It’s easy to make this delicious air fryer popcorn chicken!

Perfectly seasoned and breaded, this chicken comes out crispy and delicious thanks to the air fryer!

Ready for dipping and dunking, they’ll disappear as fast as they’re made!

plated Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Crispy Popcorn Chicken!

  • Easy cooking! Powerful Ninja, Nuwave, or Cuisinart air fryers cook with little to no fat and in less time than other methods!
  • Tasty hot snack! Bite-sized popcorn chicken is perfect for an afterschool snack, a fast mid-week dinner with some tasty zucchini fries, or a fun snack!
  • This homemade popcorn chicken recipe is healthier than drive-through or frozen and is the perfect size for topping a salad or rolling into a wrap!
bread crumbs , oil spray , garlic powder , paprika , flour , chicken , egg and panko with labels to make Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Ingredients and Variations

Chicken – The key to popcorn chicken is to cut them into popcorn-sized pieces. Keep them uniform for even cooking.

Breading – Seasoned breadcrumbs are a great shortcut, but crushed cornflakes or Ritz crackers make excellent coatings, too! Go low-carb and use almond flour and crushed pork rinds to make a crispy topping for popcorn chicken!

Seasonings – Switch out the garlic and paprika for some taco seasoning or lemon pepper, or a fun everything bagel blend, because anything goes for popcorn chicken!

How to Make Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Cook up a batch or two (or three!) and serve them all week long! Simply reheat in the air fryer!

  1. Combine the breadcrumbs mixture in a shallow dish and the egg mixture in another.
  2. Toss chicken pieces with a flour mixture, dip into the egg mixture, then roll in the breadcrumb mixture (per the recipe below).
  3. Spray popcorn chicken with cooking oil and cook in the air fryer until the pieces are crispy and golden, shaking the basket halfway through.

Cooking in Batches?

Keep cooked popcorn chicken warm in the oven and then reheat them all together in the air fryer right before serving. This way you can serve everything crisp and hot!

dipping Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken in marinara

Best Tips for the Best Popcorn Chicken

  • Pat the chicken pieces dry with a clean paper towel before tossing in the flour so it adheres better.
  • Press the breading into the chicken to help it stick.
  • Avoid crowding the basket so the hot air can freely circulate around the food.

Delicious Dips to Try

Air fry a bunch of popcorn chicken and offer a few tasty dips like a zesty chipotle ranch, sweet and sour, a tangy buttermilk ranch, or a kid-friendly marinara.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Keep leftover air fryer popcorn chicken in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer on high temp until crispy and heated through.

More Chicken Recipes

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Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

For a crispy appetizer, main dish, or snack try this Air Fryer popcorn chicken.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 4



  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup panko
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper or to taste
  • cooking spray or oil


  • Preheat air fryer to 400℉. Line a pan or plate with parchment paper.
  • Combine panko, bread crumbs, garlic powder and smoked paprika together in a shallow dish.
  • Prepare the egg and water mixture in a second shallow dish.
  • In a bowl, toss diced chicken with flour, salt & pepper.
  • Shake the excess flour off the chicken and dip first in the egg mixture followed by the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Set on prepared pan.
  • Once all chicken pieces are breaded, spray generously with cooking spray or oil. Carefully place chicken into the air fryer basket leaving space between each piece (you may need to do two batches).
  • Air fry for 4 minutes. Shake basket, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes or until chicken has reached 165℉ and the exterior is golden and crisp.
  • Serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauce.


Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days. 
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 536mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a mom of 4 with a love for all things air fryer! Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making recipes for the everyday home cook!
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