Who else always seems to crave Chick-fil-A on Sunday? Go ahead and bookmark this post for the next time that craving strikes! We've got the ultimate copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets recipe for you.

copycat chick-fil-a chicken nuggets on plate, from Shelf Cooking

What is it about those little nuggets?! The breading…the flavor…the sauce. It's all just too dang good! And while we salute their decision to stay closed on Sundays, it really stinks when that Chick-fil-A craving strikes and we can't hop in the car and pick up a #3 combo.

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Well, the next time this happens to you, you'll be in luck! We've perfected the copycat Chick-fil-A recipe, and we're about to share it with you guys. Bookmark this post, print out the recipe, send out a group text to your friends, do what ya gotta do, but definitely try this one. Here we go!


dipping a chicken nugget in sauce, from Shelf Cooking

You know how crispy and perfect grandma's buttermilk fried chicken is? Well, in this recipe, pickle juice and milk do the same work as the buttermilk. But the flavor from that pickle juice? OMG! If you take away just one lesson from this post, here it is. Never throw away pickle juice! It's a crime around here.

Alright, we'll jump off our soapbox so we can share one more little secret with you guys! We added some confectioners sugar to the breading in this recipe, and holy moly. You know how those Chick-fil-A nuggets have a slight sweetness? This did the trick. So, while we're all about shelf cooking your way through recipes and using what you've got, try not to skip those two ingredients. They kind of make the recipe!

That being said, let's talk about some easy ways you can modify this recipe if you need to. Sound good?


bite of a copycat chick-fil-a nugget, from Shelf Cooking

Okay, we bet you have most (if not all) of the ingredients you'll need to make these delicious chicken nuggets, but we never like to leave you hanging! So, if you need to swap an ingredient or two, here are a few quick ideas:

  • Milk – If you're a dairy-free family or you're just all out of milk, try using unflavored almond or coconut milk instead.
  • Pickle Juice – We really hope you can use pickle juice because it adds SO much flavor, but in a bind, you can use buttermilk instead of the milk + pickle juice combo.
  • Eggs – All out of eggs? Hey, it happens. Take a peek at this post for tons of egg substitute ideas.

Now you're all set! Should we get to that recipe? It's coming! Promise. But really quick, let's go over some side dish options.


chicken nuggets with waffle fries, from Shelf Cooking

If you decide to open up a bag of chips and call it a day, we won't judge you. And if you just want to gobble up all these nuggets on their own, that's cool, too! But, if you're going to turn this glorious recipe into the perfect lunch or dinner for the fam, then we suggest serving one of these sides:

  • Waffle Fries – This seems like the obvious choice, right? Here's a little tip: the Target brand of waffle fries tastes almost exactly like the ones you get at Chick-fil-A!
  • Fresh Fruit – We don't know of a fast-food restaurant with a fruit cup better than Chick-fil-A's! Make your own version at home using whatever fresh fruit you have in the fridge.
  • Brussels Sprouts – Why not sneak in those veggies when you can? This Brussels Sprouts recipe includes bacon, so you might even convince your pickiest eaters to try them.
  • Sliced Baked Potato Nachos – Why not go all out and make it a party? These potato nachos are crazy good!
  • Chicken Soup – We love a cup of soup with our chicken nuggets, and this easy creamy chicken soup is perfect!

If you're feeling adventurous, make all five and invite the neighbors over! These chicken nuggets are great for a watch party or any day that ends in y.


We can't keep you waiting any longer, partially because we're so excited to share this recipe with you. But also, because we can't wait to wrap up here and make another batch of these nuggets! So, without further ado, we present to you: copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets.

copycat chick-fil-a chicken nuggets on plate, from Shelf Cooking

Copycat Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets

These crispy, juicy, yummy nuggets will hold you over the next time you find yourself craving Chick-fil-A on a Sunday!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinate 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine American


  • 4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar pickle juice
  • 1 ¾ cup milk, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp confectioners sugar
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • canola oil


  • In a large bowl, combine pickle juice, cubed chicken, and ¾ c. milk. Marinate for 30-60 minutes.
  • In a large dutch oven, begin by heating 2 inches of canola oil over med/med-high heat until it reaches 360 degrees. Allow the heat to come back up between batches of chicken.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into 1.5 – 2 inch cubes, keeping them as evenly sized as possible, so they finish cooking at the same time.
  • Combine remaining milk and egg in a bowl. Drain marinated chicken and place in this bowl.
  • In a gallon-sized bag or another bowl, mix flour, confectioners sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the milk mixture, allow excess to drip off, and coat well with flour.
  • Cook chicken in oil without overcrowding the pan for 5-6 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Allow to drain on a cooling rack or paper towel. You can keep them warm in a 200°F oven while you finish cooking the rest if you would like!


If you have an air fryer, you can cook your nuggets this way for a healthier take. Just spray your basket with oil, and place the nuggets in a single layer. Cook at 360°F for around 6 minutes, shake the basket, and cook for 6 minutes more. 
Keyword chicken nuggets, copycat Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets

Not too hard, eh? We're drooling on our keyboard just looking at these pics! While you're here, make sure you check out our copycat Chick-fil-A sauce recipe! It's the only thing that can make these nuggets better.

Make a big batch of these chicken nuggets and pop them in the freezer, so you're never caught off guard when a craving strikes! Just place them in an airtight bag and use them within three months. You can warm in the oven or in the air fryer and cook from frozen.

We hope you enjoy! Question: what's your favorite Chick-fil-A dipping sauce? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Image with text that reads "copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets" from Shelf Cooking

Looking for a few more copycat recipes to try?

Time for us to dip!