These crispy air fryer chicken nuggets recipe will curb your fast food cravings without all the extra oil. This healthier option is made with skinless chicken breast meat and a unique ingredient - pickle juice! You'll love this quick dinner inspired by Chick-fil-A with your favorite dipping sauce and a side of sweet potato fries.
Why you'll love it
Easy dinner - the air fryer makes dinner a snap because it's faster than baking. It's a great option for those busy weeknights when you have a lot going on.
Healthier - you could opt to pick up some McDonald's chicken nuggets, but why would you when you can serve a homemade version made with real ingredients that is cooked in hot air instead of oil.
Family friendly - kids love finger foods and they will love these crispy air fryer chicken nuggets with some my buttermilk ranch dressing, honey mustard sauce, or other favorite sauces.
Chick-fil-A copycat - if you love a Chick-fil-A like I do, then you'll love this copycat recipes. It's a favorite that kids and adults love!
Love the air fry method? Try my Air Fryer Chicken Wings!
Boneless chicken breasts - cut into pieces. Use boneless chicken thighs if you prefer, adjusting cooking time if necessary.
Milk - regular milk is part of the marinade that is needed as a tenderizer for the meat.
Dill pickle juice, honey and yellow mustard - these are the special ingredients that give these nuggets that Chick-fil-A inspired taste.
Breadcrumbs - regular, dry breadcrumbs. Use panko breadcrumbs if you prefer.
Salt and black pepper - you can add addition seasonings such as garlic powder or onion powder. Just a bit will do - about ¼ teaspoon.
Step One: In a medium bowl, add the milk, pickle juice, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper.
Step Two: Cut the breast in pieces, I like to use my kitchen scissor for that, but you can also use a knife, just be sure you have one inch chunks of chicken breasts. Add the chicken to the milk and pickle juice mixture. Place in the fridge for at least one hour.
Step Three: Preheat air fryer to 380 F. Prepare a plate with breadcrumbs. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. You can lightly dab them with a paper towel, but you'll need some moisture so the breadcrumbs stick.
Dip the chicken pieces in the breadcrumbs until they are evenly coated.
Step Four: Spray the air fryer basket with a bit of nonstick cooking spray and spray the chicken nuggets as well. Place them in the basket in an even layer doing your best to leave a little space between. You may need to cook in bathces.
Step Five: Cook at 380˚F for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes until the inside of the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Be sure you're familiar with how your brand air fryer works.
Be sure to place chicken in a single layer for best results.
Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees F.
You can marinate the chicken in just pickle juice if you are avoiding dairy and sugar!
No air fryer? Try baking them in a preheated at 400 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes flipping them over at the halfway point.
Storage and reheating
Store leftover chicken nuggets in the refrigerator for up to four days. Freeze in an airtight container (freezer safe) for up the three months.
Reheat in the microwave until hot. Or place them on a baking sheet in the oven or in the air fryer at 350 F until heated through, about 6 minutes. If frozen, add a few more minutes.
What goes good with air fryer chicken nuggets?
Nuggies and french fries are the perfect combination. Try my waffle fry recipe or these other great ideas:
Try my No Bake Chocolate Pie for dessert!
These homemade air fried nuggets are full of protein and low in fat and calories. Most store bought and fast food nuggets are processed with lots of unnecessary ingredients and deep fried, making them an unwise choice.
A food scientist at Cornell University named Robert C. Baker invented the addicting and popular food.
More Easy Air Fryer Recipes
- Corn on the Cob
- Waffle Fries
- Baked Potatoes
- Whole Chicken
- Frozen Biscuits
- Bang Bang Cauliflower
- Turkey Meatballs
- Frozen Chicken Wings
Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch chunks about 1.5 pounds
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 cup breadcrumb
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
- In a medium bowl, add the milk, pickles juice, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper.
- Cut the kitchen breast in pieces, I like to use my kitchen scissor for that, but you can also use a knife.
- Add the chicken to the milk and pickles juice mixture.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour or more,
- Prepare a plate with breadcrumbs.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb until they are evenly coated.
- Spray the air fryer basket with a bit of cooking spray.
- Place the chicken pieces in the basket of the air fryer. Cook at 380 ˚F for 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking for 5 minutes until the inside of the chicken flesh has lost its pink color.