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Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

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Cooking Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer is the BEST. You get perfect crispy nuggets every single time with almost zero effort. In just a few minutes you’ll have your entire family believing you picked up take-out!

This is one of my go-to quick meals, but I have hundreds of other easy dinner recipes just for you! Be sure to check the full list and find some yummy additions to add to your menu.

stack of cooked chicken nuggets on a piece of parchment with a side of ketchup

Recipe Features

  • Quick and Easy: Faster than the oven and more crisp than the microwave. Win-win.
  • Crispy chicken every single time.
  • Easy Cleanup: A quick wipe down of the air fryer basket and you are done!

Why make frozen chicken nuggets air fryer? Well, if you are anything like me and have a long standing love with frozen nuggets, you’ll know that it is near impossible to get a nice crisp when cooking in the microwave. Using an air fryer gives you perfectly crips chicken nuggets with a super soft and moist inside. Every. Single. Time.

There’s no guesswork and your chicken is done in under 10 minutes.

just bare chicken chunks on a table

What You Need:

You’ll be happy to know that the ingredient list for this is SHORT. You literally only need your favorite nuggets from the freezer section. Here’s a list of our go-to’s:

  • Just Bare: This brand has chicken chunks and chicken tenders available at most grocers and by-far wins our family taste test. The tiny pieces, photoed in this post, taste like Chick-Fil-A and are sold in a giant bag at costco for around $10. You just can’t pass that up.
  • Tyson: No matter how hard I try I cannot break the cycle of love I have with these tenders.

What is the best air fryer?

Beyond the ingredients, you will also need an air fryer. Here’s a quick breakdown of a few popular brands and their features:

  • Instant Vortex 4 Quart Air Fryer (affiliate): I have owned this air fryer for almost 3 years. It is used on a weekly basis and has held up well. It offers air fry, bake, reheat, and roast settings- which have all come in handy at one point or another. The only downside is that it takes up a lot of space and can be tricky to clean. But it was also rated the top air fryer by Food Network in an article published last month.
  • Ninja Air Fryer (affiliate): I got to use this at a friends and loved the ease and versatility of the ninja. It’s more compact than the one I own but still feels incredibly sturdy. It also offers the option to dehydrate, which I’m slightly jealous over. It is more expensive, and slightly smaller cooking space, than the one above.
  • Dash Compact Air Fryer (affiliate): This little nugget is ADORABLE and the perfect addition to smaller kitchen spaces. Over 14,000 reviews and a 4.5 rating, I’d give this one a go if I was cooking for 1-2 people.

Regardless of which option you find fits your needs best, you will LOVE adding this appliance to your kitchen. It is the single most used item that my entire family agrees is a game changer.

chicken pieces inside an air fryer basket

Crispy Air Fried Chicken Nuggets

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. When the air fryer is heated, add the frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer into the basket and on top of the tray.
  3. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, removing and shaking the basket once halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove the nuggets from the air fryer and serve with your favorite sauce.

Check your nuggets at the 8 minute mark. If you want them a little extra crispy add a few extra minutes, but cook no more than 12 minutes total.

cooked nuggets on a plate with a side dish of ketchup

Air Fryer Tips and FAQs

Do you need to add oil to an air fryer?

For this recipe, you do not need to add any oil to the air fryer. The frozen chicken nuggets will not stick to the pan and will cook through perfectly.

Do I need to defrost nuggets before air frying?

No. You should not defrost the chicken before adding to the air fryer. This chicken will cook perfectly straight from the freezer.

Do I need to preheat my air fryer?

Some air fryers require preheating. We find it best if you do preheat the fryer for a few minutes to help get that perfect crispy texture.

chicken piece being dunked into a small container of ketchup

More Air Fryer Recipes

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Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Yield: 1-5 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer is the BEST. You get perfect crispy nuggets every single time with almost zero effort. In just a few minutes you’ll have your entire family believing you picked up take-out!

Ingredients

  • Frozen chicken nuggets- however many you'd like in your serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees.
  2. When the air fryer is heated, add the frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer into the basket and on top of the tray.
  3. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, removing and shaking the basket once halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove the nuggets from the air fryer and serve with your favorite sauce.

Notes

No need to add oil to the air fryer.

Use frozen chicken nuggets, do not thaw.

For a less crispy nugget check at 8 minutes. Add a minute or two if you like your nuggets more crispy.

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