Chicken nuggets are one of those foods I find myself craving, and these healthy chicken nuggets are the perfect answer!
Both kids and adults will love these, they have a golden, crispy outside and are so delicious dipped in your favorite sauce! You get the best of both worlds – the delicious taste that you love while still feeling and looking your best.
These are usually a childhood favorite, but I feel like you never really grow too old for chicken nuggets. Funny story, my fiance Finn was a SUPER picky eater when he was a little kid. We have known each other since we were 8 years old, and one of the memories I have from when we were little was how picky he was.
I specifically remember his family coming to our house for dinner, I was probably 10 at the time. My dad had made this elaborate farm-fresh dinner with a ton of veggies from our garden. My four siblings and I were never very picky eaters and would eat just about anything, and I remember being shocked when Finn sat down to the dining table with an entire (like 12 inch entire) white baguette cut in half smeared with butter.
His mom and I still tease him about it to this day. Luckily, he’s grown out of his picky eating habits and I have introduced him to a wide range of delicious foods. One of his childhood favorites happens to be chicken nuggets. He says that when he was little, his food pyramid consisted of Perdue chicken nuggets, white bread, plain bagels and popcorn with butter… How’s that for eating the rainbow??
KIDS AND ADULTS WILL LOVE THESE
If you have little kids I’m sure many of you can relate to this, so I’m going to share my secret to making healthier chicken nuggets that still taste like the real deal. And honestly, I want to be able to eat chicken nuggets whenever I want and still be able to feel and look good.
These quick and easy air fried chicken nuggets are a staple in our house! They are made with healthy ingredients and are cooked using an air fryer to make delicious, crispy chicken nuggets that you (and your kids) will both love!
Why I Love Using an Air Fryer
My air fryer is easily one of my most-used kitchen tools. They cook food quickly with little clean up, and are one of my favorite ways to cook meat, veggies, potatoes and more. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food, creating a golden, crispy crunch with little to no oil. Air frying is a much healthier alternative to deep frying, without compromising on taste or texture! This is my favorite air fryer, it has multiple settings and works like a charm!
Ingredients for Crispy Chicken Nuggets
All you need is a few simple ingredients to create a delicious batch of crispy chicken nuggets:
- Chicken breast: The center of the chicken nuggets is chicken breast, which is high in protein and free from any fillers or chemicals.
- Olive Oil: I coat the chicken in olive oil instead of egg before coating it in flour, making this an egg-free recipe for anyone with allergies!
- Seasoning: I use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper to add flavor to the flour coating.
- Flour: You can use any type of flour that you would like, such as whole wheat flour, almond flour, or oat flour!
- Olive Oil Spray: Spray the chicken nuggets with olive oil before you air fry them to get a golden brown, crispy outside.
How to Make Crispy Chicken Nuggets
1. Prep the Chicken: Start by trimming any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Cut them into bite-sized pieces, trying to make each nugget a similar size so that they cook evenly.
2. Make the Coating: In a bowl, combine flour with paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Give it a good mix to distribute the flavors evenly.
3. Toss and Coat: Add the chicken to a bowl and toss in olive oil. Add the flour mixture, and toss until each piece of chicken is evenly coated.
4. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes. This preheating step ensures that the nuggets start cooking immediately when they hit the air fryer basket.
5. Arrange and Cook: Lightly grease the air fryer basket with olive oil spray. Place the coated chicken nuggets in a single layer, avoiding overcrowding. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook the nuggets in batches.
6. Cooking Time: Cook the nuggets in the preheated air fryer for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time.
7. Finished Cooking: Your chicken nuggets are ready when they’re golden brown, crispy on the outside, and cooked through on the inside. To be sure, cut one nugget open to ensure there’s no pinkness in the center.
8. Serve: Once the nuggets are done, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool slightly. Serve them with your favorite dipping sauces like ketchup, honey mustard, or greek yogurt ranch dressing!
Air Fryer Healthy Chicken Nuggets
- 1 large chicken breast
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of choice)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- olive oil spray
- Slice chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add to a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil until chicken is evenly coated.
- In a small bowl mix together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt. Add to the chicken and toss well until the chicken is evenly coated in the flour mixture.
- Lightly grease air fryer basket with olive oil spray. Add the chicken nuggets in a single layer so they are not touching, shaking off the excess flour.
- Spray the tops of the chicken nuggets with olive oil spray, then air fry at 400F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, and ENJOY!