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air fried fish nuggets

Trader Joe’s Fish Nuggets (Air Fryer)

Summer Yule
Learn to make crispy Trader Joe’s Fish Nuggets in an air fryer! This one ingredient air fryer frozen fish nuggets recipe is easy and DELICIOUS!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 11 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 3
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb frozen fish nuggets (I used Trader Joe's brand)
  • sauce for dipping (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the fish nuggets from the box and put them in a single layer on your hot air fryer tray or air fryer basket. I needed two air fryer trays to fit them all. 
  • Air fry the nuggets for 5 minutes, at 400°F (200°C). Then flip the nuggets, return the trays to their original position in the air fryer, and air fry and additional 5 minutes.
  • You can flip them once more and air fry 1-2 minutes if they’re still not crispy enough.
  • Remove the nuggets on the top rack from the air fryer oven. Move the nuggets that were on the bottom rack to the top rack. Let the fish nuggets air fry 3-4 more minutes, until they finish crisping up.
  • Check the fish nuggets with a meat thermometer to ensure they've reached a minimum safe internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Add additional air frying time if needed.
  • After cooking, let the fish nuggets rest for 1-2 minutes to crisp up more. If they’re too oily after cooking, try blotting them with a paper towel before serving with dipping sauce.

Notes

This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). Are Trader Joe’s fish nuggets healthy? Though you’re getting some seafood with this product, I actually wouldn’t consider them the most nutritious choice. 
TJ’s fish nuggets have fish as the first ingredient, canola oil as the second ingredient, and white flour coming in fourth. Indeed, they do tend to be a little greasy. You definitely don’t need to add additional oil to cook them. 
Like other ultra-processed foods, these have a very small serving size. I usually make my portion 6 ounces (170 grams), 1.5 times what is listed on the box. Taking a double portion of what is listed is likely realistic for many people. 
Per Cronometer, if you eat 6 ounces (170 grams) of Alaskan pollock fillets without breading, you’d get 113 calories, 1 gram net carbs, and 27 grams protein. In contrast, 6 ounces (170 grams) of breaded fish nuggets provide 345 calories, 25 grams net carbs, and 19.5 grams protein. That’s over three times the calories! 
The calories in Trader Joe’s Breaded Fish Nuggets are so much higher than fish with no breading due to oil and flour. Oil provides 120 calories per tablespoon, while flour provides approximately 110 calories per ¼ cup. When you add these ingredients to your foods, the calories add up quickly. 
While I wouldn’t consider fish nuggets the “healthiest” thing most could be eating, they’re not the worst either. (I do understand that sometimes kids won’t eat fish unless it’s breaded and they can dip it. I’ve been there!) 
For a lighter meal, choose lightly seasoned fish without the breading and pile some non-starchy veggies on your plate. My Cod En Papillote is a super choice for a low-calorie seafood entrée. 
  
Nutrition information is for Trader Joe’s Fish Nuggets without dipping sauces or toppings. Nutrition listed is for 6 breaded fish nuggets, a realistic serving that is 1.5 times what is listed on the box. 

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 19.5gFat: 16.5gSaturated Fat: 1.5gSodium: 510mgPotassium: 430.5mgFiber: 1.5gAdded Sugar: 4.5gIron: 9% DV
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