Spicy Chicken Nuggets {Chick-fil-A Copycat}

These copycat Chick-fil-A spicy chicken nuggets are a delicious recipe that is easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious. Now you can make your favorite spicy nuggets at home.

Three white plates with blue trim with chicken nuggets on them and a sprig of parsley for decoration.

The spicy chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A are one of my favorite menu items. Every time I stop there, I get them. I have not deviated from my order since I first had them. They’re that good. One day, I was craving those spicy little bites, and it came to me. Why go to the restaurant when I could just make them? I mean, come on, I have a food blog! And that’s just what I did. It took a few tries, but I think I’ve come up with a delicious spicy nuggets copycat that’s just as good or better than the Chick-fil-A original.

Spicy Chicken Nuggets

These delicious spicy chicken nuggets are loaded with all the spicy flavor that we love about the original. They even have pickle juice, a Chick-fil-A not-so-secret secret ingredient. These nuggets are cooked to crispy perfection on the outside and juicy, tender deliciousness on the inside. Every bite is an explosion of spicy, crispy flavor surrounding tender, juicy white meat chicken, creating a recipe that’s perfect as part of a potluck or as a fun lunch or dinner.

A large white plate with a pile of chicken nuggets on it.

Why You’ll Love This Copycat Chick-fil-A Spicy Nuggets Recipe

  • They’re far and away better than the spicy nugget offerings from McDonald’s and other fast-food chains, and they’re just as good if not better than the Chick-fil-A original.
  • They’re super easy to make, so you don’t have to be in the kitchen for hours.
  • They are absolute perfection, crunchy and crispy on the outside, and so moist and tender on the inside.

Tips and Variations

I have a couple of tips here to make this easy recipe even tastier, and I also have some variations so you can mix things up from time to time if you like.


  • Always marinate your chicken in the marinade mixture overnight. It’s essential to the flavor of the nuggets and the juicy tenderness of the chicken.
  • When dredging your chicken breast pieces, shake off the excess coating in each station so you don’t get too much or too little coating.


  • For delicious nuggets that are mild, omit the hot sauce in the marinade and the Slap Ya Mama seasoning in the dredge.
  • Switch up the flavor of these nuggets by serving them with different dipping sauces. Ranch, blue cheese, sweet and sour, honey mustard, and BBQ are all great choices.
Three plates with chicken nuggets on it and a small bowl of ranch dressing for dipping.

Chick-fil-A Spicy Nuggets FAQ

If you have questions about this copycat Chick-fil-A spicy nuggets recipe, then read on. The following FAQ answers the most commonly asked questions about this recipe.

How long will homemade chicken nuggets last?

They’ll last for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. However, it’s best to eat them sooner so the breading is as crispy as possible.

Can you freeze homemade chicken nuggets?

You sure can. Open-air freeze them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months.

How do you reheat chicken nuggets?

Place them on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake them for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Never place them directly on the baking sheet as the bottoms will get soggy.

What does pickle juice do to chicken?

The pickle juice adds flavor to the meat and the vinegar helps tenderize it.

What does buttermilk do to chicken?

Buttermilk both tenderizes the meat and helps it stay juicy during the cooking process.

A chicken nugget up close, with a bowl of dipping sauce in the background.

How to Store and Reheat Homemade Chick-fil-A Spicy Nuggets

Store your nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer using the method referenced in the FAQ for up to 3 months.

To reheat your nuggets for optimal breading crispiness, use the method listed above in the FAQ. Never microwave your nuggets unless you just cannot wait. They won’t be crispy.

What to Serve with Copycat Chick-fil-A Spicy Nuggets

Chicken nuggets are a classic dish for parties, lunches, and dinners. When you make nuggets, you’re not exactly thinking of health benefits, and your sides should reflect that. Go for delicious options that are always a hit with nuggets.

  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Potato salad
  • Baked beans
  • French fries
  • Baked potato
  • Coleslaw
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Biscuits
  • Cornbread

Favorite Dipping Sauce for Chicken Nuggets

Everyone has their favorite dipping sauce for nuggets, so I’m going to give you a list of my favorites. I’ve used these all with this recipe, and they’re so good.

  • Ranch
  • Blue cheese
  • Sweet and sour
  • Honey mustard
  • Spicy mustard
  • Burger sauce (ketchup, mustard, and mayo mixed together)
  • Fry sauce (ketchup and mayo mixed together)
A pile of chicken nuggets on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

Spicy Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. You can find them all easily at your local grocery store.

