How To Make Microwaved Frozen Chicken Nuggets Crispy in the Microwave

Categorized as Microwave
microwaved chicken nuggets

Hey, all you nugget fans out there! I know the struggle too well – you’re on the job, feeling peckish, and all you can think about are those lip-smacking chicken nuggets calling your name from the office kitchen. But here’s the thing: those nuggets never turn out as crispy as they are when freshly fried.

Don’t worry though! I’ve got your back with some tips and tricks to get those nuggets nice and crispy. In this post, we’ll go over what causes chicken nuggets to go soggy in the microwave and how you can prevent it from happening. We’ll also check out some alternative ways to cook chicken nuggets if you’re not fond of nuking them. So, let’s dive right in!

What Causes Chicken Nuggets to Become Soggy When Microwaved?

Chicken nuggets are a popular frozen food that can be easily reheated in the microwave. However, many people find that their chicken nuggets become soggy and slimy after being microwaved. There are a few possible explanations for this.

First, it is important to note that chicken nuggets are usually frozen when they are bought from the store. This means that when they are microwaved, they go through a thawing process.

This thawing is what causes the nuggets to become soggy. The frozen ice crystals melt and release water. The water is then absorbed by the breading on the chicken nuggets, causing them to become soggy.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Nuggets in the Microwave?

The cooking time for chicken nuggets in the microwave will vary depending on the wattage of your microwave and the number of nuggets you are cooking. The following are general guidelines for cooking times:

  • 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.

How to Make Microwaved Frozen Chicken Nuggets Crispy

So how can you make sure that your microwaved frozen chicken nuggets come out crispy? As far as I’m concerned, there are two methods that work best.

The first method is to place the chicken nuggets on a paper towel before microwaving them. This will help absorb some of the excess moisture and prevent the nuggets from becoming soggy. The second method is to use a microwave crisper pan. These pans are designed to mimic the effect of an oven and can help your nuggets stay crispy.

Method 1: Paper Towel

One of the simplest methods for making your chicken nuggets crispy is to use paper towels. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Place the desired number of frozen chicken nuggets on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Arrange the nuggets in a single layer.
  3. Cover the chicken nuggets with another layer of paper towels.
  4. Microwave the chicken nuggets on high for 60 seconds.
  5. Check the nuggets to see if they are fully cooked. If not, microwave them in 30-second intervals until they are done.
  6. Remove the nuggets from the microwave. Throw away the paper towels and enjoy your nuggets!

Method 2: Microwave Crisper Pan

Microwave crisper pan will give you a better result if you are looking for a crispy nugget.

Here’s how to use one:

  1. Preheat the microwave crisper pan for 2 to 3 minutes on high.
  2. Place the frozen chicken nuggets in a single layer on the preheated pan.
  3. Microwave the chicken nuggets on high for 60 seconds.
  4. Check the nuggets to see if they are fully cooked. If not, microwave them in 30-second intervals until they are done.
  5. Remove the nuggets from the microwave and enjoy!

Additional Tips for Microwaving Chicken Nuggets

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when microwaving chicken nuggets:

1. You Don’t Need to Thaw the Nuggets First

One common misconception is that chicken nuggets need to be thawed before cooking. In reality, there is no need to thaw chicken nuggets before microwaving them. The microwaves will quickly cook the nuggets, regardless of whether they are frozen.

2. Don’t Overload The Plate or Pan

If you are cooking a large number of nuggets, cook them in batches rather than trying to fit them all in the microwave at once. Overcrowding the plate or pan will cause the nuggets to cook unevenly and could result in them being soggy.

3. Use an Oven Mitt or Hot Pad

If you’re using a crisper pan, be sure to use an oven mitt or hot pad to remove it from the microwave. The pan will be hot!

4. Let the Nuggets Sit for a Minute

Once the nuggets are done cooking, let them sit for a minute or two before eating. This will give them time to finish cooking and will help prevent them from being too hot.

Other Ways to Cook Chicken Nuggets

While microwaving is the quickest and easiest way to cook chicken nuggets, it’s not the only way. If you have a little more time, you can cook your nuggets in the oven or in an air fryer. Here are the basic instructions for each method:


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the frozen nuggets on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Air Fryer

  1. Place the frozen nuggets in the air fryer basket.
  2. Cook at 360 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 minutes.

How to Store Cooked Chicken Nuggets

If you have cooked chicken nuggets that you want to save for later, it is important to store them properly in order to maximize their shelf life. Chicken nuggets can be refrigerated in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap. This will help to keep them fresh and prevent bacteria from growing.

When storing chicken nuggets in the fridge, be sure to use them within three days. If you need to keep them for longer, you can store them in the freezer for up to two months. However, frozen chicken nuggets may not be as tasty as fresh ones, so it’s best to eat them as soon as possible.


Whichever method you choose, you’ll be glad to know that it is possible to get crispy, delicious chicken nuggets from your microwave without having to resort to deep frying them. Although you won’t get the same level of crispiness that you would from the oven, in my opinion, it’s a fair trade-off for the convenience of being able to cook them in the microwave.

So next time you’re in a bind and need a quick and easy meal solution, give one of these methods a try.

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!