5 from 1 votes

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

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Once you learn how to make air fried frozen chicken nuggets in the Ninja Foodi, you will agree that there is no better way to get tender, juicy family favorite nuggets. From frozen to crispy, the air fryer basket makes the cooking time a snap!

pile of frozen chicken nuggets fresh from air fryer.

Frozen tastes better with an Air Fryer

No Oil for the most Crispy Chicken Nuggets: Frozen chicken tenders skip the baking sheet and microwave (which just make them mushy) and instead provide you with crispy chicken tenders with zero cooking spray or oil.

Nuggets or Tenders: Before you get started, this air fryer recipe uses frozen chicken strips or frozen chicken nuggets. If you want to use fresh chicken, please check out our Ninja Foodi Chicken Recipes page.


  • Frozen Nuggets – There really are a great deal many types of frozen chicken nuggets. We like dinosaur nuggets and most of the Tyson brands. 

How to make Frozen Chicken Nuggets in Air Fryer

This recipe was made in the Ninja Foodi All in One 6 quart with an Air Fryer lid.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees for 5 minutes.
  2. Place batch of chicken nuggets or small chicken pieces into the air crisp basket.
  3. Place air crisp basket into Air Fryer.
  4. For chicken nuggets, cook for 12 minutes, shaking halfway through cooking to make sure you get the most crispy nuggets coating on all sides.

Serve chicken nuggets with a dipping sauce like BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ketchup, ranch dip, or copycat chick-fil-a sauce

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets ninja foodi

Frozen Chicken Strips vs. Nuggets

Yes! Frozen chicken strips can be air fried the exact same way as frozen nuggets.

Golden crispy chicken tenders (also known as chicken strips) (from a variety of different brands that you can buy at any grocery store) are truly an easy, great way to get the most crispy chicken strips ever with a golden-brown crust.

Ninja Foodi Frozen Chicken Strips

This recipe was made in the Ninja Foodi All in One 6 quart with an Air Fryer lid.

  1. Like the oven, the air fryer also needs to be preheated for the best results.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees for 5 minutes.
  3. Place uncooked tenders into the basket in a single layer.
  4. For frozen chicken strips, cook for 18 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Serve with dipping sauce.

Expert Tips

While most kids (and adults) will love eating a breaded chicken tender just the way it is, there are a few ways you can alter store-bought nuggets to taste more homemade. 

  • In a bowl, meltdown a half tablespoon minced garlic, half a stick of butter, and some grated parmesan cheese. Add already cooked chicken nuggets or tenders to the bowl and toss right after they come out of the air fryer. Instant garlic parmesan tenders!
  • To make chicken tenders into buffalo chicken tenders, the same thing. Just add fully cooked chicken tenders in a shallow bowl with a bit of your favorite barbeque or buffalo sauce and lightly toss. 
  • Remember to pre-heat air fryer or the timing will be altered in the recipe. 
  • No need to defrost frozen nuggets, this recipe is for right from freezer nuggets. 


What side dish goes with frozen chicken nuggets? 

Chicken tenders and nuggets go great with fries or tater tots.

What sauce to serve with Frozen Chicken Nuggets? 

Ketchup, Honey Mustard, Ranch, Copy Cat Chick Fil A Sauce, or BBQ sauce are the most common dipping sauces. 

plate of chicken tenders cooked in air fryer with side of sauce

Once you get a handle on your air fryer, it can be fabulous to make frozen foods taste amazing.

5 from 1 votes

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Super simple frozen chicken nuggets in the air fryer times and temps. Chicken nuggets in the air fryer give you the easiest and most crispy golden brown nugget. Plus, the air fryer makes nuggets, chicken strips, or chicken tenders a snap with NO OIL. Tender juicy chicken centers with fantastic breaded outsides, make air fried chicken nuggets the perfect weeknight dinner.


  • Frozen Chicken Nuggets or Frozen Chicken Strips
  • Favorite Dipping Sauces


Air Fried Frozen Chicken Nuggets

  • Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees for 5 minutes. 
  • Place FROZEN chicken nuggets into the air fryer/air crisp basket.
  • Frozen chicken nuggets cook for 12 minutes (also on 390).
  • Shake cooking nuggets halfway through cooking to ensure golden brown coating on all sides.
  • Serve chicken nuggets with dipping sauce.

Air Fried Frozen Chicken Strips

  • Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees for 5 minutes. 
  • Place FROZEN chicken strips into the air crisp basket in a single layer.
  • Frozen chicken strips should cook for 18 minutes (continuing on 390 degrees), flipping halfway through to make sure both sides crisp up.
  • Serve crispy chicken strips with dipping sauce. 


Air Fryer Used in this recipe was the Ninja Foodi All in one 6.5 quart. The Ninja Foodi has an inner ceramic bowl and an air crisp basket. The air crisp basket was added to the inner ceramic pot to cook the strips and nuggets. Air crisp lid was used.
Serving Size
  • For the strips, 3 is a serving. 
  • For the nuggets, 5 is a serving. 


Serving: 5nuggets | Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 968mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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5 from 1 votes

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