A Spicy Perspective

Copycat Chick Fil A Nugget and Sauce Recipe

Copycat Chick Fil A Nuggets and Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce Recipe This is the perfect crowd-pleaser for parties; you have got to try this!

Chickfila nuggets and sauce

Copycat Recipes For the Win

Chick-fil-A. It’s the one fast food joint my kids can talk me into going on a somewhat regular basis.

If we’re running errands and starving, I can’t say no to the thought of hot, crispy, perfectly seasoned chicken chunks with tangy Chick-fil-A Sauce… And an ice-cold lemonade.

What is it about those darn nuggets that make them so irresistible? To me, it’s the simplicity of the flavor, combined with the contrast of crunchy breading and juicy little morsels of chicken.

I was determined to find out what exactly makes Chick-Fil-A so tantalizing.

Rather than getting a part-time job as an undercover fry cook, I did a lot of googling and asking around. You wouldn’t believe how many people have worked at Chick-Fil-A in the past!

Fast Food replica

Copycat Recipe Tips

Here are the tips I collected for making a perfect Homemade Chick Fil A Nuggets and Chick Fil A Sauce Recipe…

  1. Brine the chicken chunks in pickle juice. This helps give the chicken flavor, and it’s ultra-moist texture.
  2. Season the flour mixture heavily. Don’t worry about there being too much salt or seasoning in the flour. Most of it gets shaken off anyway.
  3. Double dip the chicken. Chicken needs two layers of flour, with egg wash in between, in order to properly crust the chicken and give it a crunchy coating. The first layer of flour should be very thin. Once wet, it acts as the glue that holds the second layer of flour to the chicken chunks.
  4. Let the chicken rest before frying. One former Chick-Fil-A cook said that the longer the chicken sits between coating and frying, the better. Allowing the breaded chicken some rest time helps the breading hold-tight to the chicken, not bubble, and fall off. By double-dipping all the pieces and placing them on a drying rack before heating the oil, you give the chicken and breading time to become one, so to speak.
  5. Create nooks and crannies. Another secret Chick-Fil-A trick is to add a little bit of the egg wash to the flour mixture before the second dredge. By mixing the egg wash into the flour with your fingers, you create tiny crumbs that will hold onto the chicken in the second dunk.
  6. Fry in peanut oil. Peanut oil helps give Chick-fil-A nuggets their special flavor and texture. If you have a nut allergy, feel free to use canola oil. However, Chick-Fil-A insists their peanut oil is specially refined to remove nut proteins and therefore is allergen-free.
  7. Dip in Chick-Fil-A Sauce! It’s not just the chicken, but the sauce as well, that makes Chick-Fil-A so great. Guess what, you can make your own at home!

fried chicken

Today’s Homemade Chick Fil A Nuggets and Sauce Recipe is as close to the original as I could possibly make it. These little guys are crispy, juicy, and utterly irresistible.

You can save a bundle on party platters by making several batches of this Homemade Chick Fil A Nuggets and Chick Fil A Sauce Recipe for your events. Your guests will never know the difference… Unless you tell them!

Famous copycat recipe

Recipe’s Ingredients

For the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets:

  • boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • dill pickle juice
  • granulated sugar
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • cornstarch
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • ground black pepper
  • milk
  • eggs
  • peanut oil or canola oil

For the Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce:

  • mayonnaise
  • honey
  • yellow mustard
  • barbecue sauce
  • lemon juice

Double dipped

How To Make These Copycat Recipes 

The recipe card below will have more detailed instructions, but I will put the basic instructions here: 

  1. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Soak the chicken pieces in warm pickle juice for at least 30 minutes. 
  3. Prep the dry dredge mixture.
  4. Drain out the pickle juice and dunk the chicken in the dry mixture. Coat them thin and place on cooling racks. Coat all the pieces before moving on. 
  5. Prep the egg wash mixture. Add a little to the dry mixture for added texture. 
  6. Dunk the chicken in the wet mixture and dunk in the dry mixture for a second time. Coat all the nuggets and place them on the drying rack.
  7. Set the oil in a pot on medium to medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350 degrees F. 
  8. Place ⅓ of the chicken nuggets in the oil to fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. 
  9. Skim them out and let them dry on a paper towel-lined plate, wait for the oil to come back to temperature, and finish the other ⅔ of chicken. 
  10. Once all the nuggets are cooked, serve them warm with a side of the Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce Recipe! 
  11. For the Sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Fried nuggets

Get The Full (Printable) Recipe Below For How To Make Copycat Chick Fil A Nuggets and Copycat Chick Fil A Sauce.

Homemade Nuggets

Frequently Asked Questions 

How long do these nuggets last? 

If they are stored properly in an airtight container they can last in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. 

Can I use vegetable oil instead? 

Yes, you can use any high-heat flavorless oil for frying. 

Any suggestions on reheating these?

Place the nuggets in a warm oven for a few minutes to reheat. About 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. 

Can you be more specific about barbecue sauce as there are many variations?

Of course! Go with a sweet tomato-based “southern style” barbecue sauce like Stubbs.

Homemade Sauce

Other Copycat Recipes on my Website

CopyCat Chick Fil A Nugget and Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Homemade Chick-fil-A Nugget and Sauce Recipe - These easy copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets are so delicious and allow you to make a large amount for parties!
Servings: 8

Ingredients

For the Chick-fil-A Nuggets:

For the Chick-Fil-A Sauce:

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks. Warm the pickle juice in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, until hot to the touch. Stir in the sugar until completely dissolved. Add the chicken chunks and allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes, or overnight. Place in the refrigerator while brining.
  • For the Sauce: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Once the chicken has brined in the pickle juice, mix the flour, salt, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Drain off the pickle juice. Set out a drying/cooling rack and dredge the chicken chunks in the flour. Shake off all excess flour so the coating is very thin. Lay the chicken on the rack. Coat all the chicken pieces before moving on.
  • Next beat the milk and eggs in a separate bowl. Pour 2 tablespooons of eggwash in the remaining flour mix and work it into little pebbles with your fingers. Dunk the chicken chunks in the eggwash, then dip them back into the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and lay them back on the drying rack.
  • Once all the chicken is double-dipped in the flour mixture, pour the oil in a large sauce pot. Turn the heat on medium to medium-high. Place a clip-on thermometer on the side of the pot and bring the temperature up to 350 degrees F.
  • Once the oil is ready, gently place one-third of the chicken chunks to the hot oil. Stir once, and fry 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Use a spider skimmer to scoop the chicken pieces out of the oil. Place them on a paper towel lined plate. Cut one large piece open to make sure it's cooked through.
  • Allow the temperature to rise back to 350 degrees. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces two more times. You can keep the fried chicken pieces warm in a 200 degree F oven if you like. Once all the chicken is cooked, serve warm with Chick-fil-A Sauce.

Notes

NOTES: 1) Adding a little eggwash to the flour mixture helps create the nooks and crannies in the chicken breading. 2) Don't try to speed up the process by heating the oil sooner than recommended. Allowing the chicken to rest on the drying rack gives the breading time to adhere to the chicken, so it doesn't separate creating gaps between the chicken and the breading.

Nutrition

Serving: 4ounces, Calories: 1578kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 30g, Fat: 144g, Saturated Fat: 24g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 2157mg, Potassium: 563mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 600IU, Vitamin C: 1.7mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 2.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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31 comments on “Copycat Chick Fil A Nugget and Sauce Recipe”

  1. I don’t know if I added too much pickle juice but the pickle juice took over the chicken. But overall it was good.

  2. Can you use olive oil?

    • Hi Gabby,

      I wouldn’t use olive oil for frying, because it usually leaves a strong flavor in the breading. However, you can use canola oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil… Any high heat oil with little to no flavor.

  3. Crispy and Yummy 😋 nice recipe. 

  4. This is our favorite sauce and I want to put it on everything! 

  5. This is a winner! The flavors were spot on!

  6. This was a huge hit at my house!! Everyone loved it!

  7. The recipes that I have been waiting for and needing on a Sunday!

  8. I just bought an air fryer due to health issues we both have. Have you tried doing these in an air fryer. Last time I made them I tried baking them. They didn’t bake well and I ended up finishing them in hot oil. They were still amazing and the sauce is out of this world. I would like to make them again, but need to air fry them.

  9. I feel like there may be a little horseradish in Chick-Fil-A sauce.  Many of your recipes look and sound so delicious.  I am def going to try them.

  10. I just made these! Oh my gosh…they were AMAZING and the sauce was delicious. I used sunflower oil because it was that or olive oil and it was super yummy. Thanks for the recipe, I can’t wait to make this again! :)

  11. Can we use vegetable oil instead ?

  12. Delicious! My son loved these and asked how I made them – I explained and sent him this link! :)
    Thanks for all the great recipes Sommer!

    You’re the best! 

  13. My son was born and raised eatting these regularly in New Orleans until age 7 when we moved to England. We’re still living abroad and very recently talked about how much he missed and loved Chick-fil-A . With your help, I’ll bring this dream to life. Thank you so very much for sharing!

  14. My mouth was watering just looking at this cooking and I was even more impressed after eating this masterpiece. Bravo bravo bravo

  15. These are so good! Any suggestions on reheating? And your baked pickles are perfect with this recipe. Uses the whole jar that way :)

    • Hi Melanie,

      I’m so glad you like them! I would just pop the nuggets in a warm oven for a few minutes to reheat. Maybe 5-10 minutes at 350?

  16. These are even better tha Chi-fi-a! Mostly because you can make them at home. I can’t say how much I love this recipe! It’s the best chicken nugget recipe ever! 

  17. Sommer, Thanks for this awesome recipe! I only followed it half-way so far, that is, I did the brining overnight… Then because of time I baked them (dipped in butter, then breadcrumbs mixed with parm cheese, salt & pepper). I WILL deep fry them for the full Chic-Fil-A experience, but WOW, they were so delicious. I love the sweet dill flavor! Best chicken nuggets I’ve ever had (and my first time brining). THANK YOU!

  18. Yah, this needs to happen ASAP!  

  19. These look just like the Chick Fil A chicken nuggets. We have no Chick-Fil-As close by so this is the perfect substitute

  20. Can you be more specific about barbecue sauce as there are many variations.

  21. Oh my was that recipe spot on. My kid thought I was a rock star when I made this for dinner! Thanks so much.

  22. My mouth is watering just thinking about these! Those nuggets are delicious, and I’m so thankful for this recreation!

  23. My boys will go crazy for this!

  24. Wow! this looks awesome! My kids would freak out!

  25. Love this homemade version and my boys will too!