These spicy air fryer chicken nuggets are easy to make and a delicious alternative to bought chicken nuggets. With just 4 ingredients they are quick to make, full of flavour and a really popular family recipe.
I've been making these air fryer chicken nuggets regularly over the last year, ever since I got my air fryer. They're crispy on the outside, soft inside and perfect with ketchup and mayonnaise.
My kids love them and they make a really easy meal when we have playdates as well. It can be hard to know what to serve to other people's children sometimes but I've never had a problem getting anyone to eat these!
But, they're not just food for kids. My husband is more than happy to eat them and we love them for an easy and tasty meal. If I do make them for adults I just call them chicken goujons and everyone is happy!
What I love about them is that I know exactly what is in them. They're made with proper chicken breast, not reconsituted meat as bought chicken nuggets often are!
They're cooked in the air fryer with no extra oil, not deep fried. So that of course makes them a healthier chicken nugget option.
Plus, they are spiced with curry powder. I love to use individual spices for the curries I make but for these spicy chicken nuggets I just use a good curry powder. It adds lots of flavour and there's no need to add any extra seasoning, although you could if you wanted!
Ingredients for spicy air fryer chicken nuggets
To make these spicy air fryer chicken nuggets you'll need just 4 ingredients:
- Chicken breast - Just trim any fat and cut into nugget sized pieces.
- Mayonnaise - Bought mayonnaise is fine.
- Breadcrumbs - You can use bought bread crumbs or make your own. If you make your own, dry out some bread in the oven on a low heat (or pop it in the air fryer for 5 minutes!) Then blitz it in a food processor once it's cold.
- Curry powder - If you have a favourite brand that you use then just use that.
How to make air fryer chicken nuggets
These chicken nuggets are really simple to make. Just coat the chicken pieces in the mayonnaise first. If you have time you can leave the chicken to marinate for an hour or even up to 24 hours. If you don't have time you can go straight to the next step though.
Mix the spices into the breadcrumbs and then dip the chicken pieces into the breadcrumbs.
Spread the chicken nuggets out on an air fryer tray and cook for 18 minutes at 180C. In my air fryer the tray on top cooks slightly more quickly so after 9 minutes I swap the two trays around so they cook evenly.
Why use mayonnaise instead of flour and egg?
Because I use mayonnaise instead of flour and egg, they are also much less messy than traditional chicken in bread crumbs. The mayonnaise helps tenderise the chicken before you cook it as well as acting as a glue for the breadcrumbs.
Can you adapt the recipe?
Yes, you can vary the spicing on the chicken. If you don't want them to be at all spicy, just add a little salt and pepper and miss out the curry powder.
You can also experiment with different spice blends. Cajun spices work really well and I also like to use ras el hanout sometimes.
If you don't have mayonnaise you can substitute it with yogurt although I find the nuggets crisp up a little more if you use mayonnaise. You could spray them with a little oil to help them crisp up.
As I said earlier, if you aren't making these for children you can call them spicy chicken goujons instead. You can then cut the chicken into strips or use chicken tenders but with exactly the same recipe.
Can you cook them in the oven instead of the air fryer?
Yes of course. They are exactly the same to cook in the oven as they are in the Tower Vortex air fryer. Preheat the oven to 180C and bake for about 18 minutes. Turn the chicken nuggets over half way through the cooking time.
What air fryer is best for these chicken nuggets?
I have a Tower Vortex air fryer. It works really well for chicken nuggets as there is room to fit two trays in and they do cook evenly, as long as you swap them around half way through the cooking time.
I used to have a Tefal Actifry which was great for chips but the Tower Vortex is definitely more versatile and has more space inside.
It's also brilliant for baked potatoes, chicken wings and things like croissants. I love the fact that you don't need to wait for it to heat up like you do with the oven.
Can you reheat these chicken nuggets?
Yes, if you have any leftover chicken nuggets you can store them in the fridge and then reheat them in the air fryer later. They should need no more than 5 minutes to heat all the way through.
Can you freeze homemade cooked chicken nuggets?
Yes, wait until they have cooled completely and spread them on a baking tray so they don't all stick together. Once they have frozen you can transfer them to a freezer bag.
They will keep frozen for at least three months. You can cook them again from frozen. In the air fryer they will take about 8-10 minutes.
Alternatively you can reheat them from frozen in the oven. They will also take about 8-10 minutes at 180C.
What can you serve with homemade chicken nuggets?
I like to serve these with ketchup and mayonnaise to dip the nuggets into.
My kids love them with homemade chips or fries. I also like to serve lots of salad on the side which I think makes a really healthy balanced meal.
More chicken recipes you might like
If you like these spicy air fryer chicken nuggets then hopefully you'll like these recipes too:
You might also like my spicy midweek meals collection. And if you like air fryer recipes then do check out my air fryer carrot salad, my spicy air fryer chips (fries), my Cajun air fryer sweet potato fries, my air fryer crushed potatoes or my air fried asparagus with lemon and zaatar.
Spicy Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- 600 g chicken breast
- 90 g mayonnaise
- 100 g breadcrumbs
- 4 teaspoon curry powder
- Cut the chicken into strips about 1cm thick
- Mix the mayonnaise into the chicken. If you have time, put the chicken into the fridge for an hour to marinate.
- Stir the curry powder into the breadcrumbs.
- Take pieces of the chicken and dip them in the breadcrumbs to coat the chicken on each side.
- Put the chicken pieces in the air fryer. Cook for 18 minutes. In my air fryer I use two trays and swap them around after 18 minutes so the bottom tray becomes the top tray and vice versa. This helps all the pieces of chicken to cook evenly.
- Serve with ketchup, mayonnaise and your choice of sides.
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Places I'm sharing this recipe
Cook Blog Share hosted this week by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen