You can skip the drive through and make Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets at home using this easy and authentic copycat recipe.
I think that most of us can agree that the best chicken nuggets come from Chick-Fil-A. They are juicy, flavorful, crispy, and made from whole pieces of white meat chicken, unlike some other fast food joints.
The process for making these fast food favorites is actually quite easy, and the recipe I’m sharing here is as close to the original as you’re going to get.
Once you learn how to make Chick fil A nuggets, your family will be requesting them for dinner every week! It’s a good thing that they are easily frozen and reheated, so you can keep them on hand in the freezer for a quick weeknight meal.
Don’t forget to make up this easy Chick-Fil-A sauce for dipping!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Authentic Flavor – Frying these nuggets in peanut oil will make them taste just like you remember, plus we’re adding all of the right ingredients to the chick fil a nuggets breading.
- Make ahead recipe – I’ll show you how to package these chicken nuggets in the freezer, and re-heat them for easy dinners.
- A Healthier Chicken Nugget– Yes, this is a fried chicken nugget recipe, but we’re using fresh boneless and skinless chicken breasts, so they are going to be healthier and more nutritious than processed chicken nuggets.
Ingredients In Chick Fil A Nuggets
Just fresh chicken and some simple pantry ingredients make these nuggets super tasty!
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces are exactly what you want to replicate the delicious nuggets from Chick-Fil-A. Chicken tenderloins can also be used if you’d like a more tender chicken nugget, or use this recipe to make copycat Chick-fil-A tenders instead!
- Buttermilk: This acts as a tenderizer, and adds moisture to the breading so that it sticks to the meat. If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or dill pickle juice with a cup of regular milk instead.
- Egg: Another way to be sure your breading stays on your chicken is to add an egg to the mix.
- Flour: Regular all-purpose flour is perfect for this recipe. We’re going to season it well to make a tasty chicken nugget breading.
- Baking powder: This gives the breading extra texture as it fries.
- Powdered sugar: I think this is the secret ingredient. I’ve never added sugar to a fried chicken recipe before, but I have to tell you, it’s the thing that makes these nuggets taste exactly like the ones I get in the drive through!
- Seasonings: Paprika, salt, and pepper do the trick.
- Peanut Oil: Chick-Fil-A fries their nuggets in peanut oil, so you shoud too! The nuggets will cook just fine in canola oil, but they won’t taste quite the same.
How To Make Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
- Brine: In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, add the chicken, buttermilk, egg, and salt. Seal the bag and give everything a good mix. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Make Breading: Meanwhile, make the the dredging mixture. In a shallow bowl (I used my 9 inch pie dish), combine the flour with baking powder, powdered sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk everything to combine.
- Coat Chicken Nuggets: Remove the chicken pieces from the brine, and dredge in the flour mixture shaking off any excess flour. Do not leave any spots that are not covered with flour.
- Heat Oil: Add at least 1 inch of peanut oil to a dutch oven and heat to 350°F/180°C. This temperature is important and key to getting perfectly cooked, crispy nuggets.
- Fry: Drop breaded chicken into hot oil (work in batches), and cook for around 4 minutes. Flip the chicken every 30 seconds as you fry, this will help with even cooking (unless you’re using a deep fryer).
- Finish: Drain on a wire rack or paper towel lined dish as you fry the rest. Be sure to maintain the temperature of the oil as you go.
If you aren’t a fan of the sweetness of Chick Fil A Nuggets, simply leave out the powdered sugar from this recipe. You can adjust the flavors any way you like!
- Use a frying thermometer to ensure that the oil temperature stays at 350°F/180°C. Oil at any other temperature will not give you the same delicious results.
- Peanut oil is what Chick-fil-A uses for their chicken, and adds a certain flavor to the nuggets, but you can use canola or vegetable oil too.
- You can fry these nuggets using a deep fryer if you prefer.
- Don’t crowd the pan. Be sure to leave space around each nugget as you fry them, and work in batches to cook all of the chicken.
- If you plan to freeze these, consider doubling the recipe so that you can stock the freezer well!
- Adjust the seasonings to suit your tastes. The sugar can be left out or reduced. Spices can be added to give the nuggets some heat. This is your chicken nuggets recipe now, so feel free to play around with flavors.
