I have been getting a lot of use out of my air fryer during this quarantine. We have been having everything from fresh donuts to fried pickles to help keep things interesting around here. One of my absolute favorite new recipes I put together recently is the deliciously cheesy air fryer cheeto chicken nuggets
These chicken nuggets take just a few minutes to make and are great for lunch or dinner. They come out deliciously crispy and lightly breaded. They’re just like Chick-Fil-A nuggets, but with a cheesy kick.
You can use any type of Cheetos or even Takis if you’re feeling bold or like your chicken to be extra spicy. We just stuck with the traditional big puffs of cheesy deliciousness. Of course, if you aren’t a fan of cheese or processed chips you could always just make these nuggets using a simple flour breading. (but I am not the kind of girl to ever say no to cheese)
How to Make Air Fryer Cheeto Chicken Nuggets
This recipe couldn’t get any easier. Under an hour and just a few ingredients are all you need for this deliciously cheesy meal.
Although cooking in the air fryer helps, this isn’t a healthy food though so it’s definitely a once in a while treat in our house.
1.5 lb chicken breast
1 Tbsp water
1/3 C dill pickle juice
3 C crushed Cheetos
1 tsp garlic powder
Cut chicken breast into 1 to 1.5-inch pieces. You want all of these pieces to be about the same size so that they will all cook evenly in the air fryer.
Put chicken pieces in a resealable bowl and add 1/2 C dill pickle juice. Place the sealed bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Beat the egg with 1 Tbsp of water.
Crush Cheetos into the smallest pieces possible. You don’t want any large Cheeto chunks here, but rather more of a dust. Add 1 tsp of garlic powder.
Dip chicken pieces in egg and then toss in Cheeto coating.
Place coated chicken pieces in the air fryer at 380 degrees F. Cook for 14 minutes, but be sure to flip each piece over after about 7 minutes so that they can brown evenly.
Air Fryer Cheeto Chicken Nuggets
- 1½ lb chicken breast
- 1 med egg
- 1 Tbsp water
- ⅓ C dill pickle juice
- 3 C cheetos crushed
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Cut the chicken into 1½ inch pieces and toss into a mixing bowl.
- Add the dill pickle juice to the bowl, toss with a spatula to completely cover all of the chicken pieces and cover. Place the bowl of chicken in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
- Add the Tbsp of water to the egg and beat lightly to combine.
- Crush the Cheetos into the smallest pieces possible. You want to have more of a dust than large pieces here.
- Add the garlic powder to the crushed Cheetos and toss lightly to combine.
- Toss the chicken, a few pieces at a time, into the egg wash and then in the crushed Cheetos.
- Arrange in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 14 minutes at 380° F. I like to turn each of my chicken nuggets over about halfway through cooking to ensure and even crispy coat but it's totally up to you here.
How to Store Air Fryer Cheeto Chicken Nuggets
These nuggets will most likely disappear quickly but they can be stored for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Just be sure to keep them in a sealed container.
They are best served warm, but you can toss them in the air fryer again for a few minutes to warm them up without having the breading go soggy on you.
If you’re not a fan of the idea of using processed food like Cheetos you can try this recipe with a simple flour mix or even add parmesan cheese. These air fryer chicken nuggets are so versatile that you can use your imagination to make them your unique creation.
If doing just a flour coating I would be sure to use a cooking spray to coat your air fryer between each batch of nuggets. This will help to keep the coating on your chicken rather than sticking to the air fryer basket.