Air Fryer Chip Crusted Chicken Nuggets 

Air fryer chicken nuggets are a healthier way to enjoy crispy chicken bites. Coating them in crunchy potato chips makes breading them not only easy, but very tasty too! Use any flavor potato chips to come up with your very own nuggets that both kids and adults will love.

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When you’re looking for that super simple recipe that both kids and adults enjoy, look no farther than these air fryer chip crusted chicken nuggets. This recipe is so easy to make for two reasons. First of all, the coating is made of crushed up potato chips which means you don’t have to fuss with breadcrumbs AND the seasoning on the chips can act as the seasoning for your crumb coating. Secondly, these nuggets cook in the air fryer, which is far easier than deep-frying at home and has the added benefit of being a little better for you than the traditional chicken nuggets. So, if you’re looking for simple… here it is!

Ingredients in bowls on a butcher block countertop - chicken, egg, potato chips, paprika, salt, pepper, flour and milk.

Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Nuggets

It’s really not about what ingredients you use to make homemade chicken nuggets. It’s about what ingredients you don’t use when you make homemade chicken nuggets. As you can see above, you really need very little – some flour, some seasonings, an egg, a drop of milk, some flour and of course the chicken and potato chips. What you don’t see in the photo above are preservatives and ingredients that you can’t pronounce. There’s a feel-good moment for you!

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Potato chips in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin crushing them into crumbs.

What Chips to Use

You can honestly use whichever chips are your favorite for this chip crusted chicken nugget recipe. I happen to love Cape Cod potato chips and that’s what you see above, but you could go with your favorite brand AND your favorite flavor. If you love BBQ chips, try BBQ chicken nuggets. Sour cream and onion chips or black pepper potato chips make tasty coatings too, but make sure they suit your guests (especially if your guests are under the age of 12!).

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A dredging station on a countertop - floured chicken pieces in a bag, a shallow dish of egg wash and a shallow dish of potato chip crumbs - next to a sheet pan of coated chicken nuggets.

How to Dredge Properly

Coating the chicken the right way makes all the difference to whether or not your coating stays on or falls away from the chicken pieces as they cook. You can read all about how to dredge and bread foods here, but basically what you need to know is that you always coat the chicken with seasoned flour first, THEN the egg and finally the crumbs.

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Chip crusted chicken nuggets in the basket of an air fryer.

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets

Not only do these chicken nuggets have no preservatives or artificial ingredients, they also come with a lot less guilt cooked in because they are air-fried instead of deep-fried. Win-win! Just remember the keys to successful air frying. First of all, remember not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. If you try to save time by cooking all the nuggets at once, you’ll regret it because you’ll end up with soggy nuggets. Leave lots of room around the pieces of chicken so that the hot dry air can do it’s thing and make the nuggets crispy all the way around. You might even find that you don’t need to flip them over if you’ve left enough empty space around them. Secondly, don’t forget to lightly spritz the chicken pieces with oil. You won’t need much, but a little spray will enhance the browning and the crispiness.

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Chip crusted chicken nuggets on brown parchment paper with ketchup and a blue checkered napkin.

Dips for Nuggets

Most kids just like to dip nuggets into ketchup and who can blame them. There’s a reason ketchup has become a household name and pantry staple. If you want to venture away from ketchup, however, you do have a lot of options. Mixing spicy brown mustard together with honey will give you a simple honey-mustard dip. You can also try the dipping sauce from my air fryer blooming onion recipe, the Creole dipping sauce in my Cajun Fries recipe, the special sauce in the air-fried chicken sandwich recipe, or one of these buttermilk dips – basil buttermilk dipping sauce, lemon dill buttermilk dressing. With all these options, maybe you can pick two or three and give people a choice.

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A hand holding up a chicken nugget over a basket of nuggets with dipping sauces.

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Air Fryer Chip Crusted Chicken Nuggets 

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 9 m
  • Total Time: 29 m
  • Servings:
    4

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces potato chips any kind or flavor
  • pounds boneless chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour **
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • vegetable or canola oil
  • dipping sauce for serving

Instructions

  1. Using a food processor, pulse the potato chips into coarse crumbs. Alternatively, place chips in a zip lock bag, pushing out as much air as possible, and roll a rolling pin over the bag to crush the chips. Place the crushed chips in a bowl or shallow dish. You should have about 2 cups of crushed chips.
  2. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
  3. Cut the chicken into 1- to 2-inch pieces and place them in a zip lock bag (you can use the same one used to crush the chips).

  4. Combine the flour, paprika, salt and black pepper and add the flour mixture to the bag with the chicken pieces. Seal the bag and gently shake to coat all the chicken pieces with flour.
  5. Working with a few pieces at a time, shake off any excess flour, dip the floured chicken into the egg mixture and then coat each piece with the crushed potato chips.

  6. Pre-heat the air fryer to 400°F.
  7. Air-fry the chicken in batches to avoid over-crowding. Place a single layer of the coated chicken in the air fryer basket or tray. Spritz with a little oil and air-fry for 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and air-fry for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is crispy and cooked through. After the last batch has finished cooking, return all the chicken to the air fry for 1 minute to make sure they are all warm for serving.

  8. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
**To make Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets, substitute the flour with potato flakes or gluten free flour.
    To make in the Oven – Place coated nuggets on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through the cooking process.
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      Comments (2)Post a Reply

      1. 5 stars
        Delish Meredith. Got the post today and just happen to have a NEW air fryer from Costco before the SHUTDOWN happened. Really a great recipe. I did adult it a bit with some spices because my kiddo’s are in their 30’s and not at home. YEAH. Really loved it. Side salad we were good to go. 10 stars

      2. 5 stars
        The grands (ages 9 & 8) love these…especially when they get to choose and crush their favorite flavor chips. Once I cube the chicken, they can prep the rest and I then supervise the ‘frying’.

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