My kids LOVE chicken nuggets. It’s literally one of the only few foods they will eat. However, it’s hard to find good-quality, budget friendly, crispy chicken nuggets at the store. I have found some that I like and feel good about serving my kids on a regular basis: Perdue and Kidfresh. There are only so many Happy Meals you can serve before you start to feel like a failure as a parent. So, I decided I wanted to create a homemade chicken nugget recipe that was easy, healthy and delicious.
After a few attempts, I think I nailed it. These nuggets are super crispy and so full of flavor. My husband said they were the best he has ever had (also briefly mentioning they were way better than McDonald’s nuggets. To which I gave him “the look,” because, let’s be honest, that’s not hard to do). The kids devoured them and we had zero leftovers. Mommy win.
Here are the details on these insanely delicious CRISPY CHICKEN NUGGETS:
I used chicken tenderloins and cut them into bite size pieces. You can use chicken breasts also, but there will be more cutting involved!
Place the bite sizes pieces into a bowl with coconut milk and chicken broth and let sit for at least 20 minutes (you can leave overnight or all day if you want). This just helps tenderize the chicken and adds a little bit of flavor. Start preheating the oven to 400° right now also. If you have an air fryer, I highly suggest using it to cook the nuggets to make them even crispier.
At this point, mix together the Panko breadcrumbs and seasonings in a shallow dish. You will then take the chicken and place in the mixture, coating all sides of each piece. This may take a few batches because you want to make sure all of the chicken is thoroughly coated with the breadcrumb mixture.
Next, take a baking sheet, line it with foil (this is optional…it just makes clean up easier). Place a cooling rack on the pan and coat with oil (I use coconut oil spray). Then, place the chicken in a even layer on the rack and spray the tops with oil. It doesn’t take much, but it’s necessary for crispiness. On a side note, these nuggets are NEXT LEVEL with an air fryer (have I mentioned this already?). Okay, moving on, now it is time to bake these bad boys.
Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy. I recommend flipping the nuggets after 20-25 minutes to make sure the bottom gets crispy also. This is optional, but it does make a big difference!
Air Fryer Instructions
Depending on the size of your basket, “fry” the nuggets in batches. You don’t want them to touch or overlap.
Fry each batch at 360 for 8-10 minutes.
Y’all these are so good. They are crispy and SO flavorful. Not to mention, they are so easy to make! I like to serve them with honey mustard sauce or barbecue sauce and side of veggies. You need to make these now. For real.
If you make them, make sure to let me know. You can find me on Instagram.
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup panko
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- oil for the baking sheet
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
3. Marinate chicken pieces in coconut milk and chicken broth for at least 20 minutes.
4. Mix panko, salt, garlic, paprika, and pepper together in a shallow dish.
5. Toss chicken pieces in the panko mixture until fully covered.
6. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet (line baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier cleanup).
7. Spray pan and rack with oil, spread chicken in a single layer on pan. Spray the chicken with the oil then bake chicken for 30 minutes until golden and crispy!
*To make sure the bottom gets crispy, flip the nuggets over after 25 minutes. Then bake an additional 5-10 minutes. This step is optional but definitely makes the nuggets crispier.
*Air Fyer: Cook in batches at 360 for 10 minutes.
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