These air fryer chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and packed with hidden veggies, making them a healthy and satisfying snack for any time of the day. The blend of savory flavors and textures that everyone will love, it's a Whole Lotta Yum!
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Air Fryer Homemade Chicken Nuggets
A tasty and healthy alternative to deep-fried chicken nuggets, ones you can enjoy without guilt. Made with real ingredients and spices that can be customized to your liking.
Kids love chicken nuggets, and you won't have to travel for chicken nuggets that have been soaking in a deep fryer. Easily hide veggies for those picky eaters and serve with their favorite dipping sauces!
Serve veggie nuggets with Baked Mac & Cheese, atop a crisp salad, with a flight of dipping sauces, or our delicious air-fried french fries!
Air frying is an easy way to save time, and make delicious recipes in a very short amount of time. Make crispy air fryer chicken tenders with chicken breasts, air-fried chicken wings, boneless wings, and even keto air fryer chicken tenders.
Why You'll Love This!
- Great for meal prep- Make a few batches of these before the start of the school week for your kiddo's lunch boxes.
- Super yummy- Not your regular chicken nugget, however, there is no lack of flavor. Seasoned from start to finish!
- Quick and easy! Let the Air Fryer do the work for you!
- Healthy - Some of the healthiest chicken nuggets around, filled with hidden veggies and lean meats.
🥘 Air Fryer Chicken Nugget Ingredients
Fresh ground chicken and veggies go into these chicken nuggets. The kiddos will love these as they're packed with tons of flavor as well.
- Ground Chicken - Ground turkey is a great swap if you wanted to use that.
- Carrots - Finely shredded carrots. Shred them easily using a box grater.
- Cauliflower - Cauliflower will need to be riced before preparing your nuggets. For easy prep, buy pre-riced cauliflower frozen.
- Egg - Egg is used as a binder for the nuggets.
- Spices - A yummy combination of salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, and dried parsley. If you love garlic, add garlic powder to your spice mixture.
- Plain breadcrumbs - Panko breadcrumbs are a great option that provides a perfectly crispy.
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- Dipping Sauce: Barbeque, honey mustard, ketchup, Chick-fil-a sauce, or ranch are all super yummy. Use your favorite dipping sauce!
- Alternative Spices: Up the spice with cayenne pepper or choose buffalo sauce as a dip.
- Without Veggies: If adding shredded carrots and cauliflower rice isn't your thing, you can make this recipe without the vegetables.
An Air Fryer- We have a Cosori XL basket style air fryer, an Omni Plus oven style air fryer, and a Ninja Foodi pressure cooker air fryer combo. The Cosori was used in this recipe.
🔪 How to Cook Chicken Nuggets with Veggies
A few moments of prep then pop them into the air fryer and let the nugget magic happen.
Prep Air Fryer
Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, carrots, riced cauliflower, egg, salt (¼ teaspoon), paprika, and onion powder. Set aside.
In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, salt (½ teaspoon), black pepper, and dry parsley.
Wet your hands to prevent sticking and form nuggets with the chicken mixture (about 1 tablespoon of chicken for each chicken piece) then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on parchment paper and repeat until all nuggets are formed.
Place nuggets directly in the air fryer basket and air fry chicken nuggets for 5 minutes. Using caution, flip the nuggets over and air fry for an additional 5 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Allow air fryer nuggets to cool slightly before serving.
🥗 Dietary Substitutions
As written air fryer chicken nuggets with hidden veggies are dairy free.
- Gluten free: Instead of plain breadcrumbs buy gluten free breadcrumbs.
- Whole30: Use an almond flour mixture as the "breading".
💡 Recipe Tips
- To bake in the oven, place nuggets on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes, flipping nuggets halfway.
- These are great to double batch the recipe and bake them (you can bake more at one time!) then freeze them and reheat them in the air fryer for a quick lunch or snack for the kids.
- Chicken nuggets will need some hot air between them, so be sure not to overcrowd your air fryer. Cook in batches if necessary.
- Use an olive oil cooking spray directly on your chicken nuggets, this will ensure a crisp outside without drying out and becoming burnt.
🥡 Storing and Reheating
- Storing: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezing: Place fully cooked and cool nuggets in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 2 hours. Then move to a freezer safe container or bag (allowing the nuggets to freeze individually prevents them from sticking together). Store frozen chicken nuggets for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: To reheat, place the frozen nuggets in a preheated air fryer at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Check out my tips on how to air fry frozen chicken nuggets.
If you're serving our veggie packed nuggets to your kiddos as an at home happy meal, make air fried tater tots or sweet potato fries. For a nutrient packed lunch serve with a side of sheet pan roasted vegetables and a simple salad.
Yes! Try other veggies like broccoli, zucchini, greans or sweet potatoes. Vegetables contain a lot of moisture, using a tea towel or paper towel squeeze out the excess liquid.
They can be, however, with the added oil the nutrition information will be altered. When pan frying make sure the chicken is cooked through using a meat thermometer to check.
😋 More Air Fryer Recipes
For more air fryer recipes featuring juicy chicken:
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders (No Breading)
- Keto Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders (No Breading)
- Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
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