| |

Quick Easy Subway-Style Nacho Chicken Bites Recipe

Want the taste of a subway side dish without leaving the house? Well, now you can with this Nacho chicken bites recipe. I’ve coated chicken breast pieces with a crunchy layer of nachos and fried them to perfection. This is one of those quick and easy recipes, that’s great for sharing with the whole family.

A lined tin with a pile of nacho chicken bites inside. There are dips and nachos around the tin in a random pattern.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Versatility With Flavours – You can choose to use plain nachos or switch things up with an array of flavours and use Doritos for the coating.

  • Various Cooking Options – You can shallow fry your chicken tenders as we have done here, or choose to bake them in the oven or use an air fryer instead.

  • Quick To Make And Super Easy – You can create a dinner that the whole family will love and you don’t need any special skills to do so.

About This Recipe – In More Detail

I love recipes that bring those restaurant and takeaway flavours to your own kitchen without having to spend a fortune or leave the house. And, these crispy, crunchy nacho chicken bites are one of my favourite chicken recipes for that.

I am using regular nachos for the crispy coating to suit everyone’s tastes. But, you can also switch it up and use Doritos instead. Why not try using different flavoured Doritos and serving up a selection with different dips? Making a perfect selection of crusted chicken tenders that’s great for game days and movie nights.

For speed, I use one dredge before coating with the nachos. This mayo dredge gives the chicken bites added richness and stickiness, which makes it much easier to coat them with the crushed nachos and making them stick. I use the same mayo dredge for these Lemon Pepper Chicken Tenders.

And, once cooked, you can dip your crispy chicken tender any way you want to. From Nacho Cheese, Sour Cream, BBQ dip, Jalapeno Mayo, Garlic Dip or even our Spicy Jalapeno Jam there are endless taste combinations that go so well with these chicken nuggets to suit your own tastes.

If you want to make more restaurant style recipes at home, try these Falafel Hot Wraps, Peri-Peri Chicken Wraps or our Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burgers. And, for more nacho recipes, check out this loaded Nacho Burger!

A hand is holding a nacho chicken bite up to the camera. There is a bowl with a pile of others in the background along with dips and nachos.

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting Board and Knife: Used for slicing the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
  • Food Processor (optional): If available, this can be used to crush the nachos to the desired texture.
  • Shallow Bowl: Used for holding the crushed nachos for coating the chicken.
  • Mixing Bowl for Batter: A bowl to whisk eggs and mix them with mayonnaise and flour to create a smooth batter.
  • Tongs: Used for dipping each piece of chicken into the batter and transferring them to the crushed nachos.
  • Plate: For placing the coated chicken before frying.
  • Large Frying Pan: Large enough to comfortably fry the coated chicken pieces.
  • Cooking Oil: Used for frying the chicken to a golden brown and crispy texture.
  • Wire Rack: A cooling rack placed with a paper towel underneath, this is used to drain excess oil from the cooked chicken.
  • Serving Platter: To present and serve the nacho-crusted chicken bites.
  • Air Fryer (optional): If you prefer to air fry the nacho chicken bites.
  • Baking Sheet (optional): You can also bake these in the oven, so you’ll need a baking tray or sheet large enough to hold the chicken bites, or a few smaller ones.

Ingredients

A labelled photo with all the ingredients needed to make the recipe.
  • Chicken Breasts: Sliced into bite-sized pieces. However, you can also make them larger or smaller like popcorn chicken if you want to.
  • Plain Flour: Used as part of the batter to coat the chicken, providing a base for the nacho crust to adhere.
  • Mayonnaise: Mixed with eggs and flour to create a smooth and sticky batter that gives flavour and helps the nacho coating stick.
  • Eggs: Whisked and combined with mayonnaise and flour to form a batter for coating the chicken.
  • Nachos (Corn Tortilla Chips): Crushed to create a textured coating for the chicken, adding a crunchy element.
  • Oil for Frying: Used to fry the coated chicken until golden brown and cooked through, providing a crispy texture. Choose an oil with a high smoke point, like sunflower oil, vegetable oil or peanut oil.

Additions and Substitutions

  • Chicken Breasts: Can be substituted with boneless chicken thighs.
  • Nachos (Corn Tortilla Chips): You can use different flavours of nachos, try cheese Doritos, spicy ones or cool flavours, for variations.
  • Oil for Frying: Use any high-heat cooking oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.

