Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Baked Chicken Nuggets. These are crisp on the outside and juicy inside. Freezer Friendly! @natashaskitchen

My son is a chicken nuggets lover. Admittedly, so am I. 😉 There’s something so nostalgic about dunking a crisp and juicy chicken nugget into buttermilk ranch, or good ‘ol fashioned ketchup. There is, however nothing great about store-bought nuggets. When a box says “made with real chicken breast meat.” Does that mean some are made with fake chicken breast meat? And what else exactly goes into those nuggets?

All of those scientific sounding ingredients must be ok since they’re all approved by the FDA, right? Hmmm… I can tell you exactly what’s in these babies and why I feel good giving them to my babies.

I’ve been working on developing a homemade version of chicken nuggets for some time. I’ve tested countless recipes and, ladies and gents, we have arrived! These are beautifully golden without having to pre-bake the crumbs.

They are low fat, tender and juicy. Did I mention they are real easy to make and you don’t need a meat grinder? Read on to enter the great giveaway from Cuisinart!

Baked Chicken Nuggets. These are crisp on the outside and juicy inside. Freezer Friendly! @natashaskitchen

Ingredients for Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Tbsp potato flakes (Found natural flakes at Fred Meyer)
1/3 cup cold water
1 tsp garlic salt (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder + 1/2 tsp salt)
1/8 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup finely crushed corn flakes (from 2 1/2 cups cereal)*
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Baked Chicken Nuggets

*Note: You can use 3/4 cup panko crumbs instead of corn flakes. To get the panko crumbs golden, spray nuggets with cooking spray before baking and bake for 13 min then broil nuggets additional 2 minutes to give them a golden glow.

How to Make Chicken Nuggets:

Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Baked Chicken Nuggets-2

1. Pulse 2 1/2 cups corn flakes in a Food Processor until fine crumbs form (or take a rolling pin to them in a large zip-loc bag). In a shallow bowl, stir together 3/4 cup crumbs and 1/4 cup grated parmesan

Baked Chicken Nuggets-6Baked Chicken Nuggets-8

2. In the bowl of your clean food processor, combine 1 lb chicken pieces, 1 Tbsp potato flakes, 1/3 cup water, 1 tsp garlic salt, and 1/8 tsp black pepper. Pulse until chicken is finely chopped. P.S. if you don’t have a food processor, by all means, use a meat grinder with the small grinding disk.

Baked Chicken Nuggets-7 

3. With wet hands, roll and flatten chicken into small nugget patties (using about 1 Tbsp of the meat mixture for each nugget). Roll the nugget into bread crumbs, pressing gently for crumbs to adhere.

Baked Chicken Nuggets-9Baked Chicken Nuggets-3

Freezing Tip: You can freeze them once they are breaded; freeze them flat for 1 hour, then transfer to ziploc bags and store up to 3 months. When ready to bake them, bake frozen nuggets as directed in the next steps.

4. Transfer nuggets to lined baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 15 min on the middle rack or just until cooked through, flipping them over half way through baking. Remove from oven and let nuggets rest a few minutes before serving. P.S. Don’t over-bake your nuggets or they will start to get dry.

Baked Chicken Nuggets. These are crisp on the outside and juicy inside. Freezer Friendly! @natashaskitchenBaked Chicken Nuggets. These are crisp on the outside and juicy inside. Freezer Friendly! @natashaskitchen

Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe

4.8 from 82 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: $6-$8
Serving: 20-24 nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tbsp potato flakes (found these at FredMeyer)
  • ⅓ cup cold water
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (or ½ tsp garlic powder + ½ tsp salt)
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ¾ cup finely crushed corn flakes from 2½ cups cereal*
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

How to Make Chicken Nuggets: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Pulse 2½ cups corn flakes in a food processor until fine crumbs form (or take a rolling pin to them in a large zip-loc bag). In a shallow bowl, stir together ¾ cup crumbs and ¼ cup finely grated parmesan.
  2. In the bowl of your clean food processor, combine 1 lb chicken pieces, 1 Tbsp potato flakes, ⅓ cup water, 1 tsp garlic salt, and ⅛ tsp black pepper. Pulse until chicken is finely chopped. P.S. if you don't have a food processor, by all means, use a meat grinder with the small grinding disk.
  3. With wet hands, roll and flatten chicken into small nugget patties, using about 1 Tbsp of the meat mixture for each nugget. Roll the nugget into bread crumbs, pressing gently for crumbs to adhere. (Freezing Tip: You can freeze them once they are breaded; freeze them flat for 1 hour, then transfer to ziploc bags and store up to 3 months. When ready to bake them, bake frozen nuggets as directed in step 4).
  4. Transfer nuggets to lined baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 15 min on the middle rack or just until cooked through, flipping them over half way through baking. Remove from oven and let nuggets rest a few minutes before serving. P.S. Don't over-bake your nuggets or they will start to get dry.

Notes

*You can use ¾ cup panko crumbs instead of corn flakes. To get the panko crumbs golden, spray nuggets with cooking spray before baking and bake for 13 min then broil nuggets additional 2 minutes to give them a golden glow.

