A Fast and Easy 8 Simple Step Recipe Chicken Nugget Air Fryer Style, Plus Dental Nutrition Info and Nugget Meal Suggestions
For many people chicken nuggets are a true childhood favorite that comes with fond memories of lunch or dinner. These nostalgic chicken nuggets weren’t always the healthiest. Whether that be from what type of chicken was used, breading or the beloved sauces you dunked them in.
Now, if you’re trying to improve your mouth health and miss those good nuggets, fear not these air fryer chicken nuggets provide you a healthier option without sacrificing taste!
Plus, with this air fryer chicken nuggets recipe you can quickly prep these nuggies and enjoy them now or later (such as, throughout the week for a quick protein filled bite).
Read on to learn the benefits of chicken for dental health, meal and snack ideas for dinner or lunches, ingredients, cooking instructions and of course a printable version of the recipe! Enjoy!
How Chicken Benefits Dental Health
Did you know the quality and parts of the chicken in nuggets can vary? Some contain white meat, while others can be made up of any part of the chicken. So, depending on what brand you buy will depend on how nutrient dense those nuggies are!
That’s why air frying chicken with boneless skinless chicken breast and panko crumbs can improve the nutrition profile of these tasty bites!
As you can probably guess, boneless skinless chicken breast is typically the healthiest part of the bird. Chicken really packs a punch for nourishing your dental health.
The Details On Chicken’s Nutrition and Mouth Health Benefits
When it comes to using boneless skinless chicken breast as the meat for your air fryer nuggets, you are getting more of what you want and a lot less of what you don’t. At least in terms of enjoying the taste and consuming nutrition that benefits your oral health.
The skinless breast part of the chicken is low in fat, especially saturated fat, has little to no sugar and has little to no carbohydrates and salts. Side Note: Of course, you need carbs and healthy fats for your dental health to survive and thrive, but we can cover those topics in a different post.
Now, chicken breast is filled with micronutrients, especially the ones that our gums and teeth love such as vitamins B3, B5, B6, phosphorus and selenium.
On top of that, it is a great source of lean, complete protein. Protein is a crucial macronutrient that nourishes nearly every aspect of your mouth from your tongue to your teeth, to your gums, to your oral immune system and microbiota.
For a more detailed visual of chicken breast nutrition, see the image below. (And for more info on the B vitamins and other micronutrients and oral health checkout the nutrient table in my blog post, “Is Milk Good For Your Teeth?”)
How Chicken Breast Helps You Heal After Dental Surgery
Not only is chicken breast great for maintaining good oral health, but it is also a great food to eat pre and post dental surgery. This complete source of protein may help improve your healing time by bolstering your immune system, rebuilding gum tissue, strengthening teeth, and aiding in wound healing.
Protein is made of up of building blocks called amino acids. There are two amino acids in chicken arginine and glutamine that are particularly helpful for nourishing your dental surgery.
Both amino acids help your mouth heal by potentially reducing bacteria, infection, and inflammation, speeding up wound healing time, increasing tissue strength, and provides immune system support. Refer to the image below for more information.
Implementing chicken breast into your diet weeks before and after your surgery may be the best way to ensure your body is absorbing and building up the nutritional benefits of this protein packed food. If you’re looking for help figuring out what to eat before and after dental surgery, contact me.
Make It A Meal – Snack, Lunch and Dinner Ideas
I’m sure when it comes to chicken nuggets a few dinners, lunches and maybe even some snack ideas come to mind. Classically, chicken nuggets tend to be paired with ketchup, ranch dip, some French fries and a refreshing beverage like a lemonade or soda. This classic meal combo has it place and when it comes to nourishing your oral and overall health, it’s all about balance.
If you’re reading this, I have a feeling you’re looking for ways to health up your chicken nugget meals. There are so many meal and snack combos that can round out and compliment the awesome nutrition profile of air fryer chicken nuggets. Checkout this list of ideas to level up this classic dish.
