Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets

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Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets — These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets — These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!

Chicken nuggets are something that almost no kid (or adult!) can resist. They’re an easy impromptu dinner that everyone can agree on. And with sweet-and-tangy honey mustard sauce for dipping, you won’t have any leftovers! 

I made these homemade chicken nuggets in my Cosori Air Fryer. They get nice and crispy on the outside, but the chicken stays tender and juicy on the inside. 

Air fried panko chicken nuggets are extra crispy and we love that. They are on par with oil-fried chicken nuggets in terms of crispiness.

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets - These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!

Ingredients Needed for Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

For the homemade chicken nuggets in the air fryer, you’ll need: 

  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)

And for the homemade honey mustard dipping sauce, you’ll need: 

  • Honey
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard 

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets — These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!

How to Air Fry Chicken Nuggets

Making crispy chicken nuggets in an air fryer is fast and easy! Here are the basic recipe steps:

  1. To a large, shallow bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix to combine, then set aside. 
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave. Dip the chicken in the butter, then in the crumb mixture, really patting the chicken into the mixture to help the coating adhere.
  3. Place coated chicken in the air fryer basket and cook until done, flipping halfway through. (See my exact cook times in the recipe card below). 

Tip for Making Extra Crispy Chicken Nuggets

In my Cosori Air Fryer, which is considered extra-large with a 5.8-quart capacity, a pound and a half of chicken breasts diced into bite-sized pieces took three separate rounds of air frying, with each round cooking for 7-8 minutes, with a mandatory flip at the halfway point.

You cannot overload air fryer baskets, and even an ‘extra-large’ basket isn’t that big so you will need to do multiple rounds to air fry a pound and a half of chicken, but the crispiness is worth it!

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets – These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should I Cook Chicken Nuggets in an Air Fryer?

In my air fryer, given the pieces of chicken I was working with, 7 to 8 minutes at 400F was perfect for lightly golden browned nuggets, flipping them over one time halfway through.

Can I Make This recipe Without an Air Fryer?

Yes! I have a nearly identical recipe for Baked Chicken Nuggets in case the idea of homemade chicken nuggets has you craving them but you don’t have an air fryer.

Can the Panko Breadcrumbs Be Substituted?

Panko breadcrumbs are Japanese-style breadcrumbs, are sold near regular breadcrumbs, and are coarser in texture than regular breadcrumbs. They help add texture and crunch to the nuggets without having to actually fry them.

Do NOT substitute regular breadcrumbs for the panko. There are no substitutions here.

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but thighs may be substituted if that’s what you have on hand. Just make sure the chicken is boneless and skinless, whatever cut you use. 

Why are the nuggets sprayed with olive oil cooking spray?

After I have my chicken in the air fryer basket, I give it a spray with olive oil cooking spray. It helps it crisp up and brown up even more. It’s not truly essential because these nuggets were first dipped in butter, but it’s a touch I like to employ. If you have a misto-style spray bottle, even better.

Can I make the dipping sauce with different types of mustard?

When making the honey mustard dipping sauce, feel free to use different types of mustards than what I used. A grainy or spicy mustard would taste delicious here as well, or you can use just one type of mustard. 

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets - These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Chicken nuggets: Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Honey mustard dipping sauce: Will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It tastes good with fries, on burgers, with chops — pretty much anything!

To reheat: Any leftover chicken will not be nearly as crispy compared to when it’s fresh and reheating in a microwave will likely remove all the crispy texture, but the flavor will still be good. With that in mind, reheat the nuggets in your air fryer or in the oven. Or, reheat in the microwave knowing that they won’t be crispy anymore.

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

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4.65 from 14 votes

Air Fryer Crispy Chicken Nuggets

By Averie Sunshine
These EASY air fryer nuggets are coated in a mixture of Panko breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, which makes them EXTRA flavorful and SO CRISPY!! Dip them in this 30-second homemade honey mustard sauce for a guaranteed family FAVORITE!!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 53 minutes
Servings: 5
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Ingredients  

Chicken nuggets:

  • 1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, thighs can be substituted, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • olive oil cooking spray or olive oil for misting, optional and as desired

Honey mustard sauce:

  • ½ cup honey, or to taste
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup dijon mustard

Instructions 

  • Preheat an extra-large 5.8-quart Cosori Air Fryer to 400F.
  • To a large, shallow bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt, pepper, and stir to combine; set aside.
  • To a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 30 seconds on high power.
  • Working in batches (I did 3 separate rounds), dip the chicken in the butter, then in the crumb mixture, assertively patting to help the coating adhere.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces in the air fryer basket. Do not allow them to touch, and don’t crowd them.
  • Optionally if desired, give them a quick and light mist with olive oil spray.
  • Air fry them for about 7 to 8 minutes total, flipping once halfway through with a tongs. When you flip them, if desired, spray again with a light misting of olive oil spray. Exact cooking time will vary based on your air fryer, the size of your chicken pieces, and until you know how your air fryer behaves, I would start checking for doneness by 5 minutes in case it runs on the hot side. These small pieces of chicken really don’t take very long to cook.
  • Place chicken on a serving platter and repeat the process with the remaining chicken, likely two more rounds. Tip – While one batch is air frying, work ahead and start buttering and coating the next batch of chicken in the panko-parm mixture.

