Chicken nuggets are one of the greatest inventions in the frozen food category. Whether you serve them as a party appetizer or as a meal with your favorite dipping sauce, boneless chicken rules. They're less messy than chicken wings and so easy to prepare. But kitchen appliances can vary so you may find yourself wondering how long to cook chicken nuggets in an air fryer. Here are some helpful tips.
Whether you buy fresh skinless chicken breast nuggets (or chicken tenders) from the poultry section or frozen precooked breaded nuggets, air frying is the best way to cook them.
Air fryers may seem complicated and overwhelming to use, but once you get the hang of it, you'll barely use your oven again. Don't fear the buttons, dials, air fryer baskets, baking sheets, settings, etcetera. The air fryer is the healthiest way to get that crispy deep-fried taste without all the trans fat.
Air fryer chicken nuggets are usually served with a dipping sauce like honey mustard, ketchup, or BBQ sauce. Adults and kids alike just love to dip chicken.
There are tons of air fryer recipes out there for everything from veggies to steak. But air fried chicken nuggets will be one of the most popular chicken nugget recipes in your repertoire.
How To Make Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets
Take your frozen nuggets straight from the freezer, and place them in a single layer in the basket to air fry for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, turning halfway through cooking. Don't overcrowd them. Once the chicken is cooked through and crispy and golden on the outside, they're done. There's no need to spray them with cooking spray since they've already been cooked with oil in the chicken factory. No need to add even more saturated fat.
Air fryer chicken nuggets come out crispier and juicier than they do when made in a standard oven. The air fryer is faster too, shaving about 5-6 minutes off oven cooking time. The air fryer is a great option for people watching the cholesterol.
COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT
Leftover restaurant nuggets (I'm talking to you, Chick-Fil-A) also taste great when using the reheat setting on your air fryer.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Buy the already cut up nuggets in the poultry department to cut down on prep time. Plus they'll be more uniform in size and cook more evenly too. No one really enjoys slicing a raw chicken breast and if they say they do, they're lying. If you're going low carb or gluten-free, you can skip the breading. I admire your willpower.
Season the chicken with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and a little paprika. Then, prepare your breading stations. Break two large eggs in a shallow bowl and put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Use can use a mix of panko breadcrumbs and regular breadcrumbs for extra crunch. Add some parmesan cheese for flavor if you like.
Dip each chicken strip in the egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet until you're done breading all of them. Spray the chicken strips on each side with olive oil spray before placing them in the air fryer. Some air fryer models recommend canola oil because of its higher smoke point. Read your booklet.
Preheat your air fryer oven to 400 degrees F. Lay chicken on the basket with a baking sheet underneath to catch any oil or crumbs. Cook on air bake or air fry setting for about 6 minutes each side. If you have the larger air fryer models, cook some french fries at the same time to earn the title of Weeknight Efficiency Queen.
Pro Tips for the Best Chicken Nuggets
- Use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. They are lighter and airier and because of that will absorb less oil and end up crispier. Breadcrumbs will also work but they'll be heavier.
- Add different spices to your panko mixture. Use Italian seasoning or cajun spices to make a buffalo-style chicken served with ranch dressing.
- Remember to pat the chicken dry before you dredge it in egg and breading. Press the coating down gently.
- Don't go past the sufficient cook time. Chicken nuggets easily dry out, so watch your total time in the oven.
READ: Reheat Pizza in the Air Fryer For The Crispiest Crust