Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe {video}

Have you been looking for a healthy homemade chicken nuggets recipe that compares to the texture of the frozen ones? If so, you’ve got to check this one out! Over 1  million people already have. 

My kids were always begging for frozen or fast food nuggets, but I didn’t love the list of ingredients on the manufactured nuggets. I decided to try making my own, and came up with this recipe.

These nuggets are a huge hit at my house, and I’m sure they will be at yours too. Check out how easy they are to make in this video!

This version of homemade chicken nuggets yields perfectly fresh and tasty chicken nuggets with the texture kids love from the golden arches and the freezer aisle.

It’s recipes like this and others found in our family meal plans that make mealtimes a success! With years of helping parents feed their families, we know how to recreate kid-favorite foods into wholesome fresh meals.

homemade chicken nuggets on a plate with small dish of ketchup

Comparison: Homemade Nuggets Vs Store Bought

Round 1: Contents

Our store-bought chicken nugget lunch was quite a disappointment! The first thing I noticed was how little food it contained. 4 processed nuggets, ketchup for dipping sauce, and 2 sandwich cookies. It lacked nutrition and quantity. There was no way this would keep my kids full for a whole day of school.

Our lunchbox version includes 4 fresh chicken nuggets (homemade-recipe below), dipping sauce (barbecue sauce or homemade ketchup), and 2 sandwich cookies. In addition, ours has the fruit & vegetable servings missing from the boxed lunch; crunchy carrot stick “fries” and homemade strawberry fruit leather. Our lunch includes more food groups and it’s more filling!

Round 2: Nutrition
Nutritionally, the chicken nugget portions size is similar… though our homemade ones do have almost 40% more protein – my guess is probably because they contain real chicken and less filler. Our homemade nuggets also have less sodium than the processed and even less depending on your seasonings. With the boxed lunch, you get sodium, preservatives, nitrates…

Round 3: Appeal
The boxed lunch may come in a colorful package, but out of the box, we all know it’s not nearly as cute. Thankfully you can pack your own colorful chicken nugget lunch, using our family’s favorite EasyLunchboxes. I also always try to include colorful fruits and veggies with their nuggets, so kids can get the extra flair from their lunch sides as well.

The winner, by freshness & appeal… the MOMables lunch!

Why Kids Love These Chicken Nuggets

This version of homemade chicken nuggets yields perfectly fresh and tasty chicken nuggets with the texture kids love from the golden arches and the freezer aisle.

There’s no denying that my kids get excited to see these chicken nuggets on the menu from time to time. It can be hard to feed our kids when you have picky eaters, but hopefully pulling these out of the freezer isn’t the norm.

Since it uses ground chicken, this recipe is perfect for picky eaters who struggle with the normal texture of cooked chicken. Kids love the texture of these nuggets because they’re soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, just like McDonald’s.

Of course, if you need a little help with your picky eater, check out our picky-eater handbook. I’d love to help you add more variety to your child’s meals.

Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

We’ve made a few ingredients swaps in order to make these chicken nuggets as healthy as possible. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Ground Chicken
  • Old Fashion Oats
  • Garlic Powder
  • Black Pepper

So we have the ingredients, but just how do you make these delicious, kid-friendly nuggets?

How to Make Chicken Nuggets

As you can see from the video above, making nuggets is easy! I’ll break it down for you step by step and you can also print the full recipe and nutrition information below.

  1. First things first, preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper OR grease it very well with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with half the grated parmesan cheese and Creole seasoning- or anything seasoning to give the nuggets a little kick!
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the chicken, oatmeal, remaining grated parmesan, remaining Creole seasoning (or other), garlic powder and pepper. Rolls your sleeves to your elbow and use a large spoon to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
  4. Scoop 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture and use your hands to shape it into a ball and flatten into 1/2-inch thickness. You can also use a cookie-cutter to create shaped nuggets by pressing the mixture into the cutter.
  5. Next, transfer the nuggets to the bread crumb mixture and give it a gentle toss to evenly coat both sides. Place the nuggets onto the baking sheet and repeat with remaining ingredients.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Remove from oven and serve with your choice of sauce.

How to Freeze Homemade Chicken Nuggets

It’s true, there’s nothing more convenient than just grabbing a few chicken nuggets from the freezer and having a lunch or dinner pulled together for the kids in a matter of seconds.

The best method for keeping homemade nuggets in the freezer is to double or triple the batch and freeze the extra baked nuggets in a large, freezer-safe bag. That way you can enjoy chicken nuggets for dinner or lunch that day, and have some for future meals.

To reheat, you can place them in the oven, so they’ll crisp up or if you need to pack a quick lunch, microwave for 20-30 seconds before packing into lunch containers. Fast & delicious!

Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Have you been looking for a healthy homemade chicken nuggets recipe that compares to that of the frozen ones? Your kids are going to love this recipe.

  • Author: MOMables
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 28 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Category: chicken
  • Cuisine: Lunch
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Creole Seasoning, divided or paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, oatmeal, half of the grated parmesan (1/8 cup), half of the Creole seasoning (or paprika), (1/2 teaspoon), garlic powder and pepper. Knead dry ingredients into ground chicken.
  3. Moisten hands to prevent sticking and form 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture into a ball. Press into a cookie cutter for shaped nuggets or flatten with fingers for a basic nugget shape.
  4. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs with remaining Creole seasoning and grated parmesan.
  5. Press nuggets into bread crumb mixture and turn over, patting crumbs into the surface to coat evenly, place on to the cookie sheet.
  6. Place nuggets onto the cookie sheet and spray them with cooking oil spray cor a crispy crust (optional).
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. Remove from oven.

Notes

These baked nuggets don’t brown but will dry out if you cook them too long. Check for doneness around minute 18.

To Freeze: freeze the breaded nuggets on a cookie sheet, then transfer them to an airtight bag or container and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake as few or as many as you like for up to 3 months. Add about 3-5 minutes to your usual cooking time if baking from frozen.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 261
  • Sugar: 1.3g
  • Sodium: 215.7mg
  • Fat: 10.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.4g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Protein: 22.9g
  • Cholesterol: 96.3mg

Keywords: easy nuggets, homemade nuggets, chicken nuggets

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About MOMables - Laura

Mom to 3 awesome people and MOMables CEO. I work hard in my kitchen so you don't have to. I'm obsessed with tacos and coffee -not always in that order.