Air Fryer Frozen Popcorn Chicken

Crispy air fryer popcorn chicken is so easy to make using your favorite store-bought frozen popcorn chicken.  It is a family favorite whether it is for an appetizer, snack, football food, lunch, or dinner.  There is no better way to cook up some crispy frozen popcorn chicken than by air frying it.  You will never want to bake popcorn chicken in the oven again since cooking them in the air fryer makes them more crispy. 

Cooking chicken pieces with a breading or coating in the air fryer is quick and easy. No additional oil is needed which makes it healthier with less fat than deep frying would have. For the best crispy crunchy coating on chicken, grab a bag of frozen popcorn chicken, get it in the air fryer, and in 10 minutes you have perfection.  Enjoy air-fried popcorn chicken with the best dips like homemade ranch, hot honey sauce, and more.

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Air Fryer Frozen Popcorn Chicken plated with parsley and ranch dip


Have you ever wondered what is the difference between popcorn chicken and chicken nuggets?  Well to put it simply, the shape and size.  The main difference between the two is how the breaded chicken pieces are shaped.  Nuggets tend to be rectangular in shape versus popcorn chicken which tends to be round breaded chicken pieces, resembling bumpy popcorn.   

In addition to the difference in shape, popcorn chicken tends to be smaller in size so you can pop them in your mouth.  Whereas chicken nuggets are often a bit bigger and it usually takes two bites to eat.  Because of these differences, popcorn chicken tends to be more breading and crunch and chicken nuggets tend to be more chicken and less breading.  


All you need for this popcorn chicken air fryer recipe is the frozen breaded chicken that is shaped like popcorn. Many other items may need a spray of avocado oil when air fryer but not frozen popcorn chicken.  So grab your favorite bag and any dips you may want to enjoy with air-fried popcorn chicken.  They will be hot, crispy, and yummy after the air fryer in just minutes.


Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken ingredients




This recipe works to air fry your favorite popcorn chicken and with any brand. So whether you have Pilgrims, Perdue, Tyson, Great Value, Foster Farms, or Costco, this is the best way to air fry that frozen popcorn chicken. 

Add the small pieces of frozen popcorn chicken to your air fryer basket or tray.  Make sure they are in a single layer.  It is also best to not overcrowd the basket or tray when air frying.   If you can spread them out, that is my recommendation so that the hot air can circle all sides of the breaded chicken pieces to cook evenly. This will give you the crispiest popcorn chicken with browning on all sides.  

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken frozen spaced on the air fryer tray ready to be cooked


I find it best to put the food in and then set it; therefore, the food can be inside while preheating.  There is no need to worry about watching it preheat to make sure you get it in immediately as the time starts ticking down.  This way you set it and forget it – let the air fryer do the cooking. 

Once the chicken pieces are in the air fryer, be ready to cook.   Set it to air fry at 400°.  For how long to cook frozen popcorn chicken in the air-fryer, I recommend 10 minutes.  I set the timer for 10 minutes and they come out hot on the inside and light brown and crunchy on the outside.   I find that if they are spaced out enough there is no need to shake or flip the popcorn chicken pieces while air frying.  

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken cooked on the tray in the air fryer



The frozen popcorn chicken will be done when they are hot on the inside and crispy brown on the outside. They will also not be soft or soggy when you pick them up. This is how they will be after 10 minutes. They should be light brown with some dark brown edges. For extra crispy popcorn chicken, set the air fryer timer for 13 minutes.  If you like them super crispy, cook them for up to 15 minutes in the air fryer. 

Once the little pieces of popcorn chicken are done air frying, carefully remove the tray or basket from the air fryer with an oven mitt. Using tongs, plate them for eating.  Serve popcorn chicken with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.  For tasty sauces & dip ideas, check out my recipe recommendations below. 


Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken plated with ranch drip and parsley on the table


These great recipes go well as a side dish to serve with popcorn chicken, nuggets, or tenders.  They all go well with any air-fried breaded chicken for lunch or dinner.  Try one or more of these side dish recipes the next time you air fry some chicken.  If you have room or a second air fryer, try AIR-FRIED FROZEN CRINKLE FRENCH FRIES. 