Make the honey mustard dipping sauce:

  • While the last batch is air frying, to a medium bowl add the honey, mustards, whisk to combine, taste and check for flavor balance, adding more honey or mustard to taste if necessary; set aside until ready to serve with chicken.

Notes

Storage: Nuggets are best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Honey mustard will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Note: Any leftover chicken will not be nearly as crispy compared to when it’s not fresh and reheating in a microwave will likely remove all the crispy texture, but the flavor will still be good.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 725kcal, Carbohydrates: 56g, Protein: 53g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 169mg, Sodium: 1587mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 30g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes: 

All of my AIR FRYER RECIPES!

Air Fryer Hot Honey Chicken — Breaded chicken cutlets are air fried until crispy, then drizzled with spicy-sweet hot honey! This is such a QUICK and EASY air fryer chicken recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! Oven-baking instructions are also provided.

Air Fryer Parmesan Chicken — Coated in a mixture of panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, this “fried” chicken is perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy, tender, and moist inside! It’s EASY, ready in 15 minutes, perfect for busy weeknights, and a healthier way to indulge in fried chicken! 

Air Fryer Breaded Chicken Breasts — Learn how to make perfectly “fried” chicken in your air fryer! Deliciously crispy on the outside while staying juicy, tender, and moist on the interior. 

Crispy Air Fryer Wings — You don’t have to deep fry chicken wings to get them extra crispy, juicy, and finger-licking good thanks to the tangy buffalo sauce! FAST, EASY, and everyone LOVES these air fried crispy chicken wings!

I was provided a Cosori Air Fryer in exchange for this post. The recipe, images, text, and opinions expressed are my own.

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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  1. 5 stars
    Cảm ơn chia sẻ của bạn, mọi thứ ở đây đều tốt
    Tôi là Food Blog tôi có nhiều sở thích. Tôi thích đi du lịch và đọc sách. Nhưng sở thích yêu thích của tôi là nấu ăn. Hãy để tôi nói cho bạn biết lý do tại sao! Đầu tiên, tôi sẽ cho bạn biết một chút về lý do tại sao tôi bắt đầu nấu ăn. Thứ hai, tôi sẽ cung cấp cho bạn một số thông tin về những gì tôi thích nấu. Thứ ba, tôi sẽ nói cách tôi sử dụng food near me để nấu ăn.

    Khi tôi bắt đầu nấu ăn, tôi 10 tuổi. Mẹ tôi muốn tôi trở thành một đầu bếp. Bà luôn tin rằng con gái phải làm nhiều loại thức ăn khác nhau, vì một ngày nào đó họ sẽ kết hôn. con gái không nấu ăn là chuyện bình thường. Tôi thấy mình may mắn vì nấu được nhiều món. Bây giờ tôi nấu một số món ăn mà các con tôi và chồng tôi yêu thích, tôi trở nên hạnh phúc và tự hào về mẹ và bản thân tôi. Hãy ghé thăm blog của tôi I am a food blog

  2. 5 stars
    I am glad you pointed out the limitations of the Air Fryer capacity. I have an early Phillips version perhaps the capacity of yours and I use it occaisionally. I think they are not family devices. Mine is big enough for me. I had a larger capacity one an Actifry with a rotating paddle which saved all that bother of having to flip chips (maybe I should say fries) and could do Chilli Con Carne as well but it expired a few days ago and they are silly prices now.
    I have never eaten Chicken Nuggets but I am tempted to try this but I would eat them with Chips, English style.

  3. I have a different brand air fryer but this is how I fry my chicken. These look wonderful. I can’t wait to air fry them.

  4. 5 stars
    I am glad you pointed out the limitations of the Air Fryer capacity. I have an early Phillips version perhaps the capacity of yours and I use it occaisionally. I think they are not family devices. Mine is big enough for me. I had a larger capacity one an Actifry with a rotating paddle which saved all that bother of having to flip chips (maybe I should say fries) and could do Chilli Con Carne as well but it expired a few days ago and they are silly prices now.
    I have never eaten Chicken Nuggets but I am tempted to try this but I would eat them with Chips, English style.