How to Microwave Chicken Nuggets

Written By Acacia Crossley


There are countless ways to enjoy the ever-versatile chicken. You could roast a whole chicken or fry up some chicken wings and be guaranteed a delicious meal either way. But by far, the most popular way to enjoy chicken (and a method that is always a hit with the kids) is as chicken nuggets. 

For a quick, affordable and filling meal, use frozen chicken nuggets. Usually, frozen chicken nuggets are cooked in the oven, but can your microwave be just as quick and effective an option when you need a speedy snack?

To microwave chicken nuggets, pop them onto a plate before microwaving on the highest setting for 2 minutes and 30 seconds, flipping them after 30 seconds.

How to Microwave Chicken Nuggets

Depending on the brand of frozen chicken nuggets you buy, there may already be instructions on properly cooking them in the microwave on the packet itself.

However, these instructions don’t always account for how microwaves vary from brand to brand in terms of power and effectiveness.

Here is a more universally applicable method for microwaving your chicken nuggets: 

  1. Plate Up 
    Grab a microwave-safe plate and place as many chicken nuggets as you want to cook on it. 
  2. Organize
    Space the nuggets out as evenly as possible on the plate, or at the very least, make sure they are not touching each other. 
  3. Set Microwave
    Place the nuggets into your microwave and set it to its highest heat setting. 
  4. Microwave
    Set a timer for 30 seconds and microwave the nuggets. 
  5. Flip 
    After 30 seconds, carefully flip all of the nuggets over. 
  6. Microwave Again
    Set the microwave for a further 2 minutes and leave the nuggets to cook completely. 
  7. Check
    Use a knife to cut into one of the nuggets to check the core temperature. If it is hot to the touch, move on to the next step. But if it is still cold, cook the chicken nuggets in 30-second intervals until hot. 
  8. Rest
    Allow up to 1 minute for the chicken nuggets to rest before serving to prevent burning your mouth. 
  9. Enjoy
    Then serve up and enjoy! 

How to Microwave Chicken Nuggets Successfully

You may think microwaving chicken nuggets is easy, and it is really! But there are still some tips you can use to ensure that your microwaved chicken nuggets are as delicious as possible:

  • Defrost Them First – The less moisture your chicken nuggets can have attached to them when you microwave them, the crispier they will become. If you defrost your desired amount of chicken nuggets in the fridge for a few hours before microwaving, you will not have to contend with the frozen moisture soaking into the nuggets.
  • Even Spacing – To allow enough hot air to evenly cook all of the chicken nuggets, try and space them out as much as possible on the plate before you cook them. This will allow a better airflow between the nuggets and make them cook better. 
  • Avoid Deep Dishes – You want to use a flat plate or dish to microwave your chicken nuggets to ensure the microwave’s heat can properly reach all the chicken nuggets simultaneously. If you try cooking the nuggets in a bowl or deep dish, they will take longer and even soggier than they should be. 

Why You Should Microwave Chicken Nuggets

Still not sold that you should microwave those frozen nuggets you’ve had stuffed in the back of your freezer for months? Here are a few reasons why you absolutely should! 

Speedy Cooking

Usually, chicken nuggets require 10-15 minutes in the oven or air fryer to cook through.

But in your microwave, you will not need to wait longer than 5 minutes to have perfectly hot, delicious chicken nuggets

Speedy Even When Frozen

If you forget to defrost your chicken nuggets before you microwave them, you will not have to wait much longer to enjoy your snack.

You can still microwave frozen chicken nuggets and have them ready to eat in far less time than cooking them in the oven. 

Minimal Mess

The best thing about a chicken nugget dinner is that it is a hassle-free way to fill up after a busy day.

Microwaving your chicken nuggets only adds to that effortless dinner as you can cook the chicken nuggets on the same plate or dish that you then plan to serve the nuggets on, reducing the mess you have to deal with. 

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Chicken Nuggets

Like all products that are typically cooked in an oven, there are some drawbacks to microwaving chicken nuggets: 

Lack Of Crisp

The biggest downfall to cooking chicken nuggets in a microwave is that they will be less crispy than if you cook them in the oven or air fryer.

This is because the heat of a microwave works very differently from other kitchen appliances, making it hard for dampness to escape the microwave as it heats up your food. The result will be a chicken nugget more soggy than crispy. 

Limited Space

Chicken nuggets can be a lifesaver when you have a handful of hungry kids waiting to be fed.

The issue is that your microwave will only have limited space. Depending on your microwave size, you may only have enough room to cook 1-3 servings of chicken nuggets. 

Not A Whole Meal 

Typically, when cooking chicken nuggets in an oven, you will cook some chips or side dishes to make the chicken nuggets go further and make for a filling meal.

However, because of how small a microwave is, you won’t be able to cook a whole easy meal at one time which defeats the purpose of using the microwave as an effortless way to cook chicken nuggets. 

Microwaving Chicken Nuggets FAQs

If you have more questions about microwaving nuggets, then have a look through these common queries:

Can You Microwave Chicken Nuggets From Frozen?

Although it is likely to be safe to do so, and may even be recommended, it can be a good idea to defrost them beforehand so that they don’t go soggy once microwaved.

Is It Safe to Microwave Chicken Nuggets?

Of course! As long as you get the internal temperature to at least 170F or 76C then they will be safe to eat.


We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

Loaves and Dishes

Taste of Home

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