- The safe cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F/74°C.
Store leftover Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to Freeze Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
After you’ve fried the chicken nuggets, allow them to cool completely. Then transfer to a freezer bag or an airtight freezer container. Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat frozen Chick fil A nuggets, either bake in a preheated 375°F/190°C oven for 15 minutes or Air Fry at the same temperature for 8-10 minutes.
Reheated this way, your Chick Fil A chicken nuggets will be just as delicious as when you first fried them.
What To Serve With Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets
Of course, you are going to want to serve Waffle Fries and Chick Fil A Sauce with these copycat nuggets. That way you can have the full Chick Fil A experience at home! Here are some other excellent options:
If you don’t have a bag of waffle fries handy, try my recipe for Oven Baked Fries instead.
Mac and Cheese goes great with chicken nuggets! Try my Stovetop Mac and Cheese that’s ready in under 20 minutes.
While you’re frying chicken nuggets, you might want to make up some homemade french fries too. I suggest frying the french fries in the dutch oven first and then transferring them to a warm oven while you fry the nuggets.
You won’t want to re-use the oil after you fry the chicken because some of the flour will have fallen off and it will burn!
More Amazing Copycat Recipes
Restaurant copycat recipes like this one are so fun to make! Try some of my other easy and delicious copycats.
People in the know suggest that Chick-Fil-A brines their chicken in pickle juice before breading and frying, but you’ll notice that I’m not adding pickle juice to my nuggets recipe. I like the flavor of tangy buttermilk better! I tried it with pickle juice and I didn’t notice much of a difference. If you’d like, feel free to include a few tablespoons of dill pickle juice in the brine.
While I’m sure that you can, I don’t recommend baking copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets. They won’t be nearly as crispy or delicious.
You can add any spices or seasonings that you like to the chicken nugget breading mixture. Try a bit of cayenne pepper in the flour, or hot sauce in the buttermilk mixture if you want to add heat.
Most of the time when people have trouble with deep-fried recipes, it has to do with the temperature of the oil. For chick-fil-a nuggets, the oil should be 350°F/180°C. Any lower and the breading might fall off. Any higher and the nuggets will brown too quickly.
Yum! Enjoy this recipe for Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets any time you have a drive-through chicken craving. Be sure to Pin the recipe for later!
- 1 ½ pounds (650g) chicken breasts boneless and skinless, about 3 large breasts
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (120g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- peanut oil for frying, at least 1 inch
- In a gallon sized Ziploc bag, add the chicken, buttermilk, egg, and salt. Seal the bag and give everything a good mix. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the the dredging mixture. In a shallow bowl (I used my 9 inch pie dish), combine the flour with baking powder, powdered sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk everything to combine.
- Add at least 1 inch of peanut oil to a dutch oven and heat to 350°F/180°C.
- Remove the chicken pieces from the brine, and dredge in the flour mixture shaking off any excess flour. Do not leave any spots that are not covered with flour.
- Drop in hot oil (work in batches), and cook for around 4 minutes. Flip the chicken every 30 seconds as you fry, this will help with even cooking (unless you’re using a deep fryer).
- Drain cooked nuggets on a wire rack or paper towel lined dish as you fry the rest. Try to maintain the oil temperature as you fry (higher than 350 and the outside will be brown too quickly, and the chicken won’t cook on the inside, if the temp is lower then you risk the coating falling off and the chicken won’t brown very well and you might end up with overcooked chicken nuggets).
- Serve with chick-fil-a sauce and waffle fries.
- To Store: Leftover chicken nuggets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer to enjoy!
- To Freeze: Chick fil A nuggets can be frozen to use for dinners in the future. Add cooked nuggets to a freezer safe bag or container and store for up to three months. Reheat in a 375°F/190°C oven for 15 minutes, or in a 375°F/190°C Air Fryer for 8-12 minutes.
- Use a frying thermometer to ensure that the oil temperature stays at 350°F. Oil at any other temperature will not give you the same delicious results.
- Peanut oil is what Chick-fil-A uses for their chicken, but you can use canola or vegetable oil too.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, combine regular milk with 1-2 tablespoons of vinegar or dill pickle juice to make one cup.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
© Little Sunny Kitchen