Home Dinner Chicken Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Homemade Recipe)

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Homemade Recipe)

Kids will go crazy for these homemade air fryer chicken nuggets!

They’re easy to make, far healthier than fast food, and fresher than frozen.

Air fryer chicken nuggets garnished with parsley
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Crispy outside and juicy inside, these bite-sized golden morsels are proof from scratch is best.

Learn how to make them, and get ready to be impressed!

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Frozen chicken nuggets? Forget it! Once you try this recipe, you’ll agree homemade is the only way to go. 

Chicken gets coated in a flavorful Parmesan breading and then air-fried to crispy perfection. These nuggets are fresh, delightfully crispy, incredibly juicy, and delicious. 

Not only that, but they’re wholesome, too! You control the ingredients. There are no unwanted additives, preservatives, or grease. 

Even the pickiest eaters will love this kid-friendly finger food!

Chicken breast cut on a glass bowl on top of white marble table.


The best thing about this chicken nuggets recipe is you use real ingredients. There’s no mystery meat, no fillers, and no unnecessary additives. 

The recipe requires pantry staples and a few fresh ingredients. Here’s the list:

  • Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breast is best for chicken nuggets. Cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  • All-Purpose Flour – To help the buttermilk stick. You only need a light coating.
  • Seasoning – Garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper create a simple and flavorful breading.
  • Eggs – Use two eggs for binding. 
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk helps the breadcrumbs stick and makes the chicken extra juicy.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – I love the crispy crunch of panko breadcrumbs! The larger size adds a ton of texture. Regular breadcrumbs also work if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Mix the cheese with the breadcrumbs for a yummy nutty, salty flavor boost. 
Chicken nuggets in air fryer

How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets 

Air fryer chicken nuggets require a little bit of prep work. Don’t worry, they’re easy enough for beginners to make. 

Here are the general steps:

1. Prep the chicken. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces.

2. Mix the flour and spices. Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

3. Prep the wet batter. In a second dish, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. 

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4. Prep the breadcrumbs. In a third dish, combine the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan. 

5. Coat the chicken. Dip the chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally, the breadcrumb mixture. Press and pat the breadcrumbs to ensure they stick.

6. Air fry the chicken. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place the chicken in the basket and lightly spray it with cooking oil. Cook it for 8-10 minutes. Flip it halfway.

7. Serve. Serve the nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Tips for Success 

Are you new to homemade air fryer chicken nuggets? These tips will help:

  • Give the basket some breathing room. Too many chicken nuggets will prevent them from cooking properly. So don’t let the nuggets touch. Work in batches instead.
  • Keep the chicken uniform. When prepping the chicken, slice your nuggets to a uniform size. That way, they’re all ready at the same time.
  • Perfect your Parmesan. Freshly grated Parmesan will stick and melt better than pre-shredded Parmesan. So grate it yourself for the best results. 
  • Go for gluten-free greatness. Just swap out the panko breadcrumbs and flour for gluten-free alternatives. 
  • Do a seasoning shake-up. You don’t have to stick to using just this one spice blend. Try other flavorings like dill, parsley, Italian herbs, curry, coriander, cumin, and more.
Air fryer chicken nuggets in bowl

How to Store & Reheat 

Leftover chicken nuggets freeze well. So you can always have some on hand. Trust me, they’re a lifesaver when hungry tummies need a nutritious meal!

Here’s how to store and reheat:

To Store: Place the leftover chicken nuggets in an air-tight container. Refrigerate them for up to 3 days.

To Freeze: Transfer the chicken nuggets to a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze them for up to 2 months.

To Reheat: In the air fryer, reheat the nuggets at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 3-5 minutes. In the oven, reheat them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. In the microwave, reheat them until warm. 

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets 

Chicken nuggets aren’t complete without the dipping sauce! You could go with classic ketchup or spice things up with Taco Bell Diablo Sauce

Here are some other delicious dipping ideas:

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets (Homemade Recipe)

Course: MainCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time





These homemade air fryer chicken nuggets are so much better than store-bought! With this easy recipe, you have a meal you can feel good about feeding your family.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk

  • 2 cups Panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • Cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil)


  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized (1-2 inch) pieces. Set aside.
  • Combine the flour, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Set aside.
  • In a second shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Set aside.
  • In a third shallow dish, combine the panko and parmesan.
  • Dredge or toss the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating them evenly.
  • Dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, coating them evenly.
  • Finally, dredge the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb mixture, coating them evenly. Press and pat the breadcrumbs in to make sure they stick.
  • Spray the air fryer basket with a light spritz of cooking oil to prevent sticking.
  • Place the coated chicken pieces in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Spray the chicken with a light coat of cooking oil. (Depending on the size of the air fryer, you may have to work in batches.)
  • Air fry for 8-10 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces halfway through. They are ready when cooked through (165 degrees Fahrenheit), golden brown, and crispy.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.


  • If you don’t have Panko breadcrumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs.
  • Feel free to switch the flour and breadcrumbs for gluten-free options, too.
  • You can use regular milk instead of buttermilk.
  • Add more flavorings like dill, parsley, curry, etc.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. The chicken pieces should not touch. Work in batches as necessary.
Air fryer chicken nuggets

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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