How to Make Chicken Nuggets From Scratch

You can make a tastier, healthier, and cheaper version at home

homemade chicken nuggets
Homemade Chicken Nuggets. Erin Huffstetler

Homemade chicken nuggets are much healthier and tastier than frozen or fast-food chicken nuggets, and they're a cinch to make, too. For example, one ounce of chicken nuggets from a popular fast food eatery contains 84 calories, 57 grams of fat, and 11 grams of carbohydrates. If you make them at home, you're only eating 49 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 4 grams of carbohydrates for each ounce. If you're ready to put homemade chicken nuggets to the taste test, read on to learn how you...MORE can quickly make them in the comfort of your home.

  • 01 of 05

    Gather the Ingredients

    chicken nugget ingredients
    Chicken Nugget Ingredients. Erin Huffstetler

    For this recipe, you will need:

    • 1 lb. chicken breast
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (panko or Italian)
    • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 3 tbsp. melted butter or 3 tbsp. cooking oil (your choice)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
  • 02 of 05

    Chop the Chicken

    Chop Up the Chicken
    Chop Up the Chicken. Erin Huffstetler

    Trim off any fat from the chicken breasts. Then, chop them up into nugget-sized pieces. You can cut them into chicken tenders if you prefer.

  • 03 of 05

    Prepare the Bread Crumbs

    Bread Crumbs
    Bread Crumbs. Erin Huffstetler

    Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and garlic together in a large mixing bowl. Add any other spices or seasonings that you'd like such as thyme, onion powder, paprika, or chili powder.

    Place the egg and butter (or cooking oil) in a separate mixing bowl.

  • 04 of 05

    Bread the Nuggets

    Bread the Nuggets
    Bread the Nuggets. Erin Huffstetler

    Next, lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Then, dip a nugget into the bowl with your egg and butter (or oil) mixture and allow the excess to run off. Next, dip the nugget into your breadcrumbs, and coat it completely. Place your first nugget on a cookie sheet (if baking) or a plate (if frying), and repeat with the remaining nuggets.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Bake or Fry Your Nuggets

    Homemade Chicken Nuggets
    Homemade Chicken Nuggets. Erin Huffstetler

    For Baked Nuggets: Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the nuggets are golden brown. Flip the nuggets once halfway through the process

    For Fried Nuggets: Pour an inch of cooking oil into a pan, and heat to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the nuggets in the pan and cook them until they are golden brown on one side. Flip them over, and cook the other side. Place the finished nuggets on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any grease.

    Serve the nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce, and watch them disappear.

Save time (and save for a rainy day) by doubling or tripling this recipe so that you have plenty of extra nuggets to stick in the freezer for future meals. If you cook your nuggets before you freeze them, they'll be just as convenient as store-bought nuggets. When you're ready to eat the nuggets, just pop them in the oven or microwave to warm them.

You can also save money right off the bat by making your own breadcrumbs instead of using store-bought. Try drying some bread out in the oven and pulsing it in a food processor until you reach your desired size and texture. Then, add whatever herbs or spices you'd like to flavor them. As long as you dry them out well, they'll be shelf-stable. Make a bunch, and keep them on hand for easy meal preparation.

Also, you don't need to use fresh bread. Stale bread is perfect for making breadcrumbs.