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Chicken Nuggets

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posted: 09/10/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Homemade Chicken Nuggets are simple to make at home and a million times better than your neighborhood fast food restaurant. These are such a huge hit with my kiddos, but even adults can’t resist them.

Overhead photo of chicken nuggets recipe in a basket with curly fries and a side of ketchup.

I’m not sure there is a meal that is more kid-friendly than chicken nuggets. They are pretty easy to make at home, and then you know exactly what is going in them. This recipe only takes seven ingredients, and besides the chicken, I bet most of it is already in your pantry.

My kids absolutely love this recipe. When I first made it for them, I asked them what they thought and if they were better than fast food. They unanimously said they were a million times better than takeout. They never unanimously say anything.

How to Make Chicken Nuggets

This is a brief overview of these homemade chicken nuggets. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, be sure to see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Do your very best to cut them into a uniform size. This will ensure that they cook evenly. Pat the chicken dry and lightly season it with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the breading mixture. Whisk together flour, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Set up the breading station. On the first plate, have the cut-up chicken. Next, have a shallow dish with whisked eggs. Finally, have a plate with the flour mixture.
  4. Bread the chicken. Working with a few pieces of chicken at a time, coat the chicken in the egg mixture. Then coat it in the flour mixture. Repeat with the eggs and then the flour. Set the chicken aside and allow it to rest for five minutes.
  5. Fry the chicken nuggets. Bring vegetable oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit over medium heat. Work in batches to fry the chicken, about three minutes on each side. See below for my tips and tricks on frying.
Photo of person's hand dipping a chicken nugget into ketchup. Curly fries on the counter beside the ketchup.

Tips and Tricks for Frying Chicken Nuggets

  • Make sure the oil is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to do this is with an instant read thermometer. If that is not available, test the oil with one nugget. It should bubble immediately when you drop it in the oil (this tells you it is hot enough) and it should not burn the nugget in the six minutes it takes to cook (this tells you it is not too hot).
  • Don’t overcrowd the pan. This is a really common mistake when frying food. If you add too much to the pan at once, the temperature of the oil will drop and it won’t be hot enough to fry the food properly. A good rule of thumb for this recipe is that each nugget should have 1 inch of space around it.
  • Ventilate your kitchen well. I hate the smell fried food leaves behind. But by turning the vent on in my microwave and opening my kitchen window, I get almost no residual smell at all.
  • Watch the heat on the oil. If your nuggets are getting really dark before the six minutes is up, turn the temperature down on the oil a little.

Dipping Sauces

I am a condiment girl. Everything is better when you have a few condiments to go with it, and this chicken nugget recipe is no exception. While you could stick with ketchup, why would you when I have so many other great choices?

Chick Fil A Sauce Recipe

This simple Chick Fil A Sauce is just like what you get at your favorite restaurant. Put it on your favorite chicken sandwiches or just use it for dipping fries!
a waffle fry dipping into chick fil a sauce
Photo of chicken nugget being dipped in dipping sauce by person's hand.

Storing and Reheating

This recipe is best when eaten right away. If you have leftovers they can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days in the refrigerator. As with all recipes, use your best discretion when it comes to leftovers.

To reheat this recipe, I highly recommend reheating in the air fryer. Reheat at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes, checking on the nuggets to ensure they don’t burn.

FAQ

What are chicken nuggets made of?

This chicken nugget recipe consists of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, all purpose flour, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, eggs, and vegetable oil.

Can chicken nuggets be made gluten free?

This recipe has not been tested with gluten-free flour.

Are chicken nuggets dairy free?

Yes! This recipe is completely dairy free.

a basket of homemade chicken nuggets with curly fries

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

While my kiddos love this recipe, it doesn’t make a meal alone. Here are some great ideas for what to serve with these.

  • I love adding some Parmesan Roasted Broccoli to the mix so that they get some veggies in.
  • I’m not sure it is even legal to eat chicken nuggets without fries, and these Sweet Potato Fries are my favorite.
  • My Coleslaw recipe is a natural addition to this meal.
  • Finally, my Mac and Cheese would make this the ultimate kid-friendly meal.

If you make this chicken nuggets recipe or any of my other recipes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Overhead photo of chicken nuggets recipe in a basket with curly fries and a side of ketchup.
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Chicken Nuggets

Serves: 30 nuggets
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Homemade Chicken Nuggets are simple to make at home, and a million times better than your neighborhood fast food restaurant. These are such a huge hit with my kiddos, but even adults can't resist them.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces that are 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (plus 1 teaspoon for seasoning chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper (plus 1/8 teaspoon for seasoning chicken)
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a dish, whisking to combine. Pour onto a plate.
    2 cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • Add the eggs to a shallow dish.
    4 large eggs
  • Working in batches, coat the chicken egg, then dip it in the flour mixture. Repeat, putting it in the egg mixture and again in the flour mixture. Let the chicken sit for five minutes.
  • While the chicken is resting, heat the oil in a large skillet. Bring the temperature of the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chicken in batches (read here about overcrowding) for 6 to 7 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees and is golden brown.
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
Serving: 1nugget Calories: 73kcal (4%) Carbohydrates: 7g (2%) Protein: 5g (10%) Fat: 3g (5%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0.02g Cholesterol: 32mg (11%) Sodium: 259mg (11%) Potassium: 78mg (2%) Fiber: 0.3g (1%) Sugar: 0.1g Vitamin A: 37IU (1%) Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 6mg (1%) Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Overhead photo of chicken nuggets recipe in a basket with curly fries and a side of ketchup.

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Chicken Nuggets

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Ann says

    Your recipes are so good! Keep them coming honey! I am 75 y/o, but still looking recipes to make!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      This makes me so happy, thank you Ann.

  2. Christine says

    Can these be made in an air fryer instead of frying in oil? Would spritzing them with oil and putting in air fryer work?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Christine, I need to test it in the Air Fryer still. I’m worried that it won’t be quite as crisp as I want it to.

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