Crispy, homemade chicken nuggets are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. Who could resist crunchy, golden nuggets of joy?! No one, that’s who!
Listen, I know chicken nuggets are traditionally known to be kids’ food. THESE nuggets though? Of course kids will love them but when I made these for the first time, they disappeared incredibly quickly and there was not a child in sight. And I mean, what’s not to love? Juicy nuggets of crispy, golden chicken? Uh, yes please! These nuggets are great served simply with ketchup but they’re even better when you add honey mustard sauce to dip as you go.
Table of Contents
These are the best chicken nuggets you can make at home. Not only are they super easy but use only pantry essentials. Feel free to add other spices of your choice but I like keeping it simple.
- Chicken. Boneless skinless chicken breasts. Boneless thighs can be substituted.
- Flour. Substitute with gluten-free flour if needed.
- Garlic powder.
- Onion powder.
- Salt and black pepper.
How to make chicken nuggets
- Bread the chicken: Slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks. Combine the flour with all the seasonings in a shallow medium bowl and whisk together with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs. Coat the chicken pieces first in the flour then in the egg mixture and again in the flour. For a thicker coating, repeat the breading step.
- Fry: Fry the chicken nuggets in batches in hot oil until golden brown and crispy, approximately 5-7 minutes. I prefer using a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat but a large skillet or pan can be used too. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a large baking sheet lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
- Baking: If you prefer baking the nuggets, coat the chicken in seasoned bread crumbs instead of flour (panko breadcrumbs add great crunch) after coating in egg. Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack and drizzle with oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 220ºC/430ºF until golden brown, crisp and tender.
Can I make chicken nuggets in the air fryer?
Absolutely. I wouldn’t recommend coating them in flour as the final step though as the flour won’t cook the same way in the air fryer as it does in hot oil. Instead, coat the chicken in flour, egg and then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Drizzle over or spray with a little olive oil and cook in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 180ºC/350ºF until crisp and golden.
Freezing and making ahead
- Freezing: Bread chicken nuggets per instructions then place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Freeze until solid then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Fry from frozen until golden brown and crisp.
- Make ahead: Cooked nuggets can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in a hot oven until warmed through.
What to serve with chicken nuggets
Chicken nuggets are delicious simply served with a dipping sauce (BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing are always a good idea) but make a great meal when served with French fries, potato wedges or a salad.
- Easy oven baked fries
- Spicy garlic baked potato wedges
- Easy creamy curried macaroni salad
- Cucumber, tomato and red onion salad
Crispy chicken recipes
- Crispy chicken pops
- Baked cornflake chicken
- Crispy Chicken Schnitzel
- Corn flake crusted chicken strips with honey mustard sauce
Homemade chicken nuggets
- 500 g (1lb) chicken breasts sliced into bite sized chunks
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp garlic powder
- 1½ tsp onion powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 eggs
- Heat vegetable oil in a large pot.
- Whisk together the flour and spices in a shallow bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs together.
- Coat the chicken first in the flour, then in the eggs and finally in the flour again. For a thicker coating, repeat the breading.
- Fry the chicken nuggets in the oil until golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon then drain on kitchen paper before serving.