Recipe: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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Even before we started eating real food I always thought that homemade chicken nuggets tasted much better than what you can get at most restaurants and grocery stores. And the best part is…you can freeze the leftovers! So if you are in a rush simply pull a few pre-made nuggets out of the freezer and microwave them for 30 – 60 seconds for a quick and guilt-free dinner. In our house this is the kind of “kids’ meal” that is so good the whole family eats it together.

This recipe is also fairly easy once you have the breadcrumbs made. I find that I need whole-wheat breadcrumbs on hand for all sorts of reasons so be sure to make those in advance on a rainy day and store them in the freezer as well. That way they are there and ready when you need them. To freeze the leftover chicken nuggets make sure they are cooked first then layer them between sheets of wax paper in a Tupperware or other freezer-safe container. Enjoy!

4.9 from 14 reviews

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb local or organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Chop the chicken into small chunks and sprinkle them with salt and pepper (if desired).
  2. Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  3. In another shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder with a fork.
  4. Now you are ready to bread the chicken. There is a simple technique that will make this part very easy. Make one of your hands the “wet hand” and the other one the “dry hand”. With your wet hand toss some of the chicken chunks into the egg mixture until they are coated on all sides. Then with your wet hand drop them on top of the bread crumb mixture. With your dry hand sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top of the chicken and then flip them over a few times until the pieces are coated. Put the coated pieces on a plate while you work on the rest of the chicken.
  5. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
  6. Cook the chicken nuggets for several minutes on each side until they are golden brown. You want the nuggets to be cooked all the way through by the time they get brown on the outside. Cut one down the middle to make sure it is fully cooked.
  7. Transfer the nuggets to a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess oil.
  8. Serve with organic ketchup or homemade honey mustard sauce (equal parts honey, mustard, and mayo).
    And don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!

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209 comments to Recipe: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

  • [...] just food, why get so stressed and obsessed! Tonight though I made these healthy, easy, natural chicken nuggets! YUM. Best I’ve had and made! I omitted the parm cheese and baked them in the oven to make [...]

  • suzie

    Did this not go against the no deep frying pledge?

  • Jessica

    Quick question, might be a dumb one, but…
    for those of you who have frozen big batches of these chicken nuggets, do you fully cook them and then freeze them?
    thanks!

  • shana

    Ok…never have frozen food before. I just cooked them but they didn’t have enough time to cool down before I had to leave to pick up the kids. I just put them in a freezer bag and put them in the refrigerator, I will move them to the freezer when I get home. Is this ok??

  • [...] Wednesday I went with an old favorite – Homemade Chicken Nuggets.   I highly recommend baking them instead of pan-frying them if you want the breading to stay [...]

  • Lacey

    Love this website. Found it off pinterest. I have made these nuggets, (I also baked mine because I don’t like my house smelling like grease) made the whole wheat and honey waffles, and several more….I have LOVED every single recipe!! Thank you for helping our family becoming healthIer!!

  • Corie

    Made the chicken nuggets both in oil and baked in the oven…Both tasted good! The oil cooking way made the nuggets taste a little of oil, so I kind of like the oven baked better. And both my kids (ages 7 and 2) loved them. Made well over a pound of chicken nuggets for 3 people, and only have a few left. Can’t wait to make them again, definitely a weekly meal

  • Justyna

    We tried these tonight and they were a big hit! Next time I’ll make a bunch a freeze for evenings when we need something quick (or lunches with summer coming up). Thanks!

  • Erin

    I made these last night and WOW are they good! My husband and son both loved them and they were without question better than processed, unhealthy chicken nuggets. Far superior! This is definitely my new go-to chicken nugget recipe!

  • Lucy

    These are so good! I didn’t have Parmesan on hand so I made them without and they where still tasty.. can’t wait to try them with the parm! My daughter, who doesn’t even like the fast food chicken nuggets and is super picky even loved them! Thanks!

  • These are delicious, thank you! We try to feed our kids healthy, organic foods yet they still seem to ask for things like chicken nuggets. It’s nice to be able to please mom, dad, and three boys without compromising anyone’s principals or health.

  • [...] feeling. I did find some new foods, snacks and recipes that I liked. I am now a big fan of their Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe. I even froze some and they work wonderfully heated back up. It’s already become part of our [...]

  • Michelle

    What oil should I use? I have olive oil and coconut oil (and vegetable oil which I’m staying away from). I don’t want the oil to alter the taste of the nuggets.

  • Kate

    Amazing dish! Super easy- my 4 yr old helped. And we both at it and loved it! Thank u!!

  • [...] up some various meats. I cut up a few pounds of boneless/skinless Organic chicken into pieces for chicken nuggets. I also cut up some type of steak-cut for fajita meat. And lastly, I cut up some ground sausage [...]

  • Heather G

    This recipe is one of my favorites from your site. Simple and tasty! Since starting our real food journey, my husband votes this recipe as his favorite so far. I used safflower oil and it tasted great.

  • Penelope

    Can anyone tell me how many calories are in these?!! I have searched and searched and cannot figure it out. These look so yummy & I am eating clean so this would be a perfect thing to try, I am getting tired of grilled chicken breasts! Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me!

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Penelope. I don’t know the exact calories for these…we don’t really track them. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Jill

  • Tricia

    Oh my goodness. My kids are SO picky. Especially my 10 year old who must have exclaimed a million times during dinner, “these are AWESOME!!” I toasted some leftover french bread and ground it up for the breadcrumbs. Freezing now for lunch later this week. Thank you!!!

  • Jenny

    What’s the best way to reheat them after you freeze them? Nuke em or oven? What temp and how long? I’ve been looking for something like this for my son, he will love them! Love your stuff! Can’t wait to start the new foods. Thank you.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Jenny. I usually heat them up in the oven, I find they don’t get soggy that way. Jill

      • Emily

        Hey Jill–sorry, I’m not good at reheating frozen items…what temperature do reheat them at,and about how long does it take? Thanks so much–new to “real food” last week, and I’m loving it!

        • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

          Hi Emily. I usually just do them on 325 for about 20 minutes (if I’ve defrosted them previously). It will take a little longer if they are frozen. Jill

  • [...] I find that ‘meat’ disgusting.  But I know that kids dig chicken nuggets so I followed this recipe and made my own.  I left out the paprika and subbed italian breadcrumbs for the whole-wheat [...]

  • tiffany

    I make a similar recipe but instead of frying them, I bake them on my pizza stone in the oven. Am sure you could use a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with oil if you don’t have stone(no need for oil on pizza stone since they are typically well seasoned).

  • Just made these tonight and they were great! Almost never made it to the dinner table, because my husband kept walking by to eat them.

  • Katie

    Hi Lisa,
    I make these but use whole wheat panko crumbs and bake them in the oven: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/10/homemade-whole-wheat-panko-breadcrumbs/.
    I also marinate the chicken beforehand in a mixture of eggs, plain greek yogurt, and dijon mustard (courtesy of Ellie Krieger). The chicken comes out tender every time. I mix the breadcrumbs with sesame seeds and garlic powder, coat them and then spray them with EVOO (make sure it’s the real deal: http://truthinoliveoil.com) to give it that golden brown look. The kids gobble them up – even my 3-year old who otherwise gags on chicken. Enjoy!

  • Katie Heath

    Thank you so much for this recipe! Just made it for my kids. Looking forward to freezing some nuggets and pulling them out when we are in a hurry and need to fix something quick! I haven’t checked through all the comments, but how do you recommend freezing these?

    Katie

  • Sara

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! My husband said they were the best nuggets he ever had. Thanks for the recipe!

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