If you are looking for a healthier alternative to fried chicken nuggets, then try cooking them in an air fryer. Air frying is one of the latest cooking trends that allows food to be cooked without adding any fat or oil while still tasting delicious. This means you can have your favorite foods like French fries and fried chicken but with fewer calories. It also makes it easier to cook at home because there is no need for deep-frying equipment or large amounts of oil.
Steps of how to cook dino nuggets in an air fryer:
1. Prepare the ingredients
Preheat your air fryer to 360 degrees Fahrenheit. To cook the perfect dino nuggets, you will need:
1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers [or any other breading]
Two eggs, beaten [hard boiled]
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder [optional]
Ground pepper and salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon of each) *To make things easier and save time, purchase pre-breaded frozen chicken nuggets from the grocery store. The brand we use is Tyson’s Grilled & Ready Chicken Nuggets, but there are many brands available. You can also buy fresh chicken breasts and cut them into strips using kitchen shears. Bread them at this point, so if you have any leftovers, they can be used in a salad or omelet.
2. Coat the chicken nuggets in egg and breadcrumbs
First, set out three bowls: one for your beaten eggs, another for the breading, and a third with a few tablespoons of water. Dip each frozen nugget into the beaten egg to coat thoroughly. [Repeat this step if there is an excess liquid from washing off all the breading.] After that, dip it into the bowl with breadcrumbs [or crushed crackers]. Press down on each nugget to ensure it is evenly coated in bread crumbs [or crushed crackers]. Be sure to cover both sides completely. If anything is missed, add more to the top or sides.
3. Bake in an air fryer
Place the nuggets into your preheated best air fryer 2022 for about 15 minutes when cooked through, flipping them halfway through to ensure even cooking. If any frozen spots remain, you can toss them in the microwave for 10 seconds before putting them back in the oven. You may also need to adjust cooking time depending on your own particular air fryer and its power. Note that it will take less time if fresh chicken breasts are used instead because there is no need to thaw out the frozen chicken product first.
4.[optional] Add garlic powder [or salt] to taste
Air frying has its benefits, but it doesn’t create quite as crispy texture as deep-frying does. If you wish to improve the texture, dip the cooked nuggets in a small bowl of water mixed with either garlic powder or salt. The best results are achieved when adding one tablespoon of each to 1/4 cup warm water. Then dip each chicken nugget into the mixture and shake off any excess liquid before placing them back in the oven for about two minutes.
5.[optional] Use fresh vegetables instead of frozen
Instead of buying frozen French fries or tater tots, you can also use fresh vegetables like carrots, broccoli florets, bell peppers, zucchini, onion rings, sweet potatoes (yams), jicama slices (yuca), and much more. Just make sure they are cut into uniform pieces so they will cook evenly and not burn. You can even coat them in the same breading as the chicken nuggets if you’re feeling extra ambitious. Just be sure to spray cooking oil on them before putting them into the oven.
6.[optional] Use different spices/seasonings
There are many ways to spice things up if you want something that is more flavorful than basic breading and seasoning. For example:
-Pound some fresh rosemary and thyme (or substitute dried) and mix with breadcrumbs for a herb crust.
-Add chili powder or cayenne pepper for a kick of heat.
-Season with garlic salt, onion powder, dried basil leaves, oregano leaves, paprika, or black pepper.
-Use Japanese panko breadcrumbs for a super crispy result.
To keep things healthy, avoid adding extra salt to create a salt crust by using either egg whites or cornmeal instead of breadcrumbs. This makes them gluten-free too! Try coating the nuggets with crushed Wasa crackers for even crispier results!
7.[optional] Dip in ranch dressing after baking
Everyone loves dipping their chicken nuggets into ranch dressing, so why not try it here? Simply mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise with one tablespoon of finely chopped parsley leaves along with some garlic powder and white pepper to taste. After cooking your Golden Arches Chicken Nuggets, let them cool slightly before coating them in the mixture. Be sure to toss thoroughly to coat evenly and store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
8.[optional] Make your own dipping sauce
If you want something that is more flavorful than ranch dressing, why not make your own dipping sauce? Try mixing sour cream with one tablespoon of wasabi paste or horseradish mustard along with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil. For an Asian twist, combine equal parts soy sauce, rice vinegar, two tablespoons of honey, and garlic powder for a sweet and tangy glaze. It will be hard to put these nuggets down after taking just one bite! Now try cooking some 30-minute homemade chicken nuggets and see how easy it is to make them in your own kitchen.
Now that you know the quickest and healthiest way to cook Chicken Nuggets in an air fryer, try it out for yourself. You can use this guide as a starting point and experiment with various spices/seasonings to come up with your own unique flavor combinations. A flavorful dipping sauce is also an excellent addition if you feel like spicing things up! Remember that there are endless possibilities when cooking these nuggets, so be creative with your food!