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healthy spicy popcorn chicken recipe air fryer

Spicy Popcorn Chicken

A lower carb, lower calorie recipe for spicy popcorn chicken in the air fryer or oven. 

Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword popcorn chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 105 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff


  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins or chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 C (56g) Corn Flakes Cereal or comparable cereal, not frosted


  1. Preheat an oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with a wire rack if possible. Or if you're using an air fryer, spray the basket with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Mix the spices in a small bowl. You'll combine the chicken, spices, and honey in later steps.

  3. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces. (I calculated the nutrition facts on a batch of 48 pieces.) 

  4. Add the Corn Flakes cereal to a resealable bag or deep bowl to crush the cereal. You want some flakes remaining so avoid blending or crushing too finely. 

  5. For optimal flavor, place the chicken in a resealable container with the honey and spices to marinate for 20-30 minutes. To skip marinating, place the chicken pieces in a large bowl before coating them with the honey and spice mixture. Add the crushed Corn Flakes and stir until each piece is evenly coated.

  6. Transfer the chicken pieces to the baking sheet or air fryer. Bake for 13-15 minutes or air fry at 400 for 10-14 minutes start on the lower end if you're using a different air fryer). Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in two batches or slightly layer the chicken and shake halfway through frying. If you're baking directly on a baking sheet, flip halfway through baking for crispier chicken. (If you cook smaller batches, reduce the cook time to 8-10 minutes and increase as needed to fully cook the chicken.)

Recipe Notes

  • Each serving has 2 Smart Points.
  • One serving is 8 pieces (may vary based on how many pieces of chicken you cut). Multiply the macros by 6 to find the recipe's total nutrition facts.
  • If you'd like to reduce the spice, cut the black pepper and paprika in half. 
  • To easily turn this popcorn chicken into a meal, check out my copycat KFC bowls recipe.
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Popcorn Chicken
Amount Per Serving (8 pieces)
Calories 105 Calories from Fat 3
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.3g0%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Protein 15g30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.