Air Fryer Chick Fil A Nuggets Copycat Recipe

Addictively delicious, sweet and crunchy, these Air Fryer Chick Fil A Nuggets copycat recipe must to be added to your menu rotation. The pickle brine adds the hint of tanginess in the background while the sweetened crisp breading  tastes just like it’s famous restaurant counterpart.

These nuggets would not be complete without the recipe to their signature Chick Fil A sauce! This creamy golden dipping sauce is easy made by combining just a few ingredients you likely have in your fridge.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Most of us agree Chick-Fil-A is the one of the more elite fast food restaurants (the long lines at every location tell me so). In reality, sadly their menus items are still full of junk ingredients but since they are scratch-made in-house, it does yield a most more quality tasting fast food in comparison to, let’s say, Mickey D’s.

Their criss cut fries and nuggets are absolutely addictive and one of my favorite indulgences, so I had to give ya’ll a remake.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Why You’ll Love My Air Fryer Chick Fil A Nuggets

Since we love cooking at home as often as possible, I wanted to find a way to make a homemade version that’s almost as good as the restaurant. These don’t have MSG and they aren’t deep fried – so I can’t lie and say they are “identical” because they are better in a different way.

Equally as addictive, poppable, crunchy, sweet with a hint of that pickley brine. These air fryer Chick Fil A copycat nuggets are super moist and stay crispy. What more can you ask for in a chicken nugget?

  • Easy to Make – yes there are a few dirty bowls from brining to breading but it’s such an easy peasy recipe!
  • Super Crunchy – the breading gets really crispy and stays crisp.
  • Well-Seasoned – from the powdered sugar to the spice blend, these chicken nuggets don’t lack in flavor!
  • Better For You – no MSG, no deep frying, no antibiotic-laden chicken (yes, sadly they recently changed this policy). 
  • Juicy Chicken – the pickle-buttermilk brine makes the chicken so soft and full of flavor, creating juicy tender pieces of chicken.
  • Kids and Adults will LOVE – is there any kids or adults you know that don’t like chicken nuggs? These nuggets are no exception, everyone I’ve served them to has adored them.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Key Ingredients

These Chick-Fil-A nuggets copycat recipe use a lot of standard ingredients that you may already have in your fridge and pantry. 

Chicken – I prefer using chicken tenders but you can also use breasts.

Flour – all-purpose flour is the base for the breading.

Powdered Sugar – we use powdered sugar in the dry flour mixture to add that sweet crispy crunch. 

Granulated Sugar – to impart a hint of sweetness into the chicken itself, we add a touch of sugar to the brine.

Seasonings – paprika, onion powder, salt and black pepper

Milk and Buttermilk – we use buttermilk for the brine and milk for the wet dredge.

Egg – just one egg combined with the milk for the wet dredge. 

Pickle Juice – used for the brine to add that hint of pickle flavor. 

Peanut Oil – I bought a jug of this and poured some into an oil spritzer. 

Chick-Fil-A Sauce – a combination of mayo, bbq sauce, honey, yellow mustard and lemon juice.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

How to Make Air Fryer Chick Fil A Nuggets Copycat Recipe

You’ll love how easy these air fried nuggets are to make! I love to brine them in the morning or the night before, then just whip together the flour breading ingredients and the milk + egg mixture. Once you toss them in the breading they get air fried for just 10 minutes and you’ll have a hot and crispy batch of homemade Air Fryer Chick Fil A nuggets!

Step 1: Brine Chicken

Dice your raw chicken tenders and chicken breasts into bite sized chunks. In a medium bowl combine pickle juice, buttermilk, and the brine seasonings. Submerge the chicken pieces into the brine, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. 

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Step 2: Dredge Chicken

In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients (milk and egg). Whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl add the flour, powdered sugar and seasonings. Whisk to combine. Drain the pickle brine from the bowl of marinating chicken.

