My homemade, whole-wheat, baked chicken nuggets are in our regular rotation. You know, the rotation of stand-by meals that your kids will eat every week without blinking an eye. The kind that you get a little sick of, but make because they get gobbled up every time. Yep, these are a favorite in this house. I used to pan fry these in an inch of coconut oil which tasted great but was more work than I was willing to spend for a Monday lunch so I tried a new method of baking them.
Hello baked chicken nuggets. (easy and healthy = win-win?)
So here is what you need to know to make these for your family:
- Homemade breadcrumbs are the best (in our opinion). I wasn’t able to find a brand that is free of preservatives so I made my own and now we can’t go back. As a bonus, whole wheat bread doesn’t stay soft on your countertop as long as conventional white bread so homemade breadcrumbs are the answer for less waste! I add a few slices at a time to a freezer bag when my bread is nearing the end of freshness and then I process all the bread at once. I store plain breadcrumbs in the freezer for this recipe, for meatloaf or meatballs, chicken parmesan, etc.
- To save time, you can make a double batch of the chicken breading mixture. (The breadcrumbs, seasoning and parmesan cheese can all be mixed together and then frozen so all you need to do is add an egg and chicken breasts and you are good to go.)
- The recipe below makes enough crumb mixture for up to 2 lbs of chicken breasts so when you make it once you will be a step ahead of yourself for the next time you make it.
- Does this make sense? I hope I haven’t lost you!! This recipe isn’t really complicated.
- Basically, these crispy chicken nuggets are amazing. Make them and your children and husband and they will love you.
A note on sauces because I’m all about them. My favorite it to dip these in Franks hot sauce and ranch or homemade honey mustard which is just equal parts of honey + yellow mustard + mayo.?
- 1½ c whole wheat bread crumbs (Homemade recipe below)
- ⅓ c shredded parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- cooking spray (I use a coconut oil spray from Trader Joes)
- In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Scoop out half of the mixture and freeze in a freezer safe bag or jar for future use.
- In another shallow bowl place the beaten egg.
- Cube chicken breasts or cut into strips.
- Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet and start assembly of chicken nuggets: place chicken in egg mixture and then crumb mixture until well coated. Place on oiled pan. When all chicken is coated in breadcrumbs, spray chicken with cooking spray (or drizzle carefully with additional olive oil).
- Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes or until heat registers 165 F on a meat thermometer.
- HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS:
- -3 slices of day-old bread yield 1½ c bread crumbs
- Take whole wheat bread slices and rip into large chunks. Place in high powdered blender or food processor and pulse until crumbly.
- Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300 F for 20 minutes or until dry.
- Store short term on the countertop or in your freezer for up to 6 months.