Easy Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets Using the Air Fryer

Air Fryer Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 8 MINUTES

total time: 23 MINUTES

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw chicken breast meat, cut into one-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups milk

Directions

1

Place chicken pieces in a bowl or freezer bag with pickle juice. Marinate for 30 minutes.

2

Whisk egg and milk together in a small bowl.

3

In a separate bowl, mix flour, powdered sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper.

4

Drain pickle juice. Dredge chicken pieces in egg mixture and then in flour mixture.

5

Place in a well-greased air fryer basket. (Don't skip this step as my first batch completely stuck to the basket!)

6

Make sure to place the chicken in single layer, careful not to overcrowd.

7

Mist chicken with olive oil spray.

8

Set the timer for 9 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

9

Remove and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

10

Alternative Oven Directions:  Simply place nuggets on parchment paper or greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to spray with oil before hand so they'll brown up and crisp.

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33 Comments
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4.8 / 8 ratings
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Woman holding Copycat Chick-fil-A Nugget

Love Chick-fil-A nuggets?

My kids are big fans of Chick-fil-A, and they went nuts over this copycat Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets recipe! They taste super similar to the real deal and are DELICIOUS.

One of my Hip2Save sidekicks is a former Chick-fil-A employee, and she’s the one who told me about this genius idea. 😍

Ingredients on counter to make Copycat Chick-fil-A Nuggets

There’s one ingredient that makes these Chick-fil-A inspired nugget stand out… are you ready for this?! It’s pickle juice! Marinating your chicken in dill pickle juice makes the nuggets juicy and delicious.

And don’t worry, your pickles will be fine with a little juice missing from the jar. You could even serve some pickles on the side with your nuggets!

Marinate chicken in pickle juice

To keep things real around here, my first batch of Chick-fil-A nuggets did NOT turn out very well, but I definitely learned some secrets for success such as…

Use cooking mist, or you risk the chicken sticking to the pan.

  • Place the nuggets in the air fryer, and then spray them again using an oil mister. This helps the breading crisp up nicely! If you skip this step, the breading will appear white and powdery after cooking.
  • Flip the nuggets halfway through cooking for perfect crispiness.

breaded chicken bite for chick-fil-a nuggets recipe

nuggets inn air fryer

holding copycat Chick-fil-A nugget


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Air Fryer Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

yield: 6 SERVINGS

prep time: 15 MINUTES

cook time: 8 MINUTES

total time: 23 MINUTES

Make delicious nuggets that taste similar to Chick-fil-A at home, thanks to the air fryer!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw chicken breast meat, cut into one-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cups milk

Directions

1

Place chicken pieces in a bowl or freezer bag with pickle juice. Marinate for 30 minutes.

2

Whisk egg and milk together in a small bowl.

3

In a separate bowl, mix flour, powdered sugar, paprika, salt, and pepper.

4

Drain pickle juice. Dredge chicken pieces in egg mixture and then in flour mixture.

5

Place in a well-greased air fryer basket. (Don't skip this step as my first batch completely stuck to the basket!)

6

Make sure to place the chicken in single layer, careful not to overcrowd.

7

Mist chicken with olive oil spray.

8

Set the timer for 9 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

9

Remove and serve with your favorite dipping sauce!

10

Alternative Oven Directions:  Simply place nuggets on parchment paper or greased baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to spray with oil before hand so they'll brown up and crisp.

Additional Notes

Recipe adapted from ByPink.com 

Brought to you by Hip2Save.

Woman holding plate of air fryer nuggets

These copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets are SO GOOD!!!

Just pair them with your favorite dipping sauce. I love how the breading puffs up in the air fryer and tastes amazing!

I really think you’ll enjoy them as much as my kids do – in fact, plan on making extra because these disappear quickly!


keto pickle-brined chicken bites with honey mustard dipping sauce

Eating low-carb or keto?

We’ve got you covered! Our pickle-brined chicken bites are the keto-friendly answer for all you Chick-fil-A nugget lovers out there. We’ve even got a sugar-free version of the sweet mustard dipping sauce, too — yum!



Lina has a Bachelor's Degree from Northern Arizona University with 10 years of blogging and photography experience having work featured in Today.com, Martha Stewart, Country Living, Fox News, Buzzfeed, and HGTV.


Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. Sasha

    Can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks Sasha!

  2. Joni

    I have found the “Southern Style” frozen chicken ar Sams or Target made one the airfryer taste like Chick-fil-A’s. We buy some waffle fries frozen and put then in our other airfryer and feel like we’ve had Chick-fil-A! It’s a time saver and a treat!

    • Helina

      Great idea! I’m going to try that!

    • Lou

      How long do you cook the southern style frozen chicken breast. Thanks Lou

      • Joyce

        Do you preheat the air fryer and how long do you cook these?

  3. NikkiLLM5

    Thank you!!! The best gift I’ve gotten was an air fryer from my mom a little over a year ago. My kids love it and think they can cook now! Mine are all age 11 & up. And it helps me out a lot! I have one child that eats chicken or chicken. That’s the only good group she knows even at age 19! Lol. But we all LOVE Chik-fil-a chicken!!! We can’t wait to try it!!! Our gifted air fryer did die a month ago but I was able to buy a less expensive look alike at Walmart for half what my mom paid. Well worth every penny!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh awesome! Yes my family loves ours and my kids use it all the time too. 😍 enjoy!

  4. gentledogwalker

    Oh Em Gee I actually have all the ingredients ready to go. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. Thank you I’ve only had the Nuggets one time but they were awesome. In fact it was when hip2save and now it’s just free nuggets at Chick-fil-A and I went and got them. So yummy

  5. Paige

    Does chick-fil-a really use powdered sugar on the nuggets?

    • Chelle

      Yes its in the breading they use on all their chicken including their spicy chicken.

  6. Jennifer

    They are definitely tasty. Although mine didn’t turn out crispy. And despite spritzing them with oil on both sides and turning half way through, they are a little powdery. Suggestions

    • RD

      Using only a wet batter but you should be careful so it’s not too thick or thin

    • Patty

      Mine did the same thing. Did you figure it out?

  7. Ambyr

    Made these last night! Thanks so much for the recipe. My few notes:
    1. Don’t brine the chicken overnight in pickle juice, unless you REALLY love pickles. It almost takes over the rest of the flavors.
    2. Don’t adlib by adding other seasonings. Mine had a distinct “taco seasoning” flavor somehow, lol
    3. This can be made with coconut flour for those gluten sensitive peeps (like me)!

    • Lorrane Orenstein

      So glad you posted about no marinating over night. I was thinking about just prepping tonight for tomorrow — crisis averted!

  8. Heather R

    So so good!! The pickle juice marinade def did it!! Def make again!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that! Thanks Heather!

  9. Kaitlin

    Can I freeze these? If I make more then a batch at a time can I freeze and reheat for my children like regular nuggets?

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I can’t think of a reason why not – smart idea!

      • Sarah

        This looks so great! How many nuggets approx does this make? Trying to decide how much to make for my family. Thank you!!

  10. Nicole

    Hi! Do you preheat your air fryer for these?!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      I do not preheat my air fryer.

  11. C Thomas

    I just tried this recipe and it is delicious! Thanks!

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Oh I’m so glad! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Amber

    I tried. Didnt take like chick fil a. Also had to cook way long.

  13. Jaimie

    This was absolutely AMAZING!! Thanks for the awesome recipe. Turned out PERFECT!

    • Irene (Hip Sidekick)

      Leave it to Lina! Thanks for the response, Jaimie!

  14. Erika Kleid

    Has anyone tried the oven version of this recipe? Curious as to how they came out. I’m going to try them in the oven tonight and don’t want to screw it up. My daughter loves Chick-fil-A and is so excited so I don’t want to disappoint her! Any helpful hints?

  15. Chris J

    This was so good. For my air fryer I needed to lower the temp to 385 and cook for 8 minutes each side. Li

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for the feedback!

  16. Pat

    Not sure this is a copycat recipe as I don’t think Chick fila marinates their chicken in dill pickle juice. If they did, I would hate their chicken, I can;t even eat one of their sandwiches if they put pickles on it and I remove them as I can still taste that horrible dill pickle taste.

  17. susie

    Has anyone tried it without the added sugar? I really want to avoid adding sugar to anything it absolutely needs but my kids LOVE CFA nuggets so I’d love to try these. Thanks!

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