Deep-Fried Sweet Potato Fries
Homemade deep-fried sweet potato fries are a quick and easy family favorite recipe. This fantastic method to deep fry & season them makes the best appetizer or side dish.
Check out this recipe
Deep Fried Sweet Potato Fries featured overhead of plate of fries and dipping sauce
Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw
If you want an easy peanutty coleslaw recipe, this Asian avocado peanut coleslaw is the best. This chopped slaw recipe is bursting with fresh vegetables that are dressed in a homemade Asian-inspired dressing that is salty, sweet, and spicy. This slaw is vegan and gluten-free and sure to be one that everyone loves.
Check out this recipe
Asian Avocado Peanut Coleslaw featured closeup bowl and parsley but no serving utensils recipe card
Broccoli Apple Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing (no mayo)
This healthy broccoli salad with carrots, raisins, apples, and cheese is amazing. The creamy greek yogurt dressing is low-fat and made without mayo. It is tangy, crisp, fresh, and sweet in every bite. It holds up great for potlucks and barbecues. It is even great as a leftover, unlike other salads.
Check out this recipe
Broccoli Apple Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing (no mayo) overhead featured
French Potato Salad
Tender potatoes in a Champagne dijon vinaigrette with fresh herbs is bright, tangy, and crowd-pleasing.
Check out this recipe
French Potato Salad
Amazing Roasted Green Beans with Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning
These delicious but easy green beans will be a family favorite. The nutty sesame seasoning that includes garlic and onion adds so much flavor.
Check out this recipe
Amazing roasted green beans with everything but the bagel seasoning featured



These are the best dip recipes to make & serve with popcorn chicken. There is nothing better than a homemade dipping sauce to eat with air-fried breaded chicken.  If you want sweet, spicy, cool, or creamy, these are the dips that go well with fried chicken. 

Dips for Sweet Potato Fries
The best dips for eating with sweet potato fries are these two quick and easy recipes. Here is not just one but two terrific dips to serve with your favorite french fries.  Each dipping sauce is a wonderful combination of 3 simple ingredients to make a yummy dip to serve with sweet potato fries. 
Check out this recipe
Deep Fried Sweet Potato Fries featured overhead of plate of fries and dipping sauce
Ranch Dressing without Mayonnaise
This ranch dressing is so delicious, no one will know it is made without mayo. It is cool, creamy and herby just like a true ranch dressing should be.
Check out this recipe
Ranch Dressing without Mayonnaise
Hot Honey
This is the most amazing hot honey recipe for guaranteed sweet heat love. 
Check out this recipe
Hot Honey




Air Fryer Frozen Popcorn Chicken PIN plated with ranch dressing and fresh parsley



Air Fryer Frozen Popcorn Chicken PINREDO plated with ranch dressing



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Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken recipe card plated with fresh parsley and ranch dressing


Crispy air fryer popcorn chicken is so easy to make using your favorite store-bought frozen popcorn chicken.  It is a family favorite whether it is for an appetizer, snack, football food, lunch, or dinner. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Servings 4


  • air fryer


  • ½ pound Frozen Popcorn Chicken


  • Add frozen popcorn chicken to your air fryer basket or tray. 
    Depending on the size of your air fryer basket or tray, add only as many as will fit without overcrowding.  Be sure to leave some space between the chicken pieces and that they are in a single layer.   
  • There is no need to preheat. Once the chicken is in the air fryer, set to cook.   Set to air fryer at 400°.  Next set the timer for 10 minutes.  For extra crispy, set it for 15 minutes. 
  • When they are done cooking, carefully remove them from the oven and plate.  Serve with ketchup or your favorite dip. 
Keyword air fry, easy, fried, kid favorite, quick

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1 thought on “Air Fryer Frozen Popcorn Chicken”

  • 5 stars
    My brand of popcorn chicken had really tiny pieces. It inly took 8 minutes for exra crispy but that’s how I like it.

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