These extra crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets are baked in the oven and made with simple, healthy ingredients like panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, chicken breast, and spices. Enjoy with your favorite dips and sauces, these yummy little homemade chicken nuggets are guaranteed to win over the whole family – both kids and adults!
Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe
Let’s have a little chat about chicken nuggets, K?
Here’s the thing, I really love crispy, tender chicken nuggets. And I thought, hmm, maybe you, or your kiddos (or husband), may just feel the same way, so here I am today sharing my favorite chicken nugget recipe with you guys.
Before we get started, though, I’m going to be completely honest with you- these are not going to taste the same as McDonald’s or Chick-fil-A nuggets (actually, I don’t know about that last one, I’ve never tried them), but regardless, they’re delicious.
My kiddo, the most opinionated and vocal picky eater I’ve ever known devoured his “6-piece homemade chicken nuggets” the first time I made them and asked for seconds!
Reasons to ditch fast food nuggets for these homemade ones:
- They’re healthier – obviously
- and made with ingredients you recognize (like whole chunks of chicken breast meat)
- Easily modify to make gluten-free and dairy-free
- Less expensive – for real, though, McDonald’s Meals are like $10 these days
Looking for something a little more bite-sized? Check out my skinny baked chicken poppers.
- Chicken breast
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Regular breadcrumbs
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning
- Salt + Black pepper
- Parmesan cheese
Now, one (very) beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can simplify it so that all you need is one kind of breadcrumb (I’d use Panko – better crisp), ditch the parmesan to make it dairy-free, and add as few, or as many, herbs and spices as you’d like.
Since I love most chicken nuggets, I usually think about my 6-year-old whenever I make this recipe. You know, what will he actually eat. Or, what will actually qualify as a meal fit for the whole family (aka one that is exempt from special orders).
- To make dairy-free chicken nuggets – omit the parmesan cheese and add an additional 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs instead. I also recommend adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt to make up for the lack of salty cheese.
- For gluten-free nuggets – use your favorite gluten-free breadcrumbs or make your own homemade gluten-free breadcrumbs from your favorite gluten-free bread.
How to Make the Best Chicken Nuggets
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and set a large wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. If you don’t have a wire rack, simply line your baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
Note: Using a wire rack results in crispier chicken nuggets.
2. Grab another large rimmed baking sheet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and regular breadcrumbs and carefully mix to combine. Spread in an even layer (tap or wiggle the baking sheet if needed to help smooth out the surface). Transfer to your preheated oven and bake for approximately 3 minutes, or until golden brown and toasted.
3. Remove from the oven and add the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix to combine then set aside to cool.
Once the breadcrumb mixture has cooled, mix in the grated parmesan cheese.
4. Meanwhile, chop your boneless skinless chicken breasts into cubes approximately 1-inch thick and whisk together the eggs (with a pinch of salt and pepper) in a medium bowl.
5. Dip approximately half of the chicken pieces into the beaten egg mixture, then transfer the chicken pieces to the panko mixture, removing as much excess egg as possible. Gently dredge to coat so that the entire surface and sides of the chicken pieces are covered in the panko mixture.
6. Transfer chicken pieces to your prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
7. Transfer chicken to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the center registers 165 degrees F as read with a digital meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and serve with all your favorite dips and sauces.
How to Serve Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets are delicious served alone, straight from the oven (careful, they’re hot!), but here are a few delicious sides and dipping sauce recipes to make it a complete meal.
- Classics like ketchup and bbq sauce
- Best Ever Creamy Homemade Ranch Dressing or Honey Mustard Sauce
- Sweet Potato Fries. Baked Sweet Potatoes, or Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes
- Cucumber Salad or Easy Tomato Salad
More Chicken Breast Recipes,
If you try making this easy baked chicken nugget recipe, please leave a comment and let me know how it went! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback!
Baked Chicken Nuggets
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup regular breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large eggs - whisked
- ¾ cup parmesan cheese - grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Set a large wire rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Grab a second, large rimmed baking sheet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and regular breadcrumbs to the baking sheet and carefully mix to combine. Spread in an even layer (tap or wiggle the baking sheet if needed to help smooth out the surface). Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for approximately 3 minutes, or until golden and toasted.
- Remove from the oven and add the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Mix to combine then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, if you haven't done so already, chop your chicken breasts into cubes approximately 1-inch thick.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Once the toasted breadcrumbs have cooled, mix in the grated parmesan cheese.
- Dip approximately half of the chicken pieces into the egg, then transfer the chicken pieces to the panko mixture, removing as much excess egg as possible. Gently toss to coat so that the entire surface and sides of the chicken are covered in the panko mixture.
- Transfer chicken pieces to your prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Transfer chicken to the oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until the center registers 165 degrees F as read with a digital meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and serve with all your favorite dips and sauces.
- Feel free to substitute the regular breadcrumbs for additional panko breadcrumbs
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free panko breadcrumbs - you may need to process them in a food processor to get them nice and small if the crumbs are too big or heavy to stick
- Make your chicken nuggets dairy-free by omitting the grated parmesan cheese
- These chicken nuggets can be made in the air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook your nuggets in batches. Cook them at 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown and 165 degrees F as read by a digital meat thermometer. Place them in a single layer - do not overcrowd your air fryer basket.
- Reheat leftover chicken nuggets in the microwave at 30-second intervals or in a preheated oven (400 degrees F) until heated through and breading is crispy.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)