These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets are so easy, only requiring a couple ingredients, and seriously come out so crispy and delicious! If you are ever craving a crispy fast-food style chicken nugget, this healthy recipe is for you. The pickle brine in this recipe is the secret ingredient to making the best nuggets. This recipe literally tastes like Chick-Fil-A chicken minus all of the crazy additives and junk! Your whole family, including the kids, will be begging for these nuggets!
This recipe is always a great hit for all ages! This would be a great option to have on hand for when the kids are off school during the summer or on break.
Why This Recipe Works
- These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets come out perfectly crispy.
- Kids will love these!
- Prep is simple. While the chicken is soaking in the pickle brine, you can get any side dishes or sauces ready.
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets make a great snack or meal.
- This recipe is naturally gluten free, grain free, dairy free, paleo, soy free, and refined sugar free. This recipe can also be made AIP friendly (autoimmune protocol).
- There are a variety of side dish recipes on my website. Pick your favorite to serve with these chicken nuggets.
- If you are in the Pittsburgh area and would like to get these chicken nuggets delivered right to your front door, check out my weekly meal prep menu. We feature new, allergen friendly dishes every week.
- Chicken breast– You can use fresh chicken breasts or frozen chicken breasts. If you use frozen, you will have to let them completely thaw before using. I love to get my meat (and seafood) from Butcher Box. I get a delivery once a month and their products are seriously the best quality! Use my Butcher Box link to get a free essentials bundle every month, with your order. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer your chicken to be more juicy.
- Pickle brine- This is the secret to the BEST chicken nuggets. This tenderizes the meat while also keeping it super juicy.
- Cassava flour- I only use Otto’s brand – not all cassava flour is the same! I buy it in bulk, so that I always have some on hand. This is the best way to get things nice and crispy. When combined with the seasonings, this will create the perfect breading for your chicken nuggets. Note that not all cassava flour is created equally so I only suggest using Otto’s.
- Coconut milk- Keeps the chicken moist during the air frying process.
- Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika- The seasonings for the nuggets. This mixture will crisp up so well in the air fryer, when combined with the cassava flour.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- You can switch out the dipping sauces to your favorites kind!
- To make this recipe even easier you could bulk make ahead of time and freeze so you only have to heat it up and serve.
- Adding additional seasonings to the flour mixture can help to enhance and change the flavoring of the nuggets.
- If you like your chicken to be juicier, swap your chicken breast out for chicken thighs.
This recipe has not been with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
Step by Step Instructions
- Tip # 1: Make sure to spray the both the air fryer basket and the chicken well with cooking spray. This will assist with making sure that the chicken does not stick and also helps get the great golden brown coloring and crispy coating.
- Tip # 2: Don’t soak the chicken in the pickle brine longer than 1 hour. It will become overly salty and mushy. 30-45 minutes is the perfect amount of time.
- Tip # 3: If you like more breading on your chicken, you can do a second coating of the flour mixture.
Yes! Leftover chicken nuggets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air tight container. Reheat in the air fryer at 350 degrees F at 5 minute increments, shaking the air fryer basket frequently.
I like to use ketchup or homemade Whole30 Ranch.
If you want chicken nuggets without breading I suggest chicken out the Keto Chicken Tenders on my blog. You can easily still brine the chicken with the pickle juice if you make them without the breading. This gives them so much flavor.
Yes! You can make these frozen. I suggest freezing them in a single layer and separating them with wax paper. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month.
- This recipe can be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Chicken Recipes You Will Love
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Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- mixing bowls
- Cut the chicken into 1.5 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add pickle brine to the bowl.
- Let the chicken soak in pickle brine for 30-45 minutes.
- While soaking, combine the cassava flour, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder in a bowl and mix together.
- When the chicken is done soaking, dunk each piece of chicken in the coconut milk, then submerge in the cassava flour mixture. Toss the chicken in the flour mixture to ensure it is fully coated.
- Spray your air fryer with cooking oil spray. Add the coated chicken pieces to the air fryer, in a single layer. Cook in multiple batches, if necessary. Cook for 7 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- When 7 minutes is up, flip each chicken nugget. Add more cooking oil spray. Cook for another 7 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.