Additions:

  • Seasonings: Add herbs and spices like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, or cayenne pepper to the flour or nacho crust for extra flavour.
  • Dipping Sauces: Serve with various dipping sauces or your choice.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, parsley, or chives for a burst of freshness.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Nacho Chicken Bites

Step 1: Prepare Chicken and Nachos

  • Begin by slicing the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.
  • Crush the nachos, aiming for a slightly chunky texture. Use a food processor or place them in a food bag and use a rolling pin. Transfer the crushed nachos to a shallow bowl.
A hand is using a knife to slice the chicken breasts on a wooden chopping board.
A hand is using a rolling pin to crush nachos inside a food storage bag.

Step 2: Make Batter

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and combine them with mayonnaise and flour until the batter achieves a smooth consistency.

Step 3: Coat Chicken

  • Using tongs, dip each piece of chicken into the batter, allowing excess to drip off.
  • Transfer the coated chicken to the bowl with the crushed nachos.
A hand is using a whisk to mix the batter ingredients together.
A hand is using tongs to dip a chicken piece into mayo-egg batter.

Step 4: Coat with Nachos

  • Spoon nachos over the chicken, ensuring an even coating. Gently press so that the nachos stick to the chicken.
  • Move the coated chicken to a clean plate, ready for frying.
A hand is using tongs to transfer a chicken piece coated in batter into a bowl of crushed nachos.
A hand is using a spoon to cover the battered chicken piece with crushed nachos.

Step 5: Heat, Fry and Drain

  • In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Place the coated chicken in the hot oil, frying on both sides until golden brown and fully cooked. Avoid overcrowding the pan by frying in batches.
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to drain excess oil. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked.
A black frying pan filled with nacho chicken bites being shallow fried.
A hand is using tongs to lift fried nacho chicken bites out of a frying pan and onto a wire rack.

Step 6: Serve

  • Serve the nacho-crusted chicken bites immediately while they are hot and crispy.

Cooking Nacho Chicken Bites In An Air Fryer

If you prefer to bake the nacho bites in an air fryer, you can!

  • Heat the air fryer to 195°C (380°F).
  • Spray the air fryer baskets with oil spray and gently lay each chicken bite inside in a single layer.
  • Spray the tops of the coated chicken nuggets with a little cooking spray.
  • Air fry the chicken for 15 minutes. Open the air fryer and turn each chicken piece over to bake on the other side. Spray the tops again and fry for another 5 minutes. Until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove from the air fryer and serve while hot.

Baking Nacho Chicken Bites In The Oven

You can also choose to bake your chicken nacho tenders in the oven. But, for the best results I recommend toasting the nachos first. This ensures that the crispy nacho coating will be golden brown when you serve them up.

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Spread the crushed nachos evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes until they turn golden brown.
  • Create the batter and coat in the same way as per the recipe instructions using the toasted nacho crumbs.
  • Arrange the crusted chicken bites in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one.
  • Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Flip the bites once during baking to ensure they cook evenly. Remove from the oven once the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
A hand is holding a nacho coated chicken bite that has been dipped in a sauce.

FAQ

How do I know when the chicken is cooked through?

The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 75°C (165°F). Cut a piece open; it should be opaque with no pinkness.

What’s the purpose of adding mayonnaise to the batter?

Mayonnaise in the batter contributes to the moistness and tenderness of the chicken, providing a juicy bite.

Can I use a different type of tortilla chip for coating?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of tortilla chips to add variety and flavour to the coating.


Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Even Slicing: Ensure that the chicken breasts are sliced evenly for even cooking.
  • Crushing Nachos: When crushing the nachos, aim for a textured consistency rather than fine crumbs. Having small pieces adds a crunch to the chicken.
  • Coating Technique: Use tongs for an efficient and mess-free coating process. Dredge each chicken piece in the batter, allowing excess to drip off, and then coat with crushed nachos, pressing gently for better adhesion.
  • Frying Temperature: Maintain a consistent oil temperature while frying. Too hot, and the coating might burn before the chicken cooks through; too low, and the bites may turn greasy. Aim for around 175°C (350°F).
  • Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the frying pan. Fry the chicken bites in batches to ensure they cook evenly and achieve a golden brown colour.
  • Draining Excess Oil: Place the cooked chicken on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. This allows excess oil to drain, preventing the bites from becoming greasy.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best taste and texture, serve the chicken bites immediately after frying. This ensures they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Nacho chicken bites laid on a bed of nachos and surrounded by dips in white bowls.

