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Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe

This Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe comes pretty close to the “real thing” and is good any day of the week.

plate with clone of Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets

Chick-Fil-A indisputably makes one heckuva chicken nugget.  There isn’t anything like it.  Anywhere.  Unless you make a Chick-Fil-A Clone at home.

The following is a list of ingredients in the nuggets that you get at Chick-Fil-A (according to Chick-Fil-A’s own website):

nuggets (whole chicken breast, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane as an anti-foaming agent]).

This Chick-Fil-A Clone does not include some of those ingredients, such as nonfat milk or monosodium glutamate (MSG).  One thing you will find in my recipe that is not in the original is powdered sugar.  (Notice that Chick-Fil-A does list “sugar” as an ingredient.)

Spices for making chicken

The first couple of times that I tried to make a clone, I brined my chicken solely in pickle juice.  I really like the way that it came out.  However, one of my family members has an aversion to pickles, so I tried it with a combination of pickle juice and carbonated water.  That combination worked fine, but there is more flavor when the chicken is brined in pickle juice.

chicken pieces in brine

Brine solution of 1/4 cup pickle juice + 1 cup of carbonated (seltzer) water.

I also followed another recipe that I found somewhere out in cyberland and used flour and cornstarch for the base.  It worked okay, but when I coupled it with an egg/milk wash to dip in prior to breading, the chicken would come out beautiful but the batter did not stay on the chicken after removing it from the oil.

I have been battering crappie (fish) with a mixture of dry pancake mix, salt and pepper for quite some time.  Every time I cook it I can’t help but notice how much the breading looks like that on Chick-Fil-A chicken.  I have never had a problem with that breading, so I decided to try it as the base of the breading.

It worked beautifully.  I like to double the batch of breading.  That way if I end up making a mess and need to use I don’t have to stop to make more.

jar of breading mix for making fried chicken

Large batch of breading mixture for the Chick-Fil-A Clone.

In my research, I learned a couple of little tricks:

  1. To get those extra crunch pieces of goodness that are found on some of the nuggets, take a little bit of milk and splatter it into the dry mix before breading your nuggets.  [Serious Eats]
  2. If you don’t have a thermometer and want to check if you have your oil at the right temperature of 350 degrees, you can test it by placing a couple of popcorn kernels in your hot oil.  The popcorn will pop right around that temperature.   [Cooking Comically]
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4.63 from 8 votes

Chick-Fil-A Clone

This Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe comes pretty close to the “real thing” and is good any day of the week.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword Chick-Fil-A, chicken, clone recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 28 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 483kcal
Author Lynda


  • 2-3 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • peanut oil


  • 2 cups dry pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil


  • Pickle Juice


  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.
  • Soak chicken in pickle juice and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When it is time to fry:

  • Place peanut or vegetable oil in large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Drain chicken and coat each piece with dry batter.
  • Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1937mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g

chicken nuggets on a plate

Which Chick-Fil-A goodie do you prefer:  the sandwich, nuggets, or chicken strips?

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Recipe Rating


Sunday 9th of June 2019

Seems very tasty and yummy. i am surely going to try it.


Friday 24th of March 2017

This look delish! I'm interested in what type of dry pancake mix you use.


Saturday 25th of March 2017

Hi Cynthia,

I think any dry pancake mix will do, but I often find myself using Hungry Jack.

(I know - my diet is all over the place. One day I will be good.)



Monday 12th of August 2013

My kids are gonna love you when I make this for them one day :)


Sunday 4th of August 2013

I LOVE Chick-Fil-A ... will have to try this recipe!

Crystal @ Simply Being

Friday 2nd of August 2013

Oh yum! I love Chick-fil-A chicken.