Grilled Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

We are addicted to Chick-Fil-A nuggets, but we love to grill, so we’ve made a copycat version of Grilled Chick-Fil-A nuggets using two (no longer) secret ingredients to make them extra juicy and well seasoned.

bowl of chicken nuggets with a side of sauce

This is one of the most viewed recipes on my website because it’s easy, healthy and oh so delicious.

The first secret ingredient in grilled Chick-Fil-A nuggets is pickle juice. The acid in the brine makes the chicken extra juicy. I don’t recommend marinading them longer than 30 minutes though, because too much brine time can make them salty.

The second secret ingredient is powdered sugar. Adding this to the dry rub helps create a nice crust on the nuggets and balances out the seasonings.

This recipe includes a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce. I’m a huge fan of Suzie’s organic yellow and dijon mustard. If you want to reduce the calories, substitute Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.

bowl of chicken nuggets with a side of sauce

bowl of chicken nuggets with a side of sauce

Grilled Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 239 kcal
Author: Christie
We are addicted to Chick-Fil-A nuggets, but we love to grill, so we’ve made a copycat version of Grilled Chick-Fil-A nuggets using two (no longer) secret ingredients to make them extra juicy and well seasoned.


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsps powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsps Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with pickle juice and milk. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from marinade and pat dry.
  3. In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and celery salt. Sprinkle all over chicken.
  4. Heat grill to high. Grill chicken for 3 minutes per side until cooked through.
  5. Serve with honey mustard dipping sauce.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and chill.
Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 65mg 22%
Sodium 1524mg 64%
Potassium 351mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Sugars 5g
Protein 20g 40%
Vitamin A 2.1%
Vitamin C 1.3%
Calcium 1.8%
Iron 2.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Rob Richardson April 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    What percent milk did you use?

    • Christie June 18, 2016 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      I usually use 2%, but you could use whole milk or 1%.

  2. Mindi February 24, 2017 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    This recipe is so, SO good!! I am out of garlic powder and celery salt, so I poured a little garlic juice into the bag with the pickle juice and milk. I cooked mine just in a skillet with butter and a little apple cider vinegar (because we had some really tough pieces of chicken) and it is super delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!!

    • Christie February 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  3. Megan March 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    My teenagers inhaled these! I set a timer for the brining phase, but it turned out a little salty; however, I suspect I cut my bites too small since I had to be careful placing them on the grill so they wouldn’t fall through the grate, so I probably should have brined for less than 30 minutes given the size of my chicken bites. I think this recipe would be also be great for grilling chicken breasts or tenderloins for salads and had planned to use the leftovers to try to recreate the Chic-fil-a market salad for my lunch tommorrow, but I didn’t have any leftovers with this recipe. Thanks so much for this great recipe – it is a keeper.

  4. Faylore March 7, 2017 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    I had to try this and it turned out great! I had cut my chicken into strips instead of nugget-sized bites, added 5 minutes to the brine time and they were fantastic. Not too salty or too bland.
    Definitely going to make these again!

  5. Christie March 7, 2017 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Thank you Megan and Faylore. I’m so glad you liked it. I love the idea of grilling tenders for salads.

  6. Anonymous September 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    Why is the milk needed? I don’t see it listed in the official ingredients list

    • Christie September 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      The milk is part of the brine with the pickle juice. If you omit the milk, the pickle flavor will be too strong.

    • Teresa February 5, 2018 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      1/4 cup of milk is listed as one of the ingredients.

  7. Danielle Graef January 18, 2018 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    I am grilling on my stove top in a Frying pan.

    Should I still cut them in bite size pieces because that will take a lot of time to turn each piece over?

    Or should I cut them in small Patty size pieces so I can turn each piece easy and then cut them in bite size when they are done cooking?

    • Christie January 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      You can definitely cook them in patties and then cut them later or eat the patty on a sandwich.

  8. Sylvie January 24, 2018 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    I have a dumb question…I don’t like dill pickles will the juice from sour pickles work? Maybe brine for 10-15 minutes? What do ya think?

    • Christie January 26, 2018 at 2:56 pm - Reply

      Sure thing. You could even use bread and butter pickles.

  9. Ashley Hickman January 27, 2018 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I can’t have dairy, could I substitute the milk for maybe plant milk?

    • Christie January 28, 2018 at 1:12 pm - Reply

      Hi Ashley, I haven’t tried that, but it should absolutely work. Let us know. I’m sure that would be a helpful tips for others. Christie

  10. Don Gemmell February 2, 2018 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    This was awesome, so good and exactly like the restaurant. I was hesitant about the pickle juice and milk marinate, but it turned out excellent. Will definitely cook again. Thanks!!!

    • Christie February 3, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

      Awesome! I’m so glad you liked them.

    • Teresa February 5, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

      I worked at Chick-fil-A for a couple of years and there is pickle juice and milk in their brine.

      • Christie February 5, 2018 at 7:08 pm - Reply

        Thanks for sharing.

  11. Mona March 18, 2018 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    If I don’t have powdered sugar, will it make a big difference or do I have to make a store run?

    • Christie March 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      You could try regular sugar, but it might make it grainy. Do you have a spice grinder? You could try grinding regular sugar in the spice grinder to make it more fine.

  12. Danielle April 9, 2018 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I made these for lunch but I think I put to much seasoning on them and they were super spicy. My daughter and I didn’t mind, they were super tender and delicious. My boys however didn’t like how spicy they were and passed. Next time I’ll cut back. 🙂

    • Christie April 22, 2018 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed them. Did you adjust the seasoning blend? There are no spicy seasonings used in the recipe.

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