This chicken nugget recipe produces perfectly seasoned and tender nuggets with a crispy coating that are perfect for dipping and dunking!
This budget-busting copycat recipe is so easy, with its savory mixture of ground chicken, sour cream or mayo and crunchy Panko crumb coating.
With a baked and air-fried option, this will become your favorite go-to chicken nuggets recipe!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Homemade chicken nuggets are a healthy and wholesome snack that is popular with kids and grown-ups alike!
- Baked instead of deep-fried, this copycat recipe is healthier than McDonald’s or any drive-through!
- Super convenient chicken nuggets can be made in batches and frozen raw or cooked and cooled for instant snacking!
- Make chicken nuggets in fun shapes using cookie cutters or add in some bold seasonings for game day appetizer platters!
Ingredients and Variations
Chicken: Ground chicken produces denser nuggets that keep their shape and are easier to hold. Buy it ground or grind your own for the freshest flavor. Add ground turkey or pork for a juicier nugget.
Seasonings: A little bit of sour cream makes the chicken extra juicy, but you can also use plain yogurt or mayonnaise. For extra tasty nuggets, add some taco seasoning, Italian seasoning, or a zesty Cajun blend.
Breading: The secret to keeping nuggets crispy is the combination of Panko and parmesan cheese! Use crushed corn flakes, crushed Ritz crackers, or crushed pork rinds for a lower carb nugget.
Variations: Leftover chicken can be used to make chicken nuggets! Simply chop chicken into uniform pieces and pulse on the “mince” setting (with the S-blade) of your food processor until the meat has a smooth consistency. Sneak in some shredded zucchini or carrots for a boost of nutrition, if desired!
How to Make Chicken Nuggets
- Combine breading ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk egg in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mix chicken, Panko, sour cream, and seasonings in a medium bowl, as directed in the recipe card below.
- Scoop 20 equal portions of chicken onto a plate and press into nuggets (or use cookie cutters).
- Brush each nugget with egg wash and press both sides into breading mixture, pressing the breading in.
- Bake until nuggets reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Cool 2 minutes before serving.
- Cook chicken nuggets in a single layer in an Air Fryer preheated to 375°F for 12-14 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Keep batches warm in the oven and re-crisp them all in the Air Fryer before serving.
Chicken nuggets and dippers naturally go together! Homemade ranch and blue cheese dressings are popular choices, but tangy bbq and Carolina Gold sauces, even red pepper jelly, are great to add to a buffet table.
How to Store Chicken Nuggets
- Keep leftover chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat under the broiler or in the Air Fryer until warmed through.
Can You Freeze Chicken Nuggets?
Chicken nuggets freeze perfectly ready-to-cook or already cooked!
- Place uncooked breaded nuggets on a lined cookie sheet (not touching, or they will freeze stuck together) with parchment paper in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Transfer to a freezer bag where they’ll keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Freeze chicken nuggets in smaller quart-sized bags for easy portioning.
- To bake frozen chicken nuggets, partially thaw them by laying them out on a baking sheet and then add 3-5 minutes to the usual cooking time.
- Cooked and completely cooled chicken nuggets can be placed in zippered bags to freeze for 3 months.
- Reheat pre-cooked chicken nuggets in the oven or air fryer until they are just warmed through.
- Enjoy as is or top a salad or make them into a wrap for a portable lunch!
Have you tried this Chicken Nugget recipe? Leave a comment and rating below!
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a shallow bowl, combine panko, parmesan cheese, and dried parsley and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine chicken, Panko, sour cream, salt, garlic powder, and pepper, being careful to not overmix.
- Using a 1½ Tablespoon scoop or spoon, create 20 equal chicken portions and place on a cutting board (or plate).
- Lightly press to shape a nugget and brush the top with egg. Place nugget, egg side down, in the breading mixture and brush with egg again. Coat each nugget with breading mixture, gently pressing the breading in. Gently shape and place on the baking tray. Spray with oil or cooking spray.
- Bake for 12-16 minutes, or until nuggets reach an internal temperature of 165°F, flipping and spraying after 8 minutes.
- Optional: Broil for 2-3 minutes to lightly brown if desired.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Serve with your favorite dips!
- Freeze uncooked nuggets on a parchment lined baking tray, separate from each other. Once frozen, transfer to zippered freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
- To cook frozen nuggets, place on a baking tray and allow to thaw for a few minutes. Add 3-5 minutes to the regular baking time.
- Leftover chicken nuggets will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Or they can also be frozen in zippered freezer bags for up to 3 months. Simply reheat until warmed through in the oven or air fryer.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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