Air Fryer Recipes

Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Airfryer

Air fryer chicken nuggets

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If you have children or ever were one, you understand the pleasure of a great-tasting chicken nugget, preferably one that comes in amazing shapes–like dinosaurs. The struggle I always have with chicken nuggets isn’t about the shape or the lack of diversity it brings to the menu, but rather, the texture of a soggy, rubbery microwaved chicken nugget. However, when you cook frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer, you can deliver crisp, great-tasting nuggets every time.

Chicken Nuggets for any day of the week

We often use Kirkwood’s Dinosaur shaped nuggets, which are my four-year-old son’s favorite. We purchase them by the box at our neighborhood Aldi for around $6.99. These nuggets, which come in T-Rex, Triceratops, and Apatosaurus shapes, taste great, and they are relatively healthy, as far as chicken nuggets go.

Air fried chicken nuggets

In the microwave, chicken nuggets take around a minute to heat up, which is convenient, but the texture of most frozen-to-microwave products really disappoints me. It’s definitely worth the extra twelve minutes to prep these in the air fryer, which is still 8-10 minutes faster than baking them in the oven, not including the time it takes for your oven to preheat. Cooking frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer will never be a disappointment.

Using an air fryer is also a fast, easy way to reheat restaurant chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, or french fries your little one couldn’t finish while you were eating out. When it comes to texture and taste, an air fryer beats a microwave any day.


Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Airfryer
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
13 mins

It's quick and easy to air fry frozen chicken nuggets. They come out so crispy!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer, Frozen Chicken Nuggets
Servings: 1
Calories: 400 kcal
Chicken Nugget Ingredients
  • 8 pieces frozen chicken nuggets
Chicken Nugget Instructions
  1. Preheat air fryer to 400° F | 204° C for 5 minutes

  2. Add an air fryer liner, and place frozen chicken nuggets in the air-fryer basket.

  3. Air Fry for 12 minutes at 400° F | 204° C

  4. Shake or flip the chicken nuggets halfway through air frying at around 6 minutes.

  5. Serve with your favorite sauce, plate and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note: If you are making plant-based vegan nuggets, I suggest 380° F | 180° C for 10 minutes.   Using a food thermometer, they above the suggested 160° F | 71° C.

If you liked chicken nuggets, look what else you can air fry:


Tools used for this recipe:

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  1. 1
    • 2

      Hi, Donna – Items like chicken nuggets which are already deep fried don’t need surface oil sprayed on them prior to air frying. That oil might help the items from sticking to your air fryer basket, but if that’s the concern, we recommend parchment paper/liners. They keep the added oil/fat down and help a lot with clean up!

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  3. 5

    This recipe burnt the crap out of my chicken nuggets. 12 minutes at 400 is either too long or too hot, but if I knew the answer I wouldn’t be looking up how to make them online. Would NOT recommend this recipe

    • 6

      I’m sorry this time and temp didn’t work for you, Nik. It’s been an appropriate combo for us, but your mileage will vary depending on the size of your nuggets and air fryer. Try lowering the temp to maybe 350 and checking the internal temp of the nuggets after 8 minutes.

    • 7
      • 8

        I agree. I have tried this many times, and it works flawlessly. There are caveats though, some air fryers run a bit hotter than others, and some nuggets are smaller than others. I tried plant-based nuggets the other day and they only required ten minutes vs the full 12. With that being said, I suggest you back the time to 10 minutes in your air fryer, and everything should work out fine. If you still have doubts, use a kitchen thermometer, and as long as you get your nuggets to 160, they are done.

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  5. 10

    Ahhh I’ve been searching how to make nuggets but the recipes I have found left them really soggy and leaching oil or rock hard! After a brief meltdown that I did not have dinosaur nuggets where I live, I set to airyfrying my boring shapes and these are the BEST nuggets yet, even better than the takeaway! Thank you so much 🙂

  6. 11

    My cuisinart air fryer is 1800 watts and I see most are lower. Therefore whenever I use a recipe I have learned to lower it by 50 degrees and things work out perfect.

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