Introduction: Baked Chicken Nuggets
In this Instructable, I will show you how to make chicken nuggets. This amazing easy homemade baked chicken nuggets recipe is so yummy and comes together really quickly, you can be eating homemade chicken nuggets in under an hour. Dip them in ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, or eat them however you like. Move over McDonald's time to make chicken nuggets at home. If I can do it, you can do it. Let's get baking!
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Follow the easy steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both! :)
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
You can print the recipe here if you want.
There are a few ways I am going to show how to make them. One involves a classic egg wash and the other involves buttermilk instead of an egg wash.
- 8 chicken tenderloins (about 2lbs or 900g) (will make 24 to 32 nuggets) or you may use chicken breast or thighs, etc.
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. water
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs (panko or traditional) (you may need a bit more)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. red chili powder (optional for a bit of spiciness)
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper (optional for a bit of spiciness)
- 1/2 tsp. paprika (optional)
Optional flavor (no eggs or water needed)
- 1 cup buttermilk (or enough to cover the chicken)
- Cutting board
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper or a silicone mat
- Metal oven-safe cookie rack (optional)
Note: This is not a very heavy seasoning. If you are using already seasoned bread crumbs this will be okay. But if you are using unseasoned bread crumbs you may need to double the amount of seasonings, especially if you plan on eating them plain and not dipping them in ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch, etc.
Step 2: Prep the Chicken
Preheat the oven to 400 F/205 C.
If your chicken is frozen, defrost it ahead of time in the fridge. Take your tenderloins and cut them into 3 or 4 pieces depending on how long they are. I can usually get about 4 out of each.
At this point, if you want to use buttermilk, place the chicken in a bowl and pour enough buttermilk to just barely cover the top. Place in the fridge, covered, for a few hours or even overnight.
Step 3: Seasonings and Breadcrumbs
In a small bowl mix together all the seasonings, the garlic powder, salt, pepper, optional chili powder, red pepper, paprika, etc. For a more heavy seasoning double the recipe.
Add the seasoning to a medium bowl of breadcrumbs. In this Instructable and in the video I show both the traditional breadcrumbs and the panko. I think I prefer the traditional a bit more. Since I used both styles of breadcrumbs I split the seasonings in between the two bowls of breadcrumbs.
Step 4: Dip and Dip
Next, take a small bowl and add the eggs and water and mix with a whisk or fork creating the egg wash. Skip this step if using the buttermilk version.
Dip a piece of chicken into the egg wash and then into the breadcrumbs, use tongs to move the chicken around so it gets coated thoroughly. Then place it on a metal wire rack that is on top of a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Or if you don't have a wire rack you can place the chicken right on the pan, but you will need to turn the chicken over halfway through baking.
Another method for coating the chicken is to place the breadcrumbs and seasoning all in the bag and shake it. Then put the dipped chicken in the bag and shake it. That works really well too. Either way.
Step 5: Buttermilk Version
If doing the buttermilk version, remove the chicken from the fridge. Grab some chicken with the tongs and allow the excess to drain. Then dip the chicken in the breadcrumbs and then place on the sheet pan, like the others.
Step 6: Bake Those Chicken Nuggets
Place the chicken nuggets in the oven, middle rack position, and bake them for 18 to 22 minutes. In my oven 22 minutes is perfect. They should be golden brown and a bit crispy on the outside. When you cut into one, there should be no pink. If you aren't using a rack, after 10 minutes, turn all the chicken nuggets over to the other side, and bake the rest of the time.
You may also deep fry these, or fry them in a skillet. (325 F/162 C)
Play around with all the combinations and find out which way you like the best.
Allow them to cool for a few minutes before eating. Dip them in ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch, etc. Enjoy!
Step 7: Video Tutorial
Now watch those steps in action with this video tutorial. :)