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with steamed broccoli, and brown rice
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with air fryer sweet potato wedges and a side salad
- A salad topped with air fryer chicken nuggets, sharp cheddar cheese and ranch dressing
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with honey mustard dipping sauce and a baked potato topped with diced tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with roasted veggies and quinoa
- Grain bowl with rice, air fryer chicken nuggets, sautéed veggies and topped with some cheese and olive oil
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with ranch dressing for dipping and some sliced carrots
- Air fryer chicken nuggets on a side salad and balsamic vinaigrette
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with dipping sauce and cucumbers
- Air fryer chicken nuggets with dipping sauce and a serving of fruit
How To Make These Tasty Nuggets
Before you get started cooking, I always recommend that you read the instruction, ingredients, and recipe twice to make sure you have everything to enjoy the cooking process.
- 1-2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast
- Panko crumbs (original or Italian seasoning per your preference)
- Milk per your preference
- Cooking spray
- Seasoning and spices per your preference (for reference I use Italian panko crumbs then add turmeric, black pepper, and cholula sauce to it)
And you will also need the following cookware:
- Air fryer
- Meat hammer
- Cutting board
- Two mixing bowls
Alright, now that you have all your ingredients and cookware ready let’s get to cooking.
- The first thing you’ll want to do is prepare the chicken breast. To do this, place the chicken breast on a cutting board. Next, trim any pieces of the breast off that you don’t want to cook. This is usually fatty strips or parts with red in them.
- Then, take the meat hammer and hammer the chicken breast down to about ½ – ¼ inch thickness. After that, cut the chicken breast into cubes about 1 to 1 ½ inches cubes. Now, your chicken in prepped and can be put to the side.
- Next, prepare your air fryer. Do this, by pre-heating the air fryer to 375 degrees. While the air fryer is pre-heating put about 1 – 1 ½ cups of panko crumbs into a bowl. Then, add any seasonings or spices you desire to the crumbs and mix them in.
- After that, pour about 1 – 1 ½ cups of your preferred milk in another bowl. Then, create an assembly line that goes from milk to panko crumbs to air fryer.
- At this point, the air fryer should be heated up enough where you can take the air fryer basket out and place it next to the panko crumbs bowl. Once placed next to the crumbs, lightly spray the air fryer basket with oil.
- And now the assembly line will come into play. Take a fork or spoon and put a cube of chicken in the milk. Let the chicken fully emerge in the milk and then drop it into the panko crumbs. Move the chicken around in the crumbs until every side of the cubs is covered.
- After that add the panko covered chicken to the air fryer basket. Repeat this process until the air fryer basket is full with one single layer of prepped chicken nuggets.
- Now it is time to let these nuggies cook. Put the nuggets into the air fryer, set the fryer to chicken on 375-380 degrees for 7-8 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn over the nuggets and cook for another 7ish minutes.
Once that is complete, your nuggets are all done and ready to be enjoyed now, or later as a lovely meal or snack.
And just as a for your information depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to repeat the cooking process a few times. You also may need to add more milk or panko crumbs depending on how much chicken you are cooking up.
Hope you find this recipe delicious just as it is nutritious!
Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- 1 air fryer
- 1 meat mallet
- 1 cutting board
- 2 mixing bowls
- 1.5 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 -1.5 cups panko crumbs
- 1 – 1.5 cups milk
- 1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric optional
- 1/2 – 1 tsp black pepper optional
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt optional
- 1/2 – 1 tsp hot sauce optional
- 1 – 2 sprays cooking spray
- Prepare the chicken breast. To do this, place the chicken breast on a cutting board. Next, trim any pieces of the breast off that you don’t want to cook.
- Then, take the meat hammer and hammer the chicken breast down to about ½ – ¼ inch thickness
- After that, cut the chicken breast into cubes to about 1 to 1 ½ inches cubes
- Next, prepare your air fryer. Do this, by pre-heating the air fryer to 375 degrees
- While the air fryer is pre-heating pour about 1 – 1 ½ cups of your preferred milk in a bowl and put about 1 – 1 ½ cups of panko crumbs into another bowl. (Feel free to add any seasonings or spices you desire to the crumbs and mix them in.)
- After that, pour about 1 – 1 ½ cups of your preferred milk in another bowl.
- Take a fork or spoon and put a cube of chicken in the milk. Let the chicken fully emerge in the milk and then drop it into the panko crumbs. Move the chicken around in the crumbs until every side of the cube is covered.
- After that spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and add the panko covered chicken to the air fryer basket. Cook the nuggets for 7-8 minutes, then flip and cook for 7-8 minutes on the other side.