Baked Chicken Nuggets

5 from 18 votes

These crispy oven-baked chicken nuggets are dredged in seasoned panko bread crumbs, are easy to make, and taste amazing.

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Learn how to make crispy, oven-baked chicken nuggets from scratch, perfect for kids and adults alike. These panko-crusted chicken nuggets come out juicy and tender on the inside, with the most amazing crunch on the outside. You can’t just eat a couple!

Chicken nuggets on plate with ketchup in a small pinch bowl.

Making chicken nuggets from scratch is a lot easier than you might think! In this recipe, I will show you how to make delicious baked chicken nuggets at home using just a few simple ingredients. This recipe calls for chicken breast and panko bread crumbs, but you can get creative and add your own favorite seasonings to the mix. These homemade chicken nuggets are perfect for a quick and easy meal any time of day!

why you’ll love these crispy baked chicken nuggets

  • Easy to make. Don’t let the number of steps fool you; this recipe is actually quite simple and straightforward.
  • Uses common ingredients. No need for any fancy or hard-to-find ingredients here!
  • Baked, not fried. These chicken nuggets are baked in the oven until golden brown and crispy, making them a healthier option than their fried counterparts.
  • Kid-friendly. Chicken nuggets are always a hit with the kids, and these baked ones are no exception.
  • No added fillers or chemicals. These chicken nuggets are made with just chicken breast, panko bread crumbs, and a few pantry items, so you can be sure they’re free of any added fillers or chemicals.

Ingredients to make homemade chicken nuggets

  • Chicken breast: I like to use chicken breast to make chicken nuggets, but if you prefer dark meat, you can use boneless thighs for your nuggets.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: I highly recommend you use the on-brand panko breadcrumbs for this recipe. They provide the best crust and toast really well.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil helps the panko brown and gives it a nice flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: Used as a binding agent and helps the panko crust stick to the chicken nuggets.
  • Breading seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper add flavor to the breading.
  • Egg: The egg helps the breading stick to the chicken.
Ingredients for recipe before being prepared in and individual bowls: 2 eggs, oil, flour, chicken breast, breadcrumbs, and seasoning.

How to make baked chicken nuggets with panko

Remember – even though it looks like a lot of steps, this recipe is actually quite easy to follow. Toasting the panko is well worth it in the end!

Toast Breadcrumbs

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the panko breadcrumbs with olive oil. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bake until golden-brown and crisp, stirring frequently.
2 image collage of breadcrumbs on a parchment lined baking sheet before and after being toasted in the oven.

Add Seasoning

  1. Transfer the toasted breadcrumbs to a large bowl add in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika.
  2. Gently stir the seasonings in with the breadcrumbs until evenly distributed.
2 image collage of toasted breadcrumbs with seasoning being mixed in with a fork.

Dredge chicken

  1. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour…
  2. Then dip in the egg…
  3. Then roll in the seasoned breadcrumbs.
  4. Press gently to encourage the panko to stick to the chicken as much as possible.
4 image collage dredging chicken in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs.

Bake

  1. Transfer the breaded chicken pieces to the oiled baking rack.
  2. Bake until crisp and cooked through.
Collage of breaded chicken pieces on a cookie rack and baking sheet before and after being baked.

Tips for making oven-baked chicken nuggets

  1. Grind the panko breadcrumbs to make them finer. Sometimes panko breadcrumbs can be quite thick, which looks different for kids as compared to store-bought chicken nuggets. I find that pulsing the breadcrumbs in a food processor makes them adhere better to the coating and look more appetizing.
  2. Don’t forget to use the wire rack with the baking sheet. This helps the air circulate and prevents the chicken nuggets from getting soggy on the bottom. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can also place the chicken nuggets on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  3. Pound the chicken. If you have time, I recommend pounding the chicken breast to an even thickness before cutting into nuggets. This helps the chicken cook evenly and prevents it from drying out during baking.

popular substitutions & additions

  • Spice it up. These nuggets taste delicious as they are (and they’re great for kids!) but feel free to add or change up the seasoning in the breadcrumbs according to your preference. You could try adding dried thyme, oregano, or even some more paprika for a little extra kick.
  • Get saucy. Everyone loves dipping chicken nuggets in ketchup or mustard, but why stop there? Get creative and mix up a special dipping sauce, like the spicy mayo from my cucumber sushi rolls or easy honey mustard sauce from my pecan-crusted chicken.
  • Marinate the chicken. If you have the time, marinating the chicken in some buttermilk or yogurt for 30 minutes to an hour will help to tenderize it and give it even more flavor.
  • Try it with other proteins. This breading would be delicious on shrimp, fish, or even tofu!
Close up shot of half of a plate of chicken nuggets with one cut open to show the inside of the chicken nugget.

what to serve with your chicken nuggets

how to store & reheat homemade chicken nuggets

These chicken nuggets are best served fresh, but they can be stored in the fridge if you have any leftovers.

