If you’re looking for easy weeknight dinners, that are both kid-friendly and parent-approved, these better-for-you, crispy air fryer chicken nuggets are perfect! Serve with my homemade Chick-fil-a sauce and watch these gluten-free chicken nuggets get gobbled up in no time!

air fryer chicken nuggets in a basket with parchment paper with yellow sauce and ketchup

What Makes This Recipe Great

As the summer season comes to an end and back-to-school quickly approaches, I’m dreaming up easy, delicious, and healthy recipes that my kids will love (and I will too!). These gluten-free chicken nuggets are definitely kid-approved, healthier than the traditional version, and super easy to make!

With three kids, Fall activities, homework, school events, sports, and more, there is just no time. Easy recipes like this will ensure your kids are eating healthier, protein-packed meals without long hours in the kitchen!

Complete with my very own Homemade Chick Fil A sauce, these air fryer chicken nuggets are fun to dip, super tasty, and a healthier (& less expensive) copycat!

Recipe Highlights

  • Prepped in 10 minutes!
  • Easy Air Fryer Recipe (with Oven option!).
  • Healthier Chick Fil A Copycat.
  • Homemade Chick Fil A Sauce for dipping!
  • Kid-friendly & Parent-approved!
  • Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Ingredient Notes

ingredients for air fryer chicken nuggets and sauce

Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Breasts: Trim the fat and cut the chicken breasts into 1-1.5 inch pieces.

Pickle Juice: I recommend Grillo’s pickles for clean ingredients!

Original Nutpods: You can also use full-fat coconut milk, or sub whole milk if not dairy free.

Tapioca Flour: This is also called “Tapioca Starch”. You can find this in the baking aisle- Bob’s Red Mill makes a great version!

Coconut Flour & Almond Flour: Coconut flour can get really dry, so be sure to follow the recommended amount of combined almond and coconut flour, which has been tested to make sure the breading is perfect!

Homemade Chick Fil A Sauce

Mayo: I love Sir Kensington’s and Primal Kitchen for avocado oil mayo options.

Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce: You can use your favorite BBQ sauce, but I prefer to buy mine sugar-free! The New Primal and Tessemae’s are both delicious options.

Hot Sauce: Use your favorite hot sauce or whichever one you have on hand. Be sure to check the label for any gluten ingredients!

Recipe Step by Step

steps for making air fryer chicken nuggets
  1. Combine the pickle juice, Nutpods, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk well until smooth. 
  2. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat. Let the chicken pieces soak in the pickle mixture for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight). 
  3. While the chicken is soaking, combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Mix the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, garlic powder, paprika, and salt in another bowl to combine. 
steps for making air fryer chicken nuggets

5. Remove the chicken pieces from the pickle juice mixture and toss them with the almond flour mixture to completely coat each piece, then set them aside. (Alternatively, add the flour mixture to a large plastic bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake until they are all coated then remove each piece and set aside.)

6. Preheat your air fryer to 390 for 3-4 minutes (if preheating is recommended by your air fryer manufacturer). 

7. Spray the basket with avocado oil. Add the coated chicken pieces in a single layer, making sure not to overlap (you may need to do this in batches). Spray the chicken lightly with avocado oil. 

8. Air fry for 9 minutes, shaking the basket to flip the chicken halfway through. 

How to Serve

Serve your gluten-free chicken nuggets with dipping sauce and any of these delicious sides!

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Baked Potato Wedges

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Foolproof Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Honey Lime Poppyseed Fruit Salad

Mary’s Tips & Tricks

Oven Option: To make these in the regular oven, preheat to 425. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly spray it with avocado oil. Place all of the chicken nuggets on the baking sheet after coating them, making sure to spread them out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for an additional 5 minutes if you want to get them crispy.

Dairy-Free: Make sure to use Nutpods or coconut milk for the nuggets and this recipe is 100% dairy free! If you’re okay with dairy, feel free to substitute it with your dairy favorites.

Leftovers: Store leftover air fryer chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, or if you want them crispy, reheat in the air fryer or oven. Store leftover homemade Chick Fil A sauce in an airtight container and eat within a week.

chicken nuggets in a basket with one being dipped into sauce

Recipe FAQs

Are these gluten-free chicken nuggets also keto?

While these air fryer chicken nuggets are in fact lower-carb, they are not true keto as one serving has about 18 carbs. This is significantly less than other chicken nuggets, but still not “keto-friendly”.

Can I freeze this recipe?

Yes! Once your gluten-free chicken nuggets are cooked and cooled, store them in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 4 months. Heat in the oven or air fryer to get them warm & crispy!

Can I use the homemade Chick Fil A sauce for other recipes?

Yes! Use this dipping sauce for chicken, french fries, potatoes, sweet potato fries, etc! I’ve even known some people to enjoy it with scrambled eggs!

More Easy, Back-to-School Recipes

Instant Pot Lasagna

No Bean Chili Recipe

Sausage Broccolini Pasta

One Pot Mac & Cheese with Broccoli

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments section. Or, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram today!

Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets with Homemade Chick Fil A Sauce

If you're looking for easy weeknight dinners, that are both kid-friendly and parent-approved, these better-for-you, crispy air fryer chicken nuggets are perfect! Serve with my homemade Chick-fil-a sauce and watch these gluten-free chicken nuggets get gobbled up in no time!
5 from 6 votes
Leave a Review »

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, fat trimmed and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
  • ½ cup pickle juice, I recommend Grillo's pickles for clean ingredients!
  • 3 tbsp original Nutpods or full-fat coconut milk, can also sub whole milk if not dairy free
  • 2 eggs
  • cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Olive oil or avocado oil spray, for spraying basket/chicken

Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp sugar free BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce

Equipment

  • Air Fryer I have the Ninja 4 qt Air Fryer. It is on the smaller side, but I just made these in 3-4 batches.

Instructions
 

  • Combine the pickle juice, Nutpods, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk well until smooth.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and toss to coat. Let the chicken pieces soak in the pickle mixture for at least 30 minutes (up to overnight). 
  • Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, garlic powder, paprika, and salt in another bowl and mix well.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pickle juice mixture and toss them with the almond flour mixture to completely coat each piece, then set them aside. (Alternatively, add the flour mixture to a large plastic bag and add the chicken pieces. Shake until they are all coated then remove each piece and set aside.)
  • Preheat your air fryer to 390 for 3-4 minutes (if preheating is recommended by your air fryer manufacturer).
  • Spray the basket with avocado oil. Add the coated chicken pieces in a single layer, making sure not to overlap (you may need to do this in batches). Spray the chicken lightly with avocado oil.
  • Air fry for 9 minutes, shaking the basket to flip the chicken halfway through. 
  • While the chicken is cooking, combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Serve the gluten-free chicken nuggets dipped into the sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Oven Option: To make these in the regular oven, preheat to 425. Line a large baking sheet with foil and lightly spray it with avocado oil. Place all of the chicken nuggets on the baking sheet after coating them, making sure to spread them out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for an additional 5 minutes if you want to get them crispy.
Dairy-Free: Make sure to use nutpods or coconut milk for the nuggets, and vegan mayo for the mayonnaise, and this recipe is 100% dairy free! If you’re okay with dairy, feel free to substitute it with your dairy favorites.
Leftovers: Store leftover air fryer chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave, or if you want them crispy, reheat in the air fryer or oven. Store leftover homemade Chick Fil A sauce in an airtight container and eat within a week.

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 45g, Fat: 30g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 197mg, Sodium: 1399mg, Potassium: 748mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 240IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 104mg, Iron: 3mg