Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer {Quickest Method}

Looking for a quick and easy snack that’s sure to be a hit with both kids and those young at heart? Look no further than these crispy and tender Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets!

Air fryer frozen chicken nuggets recipe bite shot, served in a small bowl with honey mustard dipping sauce
Air fryer frozen chicken nuggets recipe bite shot, served in a small bowl with honey mustard dipping sauce

Frozen chicken nuggets are a little bit of a wonder food—they’re always ready when you need them and will make even the pickiest of eaters happy.

While making them in the oven isn’t hard per se, it does require a pan, preheating the oven for 10-15 minutes, cooking for 15 minutes or more, cleaning…

Come in, the AIR FRYER! Not only does cooking them in this compact convection oven make the process faster, but it also renders the nuggets even more deliciously golden and crisp!

Just to clarify, the guidance and recipe below are for frozen chicken nuggets.

To make chicken nuggets from scratch in your air fryer, (which is totally possible and very delicious), follow our homemade air fryer chicken nuggets recipe.

The Best Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Uncooked frozen chicken nuggets with honey mustard dipping sauce, top view

The best chicken nuggets are those that please kids and adults alike! Here are some of the best/top-rated frozen chicken nugget brands:

  • Trader Joe’s 
  • Perdue 
  • Earth’s Best 
  • Tyson
  • Whole Foods 365

Picking the right brand of frozen chicken nuggets is key! Try one brand or try them all!

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Don’t have time to read? We made this short video just for you. 😉

*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer?

Air frying frozen chicken nuggets is about as easy as a delicious air fryer food gets! In less than 15 minutes, the nuggets will be beautifully golden and crisp, ready to be dipped into your favorite sauces!

1. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).

Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).

If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, set your desired temperature then let it cook for 5 minutes without food.

🚨 Important: Reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C) if you’re using a 4-quart air fryer or smaller. They are hotter due to the heating element being closer to the food.

2. Prepare the frozen chicken nuggets.

Uncooked frozen chicken nuggets on a medium-sized baking dish

Prepare the frozen nuggets by opening the package so that when the air fryer is preheated, you’re ready to go! No need to thaw!!

3. Air fry frozen chicken nuggets for 8-10 minutes.

Cooking frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer

When the air fryer is preheated (yay), add the nuggets in a single layer.

For the most evenly-crisped nuggets, air fry for about 4-5 minutes before tossing the nuggets or flipping them individually and continuing to air fry for another 4-5 minutes or until golden and crisp all-around.

💡Pro Tip: Most chicken nuggets brands are precooked, they already have oil in them, so there’s no need to spray additional oil.

4. Serve and enjoy your air fried frozen chicken nuggets!

Air fried frozen chicken nuggets in a small bowl

When the nuggets are hot and crunchy, remove them from the air fryer and serve with your dipping sauce of choice! 

Two of our favorite dipping sauce recipes are below: 

Best honey mustard recipe: In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp mayo, 2 tbsp mustard, 2 tbsp honey and ¼ tsp paprika. Whisk until smooth. 

Healthy ranch dip: In a small bowl, combine ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp dried dill or 1 tsp chopped fresh dill, and pinch of salt and pepper (to taste). Mix until thoroughly combined. 

We hope you use this great air fryer frozen chicken nugget hack to quickly and easily whip up great chicken nuggets in no time, with no mess or stress!!

Recommended Air Frying Time & Temperature

The ideal cooking time and temperature for air frying frozen chicken nuggets will vary depending on the size of your air fryer.

For air fryers that are 6-quart or larger, it’s recommended to preheat to 400°F (204°C) and cook these delicious treats for 8-12 minutes.

If your air fryer is 4 quarts or smaller, reduce the cooking temperature to 380°F (193°C). They tend to be hotter because the heating element is positioned closer to the food.

The same cooking time will apply for all air fryers. However, please note that the longer your cooking time, the more browning you might achieve.

Reheating Your Chicken Nuggets

To reheat your chicken nuggets, preheat the air fryer to 360°F (182°C); then add the nuggets and air fry until re-crisped and hot, about 3-4 minutes, flipping halfway through.

FAQs: Cooking Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer

Can you air fry frozen chicken nuggets?

Yes, you can air fry frozen chicken nuggets for a quick and delicious snack.

How long does it take to cook frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer?

Cooking times can vary, but generally, it takes about 8-12 minutes to cook frozen chicken nuggets in an air fryer at 380°F to 400°F, flipping halfway through.

How to air fry frozen chicken nuggets?

To air fry frozen chicken nuggets, simply preheat your air fryer to around 380°F to 400°F, then arrange the nuggets in a single layer and cook for about 8-12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re crispy and golden.

Can you air fry frozen chicken nuggets along with fries?

Yes, you can air fry frozen chicken nuggets along with fries by adjusting the cooking time and temperature to ensure both items cook evenly and reach their desired level of crispiness.

Are air fried frozen chicken nuggets healthy?

Air-fried chicken nuggets are generally considered healthier than traditional deep-fried ones, as they require less oil and result in lower overall fat content while still achieving a crispy texture. However, the overall healthiness also depends on the quality of the nuggets and the ingredients used.

Air fryer frozen chicken nuggets served in a small bowl

How to Air Fry Frozen Chicken Nuggets

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Looking for a quick and easy snack that's sure to be a hit with both kids and those young at heart? Look no further than these crispy and tender Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets!
5 from 2 votes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 343 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound chicken nuggets 28-30 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard or your favorite dipping sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (204°C). Please see note if your air fryer is 4-quart and below.
    Preating Instant Pot Vortex Plus Air Fryer to 400°F (204°C).
  • Have the frozen chicken nuggets ready.
    Uncooked frozen chicken nuggets on a medium-sized baking dish
  • Add a single layer of frozen chicken nuggets into the preheated air fryer. Then, air fry frozen chicken nuggets for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Flip halfway for even cooking. If you want them extra crispy, cook for another 2-4 minutes.
    Cooking frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer
  • Serve and enjoy your air fryer frozen chicken nuggets with your choice of dipping sauce! Ketchup, ready-made barbecue sauce, and honey mustard sauce are all great options.
    Air fried frozen chicken nuggets in a small bowl

Notes

  • For compact air fryers like the Ninja Foodi 4-Quart Basket Air Fryer, it is recommended to reduce the cooking temperature by 20°F or 10°C, or decrease the cooking time by 1-2 minutes. Smaller air fryers tend to be hotter because the heating element is closer to the food.
  • If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes without food.
  • I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test cooking frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the amount of nuggets you’re making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 665mg | Potassium: 281mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
Keywords: air fryer frozen chicken nuggets, frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer

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