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air fryer frozen chicken nuggets

Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets

Summer Yule
Can you air fry frozen chicken nuggets? You sure can! These air fryer frozen chicken nuggets turn out just like chicken nuggets baked in the oven.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 3
Calories 598 kcal

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces frozen chicken nuggets (397 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons BBQ sauce with no added sugar (or other dip of your choosing)

For the vegetable sides:

  • 2 small delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (approximately 24 ounces total)
  • 32 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (907 grams)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Make your veggie side dishes first! Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • If you haven't already, cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (Save the seeds for roasting later.) Chop the onion and slice (the (trimmed) Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters.
  • Place the veggies in a large metal roasting pan. Put the delicata squash halves in the pan cut side up. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the veggies in the preheated oven for about one hour. Flip and stir the onions and Brussels sprouts about halfway through the cooking time. Air fry the chicken nuggets while your veggies cook.
  • Spread the nuggets out in a single layer on two air fryer trays. Try to make sure the nuggets aren't touching for optimal air fryer air circulation.
  • Air fry the frozen nuggets for 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Then, flip the chicken nuggets over and switch the position of the air fryer trays in the oven.
  • Air fry your nuggets for an additional 10 minutes at 400°F (200°C). They should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) and the chicken nugget breading should be nice and crispy.
  • To serve: divide the nuggets and veggies between three plates. Add two tablespoons of dipping sauce to each plate. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a level 2 recipe (transition or weight maintenance). I normally give items with flour the bump to level 3. However, if you serve your chicken nuggets as I have here, you have a nice moderate calorie dinner the whole family can enjoy. Just add a glass of milk!
I did two main things to make this chicken nuggets meal a little more supportive of a healthy weight. The first is that I increased the nuggets' serving size compared to what is listed on the box. This move increases the meal's overall protein, which should (hopefully!) help it feel more filling.
That's right, I'm telling you to eat more! It may be easier to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight when you eat enough protein. Protein is also very important in helping us to maintain our lean body mass as we age.
The second thing I did with this meal is pile on the veggies! Vegetables provide a lot of volume for very few calories (as long as you don't drown them in oil).
Additionally, vegetables have phytonutrients linked to long-term health benefits. Most of us aren't getting the recommended amount of veggies into our day, so don't skip the veggies here! If you aren't up for roasting fresh veggies, microwaving some frozen veggies is fine too.
One vegetable that people tend to get a lot of is potatoes in fry and chip form. Instead of french fries or tater tots, consider adding some other veggies to your plate. Your plate will be more colorful, and you may develop some new side dish favorites along the way!
Nutrition information is for one serving of the recipe. This includes the chicken nuggets, no added sugar BBQ sauce, and all of the veggie side dishes.

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcalCarbohydrates: 80.2gProtein: 31.7gFat: 21.1gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 551.9mgPotassium: 1256.4mgFiber: 21.1gVitamin A: 636.2% DVVitamin C: 564.1% DVCalcium: 29.5% DVIron: 87.9% DV
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