Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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!

homemade chicken nuggets
Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Easy and delicious! You can make a whole batch at once to enjoy right then, or freeze in wax paper to save for another day.
4.9 from 29 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 4

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Chop the chicken into small chunks and sprinkle them with salt and pepper (if desired).
  • Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  • In another shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder with a fork.
  • 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.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the nuggets to a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess oil.
  • Serve with organic ketchup or homemade honey mustard sauce (equal parts honey, mustard, and mayo).
    And don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!

Notes

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 119mg40%
Sodium 387mg17%
Potassium 435mg12%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 6.8mg8%
Calcium 81mg8%
Iron 2.6mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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296 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Nuggets”

    1. Lisa’s girls don’t mind eating them cold/room temperature. You could heat them up and store in a thermos to keep them warm, or just in a regular container.

  1. I have never had luck with “frying” in a skillet. Can you drizzle with olive oil and cook these in an air fryer instead of skillet?

    1. Hi Heather. We haven’t tried them in the air fryer yet, but as someone who uses it regularly, I’d say there’s a good chance this could work. – Nicole

  2. These are great when you mix in panic breadcrumbs! My kids only like these chicken nuggets! #worthwork #seeyafastfoodrestaurants #workingonthefries

  3. joan44ca18@yahoo.ca

    obviously i’m interested in many of these recipes … but i’m also wondering what the nutritional value is in the meals. Do you have this information for these recipes ?

  4. If you have frozen the chicken nuggets, how do you reheat them? In the oven at the same temperature or can you do it in the microwave? If so, how long for the oven or microwave?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. I typically thaw them overnight in the fridge. You can reheat in either place. In the oven, I cover with tin foil until heated through. The microwave will depend on its power and how many you are reheating. I typically put them on a plate, cover with a paper towel and heat for about a minute.

  5. 5 stars
    Me and my dad love making these chicken nuggets at home! They are so easy to make and soooo yummy!! My dad likes to make these with baked potatoes.

  6. 5 stars
    I made these with our 4 yr old granddaughter recently. Grandpa cut up the chicken. I had the bowls set up for dipping and breading. Tried explaining the wet hand, dry hand method to granddaughter, but she had other ideas and just used both her hands to dip and bread. It was kind of a mess, but decided to just go with it. They turned out wonderful and Kaitlyn was so thrilled to have helped make them. Thanks for a great recipe!

  7. 4 stars
    Made this again last night ! Everyone loved it. Served with frozen vegetable medley and applesauce. Left out the cheese again – baked at 400 degrees for 12 minutes on each side (24 minutes total).

  8. 5 stars
    Came out wonderful all 12 kids and 4 adults loved them, left out the cheese. Baked at 400* for 25 minutes, on a greased cookie sheet turned halfway. used 6 eggs and 6lbs chicken.

  9. When serving these as a lunch item in the lunch box. Does a ice block help keep them cold enough to be eaten mid day? Just want to make sure I don’t make the little ones sick. :)

  10. Do you think these could be baked instead? I would love to make a batch for my 1 year old and freeze them. Thoughts on baking temp and times?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. From a reader above: “I but them on a broiler pan and spray them lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 mins. Jusiy on the inside and crispy on outside!”

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Janet. I’ve had varied degrees of success with flax or chia egg substitute but eggs are difficult to replace as a binder. ;)

  11. I made these today and they were delicious! We didn’t have Parmesan or garlic powder, so I very finely grated cheddar & fried them in oil with crushed garlic which worked well!

    1. I but them on a broiler pan and spray them lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 mins. Jusiy on the inside and crispy on outside!

  12. Hi! If I put them in freezer, how long will it last? I’d like to make them ahead and freeze them so that I can just reheat for a quick meal. Thanks!

  13. 5 stars
    Love these! I make them for my family often… They’ve become a staple for us. :) Just a comment… I generally will use two eggs instead of one. It simply allows me to have plenty of liquid base without running out.

      1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

        Hi. I thaw and reheat at 400 until heated through in a covered glass casserole dish.

  14. I’d like to try this recipe but bake them instead. Can you provide a for a recommendation for temp and time in the oven? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. I’ve used nutritional yeast and the flavor is similar. It is a rule bender ingredient, however. :)

  15. I made these tonight for the first time for a very picky crowd. It was a smashing success! I fried the chicken and then I had to finish it in the oven, but it was still extremely moist and the best part is that my very picky daughter ate them, my not picky son ate them and my semi picky husband requested that I make them again!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. I choose avocado or coconut oil. Olive oil works well, too since we aren’t cooking at a high heat.

  16. Just a note to make breading even easier and less messy, put the breadcrumb mixture in a plastic bag or other container with a tight lid. Coat chicken with egg then put into baggie and shake until covered. You can do more at once this way and it’s way cleaner!
    Also I have frozen them before cooking and they are still good, the breading falls off a little easier though. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  17. Please, more recipes without egg! My son is allergic and I would like to use some of these recipes but lots of them gave egg. It is a far more common allergy than what you would expect. E.g nuggets, banana muffins, vegetable muffins etc.

