Your frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer recipe is here! Even better, the nuggets can be done in less than 15 minutes! A great way to enjoy a quick and tasty meal, snack, or leftovers served with your favorite dipping sauce on the side.
Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer
Honestly, air fryer frozen chicken nuggets are the best way to make them. When I think of chicken nuggets, I think of crispy, on the go food for my kids (I used to sneak a few). So a recipe to align with the ease of that is through the wonderfully fast air fryer!
You can top a taco salad, stick them in a wrap, smother them in dipping sauce, or chomp on them for your midday snack! There’s a good amount of chicken nugget variety and you can even buy them gluten-free or organic at a specialty store.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- With a cook time of just 15 minutes, they’re ready before your family can start wandering the kitchen around dinner time!
- The whole frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer recipe need just 1 ingredient (not including the optional dipping sauce)!
- A healthier option than eating fast food, especially when you purchase some of the healthier brands on the market.
- Takes less time and uses less energy compared to an oven.
Any brand of nuggets will work in this recipe whether you’re trying to make air fryer Tyson chicken nuggets, panko-crusted nuggets, or even gluten-free nuggets. We used the Trader Joes frozen chicken nuggets with a panko gluten-free breading.
- frozen chicken nuggets
- oil– for the pan
- dipping sauce (optional)- ketchup, ranch, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a cheese sauce recipe
- Vegan– here is a handmade tofu chicken nugget recipe or you can buy Morning Star Farms vegan chicken nuggets.
- Gluten-Free– you can use a gluten-free breading recipe or buy from Trader Joes if it’s in your area.
Step by Step Instructions
A perfect weeknight snack or meal, this air fried frozen chicken nuggets will be a top favorite! With a 15 minute cook time and a very short ingredient list, you’ll have dinner ready without missing out on your evening show!
Air Fryer Temperature
Preheat your air fryer to 400F. If your air fryer doesn’t automatically do this you can manually turn your model on for 3-5 minutes to preheat.
Most air fryer frozen foods and snacks require a 400F cook time. You can lower the temperature to cook the food longer but we have found that the best temperature for reaching that crispy, fried texture is 400F.
If you have a non-stick air fryer basket do NOT use cooking spray, it ruins the finish and will make the food stick to the basket. If you have an aluminum air fryer basket you can use cooking spray or oil.
How Long Do You Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer?
The frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer recipe call for a pre-seasoned bag so there’s only one ingredient!
Place the frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. Make sure they are evenly spaced for even cooking.
Set the air fryer to a cook time of 16 minutes.
After 8 minutes of cooking, flip the chicken nuggets over for the remaining time.
Air fryer models tend to have varied cooking times so make sure you eyeball the nuggets when you flip them. They should be lightly brown after 8 minutes.
Once cooked, serve them warm with your favorite dipping sauce or variation!
- If you have a smaller air fryer, you could probably fit 1/2 pound of nuggets in at a time. If that’s the case, making them in batches works fine too.
- Flipping the chicken nuggets is not necessary for even cooking, but we found the result was better when we flipped after 8 minutes.
- Do make sure to preheat your air fryer before placing the chicken nuggets in so the cooking is thorough.
- Frozen chicken nuggets air fryer recipe works wonders with sauces or combined into another meal such as a veggie burrito! Feel free to be adventurous with this recipe!
What Temperature do you Cook Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer?
For many frozen snacks like chicken nuggets or french fries, cooking the frozen foods at a temperature of 400 degrees is recommended. Air fryers cook about 25 degrees warmer than an oven so you can adjust your favorite recipe accordingly. The nuggets cooks frozen and there’s no defrosting required beforehand.
How Long Do Chicken Nuggets Last?
Nuggets will keep up to 3 days in the fridge but are best eaten fresh or within 24 hours for best flavor.
Is Air Frying Chicken Nuggets Healthy?
To cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer is a much healthier option than deep frying or pan frying them in oil. Whether or not nuggets can be considered healthy also depends on the brand you’re purchasing, looking out for brands that add no extra artificial ingredients or colors is advised.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
Looking for even more air fryer chicken recipes? We have many recipes for your next meal!
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings from Frozen
- Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks
- Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast
- 1 lb frozen chicken nuggets
- Oil for the pan, if needed
- optional dips like ketchup or BBQ sauce
- Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes at 400F.
- Lay the frozen chicken tenders in the basket in a single layer, leaving space around each piece.
- Set the air fryer to a cooking time of 16 minutes, flipping the frozen nuggets after 8 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.
- Serve warm with ketchup, Ranch dressing, or your favorite sauce.
Any brand of frozen nuggets will work whether it's Tyson brand, generic brand, Trader Joes, dino nuggets, gluten-free, or panko crusted.
Be sure to preheat the air fryer so you get consistent cooking results.
For best results, spread the nuggets in a single layer in the tray.
If your air fryer has a non-stick basket, do not add cooking spray as the coating will actually leave a residue on the air fryer and cause food to stick.
We suggest to flip the nuggets halfway through the cooking time, some air fryer models do a better job at circulating air than others and you might not need to flip them if you have a high powered model.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce like ketchup, honey mustard, ranch, or BBQ sauce
If you have a small air fryer model you might just be able to fit 1/2 lb of nuggets in there at a time. Cook them in batches if that's the case.
The recipe instructions will work regardless if you have a basket style air fryer or an oven style like the Instant Pot Omni Plus.
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Instant Pot Omni Plus Toaster Oven, 26L
Air Fryer Accessories,Phillips Air Fryer Accessories and Gowise Air Fryer Accessories Fit all 3.7QT-5.3QT-5.8QT,Set of 5-7 inch
Ninja Air Fryer, 1550-Watt Programmable Base for Air Frying, Roasting, Reheating & Dehydrating with 4-Quart Ceramic Coated Basket (AF101), Black/Gray
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 420Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 66mgSodium 886mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 18g