(Last Updated On: October 12, 2022)
These little air fryer dino nuggets are so good! And the kids love the dinosaur shapes. It doesn’t take much time to cook them either. The cooking time is only about 8-10 minutes to air fry them, depending on your air fryer, and then lunch or dinner is ready for the kids, and us grownups too.
This dino chicken nuggets recipe is so easy to make, and a great way to make a quick meal, especially when you have busy weeknights during the week. The Yummy Dino Buddies brand we used is also a healthier option with 9 grams of protein per 4 chicken nuggets, and no preservatives or artificial ingredients. The cost is crazy too, 8 frozen chicken nuggets cost about 0.17 cents apiece, but of course, that does depend on where you buy them.
🍴 Key Ingredients
- 8 pieces of frozen Yummy Dino Buddies (or your favorite brand)
- 1 sheet of parchment paper with holes in it (optional)
👩🍳 How to Make Air Fryer Dino Nuggets (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
Follow the simple steps below for some great-tasting crispy chicken nuggets!
Step 1. Preheat the Air Fryer
Set the air fryer temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that air fryers can be different from each other. Especially the power they produce can vary.
Note: Our air fryer is a Cosori with a power output of 1800 watts, and it is also a large capacity unit that can cook for 5 to 7 people. You may have to adjust the time and temperature of your air fryer if it is a smaller unit. Always check on the food you are cooking in the air fryer at all times.
Step 2. Put Parchment Paper on the Air Fryer Basket
The first thing we did was put parchment paper with holes in it on the air fryer basket. That way we don’t have to brush or spray cooking oil on the basket since this parchment paper is non-stick.
If you do use parchment paper on your air fryer basket, or air fryer tray as some people call it, make sure it has holes in it as this lets the hot air circulate letting the air fryer unit work properly. If you don’t have any parchment paper on hand, brush or spray the tray with cooking oil before you put the dino nuggets in the air fryer.
Step 3. Lay the Nuggets on the Parchment Paper
Put the frozen Dino nuggets in a single layer on top of the parchment paper without overlapping them.
Note: You can use any of your favorite brands of chicken nuggets, such as Tyson chicken nuggets, or if you prefer, there are also dinosaur chicken nuggets that are gluten-free. Frozen chicken nuggets are sold in the frozen foods section of many grocery stores.
Step 4. Cook the Frozen Nuggets
Put the chicken nuggets into the air fryer frozen, there is no need to thaw them first. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes until crispy, flipping them over halfway through the cooking time.
Depending on how hot your air fryer gets, and how crispy you want them, always keep an eye on the air fryer chicken nuggets while air frying them. We did 10 minutes. You can check the internal temperature at 165 degrees Fahrenheit using a kitchen thermometer.
✅ Dipping Sauces For Chicken Nuggets
These air fryer chicken nuggets go best with your favorite dipping sauce. Our best dipping sauces are:
- BBQ sauce
- Tartar sauce
- Ranch dressing
- Honey mustard
- Chick-Fil-A dipping sauce or a Chick-Fil-A copycat sauce of yellow or Dijon mustard, honey, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise with a bit of lemon juice added. So good!
To make Dino nuggets a complete meal for your family, try serving a fresh salad with lots of veggies alongside potato salad, fruit salad, French fries, air fryer potato wedges, mashed potatoes and green beans, corn on the cob, or mac and cheese. These are some good choices.
Store any leftover Dino nuggets in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days, then reheat them in the air fryer for about 3 minutes, and then check to see if they are hot.
Some other brands of chicken nuggets that are shaped like a dinosaur are:
🟩 Frozen Tyson Fully Cooked Fun Chicken Nuggets
Their label says 100% all-natural ingredients fully cooked fun nuggets made with white chicken meat. Also, the chickens are raised with no antibiotics ever. They use no preservatives in them and 0 trans fat and no fillers.
🟦 Perdue CHICKEN PLUS Chicken Breast Vegetable Dino Nuggets
Their label says frozen Dino nuggets, fully cooked and packed with one-fourth cup of veggies per serving. They are made with a blend of white meat chicken breast, cauliflower, and chickpeas. They are shaped into dinosaurs for a nutritious, kid-approved meal. Warnings: Contains wheat.
🟩 Good & Gather™ Whole Grain Dinosaur Shaped Chicken Nuggets – Frozen
Their label says fully cooked dinosaur-shaped nuggets. Breaded chicken breast patties with rib meat. The chickens are raised with no antibiotics, no added hormones, or steroids. 13g whole grain per serving. Contains soy and wheat.
💡 Final Thoughts
If you have a few picky eaters in your family as we do, the best way to solve that is to cook up some crispy nuggets for a quick snack, lunch, or dinner. It’s an easy meal to prepare with little cook time involved.
This recipe uses Costco dinosaur nuggets, but regular chicken nuggets will work too. However, you may need to adjust the time slightly with different brands, so be sure to keep an eye out while they are cooking. The cook time depends on the size of the nuggets, whether they are bigger, smaller, or thicker nuggets than the ones we used.
✨ More Easy Air Fryer Recipes the Whole Family Will Love
- Frozen Burgers in Air Fryer Recipe – This super easy recipe uses frozen burgers straight out of the freezer and then into the air fryer. The cook time is only 23 minutes until dinner is ready.
- Corn Dog in Air Fryer Recipe – Only 10 to 12 minutes of cooking time until the corn dogs are crispy and crunchy. Yes, you are going to love these air fryer corn dogs!
- Air Fryer Fish Sticks (Frozen) – And when the fish sticks are ready, they are crispy, crunchy, and so delicious. It only takes about 10 minutes of cooking time until dinner is ready!
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges – Loaded with lots of seasoning such as olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper. So good!
- Turkey Bacon in the Air Fryer – A simple turkey bacon recipe that comes out of the air fryer perfectly crispy and so delicious.
Air Fryer Dino Nuggets (Buddies)
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper with holes in it on the air fryer basket. If you don't have parchment paper with holes in it, brush or spray the basket with cooking oil.
- Put the chicken nuggets on top of the parchment paper in a single layer. Do not overlap.
- Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. We did 10 minutes, so we flipped the nuggets over at 5 minutes, then cooked them for 5 more minutes.
- You can check the internal temperature at 165 degrees Fahrenheit using a kitchen thermometer.
- Depending on how hot your air fryer gets, and how crispy you want your chicken nuggets, keep watching them while air frying them.
- It is very important when using parchment paper, that it has holes in it. This lets the air fryer unit work properly.
- Keep in mind that your air fryer may cook differently than ours. Adjust the time if needed by checking on the crispness you desire.
- Some great dipping sauces are BBQ sauce, tartar sauce, ketchup, ranch dressing, honey mustard, Chick-Fil-A dipping sauce, or a Chick-Fil-A copycat sauce with yellow or Dijon mustard, honey, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise with a bit of lemon juice added.
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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