How to Cook Chicken Nuggets In The Microwave (Easy Guide)

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
microwaved chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets are one of the most versatile and delicious foods out there. They can be used as a main course, a side dish, or even a snack. And if you’re thinking of cooking them in the microwave, but don’t know how I can help you.

In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know about microwaving chicken nuggets, including how long they’ll take to cook, tips to crisp them up, and what to serve them with.

Can You Microwave Chicken Nuggets?

The answer is yes, you can microwave chicken nuggets. It’s quick and easy to do. And if you look at most chicken nugget brands such as Tyson or Bell & Evans, they have instructions on how to cook them in the microwave right on the package.

However, it’s important to note that microwaving chicken nuggets is not going to give you the same results as cooking them in the oven or air fryer. The nuggets will be softer and not as crispy.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to make them more crispy (which I’ll get into later).

Although, they’re still not going to be as crispy as oven-baked chicken nuggets. But in my opinion, the difference is not that big and they’re still totally delicious.

Is It Safe to Microwave Chicken Nuggets?

The answer is yes – as long as you follow a few simple guidelines. First and foremost, be sure to heat chicken nuggets to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that they are cooked all the way through.

Secondly, be sure to store chicken nuggets in the freezer properly. This means keeping them in an airtight container and storing them in the freezer at a temperature below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. In this environment, bacteria cannot grow and chicken nuggets will remain safe to eat.

Finally, use a microwave-safe plate when microwaving chicken nuggets. Not only will this keep your nuggets and microwave stay safe, but it will also help to evenly distribute the heat.

How Long to Cook Chicken Nuggets in the Microwave

The time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave, brands of chicken nuggets, and how many nuggets you’re cooking.

Most brands of chicken nuggets will take approximately 1 to 3 minutes to cook in the microwave. Here’s the breakdown :

  • 5 nuggets for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes,
  • 10 nuggets for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes,
  • 15 nuggets for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

Every additional 5 nuggets will add about 30-45 seconds of cooking time.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Nuggets in the Microwave

Now that you know how to cook chicken nuggets in the microwave, let’s talk about how to cook frozen chicken nuggets.

  1. Put a sheet paper towel on a microwave-safe plate and place 5 frozen chicken nuggets on top of the paper towel.
  2. Place the plate in the microwave and cook on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until the nuggets are cooked through. Increase the cooking time by 30 seconds to 1 minute if you’re cooking them from frozen.
  3. Remove the plate from the microwave and place the nuggets on another plate and throw away the paper towel.
  4. Let it cool for a minute and then enjoy.

The paper towel is the secret trick to keeping the nuggets from getting soggy. By placing the nuggets on top of the paper towel, excess moisture will be absorbed, preventing them from becoming too soft.

Another thing you can do to get crispier nuggets is to place them on a microwave crisper pan. This is a special pan that has raised ridges and allows many foods that typically get soggy in the microwave to become crispy.

To use a crisper pan, simply preheat the crisper pan in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, and then cook the nuggets according to the instructions above.

The results are amazing! The nuggets come out crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – just like they were fried. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any unhealthy oil.

Also read: Microwave Hacks for Getting Crispy Frozen Chicken Nuggets

How to Store and Reheat Microwave Chicken Nuggets

If you have leftovers, simply store them in an airtight container and place them in the fridge. They will last 1 to 2 days in the fridge. Do remember that they should be stored within 2 hours of cooking.

To further extend their shelf life, you can store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just be sure to place them in an airtight freezer bag or container.

When you’re ready to reheat them, simply place them on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 30 to 60 seconds, or until they’re heated through.

Alternatives to Microwaving Chicken Nuggets

While microwaving is the quickest and easiest way to cook chicken nuggets, it’s not the only way. You can cook them in the oven, on the stove, or even in an air fryer.

Here are some alternative methods for cooking chicken nuggets:


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and cooked through.


Place a skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken nuggets to the pan. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Air Fryer

Spread the chicken nuggets in the basket of your air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes, or until they’re crispy and cooked through.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can cook chicken nuggets. Microwaving is quick and easy, but feel free to experiment with other methods to find the one that you like best.

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

You know what they say, chicken nuggets are the ultimate blank canvas. They’re perfect for basically any dipping sauce, they go great with a variety of sides, and they’re an easy crowd-pleaser.

French Fries – Let’s start with the classic. French fries are crispy, salty, and pair perfectly with chicken nuggets. Plus, they’re easy to eat with your hands, which is always a bonus.

Salad – If you’re looking for something a little healthier, a salad is a great option. Just beware of the dressing – you don’t want it to get all over your fingers and ruin your chicken nugget experience.

Macaroni and Cheese – This one is definitely for the kids (and the kid at heart). Macaroni and cheese is rich, creamy, and pairs perfectly with chicken nuggets. Just make sure you have a napkin handy – things can get messy.

Chilli smashed peas – This is a great option if you’re looking for something a little different. The peas add a pop of color and the chili gives them a bit of a kick. Plus, they’re healthy and easy to eat with your fingers.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can serve with chicken nuggets. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite.


Chicken nuggets are a quick, easy, and delicious way to feed yourself or your family. And, thanks to the microwave, they can be ready in just a few minutes.

Simply place the nuggets on a microwave-safe plate and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Then, let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying them. Don’t forget our secret trick – a paper towel will help to keep them from getting soggy.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!