Crispy Low Carb Chicken Nuggets (Air Fryer Recipe + Video)

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A crispy, golden batch of low carb chicken nuggets is served on a rectangular white plate with a small bowl of barbecue sauce on the sicde. The plate sits on a red and white checkered tea towel and metal tongs are there to serve them.

Anyone who loves to cook has encountered a handful of recipes that has a very special effect on them… that effect being that they’re making that recipe within the very hour in which they consumed the words! This could best be described as a sort of love-at-first-sight reaction if you will, or at the very least a compelling infatuation. It happens.

The recipe for these Crispy Low-Carb Chicken Nuggets, my friends, was/is one of those recipes for me, and I’m still very much head-over-heels for it! 💕 Once I came across this concept, I immediately stopped whatever the heck I was doing at that moment (no idea what that was) and went to search my pantry for the ingredients.

I had to assess my chances of making a batch of these crispy-looking babies right then and there! I was in luck that afternoon… and these were a big hit, y’all.

The inside of an air fryer chicken nugget   looks moist and tender. Shredded chicken and seasoning are visible inside the golden crispy exterior of the chicken nugget. The white rectangular serving platter and a small bowl of barbecue sauce are slightly blurred in the background.

How to make crispy low carb chicken nuggets

To make a fantastical batch of these low-carb chicken nuggets you’ll need canned chunk chicken, shredded mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and few dashes of hot sauce.

Canned chicken was a surprise ingredient for me in this recipe, but it really works wonderfully here. I actually use canned chicken fairly regularly to make batches of simple chicken salad (it’s so good with crackers for lunch!), so I have a few cans in my pantry most of the time. I also enjoy that using cooked, ready-to-use chicken really makes prepping these nuggets a snappy process. For purposes of this recipe, the chicken needs to be drained and broken down into shreds using a fork or a pastry cutter.

Once the shredded chicken is combined with all the seasonings, eggs and cheese, it must be formed into 1.5 – 2-inch shaped nuggets. I think we all know what a basic chicken nugget looks like, and I found that replicating that basic shape was very easy using my hands (please refer to the full tutorial video below for a detailed example of how to do this). Once the nuggets are shaped and ready to cook, I highly recommend using an air fryer to get them nice and crispy in just a few minutes. An air fryer is a perfect appliance for this recipe, and I explain the air fryer cooking instructions, in detail, in the recipe card below.

Although I have not made them in the oven myself, I do believe achieving good results with this recipe is possible by “oven-frying” as well. It just might take a bit more time to get them as crispy and golden by baking them that way.

The concept of using canned chicken to make chicken nuggets has apparently been out on the web for a couple of years now, but y’all know I’m always late to the trendy recipe parties. I don’t participate over on Tik Tok at all, so I’ll likely stay behind the times… forever. However, I’m sure thankful to know about this recipe now because it’s a keeper, and we truly enjoy it.

In fact, I haven’t been this excited about a chicken nugget, well, since the dawn of time for chicken nuggets in 1983 (I’m looking at you, McDonald’s…) I was there and 12 -year-old me thought those tasty McNuggets were a fascinating option over burgers. They were just SO crispy and good dunked in bbq sauce!! 😁

These low-carb air fryer chicken nuggets give me the all the same feels as back then, but I’m happy to know exactly what’s gone into them, who’s cooking them (moi…), and I love that they’re not deep-fried in oil. I’ll be making many, many more of these for myself… and I guess I’ll share with the fam! 😉

And, no, I won’t forget my favorite dipping sauces: pass the hot mustard and the bbq sauce please!

What’s your favorite chicken nugget dipping sauce??

Please remember sharing is caring and happy cooking, y’all! xo -M

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Crispy Low Carb Chicken Nuggets (Air Fryer Recipe)

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: gluten-free, low-carb recipes, poultryDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



These Crispy Low Carb Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets give all the comforting feels of a convenience food chicken nugget, minus some unwanted fat and carbs! This surprising recipe features canned chicken breast and it’s a must-try recipe for deep-fried chicken nugget fans everywhere. Don’t forget to stock up on your favorite dipping sauces before you make the first batch!


  • 2 (12.5 oz) cans chunk chicken breast, drained

  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (I use the stuff in the green container)

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2-4 dashes of hot sauce (I use Tabasco brand)


  • Transfer the drained canned chicken to a large mixing bowl and break it up into shreds using either a fork or a pastry cutter.
  • Mix beaten eggs into the shredded chicken and then add the pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and hot sauce. Stir until well mixed. Fold in the Parmesan cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Form the chicken mixture into individual chicken nuggets using your hands. Use 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture (*see notes below) for each nugget. Refer to the tutorial video below for a visual example of how to do this step, if needed.
  • Grease an air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray. Place a single layer of uncooked chicken nuggets into the prepared basket (don’t crowd the basket, it’s best if they’re not touching each other) .
  • Air fry at 375° for 10 minutes, gently flipping the chicken nuggets one time at the 5 minute mark.
  • Serve warm and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauces.

Recipe Video


  • I use a generously-filled one tablespoon cookie scooper as a perfect measuring cup for forming these nuggets.
  • We love to eat these with ketchup, bbq sauce or Asian hot mustard or sweet chili sauce on the side.
  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish. 


  1. What is the nutrition info for this recipe, and how many nuggets are in one serving?

    • Hello there, thank you for checking out my recipe! I don’t typically provide nutrition data on this blog, not for any recipe I share. Not all products/ingredients/brands I use are always available in every location where people follow my blog. Also, very often people don’t make the recipe exactly as I’ve written it, and I can’t anticipate those random adaptations. I don’t generalize the nutrition facts on this site for those reasons. I feel it’s the safest practice for people to do this for themselves for the most accurate results as that is very important information. Thanks again for the visit, I hope you enjoy the chicken nuggets! 🙂

  2. What an absolutely delightful recipe! These Crispy Low Carb Chicken Nuggets look incredibly tempting, and your detailed instructions make them seem so easy to whip up. I love how you’ve utilized canned chicken to streamline the preparation process without compromising on flavor. And the air fryer method ensures that they come out perfectly crispy without the need for excessive oil. Your enthusiasm for this recipe is contagious, and I can’t wait to give it a try myself! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful culinary gem with us. Cheers to delicious homemade nuggets and happy cooking! 🍗✨

  3. I love that these are baked. I’ve never made anything like them, but I’d love to give it a try. Thanks! I don’t have an air fryer, but I do have a convection toaster oven. I’ll see if that’ll work.

  4. I have found that Airfryer make food more crispy than oven. Your chicken nuggets are an example:)

  5. Your chicken nuggets look great! I don’t own an air fryer but people love them! I know I am missing out. I bet you can batch make these and reheat in the air fryer too.

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us.


    • Hi Velva!! Thank you! I never thought I would use the air fryer the way that I do when I purchased it, but we go through weeks where we use the darn thing daily 🙂 It’s a great appliance!

  6. Love chicken nuggets and homemade is definitely the best choice.

  7. I think we can buy canned chicken here – in tiny tins! I believe fast food places don’t use real chicken, just the scrapings of a chicken mushed up so canned chicken would be similar. A great idea to make baked nuggets tasty is to bake panko breadcrumbs till golden and roll the uncooked mixture in them, then bake – delish!

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