Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets

Copycat Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets can be made in your own kitchen! How do they taste? They taste very close to the original nuggets and even closer on a Sunday!

Homemade copycat Chick Fil A chicken nuggets in a red serving basket.

Do you love Chick Fil A chicken nuggets? Don’t live near a Chick Fil A? Want Chick Fil A on a Sunday? With this copycat chicken nugget recipe you are in business.

Chick Fil A uses Peanut Oil

Peanut oil is excellent for deep frying. Not everyone can enjoy peanut oil. When you prepare this recipe at home you are free to use different oils like vegetable oil, or canola oil. This way people with a peanut allergy can enjoy this amazing chicken.

Does Chick Fil A use pickle juice to marinate the chicken?

Maybe they did at one time. While I have never worked at a Chick Fil A, I don’t believe this is true. I know someone will comment below that they do use pickle juice.

The folks at Lifehacker recently wrote a long piece on this, and they felt the recipe contains MSG. If you look on Chick Fil A’s website, their ingredients simply say seasoned to perfection. Seasonings do not legally have to be shared.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Chicken breasts – boneless and skinless
  • Water
  • McCormick seasoned salt
  • Bouillon cubes
  • All-purpose flour
  • Saltine crackers, crushed fine
  • Powdered sugar
  • Paprika
  • Peanut oil for frying
Chick Fil A chicken nuggets ingredients

How to Make Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets at Home

I am inclined to believe that they do marinate the chicken as well, my solution for this is marinating the chicken in chicken bouillon and a touch of seasoned salt will do the trick of amplifying the flavor of the chicken.

chicken marinade of chicken boullion and seasoned salt

After the chicken soaks up the extra flavor we will bread the chicken with finely crushed cracker crumbs. The cracker crumbs are cooked crisp before they are turned into breading, and I think this gives the nuggets a great flavor.

breaded chicken nuggets before cooking.

Cooking the Chicken Nuggets

For me, I like to cook these in a deep fryer, the restaurant uses a pressure fryer, there are no pressure fryers readily available a price point most households will buy.

So I like to make sure my nuggets are cooked where I can readily measure the temperature of the oil. I prefer to cook the nuggets at 350 degrees. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 150 degrees before consuming it.

Homemade copycat Chick Fil A chicken nuggets and barbecue sauce in a red basket.

Does Chick fil A use pickle juice to brine their chicken?

According to several news sources Chick fil A does not use pickle juice to brine their chicken. Here the Insider took information from a self-proclaimed Chick fil A cook. The cook states very clearly that they do not use pickle juice. Here Austin’s Statesman Newspaper also discusses they use brine, not pickle juice. The newspaper notes you could quickly brine chicken in pickle juice, but do not do it for too long because the dill flavor will overtake the chicken. notes that the flavor from the brine comes from MSG.

Sauces to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

The possibilities are unlimited. You can serve chicken nuggets with a variety of sauces.

More Chicken Fil A Copycat Recipes

Be sure to check out more of my easy chicken recipes and the best fast food copycat recipes.

Homemade copycat Chick Fil A chicken nuggets in a basket with barbecue sauce

Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets

Recreate Chick Fil A Chicken Nuggets at home!
5 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Nuggets
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 157kcal


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (Boneless, Skinless, Cubed)


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes

Chicken Coating

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups saltine cracker crumbs crushed very fine
  • 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Seasonal or seasoned salt
  • peanut oil for frying


Marinade instructions

  • Place cool water in a bowl add 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Seasonal, and dissolve bouillon cubes in mixture. Place cubed chicken in water, mix, cover, and place in refrigerator for 12 hours or next day. 

Cooking the chicken nuggets

  • Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer, or a large pot. If you are using a large pot, add enough oil so the oil is 4 inches deep.
  • Pour off excess marinade, and discard marinade, it can not be used again.
  • Prepare the coating by mixing together the flour, cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and paprika. Set the breaded chicken nuggets on a wire rack. Let the chicken nuggets rest for a couple of minutes before frying. The coating will stay on better if the coating dries a bit.
  • Fry the nuggets a few at a time until they are golden brown. Remove from oil, and drain on a clean wire rack.


By using a wire rack instead of paper towels to drain chicken the nuggets will remain more crispy.   Setting fried foods on paper towels often means the fried food will steam. 


Deep fryer
Baking sheet
Wire rack


Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1111mg | Potassium: 168mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 40IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions


    • Pam

      I was told by one of our local CFA’s that they only marinade the strips this way, not the filets or nuggets. I tend to believe this because I can eat the filet and nuggets with no problems. But am repulsed by the strips by just the smell.

  1. peanut allergy person

    a bit of good news for those with peanut allergies – the kind of peanut oil (refined) you find in the cooking oil section of the grocery store will not trigger an allergic reaction. only unrefined (usually in a gourmet section, used for drizzling on top of salads, etc) versions will. the refining process denatures the protein that causes the allergic response. i am allergic to peanuts and eat CFA all the time with no issues.

  2. Jahchild

    Yep tried these a few times and they are a hit it’s my daughter’s 20 earth strong and request these lol the family lives them thank you you are my go to for a hit

  3. Bobby

    I tried and loved the Recipe. First time I’ve marinAde anything in pickle juice besides…well…cucumbers lol. I worked for chick fila in high school. I don’t know if they are pre-marinated before packaged to the stories, but I don’t remember smelling anything pickled. We did have to at closing prepare the chicken in a special milk wash that Kinda smelled like the ice cream. If you ever had their chicken that didn’t taste as tender, It probably wasn’t part of that over night marinade. 😂 But this was back in 2001-02.

  4. Sarah Smith

    I Still remember the recipe of Chicken Nuggets from my Grandma. She makes the best nuggets ever and we cousins used to eat all of that. But, this recipe looks little different and delicious for sure. I would love to pass this to my mom so, she can make it at home. Do you have any YouTube channel so i can follow other recipes there too. Thanks again for sharing.

  5. Lisa

    Love your site. Chick fil a is my new favorite to go place. The chicken really does have a pickley flavor. Can you put pickle juice in the marinade?

  6. Noreen Gamble

    Hi Stephanie,
    Do you think this could be possible in the air fryer? If so what temp & time would you use?

    Thank you,

    • Stephanie

      I think these could work in an air fryer. I would cook these at 390 degrees, and cook them until they turn brown that should be 8 to 9 minutes. You may need to do this in batches depending upon the size of your basket.

  7. Tess

    Stephanie – By cracker crumbs do you mean saltines or do you mean something more like Ritz, Club or other buttery crackers?

      • Story

        Just try Ritz. You will be surprised. Good eating. Personally, I spray my chicken pieces with olive oil. I also mix onion powder and garlic powder and seasoned salt in my Ritz cracker crumbs – no flower. I just purchased a Hot air fryer. gona try that tomorrow.

  8. Lori

    5 stars
    Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for the recipe! It sounds delicious, and i do want to make them at home cuz Chick FilA is expensive, lol! I will update after I make them. Quick question: The bullion cubes I have are a larger size (1 bullion to 2 cups water). Do you mean 2 small, 1-cup-water-bullion cubes, or do you mean to make it extra concentrated and use the larger cubes with only 2 cups water?
    I sure hope I made sense!
    Thank you for your time 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2023


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.