  • Chicken breasts
  • Pickle juice
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot sauce
  • Buttermilk
  • Large egg
  • Hot sauce
  • All purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Slap ya Mama
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
  • Ranch dressing for dipping
A double photo  collage of chicken nuggets on a white plate and a piece of chicken on a fork with a bite taken out of it.

How to make Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Making this recipe is easier than you might think. Although it’s completely from scratch, it only takes a few easy steps to make.

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

Mix buttermilk, pickle juice, and hot sauce in a medium bowl. Then add the mixture and chicken breasts to a large heavy-duty, resealable bag and marinate overnight. The next day, cut the chicken breasts into nugget-size pieces.

Step 2: Make the Dredge Station

Whisk flour and cornstarch together in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and buttermilk together. In a third bowl, combine breadcrumbs and seasonings.

Step 3: Dredge the Chicken

Add 6 to 8 chicken pieces to the flour mixture. Then, coat with the buttermilk, and finally, the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to coat the pieces thoroughly at each station, being careful to gently tap away any excess.

Step 4: Fry

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast-iron skillet or frying pan. Then fry the chicken, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, until golden on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels until all the pieces are cooked. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

Three photo collage of chicken nuggets on a white plate with ranch dressing in the background.

Try This Copycat Chick-fil-A Spicy Nuggets Recipe Today

This copycat Chick-fil-A spicy nuggets recipe is just as good if not better than the original, and it’s so easy to make. Bring a double batch to a potluck, serve them up at parties, or simply make a super fun weeknight meal for the family. However you decide to serve them, I know you’ll find yourself making these Chick-fil-A spicy nuggets again and again.

Looking for more chicken recipes?

Parmesan Crusted Lemon Chicken Strips – These homemade chicken strips have a crispy, Parmesan crusted coating with a hint of lemon and are an easy dinner recipe the whole family is going to enjoy.

Crispy Chicken Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing – This hearty and delicious salad has so much flavor. The crispy fried chicken, tomatoes, avocado, bacon, cheese, onion and more, all topped with a homemade honey mustard dressing.

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas – Tender chicken breasts, onions, peppers, and seasonings come together with all the classic flavors we love about fajitas. This sheet pan fajitas recipe is super easy and makes weeknight dinner a breeze.

And, these Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks from Deliciously Seasoned makes a delicious meal for your next get-together, potluck, or family gathering.

A close up picture of a blue trimmed white plate filled with spicy chicken nuggets.

Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

These spicy chicken nuggets are a copycat Chick-fil-A spicy nuggets recipe that tender and juicy on the inside, crispy and crunchy on the outside, and definitely a favorite nugget recipe you are going to enjoy too!

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Marinating Overnight 1 d

Total Time 1 d 40 mins

Course Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine American

Servings 6 Servings

Calories 291 kcal


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Buttermilk Brine

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • ½ cup hot sauce

For the Dredging Station

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • cup hot sauce, Cholula
  • 2 cups Panko® breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Slap ya Mama®
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • vegetable oil
  • Ranch dressing


  • In a medium bowl, or heavy-duty ziploc baggie, mix buttermilk, pickle juice, and hot sauce together. Add chicken breasts, cover, or seal, and marinate overnight.

  • After the chicken has marinated, cut into nugget size pieces.

  • In a large cast iron skillet, or frying pan, heat oil over medium high heat.

  • Using 3 separate bowls, or shallow containers, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and hot sauce together in the first bowl.

  • Whisk together flour and cornstarch in the second bowl.

  • In the third bowl, combine breadcrumbs and seasoning.

  • Add 6-8 pieces at a time into the buttermilk mixture and then into the breadcrumb mixture.

  • Cook chicken until golden on each side.

  • Remove from the skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels while the remaining chicken is cooked.

  • Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.


Nutritional Values are approximate as it takes into account the total ingredients listed. However, the buttermilk brine will be tossed after marinating the chicken as will the dredging ingredients. 


Calories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 1598mgPotassium: 477mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1333IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 196mgIron: 3mg

Keyword Chicken Nuggets, Cihck-fil-A Spicy Nuggets, Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Here are a few pics that are perfect to save to your favorite Pinterest boards on Pinterest. Also, you can follow us on PinterestFacebook and Instagram. Remember to “like” or “follow” us on all social media.

Enjoy, Terri

Blue trim on white plates filled with chicken nuggets on it.
An overhead photo of chicken nuggets on plates with parsley and dipping sauce

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