Recipes

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe {Quck & Easy}

This homemade baked chicken nuggets recipe is sure to become a staple in your house. Who said only kids could enjoy chicken nuggets?

BAKED NOT FRIED, MADE WITH REAL FOOD INGREDIENTS

You and your kids will love these homemade chicken nuggets. This recipe is easy to make, comes together quickly, and bakes within 20 minutes. You’ll have lunch or dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Plus, baked chicken nuggets make for a healthy afternoon snack. 

BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS MAIN INGREDIENTS

chicken nuggets recipe

A few simple ingredients are all you need to achieve delicious, healthy baked chicken nuggets. And I’ll bet you already have these in your pantry and fridge. 

  • Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs (or make your own): Always read the ingredient label and purchase one with the least amount of ingredients.  
  • Dried Basil: The aroma and taste of basil adds an extra element of flavor.
  • Dried Thyme: Thyme is a great herb to pair with chicken. 
  • Parmesan Cheese: Be sure to grate your own parmesan cheese to avoid extra fillers that manufacturers put into pre-grated cheeses. 
  • Whole Egg: You can substitute this with ¼ cup of milk of your choice (e.g. nut, oat, dairy). 
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts: Go for organic, humanely raised chicken. 
  • Optional Dipping Sauces: ketchup (I use Sir Kensington’s), barbecue sauce, mustard, or tzatziki sauce.

HOW TO MAKE THIS BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS RECIPE

baked chicken nuggets

Yep, this chicken nugget recipe comes together in just 4 simple steps and 20 minutes. 

  1. Cut. Trim and cut the chicken breasts into 1 ½ inch pieces.  
  2. Mix. Beat the egg in a medium bowl or shallow container. Combine parmesan, breadcrumbs, and herbs in another medium bowl or shallow container. 
  3. Coat. Using one hand for the wet ingredients and one hand for the dry, dip the chicken in the beaten egg then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Bake. Place chicken nuggets on a lightly greased wire rack placed inside a cookie sheet or line a cookie sheet with unbleached baking paper. You can also simply lightly grease the cookie sheet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.  

SECRET TO MAKING CRISPY CHICKEN NUGGETS (WITHOUT FRYING)

This chicken nugget recipe is healthier because it’s baked, not fried. You can achieve a crispy coating (without the added fat) using these tips: 

  • Use a wire rack or flip halfway. Place the chicken nuggets on an oven safe wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. This elevates the chicken allowing circulation of air and heat – which helps with even baking. If you don’t have a wire rack, simply flip the chicken nuggets halfway through baking. 

crispy chicken

  • Crisp the bread crumbs in the oven or on the stovetop for a few minutes. For extra crispy chicken nuggets, you won’t want to skip this step. Place breadcrumbs on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or foil and toast in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Stirring halfway. Or use a dry skillet on medium-high heat to lightly toast the bread crumbs, stirring frequently. Again for 3-4 minutes.

WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS CHICKEN NUGGET RECIPE

chicken nugget sides

To make this a meal, consider serving with steamed spinach or broccoli, baked sweet potato fries, or a side salad.

For dipping sauces, always read the ingredient label. Look for more natural products that don’t contain high fructose corn syrup. 

Brands that make ketchup and barbecue sauces are notorious for not only using high fructose corn syrup but it’s usually the first or second ingredient. Meaning most of what you’re eating is sugar. Consider brands like Sir Kensignton or Annie’s. 

ADAPTABLE CHICKEN NUGGET RECIPE

This chicken nugget recipe is also customizable! With a few simple tweaks you can create chicken nuggets that match your cravings and lifestyle needs.

baked chicken nuggets

Alternative bread crumb ideas

  • Almond flour: Use 1 cup of almond flour in place of whole wheat breadcrumbs. Simply add about 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning along with the basil, thyme, and finely grated parmesan cheese to the almond flour. 
  • Finely chopped (or processed) nuts. Any nuts will work. Choose your favorite or a combination. Either finely cut with a knife or use a food processor. Some nuts to consider are walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or cashews. You’ll need about a heaping cup of any nut or nut combination to make 1 cup ground. Add the finely grated parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, and additional basil and thyme to the ground nuts.  
  • Rolled oats. Finely grind whole rolled oats in a food processor. About 1 cup of rolled oats makes 1 cup ground. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, additional basil and thyme, and finely grated parmesan cheese.
  • Double the cheese. Or simply go without any coating other than herbs and cheese. Double the parmesan cheese to 1 cup and add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning and the additional basil and thyme. Dip in the beaten egg then coat with the cheese mixture.

If using nuts or oats, consider still toasting either in the oven or on the stovetop for a crispier coating.

Need an egg-free option? No problem. Substitute one whole egg with 1/4 cup of any milk of your choice. 

HOW TO STORE BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS

Once cooked, you can store the chicken nuggets either in the fridge or freezer. The baked chicken nuggets will keep for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Pre-freeze the nuggets by placing them on a sheet pan and putting them in the freezer for about an hour. Then transfer to an airtight container. 

Healthy Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets {Quick & Easy}

Baked chicken nuggets come together in as little as 30 minutes. They make for a great lunch, dinner, or afternoon snack. You and your kids will enjoy these tasty delights. Better than store bought. Plus, the recipe is adaptable.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (organic and humanely raised)
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (go for the brand with the least amount of ingredients)
  • 1/2 cup fresh, finely grated parmesan cheese (grate your own to avoid extra fillers)
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 whole, organic egg (can substitute with 1/4 cup of milk, any kind)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • In a medium bowl or shallow container, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, thyme and basil.
  • Lightly beat egg in a shallow bowl or container.
  • Using one hand for the wet ingredients and one hand for the dry, dip the chicken pieces in the egg then transfer to the breadcrumb mixture and coat. Place the well-coated chicken pieces on a lightly greased cookie sheet* in a single layer.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°.

Notes

* For a crispier chicken nugget lightly coat a cooling rack with oil and place inside a sheet pan. Place the chicken nuggets on the rack and cook as instructed. This helps evenly distribute the heat and makes for a slightly crispier nugget. Similar to an air fryer.
You can also use a sheet pan without the cooling rack and flip the chicken nuggets halfway through. 
For even crispier nuggets, consider toasting the breadcrumbs in the preheated oven for 3-4 minutes stirring halfway, or in a dry skillet on the stovetop on medium heat for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn the breadcrumbs. 
Alternative Breadcrumb Ideas:
  • Substitute 1 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs with 1 cup of almond flour. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning along with the basil, thyme, and cheese.
  • Grind or finely chop any nuts of your choice. One heaping cup of nuts makes about 1 cup ground. Try walnuts, pecans, cashews, or hazelnuts. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning along with the basil, thyme, and cheese.
  • Finely processed whole rolled oats. One cup whole makes about 1 cup of ground. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning along with the basil, thyme, and cheese. 
  • Double the cheese. Simply double the parmesan cheese to 1 cup and skip the breadcrumbs altogether. Add 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, along with the basil and thyme.
Need an egg-free option? Use 1/4 cup of milk of your choice.
Keyword baked chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets, healthy chicken recipe, homemade chicken nuggets, nuggets

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