Storage

Storage: Store any leftover nacho chicken bites in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1-2 days. To maintain their crispy texture, place a paper towel between layers to absorb excess moisture.

Reheating: Reheat the chicken bites in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 10 minutes or until heated through. Avoid using a microwave, as it may result in a loss of crispiness.

Freezing: Freezing the fully fried chicken bites is not ideal, as the crispy coating may become soggy upon thawing. We recommend coating the chicken and freezing before frying. Store in an airtight container or storage bag with parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. You can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Defrosting: If you’ve frozen the coated but uncooked chicken, defrost them in the fridge before proceeding with the frying process. Ensure they are completely thawed before frying to ensure even cooking.


Check Out These Copycat Recipes

An overhead view of Parmesan rolls in a wooden bowl.

Subway Parmesan and Oregano Rolls

I reckon that these are even better than the real thing, fill these flavoured bread rolls any way you like!

A Butterfly chicken burger sat on a wooden board with Perinaise sauce spilling out of the side.

Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken Burgers

Have a cheeky Nando’s in the comfort of your own kitchen, this delicious butterflied chicken breast is flavoured with Peri Peri and served in a Portuguese Roll.

Overhead view of the Puff Pastry Chocolate Twists on a white background.

Costa Chocolate Twists

I make Costa-style chocolate twists from scratch with Puff Pastry and homemade Pastry cream.

Download your Free 7-Day Dinner Planner

+ Bonus Shopping List!

A graphic with text which previews the pages of the weekly meal planner and shopping list.
An overhead view of a bowl of nacho chicken bites surrounded by dips and nachos.

Quick Easy Subway-Style Nacho Chicken Bites Recipe

5 from 3 votes
A copycat recipe that tastes just like the real thing. Nacho chicken bites can be ready to eat in under 30 minutes. With a crispy nacho coating and a mayo and egg dredge you can create unique chicken nuggets that the whole family can enjoy. You can also use any flavour tortilla chips that you want too!
Print Recipe Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 709kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 Chicken Breasts, Medium Sized
  • 4 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 4 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300 g Nachos, Corn Tortilla Chips
  • Oil for frying

Instructions

  • Begin by slicing the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and set them aside.
  • Crush the nachos, aiming for a slightly chunky texture. You can use a food processor or place them in a food bag and use a rolling pin. Transfer the crushed nachos to a shallow bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and combine them with mayonnaise and flour until the batter achieves a smooth consistency.
  • Using tongs, dip each piece of chicken into the batter, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer the coated chicken to the bowl with the crushed nachos.
  • Spoon nachos over the chicken, ensuring an even coating. Gently press so that the nachos stick to the chicken.
  • Move the coated chicken to a clean plate, ready for frying.
  • In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Place the coated chicken in the hot oil, frying on both sides until golden brown and fully cooked. Avoid overcrowding the pan by frying in batches.
  • Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to drain excess oil. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked.
  • Serve the nacho-crusted chicken bites immediately while they are hot and crispy.

Recipe Notes

  • Even Slicing: Slice chicken breasts evenly for consistent cooking.
  • Crushing Nachos: Crush nachos for a textured consistency, adding crunch to the chicken.
  • Coating Technique: Use tongs for a mess-free process. Dredge in batter, coat with crushed nachos, pressing gently for better adhesion.
  • Frying Temperature: Maintain 175°C (350°F) for perfect frying—too hot, it burns; too low, it turns greasy.
  • Fry in Batches: Avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry in batches for even cooking and a golden brown colour.
  • Draining Excess Oil: Place cooked chicken on a wire rack with paper towels to drain excess oil and prevent greasiness.
  • Serve Immediately: Enjoy optimal taste and texture by serving chicken bites immediately for a crispy exterior and tender interior.
 
 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 15g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 232mg | Sodium: 546mg | Potassium: 968mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 2mg

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating