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This copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets recipe tastes just like the original—crispy, juicy, and full of flavor! Now you can enjoy your favorite nuggets 7 days a week!

Overhead view of chicken nuggets in basket with waffle fries and dipping sauce
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I hate Sundays. Not because it’s the last day of the weekend, but because I seem to crave Chick-Fil-A only on Sundays and I can’t fulfill that craving because they’re closed.

Well, this copycat recipe for Chick-Fil-A solves nuggets that problem. It’s the closest I’ve had to the real thing, and when you pair it with copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce, you seriously won’t be able to tell the difference. The crispy coating? It’s oh-so-light and perfect. The flavor? On point, right down to the pickle juice. (Seriously, that’s the secret to nailing copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Don’t skip it!)

Basket of chicken nuggets and waffle fries with dipping sauce, with nuggets on napkin in foreground

What You’ll Need

Some of these ingredients may sound puzzling. Pickle juice? Powdered sugar?! Trust and believe, this is the way—it all comes together to make the perfect copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets.

  • Chicken breasts
  • Milk 
  • Pickle juice – This doesn’t just add flavor, it also makes the chicken tender.
  • Egg 
  • Flour
  • Powdered sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Peanut oil – Yes, you’ll be frying these nuggets. Want a recipe for baked nuggets instead? Try my Easy Three Ingredient Chicken Nuggets.
Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets on napkin with basket of nuggets in background

How to Make Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

Make sure you account for the time needed to marinate the chicken when planning for this recipe!

Marinate the chicken. Lightly beat the egg, then combine it with the milk and pickle juice in a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Combine dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cornstarch together in a large bowl.

Prepare your workspace. Set a wire rack next to the bowl of dry ingredients. Line a plate with paper towels and place it next to the stove.

Coat the chicken nuggets. Remove the chicken from the marinade with tongs or a slotted spoon and place it in the bowl with the flour mixture, then toss to coat. Place the coated chicken pieces on the wire rack to rest while you heat the oil. 

Fry the nuggets. Set a Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium heat and add the oil (the oil should go in before the pan gets warm). Once the oil is ready, begin to fry the chicken; it’s important not to crowd it, so I recommend cooking no more than half of the chicken at a time, or even less if you have a smaller cooking vessel.  Fry the chicken nuggets until they’re golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Place the fried chicken nuggets on the paper-towel-lined plate and repeat until all of the chicken is cooked.

Serve. Serve your copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets with my copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce!

Closeup of copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets

Deep Frying Tips

If you’ve never tried deep frying before, you might feel a little intimidated, but don’t be! It’s easier than you think. Here are some tips to help you get started with this copycat Chick-Fil-A nugget recipe.

  • Use an oil with a high smoke point. I use peanut oil for these chicken nuggets; if you’re allergic to nuts or want to swap it for something else for any other reason, I suggest safflower oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil. Do not use olive oil.
  • Let the nuggets rest. The step where you put the nuggets on the wire rack to rest is important! It helps the coating stick once the chicken is placed into the oil.
  • Use a deep, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. The oil will bubble up when the chicken nuggets are added and you don’t want it to overflow onto the stovetop.
  • Don’t add too many nuggets at once. If you put too many nuggets in the skillet at the same time, the oil’s temperature will drop and the nuggets will absorb the oil instead of getting crispy.
  • Keep water away from the skillet. This means if you wash your hands, make sure they are completely dry before you go to the stovetop to put the chicken in or take it out of the pan. Even a drip of water into the hot oil will cause spattering.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerate these chicken nuggets for up to 2 days in an airtight container. You can reheat them in the oven at 350ºF for 5-10 minutes, or in the air fryer at 400ºF for 5 minutes. (The air fryer is the best way to reheat these!)

Can I Freeze This Recipe?

You can freeze copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag. Reheat them in a 350ºF oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or in a 400ºF air fryer for 8 to 10 minutes.

Chicken nuggets in basket with dipping sauce and waffle fries
4.67 from 3 votes

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

This copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets recipe tastes just like the original—crispy, juicy, and full of flavor!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4



  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ cup (118 ml) milk
  • ½ cup (118 ml) pickle juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups (710 ml) peanut oil
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  • Mix the milk and pickle juice in a large ziplock bag. Whisk the egg slightly and add it to the marinade.
  • Then add the bite size chicken pieces to the marinade. Set this in the fridge for at least 2 hours. (overnight is fine)
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flour, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cornstarch.
  • Set a wire rack next to the bowl of dry ingredients. Prepare a plate next to the stove, lined with paper towels, to set the fried chicken on.
  • When the chicken is done marinating, remove it from the marinade (I used tongs, or you could use a slotted spoon) and put it into the bowl with the flour mixture. Toss all of the chicken pieces well. When all of the pieces are coated, place the chicken pieces onto the wire rack and allow the chicken to rest while you heat the oil.
  • Heat the oil to medium (about 350 °F (177 °C)) in a deep skillet or dutch oven.
  • Fry about half of the chicken at a time, or even smaller batches, don’t crowd the chicken as you fry it. Fry the chicken nuggets until golden brown. (3-5 minutes until cooked through. I recommend testing a couple first)
  • Place the fried chicken on a paper towel lined plate. Then fry the rest of the chicken.
  • Serve the chicken nuggets with the dipping sauce on the side.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 428kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 33g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 1768mg, Potassium: 556mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I made these nuggets for dinner tonight, They were terrible. My family can eat chicken in any form but not this.. so sad. I spend a fortune on peanut oil.

  2. I have tried this recipe twice now and although it’s not a bad recipe it is not even close to chick-fil-a. Can’t even put them at a comparison. I did find this recipe was too powdery or something and definitely needed more salt and pepper. Even trying that it still needs some work to taste flavorful. But yeah, sorry, it’s not even close to chick-fil- a.

  3. So going to try this tonight! My hubs hates Sundays for this reason too. Happy to have found this recipe and will definitely share once I try it!

  4. These were good, but not really at all like CFA IMO. My hubby used to work there, and they do marinate theirs in milk. The strips have the pickle juice component, but not the nuggets. The crust on these isn’t thick enough without a binder before dreding. They’re also a little more bland than CFA. A
    Good nugget, just not a copycat.

  5. The trick to making all CFA taste like CFA is the dill pickle juice (soak your chicken in it overnight) in addition, the powdered sugar to the flour mixture. That IS their “secret”

    1. It should be salty. Kind of like a mild honey mustard. Not super sweet, just a hint of sweetness. Definitely not sour.

  6. The sauce is so very good. Appreciate that is uses readily available ingredients. I look forward to making the chicken soon. Thanks!

  7. Wow so easy and yet so delicious, The sauce came out perfect and for the chicken I added a little minced onion and it was delicious, Thank you so much for this awesome recipe : ^ )

  8. I made my version of them for Super Bowl Sunday. I thought I was the only one who craved them on Sundays. One very important point to mention: if you make a large batch and compare it (in price) to a catering tray of CFA nuggets: OMG the savings! At most, five dollars a batch versus $20-$30 for a tray. And I think you get more in one batch than from a tray. Love love love this recipe (although I usually up the powdered sugar a bit and marinate pickle juice). Found you from a link to this recipe at One Good Thing by Jillee. Following you now!