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Air Fryer Chick-fil-A Nuggets (copycat)

This recipe for air fryer Chick fil A nuggets is a quick and easy way to get your fix of this fast-food favorite without leaving the house. All you need is a few simple ingredients and an air fryer, and you can have crispy, juicy nuggets in minutes. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just treating yourself, these nuggets are sure to hit the spot.

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Air fryer Chick-fil-A nuggets on a white plate.
Air fryer Chick-fil-A nuggets.

How to make homemade Chick-fil-A nuggets in an air fryer

If you’re a fan of Chick-fil-A nuggets, then you’ll be happy to know that you can now make them at home using an air fryer.

This is a quick and easy way to enjoy your favorite nuggets without having to go to the restaurant. Plus, it’s a healthier option since you’re not deep frying them!

This delicious recipe is made with lean chicken breast and a few simple seasonings. They are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Plus, they are super easy to make. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have a batch of tasty homemade air fryer nuggets, Chick-fil-A-style, in no time at all!

Serve them with your favorite dipping sauce or add them to a salad or wrap for a quick and easy meal.

If you are looking for directions for air frying frozen chicken nuggets check out this post: How to cook frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer.

Scroll down for the printable card for this air fryer Chick-fil-A chicken nugget recipe, or read on for all the details.

Ingredients and substitutions

Ingredients for this chick-fil-a-nuggets recipe.
Ingredients for air fryer Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets.

Chicken breast. Use boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces.

Dill pickle juice. This is the secret ingredient to getting that buttermilk style crispy outer coating, and getting the flavor just right.

Flour. Use all-purpose white flour. Gluten-free flour should also work for this recipe. However, I haven’t actually tested it yet! If you try making it with gluten-free flour please let me know in the comments how it turns out!

Seasoning. This recipe uses salt, black pepper, sugar, and paprika. You could add a little cayenne pepper if you want to make spicy nuggets.

Egg and milk. These combine with the flour to form the crispy batter coating that makes these chicken nuggets so tasty. If you are out of eggs you can use mayo in a pinch. Substitute 3 heaped teaspoons of mayo in place of the egg and whisk the milk into it gradually so it combines without forming lumps.

Olive oil spray. Choose an oil spray that spritzes rather than an aerosol spray, and try to avoid using generic cooking spray (as both of these can damage the non-stick coating of your air fryer basket).

How to make the BEST copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets in you air fryer

There are three key steps to getting these copycat air fryer Chick-fil-A nuggets just right:

1. Marinate the chicken in pickle juice:

  • Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces, then place in a large zip-lock bag with the dill pickle juice. Seal and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour (ideally up to 6 hours).
  • Drain the pickle juice from the chicken and discard.

2. Batter the chicken

  • Mix milk and egg together in a bowl and add the marinated chicken pieces.
  • Mix the flour and seasonings together in another large (gallon size) zip-lock bag.
  • Strain the chicken pieces, then add to the bag with the flour mixture.
  • Seal the bag and shake until the chicken is completely coated.

3. Air fry nuggets

  • Preheat the air fryer to 370°F/ 190°C.
  • Prepare the air fryer basket by brushing or spritzing with olive oil. Place the chicken pieces onto the chicken basket and spritz with oil spray.
  • Air fry chicken nuggets for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping and re-spritzing the nuggets halfway through the cooking time.
  • Cook the nuggets in the air fryer until they are golden brown and have reached at least 165°F/ 74°C in the center of the largest nuggets (use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature).
Air fried Chick-fil-a nuggets on a white plate.
Crispy air fryer chicken nuggets Chick-fil-A-style.

Serving

Serve them as a snack with your favorite dipping sauce. Chick fil A sauce is an excellent choice, of course, but BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or tomato ketchup are all solid choices.

Or make them into a meal, here are some ways we like to serve them:

  • With potato wedges or waffle fries and a side of slaw
  • As a delicious crispy chicken sandwich served in a bun with lettuce, sliced avocado, and ranch dressing.
  • In a salad or wrap.
  • With a side of mashed potatoes (>> Instant Pot mashed potatoes) and gravy (>> How to make gravy from stock).

Storing and reheating

Store any leftover chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the fridge and use within 3 days.

To reheat your chicken nuggets in the air fryer, place them in the basket and air fry for 4-5 minutes until they have reached 165°F/ 74°C in the center.

Recipe card

Air fryer Chick-fil-A nuggets on a white plate.
Yield: 4-6 servings

Air Fryer Chick-fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

How to make homemade Chick-fil-A nuggets in the air fryer.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Soak chicken pieces in dill pickle juice for at least one hour but preferably up to 6 hours.
  2. Drain the pickle juice from the chicken pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the egg into the milk. Place the marinated chicken into the milk mixture.
  4. In a gallon-sized zip-lock bag, shake together the flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and paprika. Strain the chicken pieces and drop them into the bag. Seal the bag and shake until the chicken is completely coated.
  5. Prepare the air fryer basket with oil spray. Place the chicken pieces onto the chicken basket and spray well with oil spray.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 370 °F/190 °C. Air fry the chicken nuggets for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping and spraying the nuggets halfway through the baking time.
  7. The nuggets are cooked when they are golden brown, crispy, and have reached 165°F/ 74°C in the center [Note 1].

Notes

  1. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 314Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 1951mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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