You can make these easy air fryer chicken nuggets in no time! Make them as a dinner, lunch or snack and don’t forget to add your favorite dipping sauces!

air fryer chicken nuggets with sauce for dipping

I’m late on the air fryer trend but made it nonetheless and glad I did. It’s such a handy appliance especially when you yearn for some roasted veggies but don’t love the prospect of preheating an entire oven space. Of course chicken nuggets are a recipe that’s popular with an air fryer. They’re quick, easy and you can make a bunch of them at one time.

Making air fryer chicken nuggets

Because this is not a traditional deep frying method, the main hurdle I had to figure out was making the “batter” stick to the chicken. After many tries using egg and flour and breadcrumbs, I think the best result was actually just transferring the chicken from the buttermilk to the crumbs and then to the air fryer. I also skipped the traditional panko breadcrumbs for crushed Ritz crackers which gave them a light crunch and a little bit of sweetness.

air fryer chicken nuggets on a plate

tips for making the best air fryer nuggets

  • Once the nuggets are in the air fryer basket, give them a light spray with some olive oil to help create the crunch.
  • Marinade in the buttermilk as long as you can, ideally overnight.
  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breast.
  • Serve at once for maximum crunch,
  • Serve with all of your favorite dipping sauces.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 and place the first batch on a baking tray while the second batch cooks.

benefits of cooking with an air fryer

  • It’s healthier with 70-80% less calories
  • Less mess and easy clean up
  • No need to heat up the whole oven and warm the kitchen
  • Preheats and is ready in a few minutes
  • Creates gold and crispy veggies ready to snack on anytime!

more great chicken recipes

Easy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: foodnessgracious
Delicious and easy chicken nuggets cooked in the air fryer and breaded with Ritz Crackers
Print Recipe


  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 32 Ritz Crackers
  • olive oil spray


  • Dice the chicken into cubes about 2 inches in size and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the buttermilk, mayonnaise, Sriracha and all spices to the chicken and mix well. Cover and let marinade for at least two hours or overnight.
  • Place the crackers into a zip lock bag and crush with a rolling pin until very fine.
  • Preheat your air fryer.
  • Carefully pick out a few pieces of the chicken letting the excess buttermilk drop back into the bowl and transfer to the cracker crumbs.
  • Toss well and place into the air fryer basket, making sure they don't overlap or touch each other. This might have to be done in batches. Continue unil the basket is full.
  • Spray the chicken lightly with the olive oil spray.
  • Bake at 380°F for 8 minutes, (depending on size, nuggets should be 165° on the inside)
  • Serve at once or place on a pan in a warm oven while you continue to bake the rest of the chicken.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauces