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Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Light, crispy, and fun to eat, Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken always turns out amazingly! Grab your favorite dipping sauces and get ready for an easy and tasty meal that’s ready in no time!

air fryer popcorn chicken with dipping sauce on it

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If there’s one meal that’ll get the kids running to the dinner table, it’s popcorn chicken, and with Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken, there’s no mess, no fuss, and no deep frying. Perfectly golden little chunks of chicken are made for dipping, so grab your air fryer, your favorite dipping sauces, and you’ll be eating in under 10 minutes!

What you’ll love about Air Fryer Chicken Popcorn

  • It’s an easy recipe – great for beginners to air frying.
  • Cooks so quickly and with less fat than deep frying!
  • No heating up the kitchen or waiting for the oven to preheat!

What Is Popcorn Chicken?

Made famous by KFC and now available in grocery stores everywhere, popcorn chicken are small pieces of breaded chicken. Smaller than nuggets and irregular in shape and size, popcorn chicken is perfect for dunking, snacking, or enjoying as a part of a hearty meal.

For this recipe, I’m using Tyson’s Popcorn Chicken in the air fryer, but any brand will do. Just be sure to keep it frozen until you’re ready to cook, and having an instant-read thermometer on hand will ensure that the chicken is fully cooked and safe to eat.

What You’ll Need

  • Air fryer – I used a basket-style air fryer for this recipe but an oven-style will work, too.
  • Popcorn chicken – I could fit a little more than half of a 24-ounce bag into my air fryer.

How To Make Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

For a full list of ingredients and instructions for this air fryer popcorn chicken recipe, please scroll down to the recipe at the bottom of this page.

  1. Preheat your air fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set it to 400-F.
  2. Add the popcorn chicken to the air fryer basket or tray in a single layer.
  3. Air fry the popcorn chicken for about 3 minutes then flip it over and air fry an additional 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and crunchy and has reached 165-F (use a digital meat thermometer to check.)
  4. Serve with your favorite sauces!
air fryer popcorn chicken in the air fryer basket

What Sauces Go With Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn chicken pairs nicely with nugget sauces, so anything you’d use for nuggets, you can use for popcorn chicken. Some of my favorites include:

Make It A Meal

When the kids come home hungry and are craving a snack, I’ll often whip up a batch of golden brown popcorn chicken. Other times, I serve it as a part of a full and quick meal. And, I have even treated my young kids do Popcorn Chicken for birthday meals, followed by this Construction Cake which is perfect for young boys. Wondering what to serve with popcorn chicken? Here are some tasty and quick sides:



You can store any leftover popcorn chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. I love snacking on it cold, but you can also reheat

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to air fry popcorn chicken?

At 400-F, my chicken popcorn takes about 7 minutes when starting with frozen chicken.

What does air-fried popcorn chicken taste like?

Popcorn chicken tastes the same as chicken nuggets, but the pieces are smaller. There’s less chicken and more breading, so if you love crispy and crunchy breading, this is the recipe for you!

Why is it called popcorn chicken?

It is called popcorn chicken because the small pieces of breaded chicken are similar in size to popcorn, and you can pop a few into your mouth at the same time.

popcorn chicken on a plate with dipping sauce
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5 from 6 votes

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Crispy, crunchy, and chicken-y, Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken is a delicious and fun meal that's also super easy and quick to make!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer, air fryer popcorn chicken, fried chicken, nuggets, popcorn chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 servings



  • 1 pound popcorn chicken


  • Preheat your air fryer to 400-F.
  • Add the popcorn chicken to a single layer in the air fryer basket or onto the tray.
  • Air fry for 3 minutes then flip the popcorn chicken over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is crunchy and cooked to an internal temperature of 165-F.
  • Serve and enjoy!


There’s no nutritional information for this recipe because every brand of popcorn chicken varies.


Serving: 0.5cups

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

popcorn chicken on a plate with dipping sauce