Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets

I didn’t grow up eating fast food, so I’ve never really been a chicken nugget person, but the other day, out of the blue, I got a massive craving for them. So I thought, “Challenge accepted! I’m going to make some homemade chicken nuggets.” Well, let me just say, I might be a chicken nugget person now because these Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets are so flavorful and so juicy, that I just couldn’t stop. And the best part is, they’re actually quite easy to make! I made three batches this week and I’m not sick of them yet.

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets

Two baskets with Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets, vegetables, and dip sitting next to a newspaper.

How Many Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets Does This Recipe Make?

I used one (yes, one) boneless skinless chicken breast for this recipe, which made around 24 nuggets. My chicken breast weighed approximately 2/3 lb., so your yield may vary depending on the size of the breast. I’ve set the serving size at six nuggets per serving, assuming you’ll be eating something on the side (like the fresh vegetables in my photos).

Why is There YOGURT in Your Chicken Nuggets??

Weird, right? But it works. Buttermilk is a common ingredient used in baked and fried chicken, but I didn’t have any buttermilk, nor did I want to buy any just for this recipe (even though you can freeze extra buttermilk for use later). Instead, I chose to use an ingredient that is already in my refrigerator: plain Greek yogurt. Like buttermilk it is a cultured milk product that gives the nuggets extra flavor and helps keep them tender and moist. Trust me!

If you have plain regular-style yogurt (not Greek style), that can be used too. You’ll just need to add less water when thinning it out. 

Can I Make These Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets Gluten Free?

If you can get gluten-free breadcrumbs, those should work fine in this recipe. That being said, I haven’t tested this with gluten-free breadcrumbs, but I don’t think the lack of gluten should affect the texture in this application.

How do Leftovers Hold Up?

I ate my leftover nuggets the day after I made them and enjoyed them quite a bit, but I will say that they are no longer crispy. They are every bit as tender, juicy, and flavorful though!

What is a “Neutral Oil”

A neutral oil is any cooking oil that does not carry a heavy flavor. You have the flexibility here to use the oil that best fits your diet or budget. I used Grapeseed oil today, but you could use canola, light olive oil, safflower, sesame, or any other light oil.

One chicken nugget ripped in half, sitting in a bowl of honey mustard, surrounded by vegetables and nuggets.

Pictured with my homemade Honey Mustard Sauce.

 
A basket full of Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and a small dish of ranch.
Print Recipe
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets

Homemade baked chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, easy to make, and make a delicious meal or snack. 
Keyword: Comfort Food, Kid Friendly, Snacks, Take Out Fake Out
Total Cost: $3.56 recipe / $0.89 serving
Author: Beth M
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 4 6 nuggets each

Ingredients

Breading

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs ($0.25)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil ($0.08)

Yogurt Slurry

  • 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt ($0.29)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 3 Tbsp water ($0.00)

Chicken

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.) ($2.79)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Place a wire cooling rack, or two, over a baking sheet to hold the nuggets as they bake.
  • In a wide shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 5 cranks of a pepper mill). Stir these ingredients together until evenly combined. Drizzle the oil over the breadcrumb mixture, then stir until the breadcrumbs are coated in oil. The breadcrumbs should look like damp sand.
  • In a separate small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt, salt, and water until smooth. You want the yogurt to be a similar consistency to buttermilk or heavy cream. It should be thick enough to coat the chicken.
  • Trim any excess fat from the chicken breast, then cut it into small, 3/4 to one-inch pieces. For a 2/3 lb. chicken breast you should get about 22-24 pieces. 
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the yogurt slurry, then roll it in the seasoned breadcrumb mixture until the chicken piece is fully coated. Place each coated nugget onto the wire cooling rack on the baking sheet.
  • Once all of the chicken pieces are fully coated, transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 23-25 minutes, or until the breading is browned on the edges. 
  • Remove the chicken nuggets from the oven and let cool for 3-5 minutes, then serve with your favorite dip.
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Make sure to check out the recipe for that totally DELISH honey mustard sauce!!

Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets on a wire cooling rack, close up.

Close up of one Homemade Baked Chicken Nugget dipped in honey mustard with the basket of nuggets and vegetables in the background.

Step by Step Photos

Breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. To make the breading for the chicken nuggets, combine 1 cup plain breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper (about 5 cranks of a pepper mill) in a bowl. Stir these together well.

Finished breading for Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets in a bowl

Then drizzle 2 Tbsp of any neutral oil over the breadcrumb mixture and stir until all the breadcrumbs are coated. It should look like damp sand.

Thinned Plain Yogurt

In a separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt with 3 Tbsp water and 1/8 tsp salt. Stir until smooth. It should be about the consistency of buttermilk or heavy cream. You can use plain “regular” yogurt here, you’ll just add less water to thin it out just a tad.

Cut chicken breast on a yellow cutting board.

Trim any excess fat from one boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2/3 lb.). Cut the chicken breast into small 3/4 to one-inch pieces. You should get about 22-24 pieces.

A piece of chicken being dipped into the yogurt slurry.

Dip each piece of chicken into the yogurt slurry until it’s coated…

Dip Chicken in breading mixture then place on wire rack.

Then right after you dip it in the yogurt, roll it in the breading mixture until it’s completely coated. Once each piece is coated, place it onto a wire cooling rack that is sitting on top of a baking sheet.

Chicken Nuggets Ready to Bake on wire cooling rack and baking sheet.

Once they’re all coated and on the wire rack, they’re ready to bake! Throw away any leftover breading and yogurt because they are contaminated with raw chicken.

Baked Chicken Nuggets on the baking sheet

Bake the chicken nuggets in the preheated 425ºF oven for 23-25 minutes, or until the edges have turned golden brown. Let them cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Close up of Baked Chicken Nuggets on the wire cooling rack.

Here’s a close up of the baked nuggets so you can see their color. They don’t change a LOT, they just get slightly darker and a little more brown on the edges.

A basket full of Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets with broccoli and carrots, and dishes of ranch and honey mustard dip.

Serve the Homemade Baked Chicken Nuggets with your favorite dips! Ranch is always great, but I also made a homemade honey mustard sauce, which I’ll be sharing on the blog either tomorrow or the next day, so stay tuned! Fresh vegetables were also an awesome side because they were just as good dipped into the ranch and honey mustard sauce.

One Homemade Baked Chicken Nugget being dipped into honey mustard, surrounded by more nuggets and vegetables.

I seriously can’t get enough of these Homemade Nuggets!!