Breading doesn’t have to be a 3 step process and chicken nuggets don’t have to be something you buy pre-made in the freezer section. These easy, oven baked chicken nuggets take minutes to put together and your kiddos will love helping make them.
Chicken nuggets sound simple enough to make, but there's nothing simple or fast about a 3 step breading process. And when it's a busy weeknight, getting dinner in the oven fast so I can move on to other things is really important.
These oven baked chicken nuggets really are simple, crispy and delicious. I toss them in the oven (no air fryer required!) with a pan of frozen tater tots or french fries and get zero dinner complaints.
Because we're skipping the step of dipping the chicken in egg mixture first, this recipe is great for those needing an egg-free option. We're also leaving out the flour dredge, so if you substitute the traditional Panko breadcrumbs for gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs you can easily make these gluten-free chicken nuggets.
You have the option of making these nugget in a bowl or going the shake-and-bake method and shaking everything up together in a large plastic, zip top bag. This is a great way to get kids involved in cooking dinner since shaking dinner up in a bag isn't the usual way to prep a meal.
While bbq sauce and ranch dressing are favorite dipping sauces for chicken nuggets, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to mix together my quick honey mustard dipping sauce. It's easy and delicious and only 3 ingredients! Find the recipe below on this page.
What You Need
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins
- Panko bread crumbs
- Dried mustard
- Seasoned salt, like Lawry’s
How to Make Chicken Nuggets
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare your pan: Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the parchment paper. Spray rack with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut chicken breasts into 1 ½ inch cubes.
Place panko crumbs, dried mustard, and seasoned salt in a medium bowl or zip top bag.
Add chicken pieces. Toss chicken in the bowl OR seal the zip top bag, keeping plenty of air in it. Holding it firmly at the top, shake the bag. Toss the chicken cubes around in either the large bowl or zip top freezer bag until they’re all coated in bread crumbs.
Place the breaded chicken cubes on the prepared wire rack, making sure the nuggets don’t touch each other on the rack. Spray the nuggets with cooking spray.
Bake for 15-20 mins. or until chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Quick Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Take a few minutes while the chicken nuggets are baking to mix up this delicious, 3 ingredient dipping sauce.
Combine 1 cup mayo, ⅓ cup dijon mustard, and ⅓ cup honey in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy with your nuggets!
FAQs and Tips on Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets
No! Don't rinse your chicken. Just cut it up and toss the cubes directly into the panko breadcrumbs. If you rinse the chicken the breadcrumbs won't stick well and this recipe won't work.
To help this dish come together even faster, chop raw chicken into cubes right after you buy it. Freeze it flat in a zip top bag and be one step closer to having dinner on the table.
Panko breadcrumbs give the chicken nuggets a great crunch. Using any other kind of breadcrumbs (besides panko) will result in a less crispy nugget.
Placing the nuggets directly onto the parchment-lined baking sheet will result in one side of the nuggets having soggy breading. The only way for them to turn out crispy on all sides is to place them on an oven-safe wire rack so the hot air of the oven can flow all around the chicken while baking.
It takes 15-20 minutes. Because actual oven temperatures will vary, I recommend starting to check your nuggets after 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. I use an instant read thermometer and insert it into a couple of the thickest nuggets. They're done when my thermometer reads 165 degrees.