How long to cook dino nuggets in an air fryer? You can make air fryer Dino Buddies dinosaur chicken nuggets in only 10 minutes! You’ll learn how to make dino nuggets crispy in the air fryer with this easy air fryer recipe. Get the dino nuggets cook time, temp, instructions, nutrition, and much more. This recipe works with fun nuggets Tyson dino nuggets, Perdue Panko Breaded Dino Nuggets, Yummy Dino Buddies, and other dinosaur nuggets.
Wondering how to make dino nuggets in an air fryer? If so, today’s post has got what you need!
BTW, I’m not saying that air fryer dino nuggets are the healthiest thing around. If you want to know my thoughts on the healthiest chicken nuggets, check out this air fryer frozen chicken nuggets post. You’ll get info on finding healthy regular chicken nuggets from the store.
For the most nutritious option, you could make dino nuggets from scratch. To do it, you’d need to cut small chicken pieces into dinosaur shapes. Then you can bread and air fry the chicken, similar to this air fryer breaded chicken breasts recipe.
Let’s get real though, many parents of young children don’t have time for all of that. Dino nuggets from the store are a huge time saver. In addition, this dino buddies chicken nuggets air fryer recipe will save you even more time than using the oven.
Is this the “perfect” thing to be feeding your kids? No, of course not. But it will make a busy weeknight dinner a little more fun.
And adding some family fun to mealtimes is a very good thing in my book!
- ⭐ Benefits of Making Dino Nuggets
- 🥘 Dino Nuggets Air Fryer Ingredients
- 🔪 How to Air Fry Dino Nuggets
- ️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
- 🌡️ Leftovers
- 🥗 What to Serve with Dino Nuggets
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👩🏻🍳 Other Kid Friendly Air Fryer Recipes
- 👨🍳 More Frozen Foods to Air Fry
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
⭐ Benefits of Making Dino Nuggets
As I said above, I’m not pretending this dino chicken nuggets air fryer recipe is the most nutritious option. That said, air fried dino nuggets have some advantages worth a mention:
- Feeds picky eaters: Even the pickiest eaters tend to accept a plate of delicious chicken nuggets. The fun dino shapes are appealing to kids, and they’re getting a little protein in.
- Healthier than deep frying: Plunging your frozen dino nuggets in hot oil to deep fry adds a lot of fat and calories. With air frying, we can cook dino nuggets without oil. (Note: there is already plenty of oil present in the nugget breading, so these are not oil-free.)
- Fast: You can cook dino nuggets from frozen in only 10 minutes in the air fryer. You would need 10 minutes just to preheat an oven, so air frying is a much faster cooking method.
- Easy: Dino nuggets are a single ingredient entrée. You don’t need to make a shopping list to enjoy these.
- Crispy dino nuggets: My dino nuggets air fryer recipe turns out crisp every time. They are so much better than when you make them in the microwave. Just say no to soggy nuggets!
🥘 Dino Nuggets Air Fryer Ingredients
All you need are a box of frozen dino nuggets, an air fryer, and a meat thermometer. Don't forget the dipping sauce! (I’ve listed some of the best dipping sauces for dino nuggets below.)
I’m air frying Dino Buddies nuggets. If your dino-shaped chicken nuggets are larger or smaller than these, it can impact the air frying time.
Cooking times may also vary between the Ninja Foodi, Kalorik, Philips, Nuwave, Pampered Chef, Actifry, Instant Pot Vortex, Cosori, Breville, and other air fryer brands. Check the food often the first time you try any new air fryer recipe and you’ll never burn the food!
🔪 How to Air Fry Dino Nuggets
Air frying dino nuggets is very low effort. All you need to do is put the chicken nugget dinos in a single layer in your air fryer basket or tray. I could fit 12 on the tray.
Don’t stack or overlap the nuggets in the air fryer. You need the heat and air to be able to freely circulate to achieve perfect crispiness.
️⏲️ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you cook dino nuggets in an air fryer? What temperature to air fry dino nuggets? Air fry frozen dino nuggets for a total of 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C).
If you have an air fryer oven, you’ll want to use the top rack position. Cook from frozen, one tray of dino nuggets at a time.
Simply air fry for 5 minutes, then flip the nuggets and air fry for 5 minutes more. The box of Dino Buddies states that they are fully cooked but should reach a minimum safe temp of 165F (74C). Check them with a meat thermometer, and add more cooking time if needed.
Let them rest for 1-2 minutes to crisp up more before serving. If you cook more than one batch, later batches may take less time as the oven was effectively preheated.
It’s best to only cook what you need, so you can enjoy fresh dinosaur nuggets each time. That said, you can reheat leftover dino nuggets in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 350F (177C) if needed. (Use the top rack position if you have an air fryer oven.)
🥗 What to Serve with Dino Nuggets
What goes with dino nuggets? I love to serve cooked dino nuggets with sweet potato fries and broccoli. Here are some super sides for dino nuggets:
- Air Fryer Waffle Fries
- Air Fryer Frozen French Fries
- Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes
- Roasted Air Fryer Carrots
Don’t forget your favorite dipping sauce! Here are a few possibilities:
- Sweet and sour sauce
- Honey mustard
- BBQ sauce
- Garlic aioli
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of air fryer dino nuggets has 180 calories, 15 grams net carbs, and 9 grams protein. These are Dino Buddies nutrition facts. This is for a four nugget serving (as listed on the box), but many of us will eat more.
The nutrition information for dino nuggets varies by brand. The following was correct at the time of writing, but is subject to change.
|Brand||Calories||Net Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
|Yummy Dino Buddies (Costco)||180||15||9|
|Yummy Dino Buddies Meatless Plant-Based Protein Nuggets (vegan and vegetarian)||190||17||8|
|Tyson Dino Nuggets (Fun Nuggets)||180||9||10|
|Perdue Panko Breaded Dino Nuggets||240||16||10|
|Perdue Chicken Plus Chicken & Vegetable Dino Nuggets||210||18||9|
|Wellshire Dino Bites||220||12||13|
|Golden Platter Gluten Free Dino Nuggets||170||8||15|
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Dino Nuggets are a product targeted to young children, so it's no issue they’re level 3. We want to make sure that children get enough calories and other nutrients for healthy growth.
That said, frozen dino nuggets fall into the category of ultra-processed foods. They may be higher in sodium and fat compared to homemade chicken nuggets. also, they generally contain white flour instead of whole grains.
So, the question is, “Can some processed foods be healthy?” The simple answer to this question is yes. Even chopped vegetables that have been bagged and frozen are processed to some degree.
Ultimately though, what's “healthy” depends on what your needs are. For some children with picky eating, dino nuggets can help them squeeze a little more protein in their diet. Overtime, these children may be more likely to accept homemade chicken nuggets, as many children eventually outgrow picky eating.
Nearly everyone has a diet that includes some processed foods. It's nothing to feel guilty about. It's actually quite normal.
What can become problematic though, is if your diet is mostly made of ultra-processed foods. For most children, it's fine to eat Dino Nuggets every so often. However, they shouldn't be completely replacing a varied diet of healthy whole foods.
Usually yes, but you should check the package of the Dino Nuggets you bought for the most accurate nutrition information. Dino buddies Nuggets contain "boneless skinless chicken breast with rib meat,” which is real chicken.
Most dino nuggets are not gluten free because they contain wheat flour in the breading. Golden Platter Foods is one option for gluten free dinosaur chicken nuggets. You could also make your own dino nuggets with a gluten free breading.
Bake dino nuggets on a cookie sheet in the middle of an oven preheated to 425F (218C) for 10-12 minutes. Flip nuggets halfway through baking time, and let rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.
Microwave times will vary depending on your microwave’s power. Put 4 dino nuggets in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high for 1 minute., flipping the nuggets halfway through cooking time. Let rest for one minute before eating.
To make dino nuggets on the stove top, heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet. Add the dino nuggets in a single layer, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Let them rest on paper towels for a few minutes before serving.
👩🏻🍳 Other Kid Friendly Air Fryer Recipes
Having an air fryer is great when you have kids. Older kids can even prepare foods in the air fryer for themselves. Here are a few more easy air fryer recipes for kids:
- How to Reheat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
👨🍳 More Frozen Foods to Air Fry
Did you enjoy this frozen dino nuggets air fryer recipe? Then you will love these other frozen food recipes for the air fryer:
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Dino Nuggets Air Fryer Recipe
- 1 box frozen dino nuggets
- dipping sauce (optional)
- Place frozen dino nuggets in a single layer in your air fryer basket or tray. I could fit 12 on the tray.
- Air fry the nuggets at 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes. (Use the top rack for air fryer ovens.) Then flip the nuggets and air fry an additional 5 minutes. (Hot tip! Cooking times may vary between air fryers and by brand of nuggets you use. Always check the food early the first time you try any new air fryer recipe.)
- Check the nuggets to be certain they've reached a minimum safe internal temp of 165°F (74°C). Add additional air frying time if needed.
- Let them rest for 1-2 minutes before serving with your favorite dipping sauce.