Air Fryer Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)


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 and 6 grams of fat.
*If you don’t have an air-fryer, I’ve included below instructions to bake these in the oven.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 220kcal


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 24 pieces (about 1-inch)
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cup + 1 tablespoon flour
  • 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


  • 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.
  • Preheat air-fryer to 400 degrees.
  • 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.
  • Instructions to Bake in Oven, if desired: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking pan with olive oil spray. Bake chicken for 10 minutes. Turn over, spray with a little more olive oil spray. Bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked and golden brown.


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 crust-less 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

Skinny Facts

Serving: 6nuggetsCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 29gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 518mgBlue Smart Points: 2Green Smart Points: 4Plus Points: 5


  1. Hi there, I’m a bit confused on this recipe. It says one lb of chicken and yet 4 servings of 6 nuggets. Are you cutting one chicken breast into 24 pieces? So if so, these would be more of a popcorn chicken sizing, correct? I am eager to try but want to be realistic with how much I’m making.

  2. Sorry for the confusion, Rhonda. Yes, you cut the chicken into 24 pieces total. I just updated that in the ingredients.
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 24 pieces (about 1-inch)
    My best,

  3. 5 stars
    I can’t say that the nuggets tasted like Chic fil a nuggets, but they did give the feeling of eating a Chicken Sandwhich with the pickle flavor! My husband and I both loved them as did my 7 year old son. We used the 3 ingredient Ranch to dip them in and that was the perfect combination. This will definetly be a repeat recipe at my house!

  4. I’m thrilled to hear you and your family enjoyed these and loved the skinny ranch to dip.
    Thanks, Emily!
    My best,

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!

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