Air Fryer Chicken Bites

Air Fryer Chicken Bites are the perfect chicken bite with a simple blend of seasonings. There is no breading, just a chicken bite that is “grilled” in the air fryer. These chicken bites make a healthy option for lunch or dinner.

Grilled Chicken Nuggets made in the air fryer

Grilled Nuggets in the Air Fryer

These chicken bites are basically a grilled chicken nugget in the air fryer. There is no breading, just -perfectly seasoned chicken bites.

When I think of grilled chicken nuggets I basically think of a chicken nugget or chicken bite without breading-just chicken. And the good news is that no grill is needed – just an air fryer!

The air fryer is the perfect way to fry or cook food without frying it in oil. I love the air fryer because it cooks things fast and is a healthy alternative to frying food in oil.

The air fryer is the perfect way to cook these chicken bites so they taste grilled (without the breading).

So get out your air fryer to “grill” these tasty chicken bites!

This is the air fryer I have and love!

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Chicken

You will need about 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts. Cut them into bite sized pieces.

Boneless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces.

Next, place them in a zip top bag. You will pour the marinade in the zip top bag with the chicken so it can marinate in the fridge for a little bit.

The Marinade for Grilled Nuggets

The marinade for Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Nuggets is simple. All you need is a little Italian Dressing (any brand will work), some olive oil, paprika, black pepper and a bit of smoked paprika.

Italian Dressing with black pepper and paprika in a small dish for a marinade.

Mix up the seasonings in the Italian Dressing and olive oil. This makes the perfect marinade.

Adjust the seasonings to your liking.

If you don’t have smoked paprika you can use Dried Chipotle pepper seasoning (ground/powder seasoning), or liquid smoke. Keep the measurements the same.

NOTE: Sometimes I will add a little bit more smoked paprika depending on the brand of Italian Dressing. I have found some brands of Italian Dressing are a bit more “tangy” so I will add some more smoked paprika to balance out the flavor as needed. (This is optional – you don’t have to add more of any seasoning and the nuggets will be delicious!)

Smoked paprika being added to a chicken marinade for Grilled Air Fryer Nuggets

After you have made the marinade, you will pour it over the chicken in the zip top bag. Let the chicken pieces marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Marinade poured in a zip top bag of chicken bites to marinate and then be grilled in the air fryer.

Cooking Air Fryer Chicken Bites

To cook the chicken bites you will need an air fryer. See above or below for the air fryer I have and love.

You will cook the chicken bites in the air fryer for about 8-10 minutes. Mine cook 8 minutes total.

Place the chicken bites in the air fryer.

Make sure the air fryer is not too full so the chicken can cook more evenly.

Cook the chicken bites in batches if needed. You will need to “shake” the basket of nuggets half way through air frying just to make sure they are evenly cooked.

NOTE: If your air fryer has racks or is an “oven” air fryer you can turn them by hand half way through cooking. If your air fryer has a rotating basket, just let it rotate as it cooks.

Marinated chicken bites in the basket of the air fryer ready to be cooked.

Check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature needs to be 165 degrees F. If they are not quite to temperature, let them cook for another 2 minutes and check the temperature again.

Take the grilled chicken bites out of the air fryer when they are done.

A pile of chicken bites that are cooked in the air fryer.

NOTE: These chicken bites can be cooked in a pan/skillet on your stovetop with some olive oil over med-low heat.  Turn them as they cook and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Serving Chicken Bites

We love to eat our grilled chicken bites with a good sauce. Dip these chicken bites in Chik-fil-a sauce, ranch dressing, bbq sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard sauce or any sauce you like.

A small dish of Chik-fil-a sauce with air fryer grilled chicken bites next to it.

Every chicken bite is juicy and perfect!

A hand holding a chicken bite that was cooked in the air fryer with a dish of  dipping sauce in the background with more chicken bites.

Other Ways to eat Air Fried Chicken Nuggets

These chicken bites can be added to pasta dishes; try my Easy Homemade Alfredo.

Add these bites to a salad like my Tex-Mex BBQ Chicken Salad, or to a sandwich wrap like my Oriental Chicken Wraps.

This air fryer chicken would be delicious added to a Chicken Caesar salad with my Homemade Caesar Dressing.

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Air Fryer chicken bites with dipping sauce

Air Fryer Chicken Bites

Perfectly seasoned chicken bites cooked in the air fryer.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Total Time Marinating and Cooking: 1 hour
Servings: 4 Servings

Equipment

  • air fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken breasts

Marinade

  • 1/3 cup Italian Dressing *any brand- not “light” dressing
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil *canola or vegetable oil will work
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika *or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper *ore more to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika *see notes

Instructions

  • Cut your chicken into bite sized pieces and place it in a zip top bag.
  • Mix together the ingredients for your marinade. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. See notes for more about the smoked paprika.
  • Pour the marinade into the zip top bag of chicken bites. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Place the chicken bites in your air fryer. Do not over crowd the air frying basket. You may have to cook them in batches.
    Cook the grilled chicken nuggets for 4 minutes at 350℉ to start. Shake the basket of chicken bites so they can move around a little bit. Then raise the air fryer temperature to 400℉ and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
    The chicken bites are done when the internal temperature reaches 165℉. Cook longer as needed.
  • Serve the chicken bites with your favorite dipping sauce.
    See blog post above for some other ideas on how to use these chicken bites.

Notes

I add more smoked paprika as needed, depending on the brand of Italian Dressing. I have found some brands of dressing are more “tangy” and adding more Smoked paprika helps balance out the flavors.  
Adjust the seasonings to your liking. Taste it and adjust as needed before adding it to the chicken to marinate.
If you don’t have smoked paprika you can use Chipotle powder, or liquid smoke. Keep the measurements the same.
If your air fryer has racks or is an “oven” air fryer you can turn them by hand half way through cooking. If your air fryer has a rotating basket, just let it rotate as it cooks.
These chicken bites can be cooked in a pan/skillet on your stovetop with some olive oil over med-low heat.  Turn them as they cook and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.

Serving: 4Oz. | Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 2488mg | Potassium: 428mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

A hand holding a chicken bite ready to eat it.

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