    1. Have you tried using applesauce as an egg replacement in baked goods, like muffins, etc? My daughter has a good friend who is allergic to eggs too, so I have tried to accommodate it. We really like using the applesauce because everything tastes very moist. Had great success with cupcakes and muffins.

  18. 4 stars
    These nuggets had a great flavor, but they stuck to my pan and I lost a lot of the breading. I’ll try baking these next time as others have suggested.

  19. 5 stars
    I made these last night and they were a big hit with my family…there weren’t any leftovers! I don’t do dairy, so I substituted the parmesan cheese with about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  20. 5 stars
    I just made this for my family and they went wild over it. They kept telling me how good it was. I made the chicken nuggets with “french fries” using your Homemade Dried Onion Soup Mix and olive oil. And I also made steamed organic green beans with almond slivers and lemon butter sauce.

    I just bought your book and working on changing the family’s eating habits. Thank you so much for all your research and forging the way for us to healthfully follow in your footsteps.

  21. 5 stars
    Hi, I’ve made quite a few recipes from this site and they’ve been delicious. This one won over my family. I was eating it as I was cooking it, my husband ate it when he came home. I managed to save a few nuggets for my son after school. I made it just like the recipe other than doing two eggs because our chickens lay small ones. Thank you! ~Tia

  22. Thank you for this recipe. I was curious how you reheat it. Also, how long have you stored them? I’m trying to fill my freezer in an attempt to help simplify my families life. Best wishes for you.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lindsay. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and heat through in the oven or toaster oven. ~Amy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jessie. I use almond meal as a “breading” for fish all the time. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work here, too. :)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jen. I usually thaw them overnight, cover or wrap them in foil and bake them at 350-375 until heated through(7-10 minutes) in an oven or toaster oven. ~Amy

  23. 5 stars
    Awesome receipe and so simple.Been telling my daughters family and allmy friends on the facebook about the dangers of the Nuggets since couple. Of years at the time Ifound out from a meat packer friend. Got positive feedback from all.

  24. I use this same recipe minus the paprika as my boyfriend has an allergy to it. I also bake not fry….I try not to add oils where they aren’t needed.

  25. Hi There,

    I am allergic to egg and I see you use a lot of egg in your recipes and menu options. Can you recommend a good substitute? Also if I am making chicken nuggets can I use yogurt to coat instead of the egg?

    Thanks
    KarenC

  26. I have a recipe that uses tapioca flour and avocado oil for frying. They turn out crispy without the heavy breading. Kids love them.

  27. 5 stars
    I use a very similar recipe all the time. It is great. And healthy. Instead of egg, I dunk the chicken in buttermilk. Also, I bake them in the oven, rather than fry.
    Kelleys, you can leave the cheese out or substitute with a little grated cheddar.

  28. Hi there, this is a great recipe, but I wondered if there was a substitute for the parmesan cheese, for those who cannot eat it?

  29. My daughter is allergic to eggs. Any suggestions for a substitute that will work for breading? I’ve tried buttermilk for other similar recipes with mixed results.

  30. These look so good! I am having a hard time finding good chicken they isn’t insanely expensive. Any tips?! Thank you! Love your

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Christina. It is true that you will pay more for organic and pastured chickens. There is not really a way around that but you can search for the best price. What we’ve done is focus more on the quality of the animal products we consume but eat less of them. ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Sumer. I thaw them overnight and then reheat them in the microwave or in the oven covered at 350 for about 12 minutes. ~Amy

  31. I just made these for the first time, for my very picky toddler. BIG HIT (with the entire family)! They are AMAZING! Thank you!

  32. 5 stars
    I bake and they turn out great! I use a Misto to mist coat with olive oil. bake 350* for 15-20 mins turning over once midway. I also freeze cooked nuggets in portion size for my 2yo and take out as needed.

  33. Hi! I’d love to try these they look amazing! How long would you say the frozen ones will be good? I definitely want to make a bunch and freeze some to have on lazy nights instead of buying the unhealthy bags at the store.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Cara. I try to rotate things out by three months but they would be fine up to 6. :)

  34. 5 stars
    Made these tonite, my kids devoured them and asked me to put on the “make again list” :) My husband and I agreed! Thanks for the recipe!

  35. I just made a double batch and froze half. My picky 6 year old eats them hot or cold dipped in honey. My husband travels daily and takes them on the road with him. I have cut them up and put them in pasta salad. They are a great alternative to all the precooked packaged chicken out there. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. 5 stars
    I didn’t have paprika so added cayenne pepper instead into the breadcrumbs with a little salt, and I forgot to add the cheese but they came out absolutely delicious anyway, and served with a green salad… a huge hit with the family!

    There were no left overs in our house (2 adults and 3 teens)and everyone asked if there were more, so I will to increase the quantity next time, and I will try them in the oven as per other comments left here.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Zandra. Thaw them overnight and reheat them through in the oven, toaster oven, or microwave. ~Amy

  37. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! I made these tonight for dinner and they were a HIT!!!
    I went ahead and added salt and pepper to the dry bowl and left out the parmesan-didn’t want to take the extra 3 minutes it would have taken to grate some ;)
    Baked at 400 degrees for 20 mins and they came out crispy and perfect with such a yummy flavor!
    Thanks for the recipe!!!