Transfer chicken directly into the milk+egg mixture, dunking so they are fully coated. Transfer them dripping wet into the dry flour mixture. Toss them well so they are coated on all sides.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Step 3: Make Chick-Fil-A Sauce

In a medium bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Mix well until it’s smooth. Taste test to ensure it’s to your liking, adjust slightly if needed.

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Step 4: Air Fry Chicken

I like to let the breaded chicken nuggets sit for 10 minutes before cooking to allow the breading time to set. Spritz the air fryer basket with a few sprays of peanut oil. Load the chicken into the air fryer basket, placing them at least a half inch apart.

Spritz the top of the nuggets with peanut oil, about 10-15 sprays or so, ensuring there aren’t any white flour parts without a spritz of oil.

Air fry at 400 degrees for 4 minutes. Flip each nugget, repeat the spritzing, then air fry again at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown with an internal temp of 165 degrees. 

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Products I Love

Oil Spritzer – a must for this recipe
oil sptrizer

Air Fryer for Small Spaces
Air Fryer blue

My Favorite XL Air Fryer
Ninja Dual Air Fryer

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Looking for More Air Fryer Recipes?

Air Fried Garlic Parmesan Chicken Skewers 
garlic parmesan chicken

Chicken Alfred Air Fried Calzones
Chicken Alfredo Pizza Fritta Olive Garden Copycat Recipe

Crispy Air Fried Garlic Parm Chicken Wings
air fried chicken wings

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites
Bacon wrapped chicken bites

I hope you enjoy this copycat air fryer Chick Fil A Nugget recipe. Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback!

If you make these or any other recipes, don’t forget to tag me on IG @BadBatchBaking to be featured on my story. Seeing your recreations makes my day!

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

Air Fryer Chick Fil A Nuggets Copycat Recipe

Addictively delicious, sweet and crunchy, these Air Fryer Chick Fil A nuggets are a must-make! The pickle brine adds the background tanginess and powdered sugar adds to the sweet crispy crunch.
These nuggets would not be complete without the recipe to their signature Chick Fil A sauce! This creamy golden dipping sauce is easy made by combining just a few ingredients you likely have in your fridge.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Brining Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mallory Austin

Ingredients

Chicken Brine

  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders or 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder

Wet Dredge Mixture

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg

Dry Flour Mixture

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Chick-Fil-A Sauce

  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil in a spritzer canola or vegetable oil work instead

Instructions

Brine Chicken

  • Dice your raw chicken tenders and chicken breasts into bite sized chunks. In a medium bowl combine pickle juice, buttermilk, and the brine seasonings. Submerge the chicken pieces into the brine, cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

Dredge Chicken

  • In a medium bowl combine the wet ingredients (milk and egg). Whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl add the flour, powdered sugar and seasonings. Whisk to combine. Drain the pickle brine from the bowl of marinating chicken. Transfer chicken directly into the milk+egg mixture, dunking so they are fully coated. Transfer them dripping wet into the dry flour mixture. Toss them well so they are coated on all sides.

Make Chick-Fil-A Sauce

  • In a medium bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Mix well until it's smooth. Taste test to ensure it's to your liking, adjust slightly if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Air Fry Chicken

  • I like to let the breaded chicken nuggets sit for 10 minutes before cooking to allow the breading time to set. Spritz the air fryer basket with a few sprays of peanut oil. Load the chicken into the air fryer basket, placing them at least a half inch apart. Spritz the top of the nuggets with peanut oil, about 8-10 sprays or so, ensuring there aren't any white flour parts without a spritz of oil.
  • Air fry at 400 degrees for 4 minutes. Flip each nugget, repeat the spritzing, then air fry again at 400 degrees for 4-5 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown with an internal temp of 165 degrees.

Here are some additional pictures for your Pinterest boards:

air fryer chick fil a nuggets

air fryer chick fil a nuggets air fryer chick fil a nuggets air fryer chick fil a nuggets air fryer chick fil a nuggets

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