Gluten. Free. Chicken. Nuggets. Need I say more? These air fryer chicken nuggets are made with whole chicken breast meat and marinated to perfection! Making these chicken nuggets in the air fryer takes the fuss away from deep frying. I used the Ninja Foodi for this, but feel free to make them in another air fryer. Don’t forget the magic hack to make them crisp – lots of cooking oil spray. Here’s how you make them.

air fryer chicken nuggets on a white plate with a bowl of sauce

The Ingredients

I used chicken breast for these, but feel free to use chicken thighs if you prefer that cut. Skinless is ideal here. I really like this marinade for the chicken nuggets. It’s fairly straightforward and you should have everything in your pantry for them. To make them gluten free I used gluten free all purpose flour, plus corn starch to keep them extra crisp. If you don’t need them to be gluten free, still use a combination of all purpose flour and corn starch. A quick note, gluten free flour doesn’t brown as much as regular flour, but they will still get crispy!

  • chicken
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • poultry seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • green onion
  • flour
  • corn starch
  • baking soda
  • something for dipping

ingredients for chicken nuggets, including chicken, seasoning and more

Coating the Chicken Nuggets with Batter

First, cut up your chicken into even sized pieces and marinate them with all your delicious flavourful marinating ingredients. I like to do this in a freezer bag for ease. The next step may seem a bit odd, but I find putting the chicken in the freezer bag in the freezer while I prepare the remaining ingredients keeps it nice and cool – perfect to create a crisp outer coating while keeping the insides of the nuggets juicy. Meanwhile, mix together your flour coating in another freezer bag. Preheat your Ninja Foodi while you remove the nuggets from the freezer and coat with the flour blend. Transfer the nuggets that were marinating to the bag with the flour. Shake the nuggets to coat them evenly!

chicken pieces being put into batter for nuggets

air fryer chicken nuggets cooking inside of an air fryer

Air Crisp the Nuggets

Now you’re ready to fry! Spray the Ninja Foodi insert liberally with cooking oil. Shake off any excess flour from each nugget, place on the insert without overlapping the chicken and spray well on all sides of the nugget before cooking. You may consider spraying them again half way through cooking when you flip them. I really like preparing a dip and some green onions to garnish the nuggets while they cook. Enjoy!

air fryer chicken nuggets on a white plate with a bowl of sauce

Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Eva Bee
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course chicken
Cuisine American
Servings 2 big servings

Equipment

  • Ninja Foodi
  • Freezer bag
  • cooking oil spray

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb chicken cut into 1½" cubes

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce sub with tamari for gluten free
  • ½ tbsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

Coating

  • cup gluten free all purpose flour or use regular
  • cup corn starch or arrowroot starch
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Dip Suggestions

  • honey garlic
  • ketchup
  • hot sauce
  • 1 green onion sliced for garnish (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Mix together marinade ingredients and carefully pour into a large freezer bag. Add chicken and cover and carefully expell any excess air as you seal it.
  • Flatten all of the chicken pieces so that they're in one layer. Freeze for 5 minutes while you prep the rest of the recipe.
  • Mix together coating ingredients and place in another large freezer bag.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400F.
  • Remove chicken from freezer. It shouldn't be completely frozen but just barely firm to aid in the coating.
  • Remove chicken from the marinade bag and place it in the bag with the coating. Shake to coat the chicken evenly.
  • Place the chicken on the Ninja Foodi air crisp trivet sprayed with cooking oil.
  • Place chicken one piece at a time on the trivet making sure to not pile them one on top of the other. Spray generously with cooking oil spray.
  • Air crisp for 5 minutes. Flip and spray generously making sure no part of the chicken nugget has any visible white flour.
  • Air crisp for 5 more minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  • Remove from the Ninja foodi and garnish with green onions. Serve with your favourite dip.

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Need some sides for your nuggets? Try out some Spicy Bacon Cheese Fries or if you want something more filling, give some Instant Pot Potato Salad a try.


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