These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are a healthier option for a kid-friendly dinner! Easy homemade chicken nuggets, breaded and baked in an air fryer.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
If your plan for the new year is to eat healthier or find ways to make your favorite dishes lighter, I have a recipe just for you. Chicken nuggets baked to perfection in the air fryer are my new favorite way to make them! Fresh chicken breast, cut into nuggets, seasoned, dipped in melted butter, and then in breadcrumbs and baked for 9 minutes in the air fryer without any oil is bound to be a hit with kids and adults!
This healthier Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets option is great to make ahead too! Simply make a double batch and freeze half once completely cooled. Then use as you would with store-bought nuggets. So easy!
- chicken: boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces;
- butter: keeps the nuggets juicy and helps the breading stick to the meat;
- bread crumbs: plain or Italian, use panko if you want the nuggets to be extra crispy;
- seasoning: keep it simple with salt and pepper, but you can also add paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, etc;
- Parmesan: adds great toasted cheese flavor to the chicken.
How to bake chicken nuggets in the air fryer?
Making chicken nuggets at home is very easy.
- Trim any fat from chicken breast. Slice into ½ inch thick slices, then each slice into 2 to 3 nuggets.
- Melt butter in a small bowl and place breadcrumbs in another small bowl. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F for 4 minutes.
- Season chicken pieces, then dip each one in butter and then in breadcrumbs.
- Arrange in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Bake for 7 minutes.
Serve with a side of steamed or roasted vegetables and dipping sauce or fruit salad and yogurt.
- Try adding various spices to the breading: cayenne pepper for a spicy version, taco or fajita seasoning for a Mexican twist;
- Do not overcrowd the air fryer - allow space between the chicken nuggets so the air can circulate properly;
- Add panko for extra crispy nuggets!
- Keep the nuggets roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
Two chicken breast makes about 42 nuggets which are comparable to the amount you get in a bag in the store.
Absolutely! You can cook the nuggets, then cool them completely and freeze them for up to 3 months. Use a freezer-friendly container or a bag.
Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge, for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply pop the nuggets into the air fryer set to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer set to 3 minutes.
The chicken nuggets bake for 8 minutes in the air fryer.
More air fryer recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan optional
- Preheat air fryer to 390° Fahrenheit for 4 minutes.
- Trim any fat from chicken breast, Slice into ½ inch thick slices, then each slice into 2 to 3 nuggets. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- Place melted butter in a small bowl and breadcrumbs ( with Parmesan, if using ) in another small bowl.
- Dip each piece of chicken in butter, then breadcrumbs.
- Place in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to bake in two batches or more.
- Set timer to 8 minutes.
- When done, check if the internal temperature of chicken nuggets is at least 165° F. Remove nuggets from basket with tongs and set onto a plate to cool.
- Serve with steamed or roasted vegetables or fruit salad and yogurt.
- This recipe makes about 21 chicken nuggets from one chicken breast. You can double and use two chicken breast and make 42 nuggets, which is comparable to the amount you get in a bag in a grocery store.
- You can use plain breadcrumbs, however I prefer Italian style.
- The amount of calories does not include Parmesan cheese, which is optional.