Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets are made with chunks of boneless chicken breasts coated in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and baked until golden.
Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
What’s more kid-friendly than making homemade chicken nuggets? Even the pickiest kids like them! This easy recipe is perfect for toddlers and adults and so much healthier than frozen chicken nuggets. Plus, it’s a delicious way to use up chicken breasts. You can also try Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets if you have an air fryer.
I’ve been making these chicken nuggets for years! They are always so popular, and use real ingredients. No need to deep fry for delicious nuggets, they are baked instead making them healthier and lighter than the ones you buy a t fast food restaurants with no excess oil.
Best Chicken Nuggets for Toddlers and Kids
Kids love finger foods or anything you can eat with toothpicks. When my daughter was younger, I would make her a dish of bite-sized goodies, such as tomatoes, olives, pasta, and these nuggets, and served them with toothpicks. She always cleaned her plate! Give it a try – your kids will be so excited.
If you want to send your kids off to school with healthy lunch, I make a batch at night for Madison’s lunch box. She enjoys them for lunch and doesn’t mind eating them cold. You can double the recipe for lunches throughout the week or make half for fewer servings.
- Chicken Breasts: I cut up some boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Substitute thighs if you prefer dark meat.
- Seasoning: I keep it simple with salt and pepper since the seasoned breadcrumbs have extra spices.
- Olive Oil: These egg-free chicken nuggets are great for anyone with an egg allergy. I use olive oil instead of eggs to get the breadcrumbs to stick to the chicken but swap it for eggs if you prefer them. Vegetable oil or canola oil also works, but I prefer using a healthier oil such as olive oil.
- Breadcrumbs: I use a combo of seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs and panko. If you can’t find whole wheat, white is fine. If you don’t have seasoned crumbs, add dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt to make your own.
- Panko: The panko helps gets these nuggets extra crispy. If you want to skip the breadcrumbs, sub extra panko and add the seasonings. You can also make them gluten-free with gluten-free panko.
- Parmesan Cheese: Omit the grated Parmesan if you’re dairy-free.
- Cooking Spray: I like to use use olive oil spray with no propellants.
How to Make Healthy Chicken Nuggets at Home
- Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko, and parmesan in another.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, put it in the bowl with the oil, and mix well.
- Coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture and place it on an oiled baking sheet.
- Bake in a 425F preheated oven 12 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway until the crumbs are golden brown.
- Choose organic chicken when possible and trim any excess fat.
- Baking pans will give you different results. Aluminum pans work the best for evenly browned, crispy nuggets. Nonstick pans don’t work as well.
- Spray the pan with oil to prevent sticking.
What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets
There are so many ways to serve these baked chicken nuggets. Here are some of my favorites:
- Dip: Serve these nuggets with ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch, honey mustard, or whatever other sauce you like.
- Make it a meal: Top a salad with them for a satisfying lunch.
- Raw Veggie Sticks: Cut up some cucumbers, carrots, celery, etc as a healthy no-cook side.
- Breaded veggies: Once I’m in breading mode, I usually make breaded zucchini or eggplant sticks and bake them all at the same time.
- Classic fast food sides: They’re also excellent with french fries, broccoli, macaroni and cheese, or biscuits.
Most Asked Questions
Are baked chicken nuggets healthy?
Yes, these nuggets are healthy. Since they’re baked with olive oil and not deep fried, they are much lighter than traditional chicken nuggets. One serving has 26 grams of protein, fewer than 200 calories, and only 8 carbs.
How long do you bake chicken nuggets at 425°?
Bake chicken nuggets for 8 to 10 minutes at 425°, turn them over, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Can I make chicken tenders?
If you want to make chicken tenders, cut the breasts into long strips and bake them for a few extra minutes.
How do I make gluten-free chicken nuggets?
For gluten-free nuggets, swap the breadcrumbs and panko with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Can I make this recipe with shrimp?
Yes. Use one pound of extra large shrimp. The baking time should be about the same, but keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook.
How do I reheat chicken nuggets?
I recommend reheating leftovers in the air fryer or oven for the best results, but the microwave works too.
More Chicken Tender and Chicken Nuggets Recipes:
- Baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
- Pickle Brined Baked Chicken Tenders
- Tortilla Encrusted Chicken Tenders
- Sesame Encrusted Baked Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
- 16 ounces chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, from 2 large breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 tablespoons whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, or gluten-free crumbs
- 2 tablespoons panko, or gluten-free panko
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil spray,
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Cut the chicken into small bite sized pieces.
- Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.
- Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet.
- Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 – 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked through.