Reheat them in a 350F oven until warmed through. You can microwave them, but they won’t crisp back up if you heat them in the microwave.

how long will chicken nuggets last in the fridge?

Cooked chicken nuggets will last in the fridge for up to four days.

can i freeze chicken nuggets?

You can freeze the nuggets after they’ve baked. In fact, this is a great option for meal prep!

To freeze, let them cool completely and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the name and date, then place in the freezer for up to three months.

When you’re ready to eat, let the chicken nuggets thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. You can reheat them from frozen, but they will take a bit longer to cook through.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make these chicken nuggets without panko bread crumbs?

You can, but the texture will be different. Panko breadcrumbs are light and airy, which helps them get nice and crispy in the oven. You could try using regular breadcrumbs, or even crushed-up cereal flakes like cornflakes or Rice Krispies. Just keep in mind that the nuggets may not get as crispy without the panko.

How can I tell if the chicken nuggets are cooked through?

The best way to tell if chicken (or any meat) is cooked through is to use a digital food thermometer. Chicken is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

Are baked chicken nuggets really healthier than fried?

That depends on how you define healthy. Baked chicken nuggets are certainly lower in fat than fried chicken nuggets, but they’re not necessarily healthier overall due to the flour and breadcrumbs. They are certainly more healthy than most store-bought nuggets that are full of fillers.

Baked chicken nugget being dunked into a small bowl of ketchup in the middle of a plate full of more chicken.

Baked chicken nuggets are a healthier alternative to frozen chicken nuggets. They are lower in fat, and taste delicious. You can spice them up with your favorite seasonings, or serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. These nuggets are perfect for kids and adults alike. So, next time you’re in the mood for some chicken nuggets, try baking them instead of frying them! You won’t be disappointed.

More kid-friendly chicken recipes:

If you try this feel good Baked Chicken Nuggets recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Baked Chicken Nuggets

These crispy oven-baked chicken nuggets are dredged in seasoned panko bread crumbs, are easy to make, and taste amazing.
5 from 18 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Entree, lunch
Calories 290
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the panko breadcrumbs with the olive oil. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden-brown and crisp, 4-5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl and stir in the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and paprika, if using.
  • Place a large baking rack on top of the rimmed baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add flour to a medium sized bowl. In another medium bowl, beat eggs together until combined.
  • One at a time, dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip in the egg. Shake off the excess egg, then roll in the seasoned breadcrumbs, pressing gently to encourage them to stick to the chicken as much as possible. Transfer the breaded chicken pieces to the oiled baking rack.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and cooked through (a thermometer should read 165°F). Serve immediately.

Notes

Tip: Pound your chicken breast out to make it even for baking. This helps take the guesswork out of making sure each nugget is cooked with the thermometer. 

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 127mg, Sodium: 553mg, Potassium: 487mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 154IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Chicken nuggets on plate with ketchup in a small pinch bowl.

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Comments

  1. Hello! I’m loving your blog and all the recipes I’ve tried this far, by you. They’re simply amazing and have helped so much with health fast eating.

    I have young toddlers that are just transitioning into eating chicken nuggets. However they’re not that great for them, but they’re soft enough for to eat and not thick like a chicken strip. So this recipe is great!

    My question is:
    Can I thin the chicken breast out for them by using a mallet? Also, can I make this in advance to freeze the nuggets (like you get in the grocery store) and bake as I go, and if so, how? Thank you so so much!

    1. Thank you so much! That makes me so happy to hear! You can thin the chicken breast, but it may require you to adjust the cook time, so it doesn’t overcook. You can freeze the nuggets after they’ve baked. To freeze, let them cool completely and then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Label with the name and date, then place in the freezer for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, let the chicken nuggets thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating. You can reheat them from frozen, but they will take a bit longer to cook through.

    1. You’re so welcome! I am sure it will work in the air fryer, but I have yet to try that. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to give that approach a go!