These game changing freezer-to-table Air Fryer Dino Nuggets save the day when time is crunched short and dinner still needs to be made. In less than 10 minutes, you can have hot, crispy nuggets on the table with fresh fruit and veggies for a meal that your kids will enjoy.
🍽️ Why This Works
Easy to Make | How much more simple can it be than to throw these from the bag into the air fryer? Push “start” and dinner is well on its way.
Fast | This is so fas, taking just 8-10 minutes in total. Because these are thinner than traditional nuggets, they crisp up fast.
Crispy Texture | Don’t worry about any soggy chicken nuggets when you are using the air fryer to make dinner. These are perfectly crispy without being overly crunchy.
Cook From Frozen | There is no need to defrost which saves even more time and allows you to decide at the last minute that this is what is going on the table for the kids tonight.
Tyson’s Dino Chicken Nuggets | Whether you choose to use the Tyson’s, Perdue’s, Foster Farms, Yummy Dino or Target’s Fresh Market Brand, they will all cook the same. These are typically thinner than traditional traditional chicken nuggets, which means they are not only super fun to eat but they are wicked fast to cook.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer | We used the Ninja Air Fryer next to our Instant Vortex Plus 7 in 1 to make a side by side comparison of the two machines.
Parchment Paper | I used the the Air Fryer Parchment Paper Liners to make the cleanup speedy on this one. I’ve also used the Air Fryer Reusable Liners as well and love both versions.
Step One: Place the nuggets in the basket or on the tray of the AF and cook straight from frozen at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The photos shown are from my Ninja basket for 8 minutes, turning half way through.
Step Two: Remove from the Air Fryer and serve with sauces and your favorite side dish for a meal that is ready in under 10 minutes.
🐔 Serving Options
We love to serve these up with our favorite dipping sauces: fry sauce, Chick Fil A sauce, ketchup, ranch or even BBQ sauce. Serve them in little ramekins and it makes the meal so much fun to eat.
In addition to the sauces, we add a big ol’ tray of cut up veggies to nibble on with a batch of sour cream ranch dip. Adults and kids gobble these up if they are set up in a tray ready to go.
❗ Expert Tips
There is no need to spray the nuggets with oil for this recipe. They will crisp up perfectly without any additional oil or sprays.
With all recipes made in the air fryer, don’t crowd the ingredients. Remember how the air fryer works with the heat circulation AROUND each piece of food. When you pile them up, they will get soggy and not crisp up for you.
Since you need circulation of air to get the food crispy, if you have a big family or want to cook a larger amount, look at using a tray versions like the Instant Vortex. Nuwave Brio has a great tray version as well, or try the Hamilton Beach 11.6 Qt that has three trays. Not only will you get more room to cook, but you will also gain rotisserie and dehydrator options.
Another option is to get the Ninja Dual Basket version which simply doubles the amount you can traditionally cook in a basket.
If you are just starting out and not sure if you will use this counter-hog machine much, start with a basket version. They are so easy to use and you’ll find yourself using it quite a bit. Brands like Cosori, Ninja, Phillips, Nuwave and and Hamilton Beach can all be purchased at Amazon, Walmart, Costco and even Bed Bath and Beyond (you know to use those coupons when shopping, right?). The basket version comes at a lower price point so you aren’t out too much if you don’t like it.
🍇 What to Serve with Dino Nuggets?
Kid friendly veggie options are:
Roasted Rutabaga Fries (oven and AF versions)
Honey Herb Roasted Carrots (oven and AF versions)
For the specific Dino version (not regular chicken nuggets), cook at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Yummy Dino, Perdue, Perdue Organic, Tyson, Foster Farms and John Soules Foods. Target’s Market Fresh brand also has a version available. Walmart sells a Jurassic World version that is all shaped in dinosaurs as well.
Cook them in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes. Reheat in the toaster oven for 2-3 minutes as well.
According to webmd.com, even when the packaging states that they are organic or all natural, they are still loaded with sodium and and fat. Unfortunately, there is limited regulations on the term “all natural.” Yummy Dino Buddies are an example of boneless, skinless chicken breast with rib meat filler. They also have fewer preservatives, but they do contain soy which can be used as a filler. We don’t know how much less.
Choose organic if you are looking for the healthiest nuggets as that word is regulated in the US. If a company chooses to use the term Organic Chicken Nuggets, the chicken has to be raised with 95% organic ingredients and it has to be raised with no antibiotics or pesticides.
We all love to eat these from time to time, but be aware of your caloric and fat / sodium intake.
If you want to eat the healthiest nuggets, Huffington Post has a great article on the top picks which include Bell and Evans, Nature Raised Farms and Applegate Farms for all choosing to use no antibiotics when raising their chickens. These nugget choices are also pulling from chicken breasts rather than
Look for the Tyson’s or the Yummy Dino Buddies for gluten free breading versions. The Yummy one has a big purple logo on the front of the box telling you it is gluten free.
Low Prep Air Fryer Recipes
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Chicken Dino Nuggets in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer
- 12 Dino Nuggets
- Place the nuggets in the basket or on the tray of the Air Fryer and cook straight from frozen at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Turn them over half way through.
- Serve with your favorite sauces, side dishes or over a big bed of greens.