Air Fryer Chicken Bites {without breading}

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The best, most juicy air fryer chicken bites. Can you guess the secret ingredient that makes these nuggets of chicken (without breading) a perfect 10/10? They are ready in under 20 minutes.

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When I was trying to decide what to name this recipe, I was leaning towards popcorn chicken, except it felt like that would be a misleading title. When I think of popcorn chicken, I think of little bites of chicken with more breading than chicken. This recipe is the exact opposite of that, so I went with chicken bites.

These juicy little bites of chicken have a secret ingredient that makes them perfect. You are going to love how quickly this recipe comes together and how versatile it is.

How to Make Chicken Bites in The Air Fryer

These air fryer chicken bites get a little bit crispy on the outside while remaining super juicy and delicious on the inside. Here is a brief overview of how these delicious chicken bites come together. For the full recipe including all measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Cut your chicken. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Dice your raw chicken breasts or thighs into bite-sized pieces and put them in a bowl.
  2. Add the other ingredients. To the bowl of chicken, add mayo, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Use a large spoon to mix this up so that all of the seasonings and mayo are distributed evenly and coat the chicken.
  3. Cook the chicken bites. Grease your air fryer and add the chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Buying Chicken

For this recipe, you are going to want to use about 1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, whatever your personal preference is. You will need to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. I used boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, simply because it was even easier to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

What is the Secret Ingredient?

Classic mayonnaise adds so much juiciness to this chicken. Hellman’s Mayo is one of those ingredients I am brand loyal to. Aside from homemade mayo, I think it has the best taste and consistency. I’ve used mayo before with chicken in this recipe for Parmesan Crusted Chicken.

All you need is about 1/4 cup of mayo and it takes this chicken from good to great. It keeps the chicken juicy and combined with the seasonings, you are going to be impressed with the end result.

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Seasoning the Chicken

Speaking of seasoning, let’s talk about what you’ll need to season this chicken up. I used chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. You’ll also need a little bit of baking powder as well.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can switch up the seasonings however you’d like. Sometimes I like to make this recipe with lemon pepper seasoning or even Italian seasoning. Whatever seasonings you enjoy, go ahead and use them.

Cooking Chicken in the Air Fryer

These little bites of chicken cook QUICK! In about 10-12 minutes, the chicken will be cooked to perfection in your air fryer. Chicken is fully cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to know when your chicken is done and avoid overcooking it is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. With a crispy flavorful outside and juicy inside, this will be your favorite way to make chicken.

When you are using the air fryer, one of the most important steps is to preheat it. For this recipe, you will be preheating your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While your air fryer heats up, you can prep the chicken so it adds no extra time to your recipe.

I have the Cosori Air Fryer Max XL and love it. I have had it for about a year now and have been very happy with it.

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Tips and Tricks

  • Cut your pieces of chicken into even-sized pieces so they cook evenly. The size of your bites will determine how long they take to cook.
  • Don’t overcrowd your air fryer. The chicken should be put in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer. If it doesn’t all fit, you may need to cook it in batches. This ensures that your chicken cooks evenly and gets that nice crispy outside.
  • Use the oven. If you don’t have an air fryer but still want to make this chicken recipe, simply bake the chicken bites in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  • Get creative with your dipping sauce. Homemade Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Fry Sauce, or even plain ketchup are perfect for dipping.

What to Serve With Air Fryer Chicken Bites

This chicken bites recipe made in the air fryer is truly a weeknight wonder. You’ll come back to this recipe over and over because not only are you going to enjoy these juicy little bites and how easy they are to make, but your kids will too. Looking for a warm, comforting, inviting meal? Use these chicken bites to make chicken bowls with mashed potatoes and corn.

These chicken bites can be enjoyed on salads, wraps, in pasta, or just dipped in your favorite dipping sauce. Here are some other ideas to round out the meal.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Store any leftover chicken bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat them in the microwave or air fryer until heated through. Always use your best judgment with leftovers.

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Other Delicious Chicken Recipes

Looking for more delicious chicken recipes?

I hope you enjoy this recipe for air fryer chicken bites. They are juicy, delicious, and so easy to make. If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think. I always value and appreciate your feedback.

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3.75 from 4 votes

Air Fryer Chicken Bites {without breading}

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the air fryer is preheating, cut chicken breasts or thighs into bite-sized pieces and add them to a bowl.
  • To the bowl add ¼ cup mayo, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper along with 1 teaspoon baking powder. Stir to combine and coat the chicken.
  • Spray the air fryer tray and basket with non-stick cooking spray then arrange the chicken in an even layer, making sure that you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Air fry for 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to toss halfway through.
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Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!