Frozen Chicken Nuggets In The Air Fryer – Easy Recipe and Additional Tips

Air frying is a fast, easy, and healthy way to cook your favorite foods.

The great thing about using an air fryer is its flexibility. It works with different brands and kinds of frozen chicken nuggets, making it a universal cooking method for this popular snack.

Preheating the air fryer to 400ºF is a crucial step for getting that perfect golden crunch.

Unlike traditional ovens, you don’t have to line or grease the basket, making the process easier.

When cooking, putting the nuggets in a single layer ensures even cooking, letting hot air flow freely around each piece.

While cooking times may vary depending on the size and type of nuggets, a general guideline is between 10-12 minutes for standard chicken nuggets and slightly less for vegetarian options.

To ensure safety and doneness, using an instant-read thermometer to check that they’ve reached an internal temperature of 160ºF is a good practice.


Frozen chicken nuggets

  • 1 package Frozen chicken nuggets(2 lb)


1. Remove the desired amount of nuggets from the package.

2. Place them in the air fryer basket. There’s no need for oil unless preferred.

3. Air fry at 400F/204C for 10-12 minutes. If opting for veggie nuggets, aim for 6-8 minutes.

4. Once cooked, serve them hot with your choice of dipping sauce.

Did you know that you can easily customize the crunchiness of your chicken nuggets by adjusting the cooking time and adding a simple ingredient? If you’re a fan of extra-crispy nuggets, try lightly misting them with cooking spray before air frying.

The thin layer of oil not only helps to achieve a golden-brown color but also intensifies the crunch. For an even more unique texture, sprinkle a tiny amount of breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes onto the nuggets before cooking.

This little hack can give your nuggets an additional layer of crispiness that’s sure to satisfy any crunch craving.

Nutritional Information (4-5 medium-sized nuggets)

chicken nuggets

  • Calories: 200-250 calories
  • Protein: 20-25 grams
  • Fat: 7-10 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5-2.5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 60-70 mg
  • Sodium: 300-400 mg

Additional Tips:

  • Tyson and other branded chicken nuggets are suitable for this recipe.

  • For those preferring plant-based options, veggie nuggets will also cook beautifully with a slight adjustment in timing.

  • Ensure nuggets are spread out for even cooking.

  • This recipe is suitable for air fryer baskets or ovens.

  • Keep an eye on your food to prevent overcooking, as appliance temperatures can vary.

What Is the Best Homemade Sauce for Nuggets?

Nothing beats homemade sauces for your dishes, especially when you have air-fried chicken nuggets to dip in them. You can make your own sauces with the flavors you love and the ingredients you trust.

Honey Mustard Sauce

  • Ingredients: Combine equal parts honey and Dijon mustard, add a dash of apple cider vinegar, and whisk until smooth. Adjust the honey or mustard to taste for a sweeter or tangier sauce.
  • Why It’s Great: The perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors complements the crispy texture of chicken nuggets beautifully.

Classic Barbecue Sauce

  • Ingredients: Start with a base of tomato sauce and apple cider vinegar, add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and a touch of liquid smoke. Simmer until thickened.
  • Why It’s Great: Its smoky, slightly sweet, and tangy profile brings a robust flavor to any type of nugget.

Ranch Dressing

  • Ingredients: Mix sour cream or buttermilk with mayonnaise, then add in chopped fresh herbs like dill, parsley, and chives. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Why It’s Great: Creamy with a herby freshness, ranch dressing is a crowd-pleaser and pairs wonderfully with the savory taste of chicken nuggets.

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • Ingredients: Combine sugar, water, rice vinegar, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Thicken with a cornstarch slurry and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Why It’s Great: It offers a delightful balance of sweet, spicy, and tangy, ideal for those who enjoy a little heat with their meal.

Garlic Aioli

  • Ingredients: Emulsify minced garlic into mayonnaise, add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. For an extra kick, incorporate a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Why It’s Great: Its creamy texture and bold garlic flavor make it a sophisticated dip that’s addictive and pairs well with the crispy exterior of nuggets.

Buffalo Sauce

  • Ingredients: Melt butter and whisk it with hot sauce (like Frank’s RedHot), a splash of apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and a hint of honey.
  • Why It’s Great: For lovers of spice and tang, buffalo sauce brings the classic flavor of wings to your chicken nuggets.

Teriyaki Sauce

  • Ingredients: Simmer soy sauce, water, honey, minced garlic, and ginger, thickened with a cornstarch slurry, and finished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
  • Why It’s Great: Its sweet, savory, and slightly tangy taste adds a delicious Asian twist to your meal.


What happens if you don’t cook frozen chicken nuggets properly?

If you don’t cook frozen chicken nuggets properly, you may risk getting food poisoning from bacteria like salmonella. You should always check the internal temperature of the nuggets with a thermometer and make sure it reaches 165°F.

What temperature do you cook frozen nuggets?

The temperature you cook frozen nuggets depends on the cooking method you use. For oven baking, you should preheat the oven to 400°F and bake the nuggets for 10-23 minutes. For air frying, you should preheat the air fryer to 400°F and cook the nuggets for 6-8 minutes.

Why are my frozen chicken nuggets soggy?

Your frozen chicken nuggets may be soggy because they are not cooked long enough or at a high enough temperature. You should follow the package directions and cook the nuggets until they are crispy and golden. You can also flip them halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning.

Do I need to preheat air fryer?

Yes, you need to preheat the air fryer before cooking frozen chicken nuggets. This will help the nuggets cook faster and more evenly, and give them a crunchy texture. You should preheat the air fryer to 400°F for about 5 minutes


Air frying offers a quick, simple, and healthier alternative for cooking your favorite frozen chicken nuggets, delivering that desirable crispy texture without the need for excessive oil.

The best part is that the whole process is quite simple, and you can play around with various spices, dips, and side dishes.

For more interesting recipes and tips, stay with us at Primal Peak.