Enjoy crispy homemade chicken nuggets without the high carb count, thanks to my keto chicken nuggets air fryer recipe. These nuggets are made with low-carb alternatives like pork rinds, parmesan cheese, and almond flour for a naturally gluten-free meal that is sure to please the masses!
Why you'll love this air-fried chicken nuggets
Chicken nuggets are the ultimate finger food; they're crunchy, satisfying, and loved by all ages!
But traditional chicken nuggets are made with high-carb ingredients like wheat flour and are then deep-fried for a not-so-healthy meal option.
Luckily, you can enjoy the flavors of fast food chicken nuggets, keto-style, with this healthier alternative.
My keto air fryer chicken nuggets crisp up to the perfect golden brown without wheat flour or excessive frying!
Made simply with whole ingredients like skinless chicken breast, eggs, and parmesan cheese, you can enjoy this classic fried food on a low-carb diet.
Best of all, this recipe is easily customizable; bake your nuggets in the oven or air fryer, swap out your seasonings, or use it to make keto-friendly chicken tenders!
Note: Check out our original recipe for baked keto chicken nuggets made with chicken thighs, coconut flour, and avocado oil.
These homemade chicken nuggets are made with common ingredients optimal for a ketogenic diet, many of which you probably already have at home.
Here's everything that goes into my keto chicken nuggets recipe:
The base of my homemade chicken nuggets is as expected – chicken!
I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, chopping them into small, nugget-sized pieces.
Chicken is a good protein source on a keto diet because it's low in carbohydrates and is super versatile for a variety of recipes.
I use almond flour to coat my keto chicken nuggets.
While traditional nuggets are often breaded in wheat flour, this is an unnecessary step that simply contributes to a high-carb count.
Almond flour binds well to the chicken nuggets and helps them achieve a breaded, crispy texture.
It even adds an additional bit of protein and fat content.
To help bind your dry coating to your chicken nuggets, eggs are an absolute necessity.
They also provide an extra bit of protein to your dish.
A low-carb bread crumb isn't always easy to find. Luckily, pork rinds make a fabulous substitution.
Pork rinds are incredibly low in carbohydrates, become super crispy when baked, and are totally keto-approved; they are the secret to this recipe's crispy coating.
A little extra cheese never hurt anyone!
I add parmesan cheese to my low-carb "bread crumbs" to add additional flavor and fat content. You can truly taste the difference.
To help enhance this dish, smart seasoning is a must.
My chicken nugget seasoning blend includes:
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Salt and pepper
Because chicken nuggets don't necessarily have an exciting flavor profile on their own, seasoning pulls a lot of weight in this recipe. And since nuggets are rather plain, you can easily customize your seasoning blend based on what you have on hand.
Air fryer tips
While this recipe is pretty much fool-proof, here are a few tips to guarantee the most delicious keto chicken nuggets:
- Complete all prep work before you start cooking for a seamless recipe. This includes chopping, measuring, greasing, and preheating.
- Make sure your air fryer is properly preheated to ensure nuggets are cooked all the way through in just 8-10 minutes. The high temperature helps them crisp as well!
- Add a small spritz of cooking oil halfway through baking for crispier chicken nuggets.
- Reheat leftover nuggets in the air fryer for a couple of minutes until they're warm through and crispy again.
How to make air fryer keto chicken nuggets
This keto chicken nuggets air fryer recipe comes together in under 30 minutes.
Here are the simple steps involved:
Prep your pans and chicken
Begin by doing all of your prep work to ensure easy cooking!
First, grease a small pan or rack with a bit of cooking spray or olive oil. Then, preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
Use this time to also pre-cut your boneless skinless chicken breasts into small, nugget-sized pieces.
Mix dry ingredients
As your air fryer preheats, you're going to prep your batters.
First, add your pork rind crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and oregano to a shallow bowl. Stir until everything is well-combined.
Then, add in salt and pepper to taste, stirring again to combine.
Add your almond flour to a second shallow bowl and set aside.
Beat your eggs
For your wet batter, all you need is to prep your eggs!
Beat your eggs in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Coat your air fryer chicken nuggets
Now it's time for assembly!
One by one, coat each chicken nugget in your prepared batters.
Begin by coating chicken in almond flour.
Then, dip it into your egg.
Finally, dredge it into the pork rind crumb mixture.
Place coated nuggets onto your pre-greased pan or rack.
Air fry and serve
Now, it's as simple as air-frying your nuggets!
Add your filled pre-greased tray to your air fryer basket and cook chicken nuggets for 8-10 minutes.
You'll know your nuggets are done when they're crispy and golden brown.
