Homemade Chicken Nuggets {Freezer Meal}


Homemade, crispy chicken nuggets with just a few healthy ingredients! Try these the next time your family wants the fast food version. They will not disappoint!

Why I have never made these before now I will never know. What I DO know is that they will forever be in my menu planning.

I’ll be honest. I have fond childhood memories of McDonald’s chicken nuggets in my happy meal. I loved to dip them in those little packages of honey and follow them down with those golden fries. I guess ignorance is bliss because now that I know that my dear McNuggets are made up of nearly 38 ingredients. (I got that fact from Omnivore’s Dilemma), I have never enjoyed them the way I used to.

Homemade, crispy chicken nuggets with just a few healthy ingredients! Try these the next time your family wants the fast food version. They will not disappoint!

Last week I began the quest of finding a good chicken nugget recipe that I could make. I didn’t have to look far because there was a super simple recipe on 100 Days of Real Food that I tried, and my family LOVED.

Since these only require a stove top to make, I recommend making some Oven Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potato Quick Biscuits to go with the chicken. It was a great combo!

Homemade, crispy chicken nuggets with just a few healthy ingredients! Try these the next time your family wants the fast food version. They will not disappoint!

These chicken nuggets also make a great freezer meal so you could always double or triple the recipe and freeze them for future meals! Freezer Meal instructions are included below.

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Homemade Chicken Nuggets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade, crispy chicken nuggets with just a few healthy ingredients! Try these the next time your family wants the fast food version. They will not disappoint!
Author:
Serves: 12-15 nuggets
Ingredients
  • 1 poun boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (make these yourself by throwing some stale bread into the food processor. It's THAT easy!)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
Instructions
  1. Chop the chicken into about 1½-2 inch chunks and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
  2. Lightly beat the egg with a splash of water in a shallow bowl.
  3. In another shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder.
  4. To bread the chicken: Drop some of the chicken chunks into the egg mixture until they are coated on all sides. Then, dip into the breadcrumb mixture. Roll them around and make sure the pieces are fully coated. Set the coated pieces aside while you finish the rest of the nuggets.
  5. Heat a thin layer of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  6. Cook the chicken nuggets in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Turn the heat down if they are browning too quickly. Cut one down the middle to make sure it is fully cooked (no pink inside!). In between batches, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add more oil to coat the bottom.
  7. Keep finished nuggets on a sheet pan in the 200°F oven to keep warm while you finish the rest.
  8. Transfer the nuggets to a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess oil.
Notes
Freezer Meal Instructions:
To Freeze:
Bread the nuggets and stack uncooked in single rows divided by wax or parchment paper in your freezer container. Store in freezer for up to two months.
To Prepare:
When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge or on the thaw setting in the microwave and bake as directed.


To Freeze




Comments

  1. Just wanted to say we love the Power Ball Cookies. Last night after dinner my son says “where are the power ball cookies” I go in the kitchen stir them up toss them in the fridge for a few minute and done!!!

    Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe. I have to freeze them so i only eat one at a time as a real treat.

    • Polly says

      Yeah! Glad you like them. I have some in the freezer right now. I might have to go get one…!

  2. Courtney says

    When do you freeze them? after you have breaded them or after you have sauteed them? Thank you!

    • Rachel says

      I make and freeze these all the time. To freeze: Bread them and stack uncooked in single rows divided by wax or parchment paper in your freezer container. When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge or on the thaw setting in the microwave and bake as directed.

  3. Brittany Weisinger says

    Hello!! Is it possible to bake these nuggets in the oven, instead of frying them? If so, any recommendations on how long to cook them & at what temperature. I am trying to find meals that I can prepare ahead of time and my husband can cook for our son while I am in the hospital. Baby #2 due soon! I just would prefer him using the oven then trying to use the stovetop. Less messy and easier on him. Thank you in advance!

  4. Brandy says

    Has anyone tried cooking them then freezing so the kids could just pop them in the microwave? I personally wont eat them out of the microwave but the kids do and it’s easier for them to make.
    Thank you for all the wonderful advice and recipes.

    • Polly says

      In theory, this should be ok to do. My only concern is that microwaving them will cook the chicken and could dry it out since it is already cooked in the oven. But honestly, I doubt kids will care that much as long as it’s not too dry.

  5. Amber says

    About this meal, and all the wonderful freezer meals I found on here, may I skip the defrost step, and bake them straight from the freezer like I do with Amy’s meals? Or is there some science behind why that won’t work? Thanks!

    • Rachel says

      This particular recipe calls for you to pan saute the nuggets, so cooking “from frozen” doesn’t work well. But, if you want a chicken tender recipe that does go straight from freezer to oven, try our “Oven Baked Parmesan Chicken Tenders” recipe.

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