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.
Air Fryer Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

Helpful Tips About this Recipe

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


Air Fryer Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

Air Fryer Chick-Fil-A Nuggets (Copycat)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Marinade Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 23 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 220 kcal


  • 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.


Serving: 6nuggetsCalories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 29gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 518mgBlue Smart Points: 2Green Smart Points: 4Plus Points: 5
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


  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,

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