Got a bag of frozen popcorn chicken and you are wondering the best way to cook it for a quick and easy busy weeknight dinner. We’ve got 3 options for you, the air fryer, the oven and the microwave. These 3 methods work but if you want crispy popcorn chicken for your copycat KFC famous bowl, the air fryer or the oven are your best options.
This recipe post contains helpful tips, tricks and answers to FAQs. Please read through to ensure you get the recipe right when you try it.
Frozen popcorn chicken in the oven.
There are many ways to enjoy popcorn chicken for dinner. Baking in the oven is just one of them. You can serve as is with your favorite dipping sauce, we love Mayocue and Mayo ketchup or use it to top off your salads and homemade KFC famous bowl.
Like wings and fries, frozen popcorn chicken goes well with all types of fries.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Easy to make
Family friendly and picky
Bag of frozen popcorn chicken of choice. I used Tyson frozen popcorn chicken. You can use Perdue or store brands for this.
Dipping sauce of choice
Sides such as baked potatoes or French fries
How long to cook
Cooking times vary depending on the cooking method and the size of the chicken pieces. Typically, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to bake them in the oven at 400°F (200°C) and 10 to 12 mins in the air fryer at 400°F(200°C)
How to cook frozen popcorn chicken
See printable recipe card at the end of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions!
In the oven
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) / Gas mark 6
While the oven preheats, line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Then arrange the frozen popcorn chicken on the lined baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 mins turning the chicken halfway through with a pair of tongs to ensure even cooking. The internal temp of the chicken should be at least 165°F (74°C) to be considered fully cooked and safe for consumption. Feel free to add more time as needed.
In the air fryer
Place popcorn chicken in the air fryer basket, no need to preheat. Set temperature to 400°F (200°C) and air fry for 10 to 12 mins or until heated through.
In the microwave
Line a microwave safe plate with paper towel. Place frozen popcorn chicken on the line plate. For 3 pieces, heat on high for 1 to 1½ mins, for 6 pieces, 2 to 2½ mins, for 9 pieces, 2½ to 3 minutes.
After heating, let it stand for a minute or 2 before serving.
What to serve with popcorn chicken
Popcorn chicken can be served with your favorite dipping sauce. Such as ketchup, bbq sauce etc.
These go well with French fries, baked potatoes, air fried baby potatoes etc.
Add some crunch to your salads or chicken sandwiches using this baked popcorn chicken.
How to store
I usually recommend reheating frozen popcorn chicken as needed so you don’t have leftovers. However if you find that you have leftovers, let it cool completely then transfer to an air tight container before storing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To reheat place in a lined baking sheet and bake at 400°F (200°C) in a preheated oven for 15 mins or until heated through. In the air fryer reheat at 350°F for 3 to 5 mins or until heated through.
For the microwave, heat on 30 secs intervals till heated through.
While lining the baking sheet with parchment is optional, I like to do so to aid easy clean up.
Lining the microwave safe plate with paper towel helps to absorb moisture from condensation giving it a good chance at getting a tad crispy ( want it really crispy, your best option of the oven or microwave)
Do not overcrowd the baking sheet, air fryer or microwave safe plate when cooking.
Popcorn chicken is bite-sized pieces of chicken that are coated in a seasoned breading cooked. They are typically cooked by baking or frying.
Yes you can microwave frozen popcorn chicken, however, it's not the best method for achieving a crispy texture. Microwaving may make them soft instead of crunchy.
Also be sure to check that the brand you are using is fully cooked and frozen. If it’s raw and frozen, it’s best to use the air fryer or oven.
Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan alternatives made from plant-based ingredients like tofu or tempeh. These products mimic the taste and texture of chicken nuggets or popcorn chicken.
Yes, you can reheat leftover cooked frozen popcorn chicken in the oven, air fryer or microwave, but keep in mind that they may not be as crispy as when freshly cooked if you use the microwave.
Yes, some brands offer gluten-free frozen popcorn chicken for individuals with gluten sensitivities or allergies. Check the product label for gluten-free certification to confirm before using.
Certainly! You can incorporate frozen popcorn chicken into recipes like salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc you can also use it as toppings for pizza.
One of our favorite ways to use it is in this Copycat KFC famous bowl.
More Recipes like this
- Chicken tenders and fries
- Frozen chicken nuggets and fries
- Check out all our chicken recipes.
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How to cook frozen popcorn chicken
- 1.5 lb frozen popcorn chicken
- ¼ Cup Ketchup
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) while the oven is preheating, line the baking sheet with parchment.
- Arrange the frozen popcorn chicken in a single layer on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 mins flipping halfway through cooking time. Feel free to add more time if needed.
- The internal temperature should be at least 165°F / 74°C to be considered safe to eat.
- Serve with fries, make a sandwich or use as a salad topping.
- No need to thaw, cook from frozen..
- Don’t forget to flip the popcorn chicken halfway through cooking time.
- Adjust cooking time if needed.