How to make your Dino Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer with this quick and easy recipe! The best way to eat frozen chicken nuggets is to air fry them. They are hot and crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
These are popular year round as an after school snack, lunch, dinner, late night snack and more with kids, teens and young adults.
This was inspired by our Air fryer Mozzarella Sticks, Air Fryer Pizza Rolls, and Air Fryer Hot Pockets. We think this would make a great meal served with Air Fryer Asparagus and Frozen Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer. Round out the meal with our Air Fryer Cinnamon Rolls for dessert!
Try these Air Fryer Chicken Cutlets for another fun chicken meal.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Kid Friendly - kids, children and teens all love chicken nuggets, especially dino ones. This is a great do it yourself meal, once your child is old enough to operate an air fryer.
- Quick and Easy - get the crispy delicious benefits of baking your frozen chicken nuggets, without actually turning on the oven or waiting for it to heat up! They cook in the air fryer at a fraction of the time and are even more delicious!
- Great for a Crowd - neighbor kids begging for food or your child has guests over? Whip these up for a quick and desirable snack.
- Classic - nothing says classic American kid like chicken nuggets.
- Easy to Make With Food Allergies - chicken nuggets are easy to make with food allergies. All are nut free, most are dairy free (but always check the package) and it's easy to find gluten free chicken nuggets nowadays.
Dino Chicken Nuggets
We recipe tested this with the Dino Chicken Nuggets made by Tyson, and they worked perfectly! They are such a great and fun option for kids.
- frozen chicken nuggets - we used Tyson chicken nuggets (regular, dinosaur, and gluten free) and Great Value chicken nuggets to test this recipe. You can use any kind you want!
See recipe card for quantities.
1. Preheat air fryer to 400*F. Place frozen (dino) chicken nuggets (Do NOT thaw) in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer. A small amount of overlap is okay.
2. Place basket in air fryer and cook for 6 minutes. Flip or shake nuggets. Note: if they seem to be cooking faster than anticipated, reduce additional cooking time.
3. Cook for 4-10 more minutes, until the nuggets just start to split and are starting to turn golden. For extra crispy, continue cooking an additional 1-3 minutes, but be warned they will split more the longer they are cooked.
4. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy! Try some of our variations below for gourmet nugget ideas!
Hint: Serve these up with some yummy sauces like Chick-Fil-A sauce or your favorite Ranch and of course a classic BBQ sauce.
- Gluten Free - most chicken nuggets are made with gluten! However, gluten free chicken nuggets are easy to find. Simply make with gluten free.
- Dairy Free - simply use frozen chicken nuggets that are already dairy free. These are our favorite gluten-free, dairy-free nuggets.
- Vegetarian - use Morning Star or other plant-based chicken nuggets for a vegetarin chicken nugget experience.
Chicken nuggets aren't just for kids! Check out some of our fun variations below to make them more appetizing for adults!
- Spicy - There are a few different ways to get spicy chicken nuggets- you can simply buy spicy ones - OR- toss in a mixture of 1 Tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon (or more for spicier) red pepper flakes before air frying. These will be yummy and extra crispy. You may also sprinkle red pepper flakes on top after they have cooked, or stir some into your dipping sauce.
- Deluxe/ Italian - toss in a mixture of 1 Tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon parsley, ¼ teaspoon oregano and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese before cooking for a fun deluxe version!
- Cheesy - toss the nuggets in 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 2 Tablespoon of your favorite grated cheese (mozzarella and parmesan are our favorites) before cooking for cheesy goodness.
- Honey Garlic - make a mixture of 1 Tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon minced garlic. Drizzle over nuggets immediately after cooking while still hot.
- Thai Chili- drizzle Thai Chili sauce over top of nuggets immediately after cooking.
- Buffalo- drench in buffalo sauce right after cooking or simply buy Buffalo Chicken Nuggets.
- Cajun - enjoy some Cajun nuggets. Toss in 1 Tablespoon olive oil, then toss in 1 teaspoon of your favorite Cajun/ creole powder before air frying.
- Coconut - enjoy some coconut chicken nuggets. Make a mixture of 1 Tablespoon coconut, ½ teaspoon lemon juice and 1 Tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes and drizzle over the top of air fried chicken nuggets.
- Chipotle - drizzle with your favorite chipotle sauce and top with cheddar cheese!
If you don't have an air fryer, you can use an oven or toaster oven on the convection setting. It will take longer to preheat and longer to cook.
Time & Temp
It's important to get the time and temp right. If you use too high of a temperature, the nuggets will be done on the outside, but not the inside. If you cook them at too low of a temperature, it will take too long to make them crispy and they will dry out a bit. Follow our no-fail directions for best results!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 360*F
Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat using the same directions as in the recipe.
The Chicken Nuggets only need to be heated until they are hot, then are just cooked until desired crispness is reached. For more crispy nuggets, heat longer. But beware, they might split open.
Set Air Fryer to 400*F. Do not use oil. A small amount of overlap is okay, but place the nuggets in a single layer in the basket. Air fry 5-6 minutes, shake or flip, then 5-6 minutes more.
No oil necessary. Place frozen chicken Dino nuggets in a single layer (a little overlap is okay). Cook at 400*F for 6 minutes. Flip or shake then cook 4-6 more minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on air fryer.
Air Fry for 9-12 minutes at 400*F, shaking or flipping the nuggets around the halfway mark. Cook an additional 2 minutes for extra crispy. All air fryers are not created equal, so check periodically for doneness.
To reheat chik-fil-a chicken nuggets in the air fryer, preheat air fryer to 400*F. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 1-3 more minutes, until desired doneness is achieved.
Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer
- 10 chicken nuggets frozen
- 1 spray cooking oil optional, to prevent sticking
- Preheat the air fryer to 400*F. Spray the air fryer basket with a light coat of cooking spray, if desired.
- Place chicken nuggets in the air fryer basket in a single layer. A small amount of overlapping is okay. No need to use any oil in this recipe.
- Air fry for 10-12 minutes, checking on the nuggets and flipping around minute 6. Not all air fryers are the same. Cook shorter or longer if needed. For extra crispy nuggets cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Not all air fryers are the same! Make sure to check your nuggets around minute 6. Reduce the cooking time if they are cooking more quickly than anticipated.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat in the air fryer at 400*F for 3-5 minutes.
- For yummy gourmet variations such as spicy, cajun, sweet chili Thai and more, check out our variations section above!
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
We loved these frozen dino chicken nuggets in the air fryer. So much better than microwaving and baking. They are so hot and crispy. We tried them spicy and it was even yummier.