Copycat Chik-Fil-A Nuggets (with Video)

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We live miles away from a Chick-Fil-A, so the only way for us to enjoy those perfect chicken nuggets is to make our own Copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets at home!

Parents, you need this Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nugget recipe in your life! Simply the best homemade chicken nugget recipe, with umami, tart, sweet and salty tastes all combined in glorious golden nuggets

Homemade Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe

There’s a reason they call it “the Lord’s chicken” – these two-bite golden nuggets are gooooood.

I first had Chick-Fil-A when I was in Bentonville, Arkansas for the Crystal Bridges museum review, and those nuggets definitely lived up to their reputation! Slightly sweet, juicy and perfectly crispy coated nuggets that tasted “almost homemade” but better than any chicken nuggets I had eaten before.

My daughter had watched a “Mukbang” video on Youtube sampling all of the different Chick-Fil-A sauces, so while I couldn’t bring back the nuggets for her, I did bring back a whole bag of the sauces! (Yes, one of the employees definitely gave me a stink eye for that request.)

While she was content to sample her sauces with Burger King nuggets, I wanted to give her the full “Chick-Fil-A experience” and set out to perfect a copycat version of their famous nuggets – including how to make homemade Chick-Fil-A sauce.

Even if you live close to a Chick-Fil-A, it’s awesome to be able to make these Chick-Fil-A nuggets at home if you have peanut or milk allergies to consider, or just want to save money. (While our recipes calls for milk and peanut oil, you can swap those out for coconut milk or vegetable oil, respectively. I have heard that peanut oil is often safe for people with allergies because the processing separates the protein from the oil, and the protein is what triggers allergies – but please do your own research to ensure that this is safe for you.)

These homemade chicken nuggets are best enjoyed fresh and hot. We had some leftover and reheated them in the oven the next day and they were good, but definitely better when they were fresh.

Keep in mind that these nuggets need to soak in a dill pickle brine for 2 hours or overnight before you start cooking them, so give yourself enough time. That brine is essential to the final flavor of the nuggets, as it delivers a punchy flavor without being overpowering. (The pickle juice is also balanced out by adding the powdered icing sugar, resulting in a umami, tart, sweet and salty taste combination that is sheer perfection.)

I hope your kids love these homemade chicken nuggets as much as my daughter does – and if you make them, let me know whether or not you think they measured up to Chick-Fil-A!

Can these Chick-fil-A nuggets be frozen? Yes, you can freeze these nuggets either after coating (before frying) or after frying. However, the taste will be different than if they were enjoyed fresh.

Can I used another cut of meat instead of breast meat? Yes, you can use any chicken cut that you like, but I personally recommend chicken breasts or chicken tenders. The taste won’t be exactly the same if you use a fattier cut, like chicken thighs, but it will still taste great.

Can I make the coating crunchier? Yes, you can achieve this by either double-coating the nuggets with the egg and flour breading, or by adding in crushed crackers or fine bread crumbs to the flour coating.

Why use peanut oil? Peanut oil has a high smoke point, so you won’t experience burning oil or the oil smoking, which adds an unpleasant taste to the food you are cooking. (Exceeding an oil’s smoke point also destroys beneficial nutrients and phytochemicals, while releasing free radicals.) Peanut oil also has a very neutral taste and you can strain and re-use it several times. It may also be healthier than other traditional frying methods. If you can’t get peanut oil, vegetable and canola oils both have high smoke points for frying food.

Can I use something else to brine the chicken instead of pickle juice? I highly recommend using dill pickle juice to brine the chicken for the most accurate copycat results, however, you can use buttermilk (or milk with a tablespoon of vinegar) or a salt water brine in it’s place. 

