You’ll love air frying chicken nuggets, we guarantee that! Kids love these! These air fried frozen chicken nuggets come out so crispy and quick when they’re air fried. It’s hard not to cook these air fryer frozen chicken nuggets in any other way.

Air Fried Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer on a plate

Can you cook frozen chicken nuggets straight from the freezer?

Yes you definitely can and you don’t need to thaw these. They’re super simple to air fry because these frozen nuggets are already pre-cooked. So you’re essentially just heating them up to be crispy.

How to Cook Air Fried Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer 

  • We tested several different brands including tyson chicken nuggets, Target brand, foster farms and great value brand.
  • The frozen air fried chicken nuggets can easily be cooked when taken straight from the freezer. Remember, no need to thaw. But if you did thaw them, then it will take about half the air frying time that we have listed below.
  • Depending on the size and thickness of the nuggets, they’ll cook between about 10-12 minutes. 
  • Do you need to oil spray? Since these frozen chicken nuggets are already pre-fried, we don’t feel you need to add extra oil. You’ll see all the oil release at the bottom of the air fryer. It’s less greasy if you DON’T add extra oil spray.
  • Lay them in a single layer and leave a little space between the nuggets. You want the hot circulating air to crisp all sides and edges of the nuggets. If they’re too close or stacked onto of each other, they won’t cook evenly.
  • Our timing and details are below in the recipe box. 
  • Pro-Tip: here’s our favorite tools to help make air frying easier:
Evo Oil Sprayer
Evo Oil Sprayer

We LOVE Evo Oil Sprayers. Not the prettiest, but they’re functional and spritz oil great! They don’t clog up like many others we’ve bought. There’s different styles, but all seem to have the same great spray head. Works great for grilling!

8.5" Square Blue Silicone Mat
Perforated Silicone Mat

There are Square Mats & Round Mats. These perforated non-stick silicone mats are used to cook food in your air fryer or steamer to minimize sticking. Holes allow hot circulating air to cook the food & keeps the food from sticking.

Perforated Parchment Paper
Perforated Parchment Paper

Parchment sheets are great for your air fryer or bamboo steamer (food tends to stick most on wire basket or tray). Choose from different sizes, shapes, white and brown (unbleached). Holes allow air to cook food evenly.

Video: Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer

Air Fried Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer in a basket

Best Brand of Frozen Chicken Nuggets for Air Fryer?

There’s so many different brands with different sizes and thicknesses of the chicken nuggets. Do a test batch first for a small handful. After cooking your first few nuggets, you’ll know more of how long and temp is best for your brand. Also, the more you cook, the longer it will take to get crispy. So you should be flexible and check to make sure the nuggets are cooked though. Organic brands of frozen chicken nuggets are perfect for cooking in the fryer too. You can eat more chicken nuggets and eat consciously with organic brands!

Different brands of breaded chicken
Air Fried Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer |

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Lots of factors influence outcome of how frozen chicken nuggets cook. They all vary in size, thickness, and sometimes the coating so you’ll have to adjust timing. For best and even cooking, don't overcrowd the basket. Fill just an even single layer of chicken nuggets.
All air fryers are different and some cook much hotter than others. Once you cook your first batch of chicken nuggets, you’ll know more of what works for your model of air fryer and size of food. These were tested on basket style air fryers. Read more recipe notes below the recipe. Nutrition will vary from brand to brand and will depend on the type of coating.
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  • 8 ounces (170 g) Frozen Chicken Nuggets
  • optional dipping sauce (ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce, ranch, malt vinegar, etc.)



  • Place the frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer basket and spread out into a single even layer. No oil spray is needed.
    Frozen chicken nuggets in air fryer
  • Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for 8 minutes. Flip the nuggets over.
    Flipping nuggets with tongs
  • Continue to Air Fry at 400°F/205°C for another 2-4 minutes or until heated through and crispy.
    Holding a cooked chicken nugget with tongs over air fryer
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
    Plate of chicken nuggets with bowl of ketchup behind it


Air Frying Tips and Notes:
  1. No Oil Necessary. Cook Frozen – Do not thaw first.
  2. Shake or turn if needed. Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket.
  3. Recipe timing is based on a non-preheated air fryer. If cooking in multiple batches of chicken nuggets back to back, the following batches may cook a little quicker. 
  4. Recipes were tested in 3.7 to 6 qt. air fryers. If using a larger air fryer, the chicken nuggets might cook quicker so adjust cooking time.
  5. Remember to set a timer to shake/flip/toss as directed in recipe.

If your air fryer is preheated or if you are cooking multiple batches, you may need to reduce timing by a few minutes (unless preheating is called for in the recipe).


YouTube video

Nutrition Information per Serving

Calories: 225kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 392mg

Dipping Ideas to Serve

Ketchup is the go-to dip of choice and we all love ketchup! But if you want to taste something different, here’s some dip ideas for these air fryer chicken nuggets

  • Guacamole
  • Ranch dressing
  • Cheese dips
  • Hot Sauce
  • Sriracha Mayo
  • Honey mustard sauce
  • BBQ sauce

More Easy Chicken Recipes in the Air Fryer

If you love air frying chicken, we have these delicious recipe ideas for you:

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three plates of different french fries on counter

This recipe was originally published in 2020 and re-published in 2021 with updated photos. Here’s a great recipe for oven homemade chicken nuggets.