Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets – Frozen to Crispy

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There’s no better comfort food than air-fried chicken nuggets dipped in your favorite sauce. If you’re wondering how long to air fry chicken nuggets, or if you can even air fry chicken nuggets and fries at the same time, then you’ve come to the right place!

How Long To Air Fry Chicken Nuggets

Why Cook Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer?

Simple. An air fryer provides healthy, delicious food with less mess than a traditional oven or stovetop. It also heats up quickly, so you can start cooking right away.

Air frying can be healthier than frying foods in oil because you can control how much fat goes into your food. It’s also easier to clean up after an air fryer than a deep fryer because it uses hot air to cook rather than oil!

setting the timer on the air fryer for 12 minutes

Air fryers use up to 80% less energy than stovetop cooking methods. They also tend to be more compact than deep-fryers, which can save you space in your already crowded kitchen!

I think the best air fryer brand is Philips. I use a relatively inexpensive analog model (no LED screen). Check out the Philips shop on Amazon.

Are Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Healthy?

Air fryer nuggets are healthier than their deep-fried counterparts. They’re far more nutritious since you’re not cooking them in oil.

One of the benefits of air fryers is that you don’t sacrifice the flavor or texture you’re used to when deep frying. You’ll still get the familiar crunchy texture you’re used to from McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A, but with fewer calories.

How Long To Air Fry Chicken Nuggets

Are Air Fried Chicken Nuggets Keto?

Breaded chicken nuggets are not keto. To make chicken nuggets that are healthy for a low-carb diet, you’ll need to make chicken nuggets without breading. This means no panko breadcrumbs and no flour.

Make homemade keto chicken nuggets by dredging chicken pieces in an egg wash followed by an almond flour mixture and air frying them. Let them cool on a paper towel once cooked.

Can You Air Fry Chicken Nuggets and Fries at the Same Time?

Yes! Cook frozen chicken nuggets and frozen french fries simultaneously for 15 minutes at 360 degrees. I’d recommend using one half of your basket for nuggets and one half for fries.

can you air fry chicken nuggets and fries at the same time?
Yes, you can!

If you have a rack insert for your air fryer, I’d recommend putting your nuggets in the bottom of the basket and your fries on the top rack.

This recipe also works for steak fries and sweet potato fries.

Can You Air Fry Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots at the Same Time?

Of course! Cook frozen tater tots and frozen chicken nuggets at 360 degrees Fahrenheit in your air fryer for 15 minutes of cooking time.

Portion them evenly down the middle of your air fryer basket or, using your rack insert, place the tater tots on the top rack and the nuggets on the bottom rack.

Can You Air Fry Chicken Nuggets and Tater Tots at the Same Time?

What’s the Best Brand of Frozen Chicken Nuggets?

My favorite brand of chicken nuggets will always be Tyson. To me, they’re the closest thing to fast food–specifically, McDonald’s McNuggets and Chick-fil-A nuggets.

That said, I’m trying to be more conscientious of what I put in my body and what I feed my 2-year-old daughter. So lately, I’ve been paying a bit extra for organic & pasture-raised chicken nuggets. This brand should be available at your grocery store.

closeup of Tyson chicken nuggets

What Should I Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets?

One of the most common questions people have when frying this tasty snack is “what to serve with air fryer chicken nuggets?”

The general answer to this question is anything! The sky’s the limit when it comes to pairing options. However, some foods go better than others.

Here are some delicious pairings that will make your meal pop!

Main Courses:

More Air Fried Snacks:

  • Crispy chicken tenders
  • Air Fryer chicken wings
  • Mozzeralla sticks
air fried bratwurst with ketchup, mustard, and caramelized onions

Dipping Sauces:

Here is my list of the best dipping sauces for air-fried chicken nuggets:

  • Ranch Dressing
  • Blue Cheese
  • BBQ Sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Honey Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Hot Sauce

Simple Ranch Dressing

This copycat Wingstop Ranch Dressing recipe can be whipped up in minutes with just a few simple ingredients!
Try my recipe
wingstop ranch dressing recipe

How Do I Store My Cooked Chicken Nuggets?

Let’s say you’ve made a double batch, and you realize your eyes were bigger than your stomach.

Fret not. You can store your leftover crispy chicken nuggets in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. However, I’d recommend eating them within 1-2 days of air frying for the best flavor and texture.

Can I Freeze Cooked Chicken Nuggets?

You can also freeze your cooked chicken nuggets for up to 3 months. Place them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag and try to remove any excess air.

I highly recommend the use of a FoodSaver. The FoodSaver is a great option because it creates a perfectly sealed, airtight bag that is entirely freezer-safe.

How Do I Reheat My Chicken Nuggets?

The best method for reheating your chicken nuggets is to throw them back in the air fryer! Then, air fry them for 3-4 minutes at 350 degrees to bring them up to temp.

You can also reheat them in the microwavethough I wouldn’t recommend this method. Microwaves will turn your chicken nuggets rubbery. Just spend an extra 4 minutes and use your air fryer :).

You can also reheat them in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat–these are my favorite) and place your nuggets on it—Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes or so.

how long to air fry chicken nuggets

How Long To Air Fry Chicken Nuggets?

Cook your frozen chicken nuggets at 400ºF (205º C) for 12 minutes. You don’t need to thaw them beforehand. Air Fryers can cook most frozen foods.

Another option is to cook them at 350ºF for 6 minutes and then flip them over and cook for another 6. This isn’t necessary but will result in a slightly crispier nugget crust.

Note: To ensure that your nuggets are cooked thoroughly, test one using a digital thermometer. As long as the internal temperature reads 165ºF, they’re safe to eat.


How To Cook Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

This is one of those “set it and forget it” air fryer recipes. You’ll have crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken nuggets in just 12 minutes.

Step 1: Add Nuggets To Air Fryer Tray

Decide how many frozen chicken nuggets you want to make and put them in the air fryer basket. If you have an air fryer rack, place a single layer of nuggets in the bottom and another layer on the top of the rack.

putting chicken nuggets in air fryer tray

Note: Oil isn’t necessary for this recipe, so don’t add any (olive oil, canola oil). Also, this recipe is for frozen nuggets. If you have thawed nuggets, you’ll want to cook for 5 minutes instead of 12.

Step 2: Air Fry the Nuggets

Set the temperature on your air fryer to 400º degrees F (205º Celcius) and cook for 12 minutes. You don’t need to rotate these halfway through.

Cook in additional 1-minute increments if you want a really crispy crust.

Air fry for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F
12 minutes at 400º degrees F

If you’re making homemade chicken nuggets, you’ll want to cook for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. If you’re cooking vegan or veggie nuggets, cook for 5 minutes at 400ºF and then check to see if they’re done.

Step 3: Remove The Nuggets & Serve

Once they’re done cooking, pull the basket out of your air fryer and pour out the chicken nuggets onto your plate. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before sprinkling with salt and black pepper and then plunging into your favorite dipping sauce!

fully cooked air fryer chicken nuggets
Perfectly cooked chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Note: The air frier model I use may differ slightly from yours. Make sure to follow the guidelines for cooking that come with your specific model. As time goes on and technology improves, you may only need to cook your nuggets for half the time this recipe calls for!


Recipe Card

how long to air fry chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Follow this simple recipe andyou’ll have crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken nuggets in just 12 minutes.
5 from 3 votes
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Cook: 12 mins
Total: 12 mins
Yield: 2 people

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen chicken nuggets

Instructions

  • Decide how many frozen chicken nuggets you want to make and put them in the air fryer basket.
    If you have an air fryer rack, place half your nuggets in the bottom and the other half on the top of the rack.
    1 bag frozen chicken nuggets
  • Set the temperature on your air fryer to 400º degrees Fahrenheit (205º Celcius) and cook for 12 minutes.
  • Once they’re done cooking, pull the basket out of your air fryer and pour out the chicken nuggets onto your plate.
    Let cool for 1-2 minutes before dipping into your favorite sauces!

Your Own Notes

Equipment

Video

Nutritional Information

Serving: 5nuggets, Calories: 270kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 470mg

The Golden Lamb provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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Check out my air fryer chicken nuggets recipe video on Youtube.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it was an easy recipe for you to follow! If you think this is the best recipe for chicken nuggets, or if you have any other feedback, I’d love to hear from you!

-Kelsey

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