When you hear the word “nuggets”, you likely picture the pre-formed type that you buy frozen or get from a pickup window at a popular fast-food chain. Whether you have kids that want chicken nuggets, or you want them for yourself, I’ve got a healthier, cheaper alternative.

Despite my girls being older, they still like chicken nuggets. I think they have fond memories of eating them when we’d go out to dinner or a quick road trip meal. We’re not a big “fast food” family but you can’t always avoid it entirely. Don’t judge me. Dietitians aren’t perfect.

Why Air Fry?

I’ll admit- I was a late adopter to the air fryer. It’s a heavy, bulky appliance that takes up a lot of real estate on your kitchen counter. We store ours in the basement but I’m developing nice biceps from bringing it back and forth to the kitchen.

I picked one up at a discount home store in Cincinnati. It’s a decent brand that may or may not have been refurbished. Either way- I use the thing for all sorts of food!

What I like about the air fryer is the minimal ingredients and ‘thyme’ that I need to make delicious food. I love roasted veggies, for example. But roasting broccoli or carrots takes a good 30 minutes in the oven. They only take about 8 minutes in an air fryer.

In addition, because food is cooked via convection heat, you use less (or no) oil or other fat to cook things. Recipes are much lower in fat and calories this way. Some of my favorites include air fried Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and French fries.

I decided to try my hand at chicken nuggets after a friend used frozen ones in his air fryer. The frozen type are convenient but are also higher in fat and sodium. Not to mention- expensive. When you cook at home, you control the ingredients and know exactly what’s in the mix. Below is my easy recipe:


1-pound skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces

3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

1 tsp. paprika (optional)

Non-stick cooking spray


  1. Pre-heat the air fryer for 3 minutes on 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs with paprika.
  3. While the air fryer heats, roll the chicken pieces in the breadcrumb mixture and set aside.
  4. Once the fryer is heated, spray the air fryer basket with nonstick spray and place the nuggets in the fryer. Try not to have them overlap.
  5. Close the fryer drawer and set the timer for 8 minutes. Check the nuggets after 8 minutes and continue to cook if not done for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (optional).

Makes 4 servings (4-5 nuggets each): 222 calories, 4.23 grams fat, 28.6 grams protein, 15.4 grams carbs, 1.1 grams fiber, 83 mg cholesterol, 446 mg sodium.

Share is caring! If you have an air fryer recipe you’d like to share, send it to me with a clear image. I’ll analyze it and share it on my blog for others to enjoy.


Pin It on Pinterest