Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)–Skip the drive-thru and stay home. Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are amazingly awesome. Everyone loves those crispy, juicy nuggets, so I went on a quest to make these at home. Today, I made a huge batch for my son, and he was in love. The secret, of course, is in the pickle juice!
Believe it or not, I had to force my kids to try chick-fil-a when we moved to Philadelphia. They had never heard of it, and they were both leary about a restaurant that only served chicken. They have heard of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, but this chicken place? Remember, we were from rural New Hampshire, and there were none. So, I bought one combo, and they reluctantly tried the sandwich and were hooked.
So, when I got my air fryer, it was one of my first recipes. I mean, what kid doesn’t like Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets? And making them in the air fryer uses less oil and uses real chicken breasts, and a healthier option without all of the peanut oil. This recipe is of the original recipe and makes for a perfect batch of air fryer nuggets!
I am always looking to make delicious copycat recipes with my air fryer to save money and make healthy alternatives for my kids. If you need more copycat recipes, try my Air Fryer Chicken Sandwich Chick-fil-a Copycat and make this a whole meal with my Chick-fil-a Copycat Coleslaw Recipe.
What Makes Chick Fil A Nuggets So Good
These nuggets are unique because they are soaked in pickle juice, a delicious brine. Brining the chicken makes it more flavorful and juicy. With so much flavor, these little bite-sized nuggets are great for kids and picky eaters.
My batter, made with the perfect combination of seasonings, adds another layer of flavor and makes them oh-so crispy! Unlike some fast food chicken nuggets, these nuggets are real chicken, and you can taste the difference.
What isn’t to love about chicken nuggets? Give this recipe a try, and be prepared to never look at making nuggets any other way.
What You’ll Need to Copycat Chick Fil A Nuggets
Nothing is better than these homemade chicken nuggets served with your favorite dipping sauce. You will love this copycat recipe. Best yet, they have a deep pickle flavor, made with a few simple ingredients.
Remember all of the ingredients and step-by-step instructions are below in the printable recipe card:
- Chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken breast, chicken tender, chicken strips, or even boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Dill Pickle Juice: You can purchase pickle juice at Walmart.
- Eggs: Use large egg
- Milk If you have an allergy, use almond milk, coconut milk, or even a dairy-free alternative.
- All-Purpose Flour: To make this chicken nugget recipe gluten-free, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour. If you want a Keto or low carb option, use almond or coconut flour.
- Powdered Sugar: This is the secret ingredient! Please don’t leave it out!
- Seasonings and Spices: Salt, White Pepper (or Black Pepper), Chili Powder,
- Oil: Use Olive Oil, Olive Oil Spray, Vegetable Oil Spray, and Canola Oil
How To Cook Crispy Air Fryer Copycat Chick-Fil Chicken Nuggets
Step 1: Let Chicken Marinate and Coat Chicken with a Batter
- Prepare The PIckle Juice Mixture: Add the pickle and just 1/2 cup of milk to a large bowl.
- Add the chicken pieces, and Let marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge.
- Drain the chicken, and use a paper towel to dry the chicken.
- Prepare The Egg Mixture: In a shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup of milk, and eggs, add the chicken and marinate for about 30 minutes.
- Prepare The Flour Mixture: In a separate bowl, mix the flour, powdered sugar, salt, white pepper, and chili powder in a small mixing bowl. Shake off any excess flour.
- Add your chicken and coat them.
Step 2: Prepare Air Fryer and Cook
- Add your chicken to the air fryer basket in a single layer, and spray with olive oil or cooking spray. Leaving a little space around the chicken nuggets.
- Set the air fryer to 370 degrees F, air fryer setting, for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Next, check to make sure the chicken is cooked before removing it. It should have an internal temperature of 165 F and be golden brown.
Tips and FAQs For Declious Nuggets
- Even Copycat Nuggets: Try to cut the chicken into even pieces. That way, you get an even cook on all the chicken. Different sizes will cook up at different times.
- Chicken: You will want chicken breasts that are skinless and boneless or tenderloins. Make sure you remove the tendon in the chicken if you use tenderloins. Or it can be a bit chewy to eat.
- Soaking/Brining: Ensure you soak in the dill pickle juice. It brines the chicken and helps keep it moist and flavorful.
- Spray Your Chicken: Make sure to use oil to spritz your air fryer basket or tray. Don’t use cooking spray, as that can eat away the lining on the tray.
- Batch cook your chicken. Do not let the chicken touch, or you will run into soft spots that don’t fully cook.
- More Spices: You can add additional seasoning, today, I went with the copycat air fryer chick-fil recipe, but you can use garlic powder, onion powder, or even cayenne pepper for some heat.
Can I substitute with veggie nuggets?
Yes! You can buy the pre-made frozen veggie nuggets at the store and use those instead.
If you use frozen veggie nuggets, the temperature will still be 400 degrees F, but only cook for 6-8 minutes.
I would flip the veggie nuggets so both sides get evenly cooked.
Are Chick-Fil-A nuggets marinated in pickle juice?
Add pickle juice to the marinade to make this a true Chick-fil-A copycat! The great flavor comes from the pickle just, and it’s the special ingredient that will make your crispy chicken nuggets taste just like the real thing! Pickle is so important and makes this chicken the real deal, and it gives the delicious nuggets the signature flavor.
That is what gives Chick-Fil-A the taste and aroma of pickles. Everyone always asks me where I buy the pickle juice, and I don’t buy the juice; you use the pickle juice from the jar of pickles! The pickle makes a huge difference in this recipe and gives the chicken nugget craving from homemade chick-fil-a!
How can I store or freeze my nuggets?
Any air fryer recipe that offers a breading is best eaten fresh. With that said, you can store leftovers. Allow the chicken to cool and place it in a bag, airtight container, or warp in plastic wrap.
The chicken will store for a few days. When you want to eat more, reheat it in the microwave or toss it back in the air fryer for a crispier texture.
Freezing these Chick-Fil-A nuggets is great for meals down the line. Allow the chicken to cool, place it in a proper container, and freeze for up to three months. Then reheat in the oven from frozen, microwave, or toss in the air fryer.
What Dipping Sauces To Serve With Your Favorite Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are classic comfort foods that will never go out of style. Whether they’re served as a quick snack or the star of your dinner plate, everyone has a favorite way to enjoy them. But let’s face it, plain chicken nuggets can get boring after a while. That’s why spicing up your meal with different dipping sauces can take these morsels from mundane to marvelous! Luckily, there is an impressive variety of flavors; from tangy BBQ sauce to dreamy honey mustard—the possibilities for deliciousness are endless. In this blog post, I’ll share some ideas for how you can use various dipping sauces to upgrade your chicken nugget game and create fun new flavor combinations everyone in the family will love!
What To Serve With Delicious Chicken Nuggets
Nothing is better than serving this with a great side; some of my favorites are:
- Air Fryer French Fries
- AIR FRYER ZAATAR ZUCCHINI
- AIR FRYER KALE CHIPS NO OIL
- AIR FRYER TRADER JOE’S FROZEN SWEET POTATO FRIES
How To Reheat Chick-FIl-A Nuggets In Air Fryer
For best results, reheat your chicken in the air fryer, the hot air circulating around the chicken will give you the best chicken reheated. Place the piece of chicken into the air fryer basket, spray with cooking space, and then set the cooking time to 4-8 minutes at 330 degrees f, using the air fryer setting. Leftovers are perfect for air frying!
More Air Fryer Recipes
If you have been looking for some delicious air fryer chicken recipes, some of my favorites are:
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Keto Chicken Nuggets Recipe
- Air Fryer Chick Fil A Sandwich
- Air Fryer Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
Chick-fil-A’s nuggets are some of the most popular items on their menu. And for good reason – they’re crispy, juicy, and taste amazing. This copycat recipe comes pretty close to the real thing. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 cup pickle juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- In a large bowl, add the diced chicken, pickle juice, and 1/2 cup of milk. Let marinate for about 1 hour.
- Then drain the chicken.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup of milk, and the eggs, add the chicken, and marinade for about 30 minutes.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix the flour, powdered sugar, salt, white pepper, and chili powder.
- Add your chicken and coat them.
- Add your chicken to the air fryer basket, spray with olive oil.
- Set the air fryer to 370 degrees F for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the chicken and air fry for another 5-7 minutes.
- Check to make sure the chicken is cooked before removing it.
- Plate, serve, and enjoy!
- Air Fryer
- Cooking Spray