These air fryer chicken nuggets might just be your new go-to recipe which is a quick and easy homemade version. By using panko breadcrumbs, these are full of flavor and are amazingly crispy.
As there is no need to deep-fry these chicken nuggets in oil, using the air fryer is a healthy alternative. Because this recipe doesn’t call for using any flour, it’s quick to prepare and cook on any weeknight.
Ideal if you want to make a kid-friendly dinner with minimal ingredients or game-day snack with plenty of dipping sauces!
What are air fryer chicken nuggets?
They are just regular chicken nuggets that cook quickly, are more crispy, and require less oil using the air fryer.
You can get exceptional results by cooking frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer. Still, this recipe calls for a homemade version by using chicken breasts, panko breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasoning.
The main benefit of using this method is that the results are more healthy than deep-frying because you do not need to cook them in so much oil.
Why this recipe works?
orth cooking a large batch of these.
Using an air fryer will quickly cook the nuggets, and they will be very crispy on the outside and taste better than deep-fried nuggets with just a few sprays of oil.
Similar to deep-frying, you will benefit from cooking these nuggets in batches. Still, this recipe requires only two batches which take around 12 – 15 minutes each, with perfect results.
This air fryer chicken nugget’s recipe also works really well if you’re looking for a healthy or macro-friendly version because you don’t need to use flour or lots of oil for deep-frying.
Instead, using panko breadcrumbs ensures these chicken nuggets are incredibly crispy, which goes well with a hot sauce or curry sauce. These are similar to McDonald’s Katsu Curry Nuggets, but this homemade version is fresh and healthy.
- Chicken Breasts: Simply dice the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks.
- Eggs & Seasoning: Combine the eggs and seasoning in one bowl as this is where you will dip your chicken in first. You can season it with salt and black pepper, but I also included paprika and cayenne pepper for more flavor and heat.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Although you can use regular breadcrumbs, for best results I highly recommend using panko breadcrumbs. They will be more crispy and you can lightly coat these with the chicken.
- Low-Calorie Cooking Spray: Although you don’t need to use oil, I find using a few sprays of this low-calorie cooking spray can also help with the crispiness.
How to make homemade chicken nuggets in the air fryer
For best results, it’s important to preheat your air fryer for 10 minutes. It will help speed up the chicken nuggets’ cooking time, which is beneficial if you will be cooking in two batches.
During that time you can prep the chicken nuggets by simply following these steps:
- Dip the chicken breast in the mixing bowl with the egg and seasonings.
- Then dip the chicken in the bowl with the panko breadcrumbs and ensure it’s fully coated.
- Add the chicken to the air fryer and repeat. I use a low-calorie cooking spray, but this is optional.
- For this recipe, you will need to cook these in two batches, but each batch will take around 12 – 15 minutes to cook (the second batch usually cooks fully within 10 minutes).
- To make these spicier: Although this recipe calls for paprika and cayenne pepper for the egg mixture, you can make this spicier but seasoning the chicken breasts with cayenne pepper or paprika too.
- Low-calorie cooking spray: The benefit of using an air fryer is that you do not need to use cooking spray. However, one hack which I love for the air fryer is using a low-calorie cooking spray which makes the food more crispy.
- To make these vegan or vegetarian: Use tofu and the results will be amazing.
- Serve with hot sauce: These chicken nuggets taste great with ketchup but even better with a hot sauce or curry sauce.
Frequently asked questions
Can you cook air fryer chicken nuggets without flour?
You do not need to use flour for this chicken nugget recipe. The key is making these crispy and light is by using panko breadcrumbs and egg.
can you cook chicken nuggets and fries together in air fryer?
You can cook chicken nuggets and fries together in the air fryer but you need to give the basket enough space. This is why it’s recommended to cook in several batches.
can you air fry chicken nuggets?
Yes! You can cook chicken nuggets in the air fryer in under 15 minutes. In fact, this is my go-to method when I cook chicken nuggets because it’s quick, healthy, and easy. Although this is a kid-friendly recipe, adults love these as well, especially during game days.
Can you reheat air fryer chicken nuggets?
Yes, you can keep the chicken nuggets stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and reheat them in the air fryer for 5 – 8 minutes. You can also microwave the chicken nuggets for 1 minute, or until piping hot. These can be great for meal prep too if you plan to make a batch of these for the week.
Can you freeze air fryer chicken nuggets?
Yes, you can freeze these chicken nuggets for 3 months, and they will still taste great if you plan to reheat them in the air fryer. Do ensure you use an air-tight container or freezer bag.
Is this recipe Gluten-Free?
This recipe can be gluten-free if you use u003ca href=u0022https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mrs-Crimbles-Gluten-Free-Breadcrumbs/dp/B01F8ZFI5I/ref=sr_1_3?crid=TM0NKMT6LL8Xu0026amp;dchild=1u0026amp;keywords=gluten+free+panko+breadcrumbsu0026amp;qid=1614686091u0026amp;s=groceryu0026amp;sprefix=gluten+free+panko%2Cgrocery%2C151u0026amp;sr=1-3u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003ebreadcrumbs that are specifically gluten-freeu003c/au003e.
Want more air fryer recipes? Why not try these!
Air Fryer Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- 2 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized chunks
- 65 g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- low-calorie cooking oil spray
- Preheat the air fryer at 180°c / 350°f for about 10 minutes.
- To your mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, paprika powder, cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and ground black pepper.
- To another bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs.
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks.
- Dip the chicken piece into the egg mixture first, then dip into the breadcrumbs, and place in the air fryer basket.
- In the air fryer basket, keep the chicken nuggets separated and in a single layer. You may need to cook these in two batches.
- Spray with low-calorie cooking oil and cook for 12 - 15 minutes at 180°c / 350°f. Repeat the next batch until done.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you will need to cook in two batches
- Leftovers: Keep stored in air-tight container for 3-4 days in the fridge or freezer for 3 months. They reheat well in the air fryer for 5 - 8 minutes, or microwave for 1 minute.
Hey, I’m Mani and I started Spicy Meal Prep to help you prepare and cook healthy meals that have an extra kick of flavor! Whether you’re a busy worker looking to save time or a fitness enthusiast looking for meal planning inspiration, you will find recipes and cooking tips here to help you thrive in the kitchen!