier, as the air circulates around the food for a crispy texture without all of the extra oil of deep-fried chicken nuggets.

So back away from the McDonald’s drive-through and put down the Tyson chicken nuggets from the frozen aisle. Create something tasty, kid-friendly, and full of flavor from the comfort of your home!

Why This is the Best Air Fryer Chicken Nugget Recipe

  • Kid-Friendly: This bite-sized finger food is easy for little ones to chow down on!
  • Healthier Fast Food Alternative: As a kid, I was obsessed with fast food chicken nuggets which were labeled as “bad” and not good for you. Now that I’m a parent, I want my child to enjoy some of my favorite childhood foods without the fillers and preservatives.
  • Quick & Easy: This takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and doesn’t require an oven or a frying pan!

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken breast: This can be substituted with boneless skinless chicken thighs if preferred.
  • Eggs: This helps to bind the crispy coating.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: For a light, crispy batter, use this.
  • Dried parsley: For a touch of herby flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: This helps the coating stick to the chicken.
  • Seasoning: I season with smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and ground black pepper.
  • Avocado oil: Use this as a cooking spray.

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Made with simple ingredients that you can pronounce and recognize, whip these up in no time!

Prepare Ingredients

Cut the chicken breast into nugget size pieces (about 1-inch cubes) then set aside. 

In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs and dried parsley. In another bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk together the eggs in a third bowl. 

Line a large baking sheet with an oven-safe wire rack.

Bread Chicken Nuggets

Dip each chicken piece into the flour mixture then into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure each piece is completely coated with breadcrumbs. 

Transfer to the wire rack while you dredge the other pieces. Then generously spray the chicken nuggets with cooking spray. 

4 step visual for how to make chicken nuggets in the air fryer

Air Fry Chicken Nuggets

Once all the pieces are dredged, transfer them to the air fryer about 1 inch apart. Make sure to not overcrowd the basket and work in batches. 

Air fry the chicken nuggets at 400 degrees F. for 6 minutes then flip them over and cook for another 4-6 minutes until the chicken is cooked and golden brown. 

Finally, serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to not overcrowd the air fryer. Chicken nuggets should not touch while cooking because they won’t get crispy. Make them in batches if needed. 
  • Cut the chicken in bite size equal pieces so that they all cook evenly at the same time. Bigger pieces will take longer to cook. 
  • Dredge well. Make sure to completely coat the chicken with the egg and work in batches to ensure that the bread crumbs stick.
uncooked air fryer chicken nuggets

How to Serve?

When it comes to chicken nuggets, a great quality and delicious dipping sauce is nonnegotiable. The Primal Kitchen Tad Sweet Ketchup is a must-have for these crispy air fryer chicken nuggets because it is made with real ingredients and sweetened with honey.

This ketchup stands out above all others because it doesn’t contain added sugar, yet it somehow manages to be rich and flavorful. You can find the Tad Sweet Ketchup at Primalkitchen.com.

baby eating air fryer chicken nuggets with Primal kitchen tad sweet ketchup

Variations

  • Baked Chicken Nuggets: You can bake them in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 400°F. Flip them about halfway through.
  • Air Fried Chicken Tenders: Instead of chicken breasts, you can use chicken tenderloins to make air fryer chicken tenders.
  • Add Cheese: In addition to the panko breadcrumbs, rolls the chicken in finely shredded parmesan cheese.

Can Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Be Made Ahead?

Yes. Assemble the chicken nuggets and just before the air fryer step, store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month. Then you can air fry the chicken nuggets from frozen, adding an additional 5 minutes in cooking time.

Storing Leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftover air fryer chicken nuggets in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, place them in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month.
  • Reheat: When it’s time to warm up the leftovers, reheat in the oven or air fryer to keep them nice and crispy.

Common Questions

Do I have to flip chicken nuggets in the air fryer?

Yes. Flip air fryer chicken nuggets about halfway through the cooking process so both sides can be evenly crisp.

Do I need cooking spray?

If you do not have cooking spray, lightly coat the nuggets with oil so they brown nicely and don’t stick to the pan.

a toddler hand dipping an air fryer chicken nugget into a container filled with Primal Kitchen ketchup

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

More Recipes for Toddlers:

How to Make Oatmeal for Babies

Homemade Baby Food Squeeze Pouch

Spinach Banana Pancakes for Babies

Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know your thoughts. You can also share the recipe on Instagram and tag @eatwell.withlex.

homemade air fryer chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Homemade air fryer chicken nuggets are crispy, tender, and full of flavor. Delightfully crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, these healthier kid-friendly nuggets will become a family favorite without sacrificing flavor. Serve them as a filling snack, lunch, or even dinner with a mouthwatering, naturally sweetened sauce like Primal Kitchen Tad Sweet Ketchup.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Course Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 20 nuggets

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Avocado oil cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Cut the chicken breast into nugget size pieces. About 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
  •  In a bowl combine the breadcrumbs and dried parsley. In another bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs.
  • Line a large baking sheet with an oven safe wire rack. Set aside.
  • Dip each chicken piece into the flour mixture then into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure each piece is completely coated with breadcrumbs.
  • Transfer to the wire rack while you dredge the other pieces. Generously spray the chicken nuggets with cooking spray.
  • Once all the pieces are dredged, transfer them to the air fryer about 1 inch apart. Make sure to not overcrowd the basket and work in batches.
  • Air fry the chicken nuggets at 400 degrees F. for 6 minutes then flip them over and cook for another 4-6 minutes until chicken is cooked and golden brown.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Share your creations on Instagram! Tag us @Eatwell.withlex and use #eatwellwithlex! Don’t forget to leave a star rating and comment.

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2 comments

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[…] more air fryer recipes, try my Homemade Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets […]

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