  38. 5 stars
    I’m a super noob at this, so I just wanted to leave extra advice if there are other noobs like me :)

    And now that I’m here, I realize maybe the advice would have been in the other pages of comments. Oh well.

    1) it could just be my over, so…I baked my nuggets at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. I found that my bigger pieces dried out, while my smaller ones are just perfectly. Next time I won’t be so lazy and I’ll cut those bigger pieces down.

    2) I made a big batch for freezing, so I doubled the recipe. Just for messiness’ sake, next time I’ll mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl–and then in another bowl pour iit for dipping as needed. Even if I was careful at making sure there wasn’t too much egg getting into my dry bowl, by the end of my 4 lbs of chicken, my dry bowl was gross. Haha

    The recipe itself tasted great! Will do it again. And for personal preference, I will add some cayenne for a kick.

  39. I’ve made these delicious nuggets several times, and my family lives them! The only problem I have is with them sticking to the pan. Has anyone else had this problem? Any tips?

  40. Just made this for dinner tonight! Came out great! I forget to salt and pepper the chicken for the first batch and I have to say it made a big difference taste wise. I used whole wheat panko crumbs and some whole wheat matza meal. I was out of Parmesan so I just omitted them.

    Oil question. Is organic expeller pressed canola oil too processed??

  41. I can’t wait to try these…2014 is the year I’m starting my family to eat REAL FOOD! I tried the baked beans & whole wheat mac & cheese and they were AMAZING! I’m so glad a found this site!!!

  42. what temperature would I bake these at if I didn’t cut up the chicken and kept it once piece? is it still 400 degrees for 20 minutes?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Tianda. No, you would need to cook whole breasts longer. I’d say 30 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink in the middle. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast to be sure. ~Amy

  43. 5 stars
    Our family is making the transition to eating real foods. I was worried my oldest daughter would not like these as much as the fast food versions, but she LOVES them, and we have made them 3 times since by her request. REAL is BETTER!

  44. Hi – loved this recipe but I have a question: can you pre-make a batch of the breading (with the parmesan cheese, etc.)and store it for later use? If so, how would you store and for how long? Thank you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there, Michelle. That is not something we have done so i can only guess. I think do it would work. I would store it in the fridge and use it within a few days. ~Amy

    2. I freeze all of the heels from our sandwich bread and will throw them in the food processor with parmesan parsley and spices. I love my homemade bread crumbs and they keep very well in the freezer!

  45. 5 stars
    After telling my teenage daughter how they really make McDonald’s chicken nuggets, I found this recipe. Both my kids loved it! I have to make extras so we can have leftovers!!!

  46. I had two pans, I flipped one of them but not the other, to see if it made a difference. There wasn’t much of a difference in taste, but the ones I didn’t flip were just slightly more stuck to the pan when done. :)

  47. 5 stars
    Made these specifically to freeze for my little kids lunches after I have the baby in a few weeks. I baked at 400 for 25 min. Kids sampled them when done and wanted to eat them all! I used 3 chicken breasts and the called for amount of breadcrumb mix, and it almost covered it. I needed another half cup of coating. It ended up making 65 bite size pieces. Will definitely make again! So easy!

  48. Just fried these up in coconut oil – my daughter is having a hard time with the transition to green light type foods. She’s very picky and has a hard time with texture too. She tried these right outta the pan and loves them! Thanks

  49. I love that you always give healthy options! Esepcially kid friendly. Can you tell me what kind of cooking oil you recommend for this recipe? We use primarily coconut oil and olive oil. Would coconut oil work?

  50. I haven’t tried making breadcrumbs yet, but typically I use oatbran when something calls for breadcrumbs and it works great!

  51. Have copeied and save this recipe to make when my grandkids come to visit. (Or I just make some for myself!) I also grind my own raw chicken, turkey, beef and pork to make recipes using ground meats. I just don’t trust what may be in already ground meat in grocery stores. The grinder attachment to my KitchenAid mixer does this job effortlessly.

  52. Hi! I’m just curious how long these will stay “good” in the freezer? I am loving this site & so is my family – what a fantastic resource!! Thank you!

  53. Looking for more lunchbox ideas. Could these be frozen and then heated up and sent to school in an insulated thermos?? Thanks;)

  54. 5 stars
    I double the recipe, and had TONS of breadcrumbs leftover. Then, since I had more chicken, I did another 2 lbs in the same breading, and still had lots of breadcrumbs leftover…?

    For those wanting to bake them – I baked them for 20 minutes at 400F.

    I’m going to throw the extras in the freezer. Do you have reheating instructions (oven, not microwave, please)?

    Oh, and since I didn’t have garlic powder, I used onion powder.

  55. 5 stars
    I took the suggestion to put the chicken greats in the food processor first. I left out the cheese because I am currently out. Absolutely perfect! My 10 month old and 3 year yr old will scarf these down!

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