How to Make Super Easy Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets

You can make air-fryer chicken nuggets in less than 10 minutes! They come out perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside every single time.

A bag of frozen chicken nuggets is a convenient thing to have on hand. They’re especially handy for quick and easy weeknight dinners or afternoon snacks. Microwaving chicken nuggets takes almost no time, but the texture turns rubbery and soggy. Cooking chicken nuggets in the oven creates crispy nuggets, but you have to wait for the oven to preheat while it warms up the entire kitchen.

The solution? The air fryer, obviously! Once you try air-fryer chicken nuggets, you’ll never go back to cooking them in the microwave or oven. If you’re new to air frying, here’s how an air fryer works, and here’s how to find the best air fryer for your cooking style.

Best Frozen Chicken Nuggets for Cooking in the Air Fryer

Our Test Kitchen pros sampled many brands to find the best frozen chicken nuggets. Their top picks were Banquet, Just Bare, Tyson Naturals and Perdue. So if you’re not sure which bag to grab in the freezer aisle, we suggest starting there.

How to Make the Best Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Air-fryer chicken nuggets can be cooked from frozen and do not need to be thawed. Additionally, regardless if you have an oven-style air fryer or basket-model air fryer, the instructions are the same. No preheating is necessary and no oil needed! Just grab your bag of frozen chicken nuggets and get cooking.


Step 1: Place the chicken nuggets in the air fryer

Arrange the frozen nuggets in a single layer on the air-fryer basket. For even cooking and to ensure a crunchy exterior, don’t overcrowd the air fryer.

Editor’s Tip: Use an air-fryer liner for easy cleanup.

Step 2: Cook the nuggets

Set the air fryer to 400°F and cook for 8-10 minutes.  If cooking in multiple batches, the air fryer will already be warm, so nuggets may cook a bit quicker. You can flip the nuggets halfway through, but it’s not required.

Editor’s Tip: If you prefer extra crispy nuggets, increase the air fryer’s cooking time by 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 3: Serve!

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Remove the chicken nuggets from the air fryer and place them on a plate. Serve the crispy air-fryer chicken nuggets hot with an assortment of your favorite dipping sauces.

Tips for Making Air-Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Can I make frozen veggie chicken nuggets in the air fryer?

Yes! Vegetarian, or even vegan, frozen chicken nuggets work just as well in the air fryer. Unless otherwise stated in the brand’s cooking instructions, you can cook your favorite veggie chicken nuggets using the same instructions as above.

What’s the best dipping sauce for air-fryer chicken nuggets?

Ketchup and barbecue are a classic dipping sauce that pair well with chicken nuggets. But, if you want to try something different, you could whip up a copycat Popeye’s Mardi Gras mustard (which also pairs well with air-fried chicken tenders), or mix together equal parts sriracha and mayo for a spicy sauce option.

What do I serve with air-fryer chicken nuggets?

Make a full-rounded meal by pairing the air-fryer chicken nuggets with a side salad, fries or a vegetable side dish.

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Jenna Urben
Jenna is a food blogger focused on sharing allergy-friendly recipes. Her favorite ingredients include sweet potatoes, chickpeas and squash.