Crispy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken Recipe Is What to Pop Into Your Mouth by 30Seconds Food

Crispy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken Recipe Is What to Pop Into Your Mouth

Air fryers are being used for everything these days, from baked potatoes to broccoli to pretzels to green beans. Air fryers can make magic when it comes to crispy foods like popcorn chicken.

This easy air fryer popcorn chicken recipe results in an amazingly crispy chicken nugget. Boneless chicken tenders are cut into nuggets before being marinated in milk, salt, black pepper, ground paprika and garlic powder. Try to marinate the chicken for at least two hours. The chicken comes out of the marinade and is dredged in flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Air fry for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through, or until cooked through.

Don't crowd the basket or tray when air frying the chicken. Not only will it increase cooking time, but the air won't get around the entire piece of chicken, so it won't be as crispy. Serve these air-fried chicken nuggets for lunch (kids love them!) or for dinner with your favorite side dishes and dipping sauces. Here are a few dipping sauces to try:

What's your favorite dipping sauce for popcorn chicken?

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes plus time to marinate
Cook Time: 10 minutes per batch
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into nuggets


  • 2 cups milk or nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a plastic zipper bag or bowl. Add the chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. 
  2. When ready to cook, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a shallow dish. Remove the chicken from the marinade and dredge the chicken in the flour mixture. (Do this in batches, you do not want to overcrowd the basket or tray.) Shake off the excess flour. 
  3. Coat the air fryer basket or tray with nonstick cooking spray. Put the chicken in an even layer and mist with the cooking spray. Air fry the chicken at 370 degrees F for 10 minutes, turning them halfway through cooking time and misting again with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining chicken. 

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Recipe cooking times and servings are approximate. Need to convert cooking and baking measurements? Here are some kitchen conversion charts. Here's how to submit your recipes to 30Seconds.

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OK this recipe is straight up amazing and lots of fun too.
Elisa Schmitz
A bowl full of these nuggets with a side of honey mustard dressing and I am one happy camper. So easy and delicious!

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