Easy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets made with chicken breast and seasoned panko breadcrumbs are crispy, crunchy and kid approved! Perfect for a quick dinner!
My kids are in love with these crispy air fryer chicken nuggets, and I am obsessed with how easy they are to make! I’m all about quick and easy recipes, especially chicken recipes, and these crunchy chicken bites take just 8 minutes to cook in the air fryer!
Right now, these chicken nuggets are one of the family’s favorite air fryer recipes. We’ve made fried zucchini and Buffalo chicken nuggets in the air fryer, but the kiddos like these plain old chicken nuggets best!
Do Air Fryers Really Work?
Yes, they do! Food gets cooked by hot air circulating around it — kind of like a mini convection oven. I usually make chicken nuggets in the oven, but the air fryer doesn’t heat up the house, which is definitely a huge plus in the summer!
I was definitely skeptical about the whole air fryer craze, so it took me awhile to buy one. But, I felt the same way before getting my Instant Pot, which I absolutely love now, so there you go!
How to Make Crispy Chicken in the Air Fryer
The prep for making chicken nuggets is basically the same whether you’re cooking them in the oven or in the air fryer. Just cut the chicken breasts into small pieces — about 2 inches long. Then dip them in a mixture of buttermilk and Dijon mustard.
I use buttermilk instead of egg whenever I make breaded chicken. The mustard isn’t totally necessary, but it just adds flavor.
After dipping the chicken in buttermilk, add a few pieces at a time to seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Then, place them on a baking sheet or plate, and spritz with olive oil spray.
Place a few pieces of chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Then, cook the chicken for 8 minutes, turning them over about half way through the cooking time.
And that’s all there is to making crunchy, crispy chicken in the air fryer! My kids ate the chicken nuggets as fast as I could make them, and there were no leftovers!
Crispy chicken is even tastier when you dip the nuggets in homemade ranch dressing! Much better than fast food — even my pickiest eater agrees!
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Recipe for Easy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Easy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees for 3 minutes (or follow your manufacturer's instructions)
- Mix the buttermilk with the Dijon mustard in a small bowl or shallow pan
- Add the breadcrumbs to a large zip-top bag or shallow bowl. Add the sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, herbes de Provence and pepper to the breadcrumbs and mix well
- Dip the chicken into the buttermilk, then dip them into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- Place chicken pieces on a baking sheet or dish, and spritz with olive oil spray
- Add chicken in a single layer to the basket of your air fryer. You may have to do this in batches.
- Cook chicken for 8 minutes, turning over about half way through the cooking time
I hope you enjoy this easy chicken dinner as much as we do!