Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets

Crispy, oven-baked chicken nuggets covered in toasted Panko breadcrumbs. A satisfying main dish for adults and kids alike!

Chicken nuggets: they can either be delicious or done horribly wrong. I very rarely eat a fast food chicken nugget because of the way they are made.  Chicken nuggets should be simple: small bite size pieces of white meat chicken. Not, a chicken patty made of chicken pieces smooshed together in an odd nugget shape. I refuse to eat those types of nuggets.

This recipe consists of chicken breasts (or tenderloins) cut into small pieces and covered in crispy Panko breadcrumbs. No mystery ingredients. Just plain and simple.

I use Panko breadcrumbs because they give the perfect crunch to oven-baked "fried" chicken. The only problem is that Panko is rather white and only lightly browns when it is baked for less than 15 minutes. I toss mine into non-stick skillet and toast the crumbs to get them golden before using. The light toasting enhances the flavor and gives the exterior a beautiful golden color. I will emphasize that it only needs a light toasting--about five minutes and they are good. Once they are golden, remove them from the heat. The crumbs can easily begin to burn so watch them carefully!

I set up a small "assembly" station to make the nuggets. You will need three shallow dishes--I use casserole dishes and pie plates. Each dish is as follows:

Dish #1: flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika
Dish #2: one egg, beaten
Dish # 3: toasted Panko breadcrumbs

On a cutting board, I cut one pound of chicken tenderloins into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in flour, shake off the excess. Dip into the egg mixture and then into the Panko. Cover with the Panko and then set onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Once all the nuggets are on the tray, spray the tops with a little oil and pop into the oven. After 7 minutes, turn over and bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until done (time will depend on the size of the chicken).

Serve chicken immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.

Oven-Baked Chicken Nuggets

  • 1-lb. fresh, chicken tenderloins or breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Non-stick cooking spray, such as: Pam, olive or canola oil

You will need three shallow casserole dishes or pie plates. The chicken nuggets have a three dip assembly and each item needs to be kept separate. 

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. On a cutting board, cut chicken into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces. Sprinkle evenly with a little salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of each) and set aside.

2. To toast breadcrumbs: heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Toast Panko breadcrumbs in the skillet until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Stir Panko every ten seconds or so, making sure the breadcrumbs do not burn. Transfer to a shallow dish. In the second dish, mix together the flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. In third dish, crack one egg and beat well.

3. To make nuggets: take seasoned nuggets and dredge lightly in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the floured chicken into the egg, allow any excess to drip off and then dip into the Panko. Press the Panko onto the chicken and transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken nuggets with a little oil to set the crumbs.

4. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 12-14 minutes. After 7 minutes of baking, remove pan from oven and carefully flip chicken over. Return pan to oven and bake the additional 5-7 minutes or until done. Cooking times will vary on the size of chicken pieces you are cooking. Chicken should register 165 on a instant read thermometer and be golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yields: 4-6 Servings


  1. Love that you used panko in the coating. My family would love these nuggets.

    1. Thank you, I think panko is the best. :) It gives a great crispy texture.
      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

  2. These look crunchy and delicious! I'll have to give them a try when the granddaughters are here.

  3. These look yummy and very easy to make! Panko makes a wonderful coating!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by my blog. :)