This boneless Air Fryer Chicken Bites recipe is easy to make and ready in just 20 minutes. Well seasoned with herbs and spices, they are also crispy even though there is no breading. Serve as an appetizer or as part of a healthy and tasty dinner.
Hands up if you love small bites! I love to order steak bites from restaurants. So much so, that I learned the perfect recipe to make them at home.
Yet why should beef get all the attention? This chicken version is a huge hit with the whole family all year long.
Why You Need To Make Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Bites
We all know about the mad-love for chicken nuggets. It’s not only the children that have a soft spot for bite sized chicken. Well, consider this recipe the modern version of a classic.
Unlike chicken nuggets, these have no panko breadcrumbs and no breading. Trust me, there’s a lot left to love when you take away the coating.
It’s a healthy air fryer chicken recipe that is aromatic, flavorful, and results in the most delicious chicken. When making this I don’t even miss the breading.
The pieces of chicken in this recipe are marinated in a blend of herbs, spices, ketchup and brown sugar. Thanks to air frying you can make these in under 20 minutes.
That’s right, the ideal weeknight dinner that is also a healthy meal!
The best part aside from the taste, is the versatility. They made the perfect appetizer to pop in the mouth just like homemade chicken nuggets.
Also just like chicken tenders, they are a great protein option for main dishes, salads and wraps.
Ingredients To Make This Recipe
You’ll need the following simple ingredients to make this recipe. the full detailed instructions are below in the printable recipe card.
- chicken thighs, cubed
- brown sugar
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- olive oil cooking spray
- dipping sauces, optional
How To Make Chicken Bites in the Air Fryer
In a small bowl combine the ingredients except the chicken and cooking spray. Mix until combined.
Place the pieces of chicken into a medium bowl or a large ziplock bag. Add in the seasoning mixture and toss to coat.
Allow to marinade for at least 15 minutes for up to a couple of hours.
Spray the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray and place the chicken pieces in a single layer into the basket. Do not crowd or overlap any piece of chicken.
Air frying is when air circulates around the food to cook, so ensure that is possible, for success and for food safety.
So you’ll have to make a second batch after the first, and repeat until all the chicken is cooked. Be careful not to snack to much during the process, they are addicting!
How Long To Cook Chicken Bites in Air Fryer
These little heavenly bites of chicken cook QUICK! It takes 9-11 minutes of cooking time for chicken bites to cook to perfection in your air fryer.
I suggest cooking at 380 degrees. To know for sure, chicken is cooked when the internal temperature of the chicken reads at least 165F when a meat thermometer is inserted into the thickest part.
Exact cook time will vary on your brand of air fryer and the size of the chicken chunks. I recommend checking your pieces at the 9 minute mark.
I experimented with the cooking temperatures with this recipe. This is the happy medium for fast cooking without charring the marinade too much.
It’s important to point out that the chicken ends do not burn, resulting in a charred texture and taste. The crispiness of these chicken bites is the cooked sugars. Magic!
What to Serve with Air Fryer Chicken Bites
AS AN APPETIZER: Serve with forks or toothpicks alongside your favorite dipping sauce or two. We love ours with marinara sauce and sweet chili sauce.
Keep in mind, they are great on their own without sauce as well. Just like steak bites, there’s dipping sauce as an option yet it’s great without.
PART OF A MAIN DISH: There are countless options yet here are a few suggestions. Make a chicken bowl with mashed potatoes and corn.
FOR LEFTOVERS: Chicken bites make the best leftovers whether you are enjoying them cold or reheated.
Simply snack on them, take them for lunches or use them for dinner the next day. They are great to have on hand for a busy weeknight.
Tips for Success
- Cut the chicken into similar sizes for even cooking. I like to cut them into 2-inch pieces.
- Switch up your seasonings based on preference. Try chili powder or greek seasoning.
- Try another favorite sauce like bbq sauce, buffalo sauce, lemon juice, or honey garlic if you wish.
How To Store
To Store in the fridge: Put the chicken into an air-tight container or ziploc bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Put the cooked chicken into a freezer ziploc bag or into an airtight container. These will keep well for up to 4-6 months.
How to Reheat
To reheat, use the microwave, oven, or the air fryer. Whichever is your preferred method, you’ll just have to reheat until just warmed through.
Making This Recipe Keto Friendly, or Low Carb
Chicken Bites can be an excellent option for those wanting a Keto or low carb recipe. You can use a low calorie or sugar free ketchup and swap your sugar.
Alternatively, try this recipe using just the blend of herbs and spices. You won’t get the crispy texture, yet the flavor will still be excellent.
More Air Fryer Recipes
- Air Fryer Fried Chicken
- Churro Bites in the Air Fryer
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Crispy Parmesan Air Fryer Green Beans
- Air Fryer Corn on the Cob
- 2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- olive oil cooking spray
- In a small bowl combine the ketchup, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Mix until combined.
- Place pieces of chicken into a medium bowl or a large ziplock bag. Add in the mixture and mix to coat. Allow to marinade for at least 15 minutes.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray and place the chicken pieces in the basket. Do not crowd or overlap the chicken.
- Air fry at 380 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until internal temperature reads 165 degrees. Actual time will vary on your air fryer and the size of the chicken pieces.
- Repeat the cooking process for the remaining chicken, working in batches.
- The sugars in the mixture will char a little on the chicken ends. This will not produce a burnt texture or taste.
- Change up the spices if desired, it's very versatile
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauces
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 27g
What kind of Chicken should I Use
I like to use skinless boneless chicken thighs for this recipe, to ensure moist and tender chicken. Yet you can also use skinless boneless chicken breasts as well. It’s all on preference though I have found skinless chicken breast to come out a little drier.
Disclosure: I am participating in the Chicken Farmers of Canada campaign managed by SJ Consulting. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. The opinions on this blog are my own.
Whichever chicken cut you use for this recipe, just make sure it has that Raised by a Chicken farmer Logo on the package.
This is your guarantee that the chicken you are choosing is top quality along with top-quality in animal care and food safety standards. Plus, it’s an easy and delicious way to support Canadian farmers from coast to coast.
As a reminder, if you don’t see it at your local grocer, simply request they bring it in for their customers.