Air Fryer Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

If you’re craving chicken nuggets, I hope you’ll give these fantastic, guilt-free ones a try! It’s my copycat version of Chick-fil-A Nuggets. I made them skinny by baking them in an air fryer. You’ll notice there is one strange ingredient. To get the flavor of Chick-Fil-A’s nuggets, they are first marinated in dill pickle juice. Yup and this makes them very tender and taste so good! Each serving (6 nuggets) has 220 calories, 6 grams of fat and only 2 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints and 4 Green WW SmartPoints. 

Prep Time:15 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 8 minutes


1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces (about 1-inch)

1 cup dill pickle juice

1 egg, beaten

⅓ cup + 1 tablespoon flour

⅓ cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoning salt and black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons light butter or SmartBalance light, melted

Olive oil spray


1. In a small bowl, add chicken pieces and pickle juice. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Can be marinated for several hours. When ready to use, remove chicken from juice and discard juice. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees.

3. Add beaten egg to a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl mix together flour, panko bread crumbs, seasoning salt and pepper. Season chicken with a little salt and pepper. Dip a few chunks of chicken at a time into melted butter, then egg, then crumbs. Working in 2 batches, add each batch to air fryer basket. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then air fry 8-9 minutes until golden, turning over halfway. When turning halfway, spray top of nuggets with more olive oil spray.  

Serves 4. Each serving, 6 nuggets.

Food Facts
The secret to the yummy flavor of Chick-Fil-A Nuggets is to first marinate the raw chicken in pickle juice before they are cooked. The juice makes a wonderful brining solution because of its sodium content.

Panko bread crumbs are made from a crustless white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried. These breadcrumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result they absorb less oil.

Shopping Tips
The air fryer I bought is called Nu Wave Brio Air Fryer. It’s a 3 quart size and they do make them larger, if desired. I love it! It’s very simple to use. You can buy it on Amazon.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints 4-Green
WW Points Plus 5

SKINNY FACTS: for 1 serving
220 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat. fat, 112mg chol, 29g prot, 12g carbs, 518mg sod, 0g fiber, 0g sugar
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
82 calories, 0g sat. fat, 2g protein, 0g sugar

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!