These homemade Airfryer Chicken Nuggets are a delicious, healthy way to enjoy fast food at home without the guilt – you can freeze them too!
Ingredients in chicken nuggets
I always have such high hopes for homemade chicken nuggets but then inevitably become disappointed because I either haven't nailed the seasoning, or I've overcooked them in the oven, or the coating just isn't crispy enough.
Well, Airfryer chicken nuggets come to the rescue – these babies are basically no fail, and you don't need a ton of ingredients either!
Here's what you need on hand (ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post):
- chicken breasts
- panko breadcrumbs (for extra crisp!)
- parmesan cheese (this helps the chicken retain moisture & brings extra flavour!)
- garlic powder, paprika and salt & pepper
- Cooking spray (for the Airfryer)
How to make Airfryer chicken nuggets
Once you try homemade chicken nuggets in the Airfryer there's no going back. First of all, they cook four times faster than regular chicken nuggets do in the oven, and there's no heating up your house either. The Airfryer also saves you and your home from the smell of fried oil, so you get the taste of fried food without any of the downsides!
Here's how to make these easy chicken nuggets:
- Soak chicken in buttermilk for 5 min, and preheat your Airfryer.
- Meanwhile, mix breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper together in another large bowl.
- Drain the buttermilk from the chicken, then add chicken to breadcrumb mixture then toss well to coat.
- Add coated chicken to the Airfryer once it's done preheating, and spray with cooking spray. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 4 minutes.
- Serve with veggies and your favourite dipping sauces, and enjoy!
The secret to extra crispy chicken nuggets
Okay, so nobody likes a soggy chicken nugget. They can be really hard to make at home, but the Airfryer really does do the best job of crisping them up so that you get restaurant-quality chicken nuggets at home.
There really are two main ways to ensure a crispy coating, and that's 1) to use panko breadcrumbs (they have larger, crunchier flakes) and 2) to make sure to cook chicken nuggets in a single layer in the Airfryer (as pictured above).
If you don't have panko breadcrumbs you can also use cornflakes or rice cereal to get that crunch. You'll also want to do two batches of chicken depending on the size Airfryer you have as you really do want to ensure that single layer for the crispiest nuggets.
Don't have one or more of the ingredients listed? No problem! I've got you covered with some easy solutions.
Chicken – If you don't have chicken breasts on hand, boneless skinless chicken thighs will work.
Buttermilk – If you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can use 1 cup regular milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar.
Breadcrumbs – I highly suggest using panko breadcrumbs in addition to regular breadcrumbs to get that crispy texture. You need the regular breadcrumbs because they stick to the chicken better, and then the panko adds the crunch. If you don't have panko, you can use crushed up cornflakes or crushed up rice cereal.
Cheese – You can technically leave out the cheese but it will reduce some flavour. Your best bet is to substitute the parmesan with a similar type of cheese such as asiago or pecorino romano.
Seasonings – If you don't have garlic powder and paprika, use onion powder and chili powder.
What to serve with chicken nuggets
I like to keep it simple and serve some veggies and dip on the side, but you can also serve with some frozen fries or tater tots, which can also be made in the Airfryer!
Storing and reheating
You can store these chicken nuggets in the fridge up to 5 days. In a pinch, you can reheat for a couple of minutes in the microwave but the coating will get soggy. I also enjoy them cold as leftovers.
If you are looking to revive the crispy coating, then you'll want to reheat in a 375 F oven for 10 minutes, or you can pop them back into the Airfryer for 5 minutes. Hopefully you'll like them so much though that there won't even be any leftovers! 😉
Freezing chicken nuggets
You can also freeze the cooked chicken nuggets for later. Just add to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and they will keep up to 3 months. You can reheat them from frozen as you would any other chicken nuggets. Add them to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375F for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.
You can also try reheating them in the Airfryer for 10-15 minutes.
More Airfryer recipes
More yummy chicken recipes
Tools to make this recipe
- I own and love the Philips Digital Airfryer XXL (this is the biggest size so you can cook your chicken all at once, it's the best size for families)
Super Easy Airfryer Chicken Nuggets
- 1 lb chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- Cooking spray
- Carrots and celery
- Dips of your choice (I used honey mustard, ranch and chipotle mayo)
- In a large bowl, soak chicken in buttermilk for 5 min. Preheat Airfryer for 8 minutes on 400 F.
- Mix breadcrumbs, panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper together in another large bowl. Drain buttermilk from chicken pieces, then add chicken to breadcrumb mixture then toss well to coat.
- Add chicken to Airfryer once it's done preheating, adding nuggets in a single layer and spraying with cooking spray. Cook for 4 min, then flip and cook another 4 min. You may need to do the chicken in two batches.
- Serve with carrots and celery and your fave dipping sauces. Enjoy!