Final Final Picmonkey Hashtag bannerBaked Chicken Nuggets. These are crisp on the outside and juicy inside. Freezer Friendly! @natashaskitchen


The Giveaway (Closed)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, and this month marking our 5th Blogoversary, I wanted to do something special. One of you will win this Cuisinart Convection Toaster Oven (Retail Value: $259). Perdy ain’t it. And this photo is the actual small appliance that sits atop our counter, not a stock pic. My hubby took and edited the photo; he’s got skills and patience (lots of both!)

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Let me tell you a bit about why I love this small appliance:

1. It will cut down your bills – it pre-heats super quick.

2. Less micro “waves” going through your food. Do chicken nuggets taste off to you after they’ve been through a microwave? I’m convinced it does something weird to them. I’m also really skeptical about standing next to the microwave while it’s on. Call me weird, but I don’t like to be next to it. I don’t have to feel awkward next to this Cuisinart. We are tight. I can stare right into the window to see how my nuggets are doing.

3. Two words: Even. Cooking. Microwaves seem to stink in this arena and sometimes the plate gets ultra hot, while the food is still cold in the center? I conclude that a microwave cannot be trusted to cook food.

4. It’s great to have a back-up for when you need to bake multiple items for a party and your primary oven is doing the heavy lifting.

5. P.S. it comes with a pizza stone – that’s right, it’s great for pizza too!

To thank Cuisinart for generously sponsoring this giveaway, be sure to show them some Like on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

To Enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget below. If it doesn’t load right away, give it a sec or refresh the page. Thanks friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure-this giveaway is provided by Cuisinart, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that continue to make Natasha’s Kitchen possible.

Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Gisele
    October 2, 2017

    Is there anything to replace the potato flakes? Can’t find here and if there is, it’s too expensive! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 2, 2017

      Hi Gisele, the next best thing is bread crumbs. Reply

  • Celine
    September 25, 2017

    Hi there, whats the purposes of the potato flakes? Is it just to get the consistency of the nuggets’ texture? I cant find it in the shops. Is it ok for me to substitute with mashed potatoe? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 25, 2017

      Hi Celine, you might try bread crumbs instead, such as panko crumbs. Yes, the flaked potatoes help to create a great texture. Reply

  • Nat
    September 23, 2017

    I have a question about corn flakes: I’m looking and looking for corn flakes without sugar added and I couldn’t find them… Any advice? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 23, 2017

      You might be able to find them at a health food store or in the natural/organic section of grocery stores. Reply

      • Nat
        September 23, 2017

        Oh… I wish we have some of them close… It’s long way drive… Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          September 23, 2017

          You might check at a Fred Meyer if you have one in your area. I haven’t checked, but online might be a good source? Reply

          • Nat
            September 23, 2017

            Oh, we have Kroger here, I’ll check there, thank you.

  • Steph
    August 30, 2017

    I am going to try the recipe but won’t come back to her site because her “need inspiration” ad won’t close no matter how many times you click it. I don’t like being bullied into liking or subscribing things. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 30, 2017

      Hi Steph, I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble with that – it’s definitely not normal for that to happen!! Is it the little popup in the right corner that goes to Pinterest or is it an ad? I would love to get that fixed asap because reader experience is really important to us! Reply

  • August 5, 2017

    These are insanely good – made even better by the fact that they do not tote an ingredient list that adds up to a paragraph 30 lines long!! My daughter, aged 15, still loves chicken nuggets, but due to family food sensitivities, I have been looking for better ways to feed her – as in less chemicals & more nutrition.
    Totally awesome recipe!! I am definitely telling a friend of mine with 2 small children about your website! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 6, 2017

      I am so happy to hear that!! Thank you for sharing your amazing review 🙂 Reply

  • Alina
    July 14, 2017

    Hi! Your recipe is amazing! But i was thinking ..do you think it s a good idea to boil the meat a little bit with spices before put it in the food processor so there will not be any problem with the moisture from chicken meat? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 15, 2017

      Hi Alina, I don’t know if they will hold together properly if they are boiled and they might be dry if you boil and then bake. Reply

  • Katrina
    March 14, 2017

    Hey Natasha, made these and they turned out super delicious! However, I had a problem flipping the nuggets over halfway through baking as the “breading” became too soft from all the moisture in the chicken and started sticking to the baking sheet. Any advice on how to avoid that? Or maybe ideas on what I could have done wrong? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 14, 2017

      You might try using a nonstick surface such as Silpat or parchment paper. I hope that helps! Reply

  • Mary Allen
    February 17, 2017

    can u freeze after preparing for another time to cook? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 17, 2017

      Hi Mary, I think that would work, but they would be more dry since you will essentially be cooking them twice. This is why I prefer to freeze them before they are baked. Reply

  • Amanda H.
    January 29, 2017

    Hi! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this! Can you pre cook then freeze? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 29, 2017

      Hi Amanda, I think that would work, but they would be more dry since you will basically be cooking them twice. Reply

  • Danica
    January 24, 2017

    Can I use a mixture of dark and white meat? Or would that change the flavour drastically? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 24, 2017

      I think that would work great! I love dark meat chicken. I bet they would be even more tender and flavorful 🙂 Reply

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