How to serve
These keto chicken nuggets are best enjoyed along with your favorite dipping sauce! Try one of my low-carb recipes like my keto bang bang sauce, low-carb bbq sauce, jalapeno ranch dip, or classic sugar-free ketchup.
If you're enjoying these chicken nuggets as a snack or serving them to a child, they go well with some fresh-cut veggie sticks and ranch dipping sauce. Try them with:
- Celery sticks
- Cucumber spears
- Bell pepper slices
Chicken nuggets can also be eaten as finger food or game-day appetizers. Serve them alongside other low-carb favorites like keto coconut shrimp, bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, and spicy keto deviled eggs.
And, in my opinion, chicken nuggets make a perfectly suitable main dish. Just make sure to bump up the nutritional value with some low-carb vegetables like cauliflower mac and cheese, oven-roasted vegetables, or southern green beans with bacon!
These keto chicken nuggets are super versatile based on the ingredients you have on hand and your cooking preferences. Here are a few variation ideas to try:
- Add extra seasonings like cayenne pepper, seasoning salt, and smoked paprika to your dry mixture for more depth in flavor.
- Use this recipe with chicken filets for a chicken tender version!
Here are some questions people often ask about my keto chicken nuggets air fryer recipe. If you don't see your question in this list, please leave it in the comments.
Don't have an air fryer? No problem! You can easily convert this to an oven recipe. Simply bake keto chicken nuggets in a convection oven for about 20 minutes at 400°F.
Pork rinds are a carb-free food, containing 0g total carbs per serving.
This makes them an excellent substitution for bread crumbs if you're following a ketogenic diet.
A 100g serving size also contains 31g of fat and 61g of protein.
Baking and air frying are similar in process, so the choice is up to you!
With this being said, if you have an air fryer, you can reduce your overall cooking time.
For example, homemade chicken nuggets take about 20 minutes in a traditional convection oven. The same recipe can be fried in just 8-10 minutes in an air fryer.
You can also achieve a more browned, crispy coating to your favorite recipes when using an air fryer without any added oils.
My homemade keto chicken nuggets contain just 2g net carbs per serving.
This is made possible with clever, low-carb breading alternatives like almond flour, pork rinds, and parmesan cheese in place of wheat flour and panko bread crumbs.
Carb counts will differ based on the recipe, so make sure you're reading the macronutrients carefully!
Because chicken nuggets have a mild flavor, they suit a wide variety of dipping sauces. In other words, choose your favorite!
If you're interested in pre-made keto-friendly sauce options, try sugar-free ketchup, a low-carb Thai chili sauce, keto sweet and sour, or a low-carb ranch dressing.
If You Like This Recipe, Try These!
Interested in more crispy low-carb recipes? I have plenty of keto-friendly options for you to choose from:
- Keto Onion Rings are made with crispy pork rinds, heavy whipping cream, and Italian seasoning for a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Enjoy with sugar-free ketchup.
- Air Fryer Hamburgers are healthier than fast food options, coming together in just minutes! Stack them with the low-carb veggies of your choice.
- Keto Jicama Fries are just as delicious as traditional french fries but with a way lower carb count. Try them with your favorite creamy dipping sauce.
- Paleo Coconut Flour Chicken Tenders are gluten-free, keto-friendly, and kid-approved; serve them with some low-carb veggie sticks for a fantastic lunch option.
- Keto Mozzarella Sticks are coated in almond flour, parmesan cheese, and coconut flour for a delicious treat. Stuffed mozzarella cheese makes them absolutely drool-worthy.
Keto Chicken Nuggets In Air Fryer
- 1 ½ lbs. Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces
- ½ cup Almond flour
- 2 Large eggs beaten
- 1 ½ cup Pork rind crumbs
- ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. Garlic powder
- ½ tsp. Onion powder
- ½ tsp. Paprika
- ½ tsp. Oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F degrees, and grease a pan or rack well.
- Place the pork rind crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano and salt and pepper to taste into a shallow bowl, and combine well.
- Add the almond flour to another shallow bowl.
- Put the beaten eggs into a third bowl.
- Coat the chicken pieces in almond flour.
- Dip the chicken into the egg.
- Dredge the chicken pieces into the pork rind crumb mixture, and place onto the greased pan or rack.
- Air fry for 8-10 minutes until crispy and browned.
Array ( [calories] => 296 [carbohydrates] => 4 [protein] => 39 [fat] => 13 [saturated_fat] => 3 [polyunsaturated_fat] => 1 [monounsaturated_fat] => 2 [trans_fat] => 0.02 [cholesterol] => 100 [sodium] => 428 [potassium] => 538 [fiber] => 2 [sugar] => 1 [vitamin_a] => 348 [vitamin_c] => 2 [calcium] => 123 [iron] => 1 )
Notes on Nutritional Information
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
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