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How Long to Cook Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer? A Comprehensive Guide

Chicken nuggets are the favorite snack for children, and they usually come in different fun shapes. Who doesn’t love the cute Dino nuggets? One of the most efficient ways to make these snacks at home is by cooking them in the air fryer. It is even more cost-effective and healthier than a fast-food restaurant. But is it easy to make, and how much time will it take?

In this article, we will give you the exact answer to “how long to cook chicken nuggets in air fryer?”. We shall also provide a step-by-step guide on how to make chicken nuggets in air fryer. Whether you want to cook homemade or frozen chicken nuggets, we will provide decent ideas for you. Let’s get started and make the tasty snacks now!

Cook Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer

What Do You Need for Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets?

Here is a list of ingredients you will need if you want to make air-fried chicken nuggets at home.

  • Chicken (boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

How to Cook Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer?

After all the ingredients are prepared, follow the step-by-step guide to make delicious chicken nuggets in the air fryer.

  1. Cut the chicken into 3/4-inch pieces. You will get dozens of chicken nuggets.
  2. Spread 1/4 teaspoon salt on the chicken nuggets evenly, and sprinkle the flour over the chicken.
  3. Put the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a bowl, and mix them together. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the mixture and stir to coat the breadcrumbs evenly.
  4. Add the flour to the second bowl, and pour 1/2 cup of buttermilk into the third bowl.
  5. Roll the chicken nuggets into the flour bowl, and then dip them into the buttermilk. After that, navigate to the third bowl and coat the chicken nuggets with the mixture of breadcrumbs.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Put the chicken nuggets into the air fryer. Air-fry them for about 11 - 13 minutes. Flip the chicken nuggets halfway through the cooking.
  7. Remove the chicken nuggets from the air fryer. Wait for 3 to 5 minutes to cool down. Then you can eat them with your favorite sauces.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer?

It is easy to cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer. Just put the frozen chicken into the air fryer and cook it at 400 degrees F for 9 - 12 minutes. During the process, you need to flip them over, or you can shake the air fryer basket once. When the chicken nuggets are done, you are able to eat them, served with the sauces.

How Long to Cook Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer?

The cooking time for chicken nuggets varies based on the size of them and the model of the air fryer. So, you need to adjust the cooking time correspondingly. For the raw chicken nuggets, the cooking time will take 11 - 13 minutes. Plus, you need to calculate the flipping time and the preparation time. But how long to cook frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer? For the frozen chicken nuggets, it will take around 9 - 12 minutes of cooking time.

Tips for Successful Chicken Nuggets Cooking

Air Fryer

Here are some essential tips to help you cook chicken nuggets successfully:

  • Preheat the air fryer. Warm up the air fryer to 400 degrees F for a few minutes before adding the chicken nuggets. This will shorten the cooking time and ensure perfect cooking.
  • Leave spaces between chicken nuggets. Ensure that there is enough room between the chicken nuggets. This helps air circulate and affects the final crispy taste. If you want to cook more chicken nuggets at once, you should minimize their size or purchase a bigger air fryer.
  • Check the temperature. The chicken nuggets are safe to eat when the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. It is advised to check chicken nuggets in air fryer temp with a meat thermometer.

What Chicken Nuggets Sauces Do You Need?

Pairing with the right sauces will elevate your taste to a new level. If you want to explore the new taste of chicken nuggets, don’t hesitate to try different sauces to serve with them. Here are some options that may meet your taste:

  • BBQ sauce,
  • Ketchup
  • Ranch dressing
  • Honey mustard sauce
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Buffalo sauce


Understanding how long to cook chicken nuggets in air fryer is essential for making chicken nuggets crispy outside and juicy inside. With our guidelines, you are able to make delicious chicken nuggets. So, what are you waiting for? Start making delicious snacks for your family and enjoy the process of making homemade air-fried chicken nuggets now!

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