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Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets are super flavorful and tasty chicken nuggets just like Chick-fil-A! A recipe the whole family loves!

CRISPY, TENDER AND HOMEMADE

I have a firm rule on here that I never say anything tastes exactly like a particular food from my favorite restaurants. But I do love to try to re-create some of my restaurant/fast food favorites at home. It’s a fun pastime for me that started many years ago. After a lot of trial and error, I can usually get flavors very close to my favorite meals, but never exactly the same taste (hopefully better!)

Copycat Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets ona plate with waffle fries and a small jar of honey mustard.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Can I substitute milk for the buttermilk?

Definitely try to use buttermilk here. It really tenderizes the chicken. If you have time, marinate the chicken in the buttermilk, egg and pickle juice mixture for as long as possible.

What type of pickle juice is best for marinating?

You’ll want to use dill pickle juice with this. The bread and butter pickle juice is just a bit too sweet.

How do I make chicken nuggets without frying?

Want a recipe for this that doesn’t require frying in oil? Try making my AIR FRYER COPYCAT CHICK-FIL-A NUGGETS recipe.

How to freeze leftover chicken nuggets:

After you have fried the nuggets, allow them to cool. I prefer to flash freeze fried chicken nuggets so they don’t stick together. Place nuggets on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour. Then put them in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

How to reheat frozen chicken nuggets:

The best way is to do so with an air fryer. Reheat them at 400F degrees for about 10 minutes, shaking the basket once during cooking. You can reheat them in the microwave for about 2 minutes but the breading won’t be as crisp so it’s not recommended.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets shown on a wooden platter with waffle fries and honey mustard.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • buttermilk
  • pickle juice
  • large egg
  • all-purpose flour
  • powdered sugar
  • corn starch
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable or peanut oil
Chick-fil-A Ingredients: diced boneless, skinless chicken breasts, buttermilk, pickle juice, large egg, all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, corn starch.

HOW TO MAKE CHICK-FIL-A CHICKEN NUGGETS:

My chicken breasts were on the large side so I only used 2 this time. Cube chicken breasts into bite size pieces (trimming away any excess skin that might be hanging on.) In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg and pickle juice.

buttermilk, egg and pickle juice mixed together in a bowl.

Place cubed chicken into the bowl. If you have time, cover it and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a few hours. This helps to make the chicken a bit more moist and tender.

diced chicken breasts soaking in buttermilk mixture in a bowl.

When ready to cook, start preheating oil in your fryer or deep pot to 375F degrees. In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine flour, sugar, corn starch, salt & pepper. Give it a good shake to combine ingredients.

flour, sugar, corn starch, salt, pepper in a large plastic zip top bag.

Add in cubed chicken, small batches at a time, to the flour mixture. Seal and shake until chicken is coated.

chicken breasts coated in flour mixture inside Ziploc bag.

In small batches, place chicken into fryer and cook until golden brown (and internal temperature is 165F degrees.) About 4-6 minutes.

frying chicken nuggets in cast iron pan.

Remove and drain on paper towels

chicken nuggets draining excess grease on a paper towel.

Continue with above steps until all your chicken is cooked. Served here with my favorite homemade HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE.

Dipping chicken nuggets into honey mustard sauce.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES? GIVE THESE A TRY!

Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets (+Video)

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets are super flavorful and tasty chicken nuggets just like Chick-fil-A! A recipe the whole family loves!
4.95 from 58 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cube chicken breasts into bite size pieces, trimming away any excess skin.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pickle juice and egg.
  • Place cubed chicken into milk/egg mixture. Cover it and let it hang out in the refrigerator for about an hour (overnight is even better if time allows.)
  • When ready to cook, start preheating oil in your fryer or deep pot to 375F degrees.
  • In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch, salt & pepper.
  • Give it a good shake to combine ingredients.
  • Add in cubed chicken, small batches at a time, to the flour mixture.
  • Seal and shake until chicken is coated.
  • In small batches, place chicken into fryer.
  • Cook until golden brown. About 4-6 minutes. Internal temperature of chicken should be 165f degrees.
  • Remove and drain on paper towels. Continue with above steps until all your chicken is cooked.
  • Serve with waffle fries and HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE.

Video

Notes

  • Definitely try to use buttermilk here. It really tenderizes the chicken. If you have time, marinate the chicken in the buttermilk, egg and pickle juice mixture for as long as possible. But you can use regular milk if that is all you have.
  • You’ll want to use dill pickle juice with this. The bread and butter pickle juice is just a bit too sweet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 347kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1071mg | Sugar: 6g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

Did you make this recipe?Share it on Instagram @thecountrycook and mention us #thecountrycook!

Originally published: March 2012
Updated & republished: February 2021

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Recipe Rating




63 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is my second raving review today! We made these for dinner and they were delicious and looked just as pictured. The only change was I used a cast iron skillet with oil on med high heat. Yum!! Big thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    I just made this for my VERY picky husband. He liked it and said I can make it again. That's saying something lol! He only eats about 10 things.

  3. 5 stars
    I have made these a couple differnt times for my family. My daughter (5) just eats them up as quick as i can pull them out of the oil! HUGE HIT!!!!! 🙂

  4. Thank you SO very much!! I am so happy this recipe turned out good for you. I really appreciate y'all taking the time to let me know how a recipe turned out. I hope you find many more recipes on here that you love!! ~Brandie

  5. 5 stars
    I just found your blog and enjoy it very much! I am a former south Virginia girl also and I gotta love someone who uses the term, "daggone"!
    Angie

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this, I'm making these tonight and I can't wait! I love your recipes and have never had anything I didn't enjoy from your site.

  7. 5 stars
    I love recreating recipes at home too. It's always such a challenge and so gratifying when you come so close! And the powdered sugar! Who would have thought! You're so smart! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week and come back soon.

  8. I've never had the Chick-fil-A nuggets, but I can tell that these nuggets are delicious! And your honey mustard sauce looks like a perfect dipping sauce for them! Great Job!

  9. No doubt in my mind that these are far better than anything you can get at a fast food place. Good job!

  10. 5 stars
    Yours are better b/c there is no MSG! Sad but true, Chick-Fil-A adds MSG to there breaded chicken 🙁

    And I'm so excited b/c your frying set up is sweet!

  11. Thanks for the lovely comments everyone!! I really hope you like this one if you give it a try!
    Shana, I haven't actually tried freezing these to be honest but I think you could. The breading on these are similar to Chick-fil-A in that it is not a crispy batter so freezing them should be alright.
    Joan, yes, that is an electric fryer that I have. But you could certainly use your large cast iron skillet for frying these! 🙂

  12. 5 stars
    The nuggets looks really crispy and irresistible my boy will finish them in no time:-)
    thanks for the simple recipe.
    Yin

  13. Thank you so much. This would be much better for my son than the store bought popcorn chicken he loves. Can you freeze these? I would like to make a bunch so I can pull out some as he wants it. That would be awesome.

  14. 5 stars
    These were awesome! And I have to agree – we decided to try a batch with pickle juice and without and no one could tell the difference. Delicious!

    1. 5 stars
      I have made these and actually soaked the chicken in pickle juice, Claussen Brand, for 30 minuets to up to over night, and it made a huge difference! Actually tasted like Chick Fil A!

      1. Hi Bethany. How did you do it ? Did you soak it in pickle juice then later that day soaked it in buttermilk?