Air Fryer Chik-fil-A Copycat Nuggets

Ever start craving Chik-fil-A on a Sunday, only to realize your fix is nowhere in sight? Have no fear - you can make nuggets that are just as tasty in your air fryer!

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copycat chik fil a nuggets

When you want your fast food fix, but don’t want the fast food calorie count – air fryer nuggets to the rescue! These nuggets are quick and easy to whip up, made crispy and delicious in the air fryer. They’re loaded with flavor, but are a diet-friendly alternative to your favorite nuggets. This recipe makes four 1/4 lb servings of nuggets (roughly 6-8 of them) at 2 WW SP each.

Making Air Fryer Nuggets

These nuggets are a crispy, crunchy delight with the same flavor as your favorite fast food, but they’re super easy to make. The secret ingredient? Pickle juice. Yep- right from the jar. It marinates the chicken beautifully, and pairs super well with the flavors of the dredge (coating) for a wonderful final product.

air fryer nuggets

To make these air fryer nuggets, you’ll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast, which you’ll want to cut into little chunks
  • Pickle juice
  • Egg, beaten
  • Hot sauce (any works fine, I use Frank’s Red Hot)
  • Milk
  • Bread crumb mixture – I use Panko mixed with regular bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder
  • (Optional) Powdered sugar – sounds crazy, but you add it into your bread crumb mixture to get that full Chik Fil A flavor

First, you’ll marinate your chicken chunks in pickle juice for about 30 min in the fridge. Up to 60 minutes is fine, but more than that isn’t necessary. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the egg, hot sauce, and milk. In another bowl, mix the bread crumb mixture and season well. The key to tasty nuggets is to season every part of it – so we’re imparting flavor via the marinade, the egg mixture, and the bread crumb mixture. Then, you’ll toss each chunk in the egg mixture, then the bread crumb mixture, and put it on a prepared (sprayed) air fryer tray. Spray well with cooking spray and air fry at 375 for 9 minutes (linking my air fryer here), until golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Serve with your favorite sauce (like this healthy buffalo ranch dressing) and enjoy!

plate of chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Chik-fil-A Copycat Nuggets

Jacklin Altman
Ever start craving Chik-fil-A on a Sunday, only to realize your fix is nowhere in sight? Have no fear – you can make nuggets that are just as tasty in your air fryer! This recipe makes 4 servings (roughly 6-8 nuggets) at 2 WW SP each.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 233 kcal


  • Mixing Bowls
  • Air Fryer


  • 1 lb chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup Plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder


  • Cut up chicken breast, marinate in pickle juice (3/4 cup for 30 min in fridge)
  • Meanwhile, beat egg with hot sauce and milk
  • Dunk chicken pieces in egg mixture and coat in bread crumb mixture and lay on an air fryer sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray, and give the chicken a little spritz of cooking spray before air frying
  • Air fry in a single layer (don't over-crowd!) for ~11 min at 375 (until the internal temp of the chicken is 165F)
  • For the pictured side dish, I just tossed brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper and air fried it until crispy, then topped with my fave ginger teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!


Calories: 233kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 28gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 1142mgPotassium: 495mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 168IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 2mg
Keyword air fryer, chicken, chicken nuggets
Tried this recipe?Add your thoughts below in the comments or post on social media and tag @foodbythegram!

5 thoughts on “Air Fryer Chik-fil-A Copycat Nuggets”

  1. Pingback: Healthy Buffalo Ranch Dressing - Food By The Gram

  2. 5 stars
    These are delicious! So flavorful, easy to make, and healthier than chick fil a! The subtle pickle favor from marinating the chicken and the powdered sugar in the bread crumb mixture made the nuggets really taste like chick fil a! I can’t wait to make these again, everyone in my family loved them!

  3. Pingback: Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Meatballs - Food By The Gram

  4. Pingback: Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets - Food By The Gram

5 from 1 vote

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