Check out our quick recipe video to see how to make your own homemade Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets (and our copycat Chick-fil-a sauce) – and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:

 

Chick-Fil-A Nuggets Ingredients

For the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce:

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: if you need to avoid milk, use coconut milk. Use vegetable oil if there is a peanut oil allergy concern.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Deep fryer or dutch oven, for frying <– dutch ovens are great for deep frying, making stock, homemade tomato sauce, etc. They keep a consistent temperature, don’t warp, and can seamlessly transition from stovetop to oven. I love the versatility of mine and it has lasted for over a decade and still going strong!
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Small bowls
  • Whisk
  • Spiral strainer <– this is essential for any deep frying recipe, as it removes the food without the oil and is super easy to clean

     

How to Make Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

Place the dill pickle brine in a container with a lid.

Cut the chicken in nugget pieces and then place in the dill pickle brine.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

   

In a shallow dish, combine the flour, powdered icing sugar, and seasoning. Set aside.

In a second dish, combine the milk and egg.

Place the 2 cups of peanut oil in a heavy pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat.

Dip each piece of chicken in the milk mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture.

When the oil is hot, add the nuggets 4-5 at a time and fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove the nuggets from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Repeat with all nuggets.

Serve fresh.

How to Make Chick Fil A Sauce

For the Chick-Fil-A sauce, combine all sauce ingredients together and whisk until well-blended.

 

 

Pin this Homemade Chick-Fil-A Nuggets recipe:

Simply the best ever Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets Copycat recipe, this homemade chicken nugget recipe has two secret ingredients that make all the difference

Grab your free printable for our copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets recipe:

Yield: 4 servings, about 20-25 nuggets

Copycat Chik-Fil-A Nuggets

Copycat Chik-Fil-A Nuggets

The PERFECT Chickfila nugget copycat recipe - these tender, juicy nuggets will have your whole family fooled into thinking you hit the drive-thru!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups dill pickle brine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered icing sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups peanut oil

For the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Place the dill pickle brine in a container with a lid.
  2. Cut the chicken in nugget pieces and then place in the dill pickle brine.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, powdered icing sugar, and seasoning. Set aside.
  5. In a second dish, combine the milk and egg.
  6. Place the 2 cups of peanut oil in a heavy pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium heat.
  7. Dip each piece of chicken in the milk mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture.
  8. When the oil is hot, add the nuggets 4-5 at a time and fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes.
  9. Remove the nuggets from the oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  10. Repeat with all nuggets
  11. For the Chick-Fil-A sauce, combine all sauce ingredients together and whisk until well-blended.
  12. Serve fresh.

Notes

I highly recommend doubling or tripling this recipe if your family would want more than a few nuggets each.

You can replace the brown sugar and honey with BBQ sauce, if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 481Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 106mgSodium: 805mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 25g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

Pin this Recipe for Later

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

These homemade chicken nuggets are a great way to save money while still feeling completely indulged!

For more fun copycat recipes, check out our Copycat KFC Chicken recipe or our Copycat Cinnabuns recipe.

Check out our other Chicken Recipes:

Chicken Recipes

 

How to make Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets at home - no MSG and you control the sugar and salt! Plus a printable recipe for that amazing Chick-Fil-A sauce! Crispy, tender and flavorful chicken nuggets from scratch  Simply the best ever Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets Copycat recipe, this homemade chicken nugget recipe has two secret ingredients that make all the difference  Parents, you need this Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nugget recipe in your life! Simply the best homemade chicken nugget recipe, with umami, tart, sweet and salty tastes all combined in glorious golden nuggets  If you love ChickFilA nuggets, you need to try this copycat nugget recipe - plus it has a recipe for the sauce! Crispy, tender and flavorful chicken nuggets from scratch

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4 Comments

  1. Hi, I discovered your site through Pinterest, and I must say I m very impressed with how many of your recipes are made from ingredients on hand. My kids love Chick-Fil-A, so I will definitely be trying this. Quick question have you experimented with making a full chicken breast (like a Chick-Fil-A sandwich)? I m trying to gauge the frying time. Thanks so much for this site!

  2. You mentioned cornstarch up at the top of this recipe, but then never mentioned it again. Is it part of the recipe or not?

    1. Sorry, when I was editing the recipe card I accidentally deleted the note.
      You can either use 1 cup flour or 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch. Both have great results, but the 1/2 cup of each results in a crunchier coating.

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