Air Fryer Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe

A healthy snack that's actually tasty can be difficult to find. Made with lean chicken breast and baked to crispy perfection, these nuggets are a great alternative to the fried and greasy versions you find at fast food restaurants. To mimic the crisp texture of fried chicken, employ some ultra-crunchy panko breadcrumbs. "A fast and easy breading method means the whole recipe can be done in about 30 minutes," says recipe developer Taylor Murray, "and you likely have all the ingredients you need in your pantry already."

Even the pickiest kids will love this high-protein snack, which can be done with boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, depending on preference. A simple sauce completes the dish, making them a perfect meal for busy weeknights or a fun appetizer for game day. Grab your apron and get ready to make a batch of these tasty nuggets that the whole family will love!

Gather the ingredient for air fryer baked chicken nuggets

The ingredients for baked chicken nuggets are pretty straightforward. The breading is a standard coating of flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. "Panko breadcrumbs add spectacular crunch without the need for frying," says Murray. A few spices like dry mustard powder and paprika add seasoning to the otherwise flavorless flour and breadcrumbs, and an assortment of condiments you likely have on hand — barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and mustard — make a delectable sauce that couldn't be easier to put together.

Prepare the breading

Season the flour with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs. Add the mustard powder and paprika to the breadcrumbs, along with some additional salt and pepper.

Coat the chicken

Bread the chicken by coating each piece in flour, then shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then roll in breadcrumbs to coat. Work in batches of two to three pieces at a time to keep things manageable. Set each piece to the side while you work through the remaining pieces.

Bake the nuggets

Transfer the nuggets to the basket of an air fryer and bake at 400 F until golden brown. Timing may vary between models, but it should take around 15 minutes. Alternatively, these nuggets can be baked in a conventional oven at the same temperature with the convection setting turned on. Use a cooking thermometer to test the inside for doneness.

Make the sauce

While the nuggets are cooking, make the sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, honey, and mustard. Serve the nuggets while still hot with the sauce.

Air Fryer Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe
5 from 16 ratings
This quick and easy baked chicken nugget recipe uses your air fryer to give the dippable go-to snack the perfect crispy texture and satisfying crunch.
Prep Time
Cook Time
hand holding chicken nugget
Total time: 35 minutes
  • ¾ lb chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
  • 2 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  1. Preheat an air fryer to 400 F. Season flour with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Combine breadcrumbs with mustard powder, paprika, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Whisk eggs in a bowl.
  2. Working in batches, coat a few pieces of chicken in flour mixture, then coat in egg, then toss in breadcrumbs, turning to coat. Transfer to air fryer basket and repeat with remaining pieces of chicken.
  3. Bake nuggets until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, mustard, and honey. Serve nuggets immediately with sauce.
Calories per Serving 539
Total Fat 20.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 149.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.0 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Total Sugars 5.3 g
Sodium 480.5 mg
Protein 29.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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