Homemade Chicken Nuggets is a recipe that people of all ages will delight in. You know exactly what ingredients are going into them, they are more cost effective and they are moist and delicious. If your kids like fast food, they will love these chicken nuggets.
Chicken nuggets seem to be a staple of the childhood diet. All kids love them! However, they aren't something that I buy often due to a high price tag and a long list of unnamable ingredients. This recipe for make ahead and stash in the freezer chicken nuggets is a total game changer on the chicken nugget scene. This is a great dinner option on busy nights or if a babysitter needs to feed the kids while you are out on a hot date! So easy and healthy.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Living in the middle of nowhere and having little to no access to restaurant eating took me a long while to get used to. Everyone needs a little convenience in their life and I've struggled finding in when it comes to food. Homemade chicken nuggets that you can make ahead of time and throw in the freezer is a real lifesaver. I made a double batch of this recipe and now have enough nuggets in the freezer for 3 meals for our family!
Homemade chicken nuggets make for a great lunch, dinner, snack or use the leftovers for the lunchbox the next day. They would also be fun to make for game night or the Super Bowl because who doesn’t love chicken nuggets?!
If you want to get moist chicken nuggets, I have a couple of tips I have learned. First, cut the chicken into larger pieces (more chicken finger and less nugget) so that they don't dry out. Dry chicken is really just the worst. The second tip is a quick 30 minute brine. It adds so much flavor and moisture to the chicken. Did you know that
Chick-fil-A brines their chicken too? You know they are onto something. It is well worth the extra time.
How long do I brine the chicken?
Don't brine longer than the 30 minutes or your chicken will be too salty.
Are chicken nuggets really that “healthy”?
I'm calling this recipe healthy because it is SO MUCH BETTER for you than traditional store bought chicken nuggets. Frying isn't bad, it's a very traditional cooking method. If vegetable oil isn't your thing cook them in olive oil or coconut oil.
What do you serve with chicken nuggets?
In order to eat chicken nuggets you need a dip! I serve them with ketchup, BBQ sauce, homemade Ranch dressing or fry sauce. They also would be a great salad topper.
How do I prep the chicken when making nuggets?
After the chicken has brined for 30 minutes, remove it and pat dry with a paper towel. You want to avoid having the chicken be wet or else it will be too wet and turn soggy. Then, you will continue on to the breading and frying part of the process.
How long should you fry chicken nuggets?
Cook the coated chicken in the skillet until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side).
Can I cook chicken nuggets in the air fryer?
The air fryer is a great option when making homemade chicken nuggets. Be sure to spread the nuggets out so they aren’t touching and cook evenly. If you go the air fryer route, you will probably need to cook them in batches to make sure they aren’t overcrowded.
How long can chicken nuggets stay in the freezer?
If properly stored in an airtight freezer bag, they can be kept frozen for 1 month. Do not thaw before reheating.
Complete this meal by making...
- Perfect Oven French Fries
- The BEST Crispy Homemade Sweet Potato Fries
- Classic Potato Salad Recipe
- Easy Homemade Mac and Cheese
More easy chicken recipes:
- Chicken Wrap with Bacon and Ranch
- The Best Baked Chicken Legs
- Easy Sesame Chicken
- Chicken Parmesan
- Easy Baked Chicken Legs
If you’ve tried my Homemade Chicken Nugget recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.Print
Freezer Friendly Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: About 10 Servings 1x
Stock your freezer with these Healthy Homemade Frozen Chicken Nuggets from America's Test Kitchen. This is a meal prep recipe that will save your life and your wallet!
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken (Cut into strips that are ¾ inch wide)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups bread crumbs (store bought, homemade, or Panko)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Add 2 cups of cold water to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and Worcestershire and stir to dissolve. Submerge chicken in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the flour, onion powder, granulated garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.
- Beat the eggs in a second shallow dish.
- Add the bread crumbs to a third shallow dish.
- Working with a piece at a time, toss the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the eggs, then coat with the bread crumbs. Transfer to a large plate.
- Heat ¼ cup of oil in a 12-inch skillet (cast iron works great here) and heat over medium high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook one third of the coated chicken in the skillet until golden brown on each side (about 3 minutes per side) until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and place it on a wire rack sitting inside a baking sheet to cool. Wipe out the pan and repeat with the remaining chicken, ⅓ at a time (so you'll cook a total of 3 batch of chicken nuggets).
- Serve right away or you can make these ahead of time in large batches and keep them in the freezer so you always have frozen chicken nuggets on hand!
To Freeze and reheat:
- Let the chicken cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the cooled chicken nuggets to a freezer zipper-lock bag and seal. Freeze up to 1 month. Do no thaw before reheating.
To Finish and Serve:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degree. Bake nuggets on a wire rack, set on a rimmed baking sheet until crisp and heated through, about 30 minutes. Flip the chicken half way through cooking time. Serve hot.
- America's Test Kitchen's original recipe called for all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat), and Panko bread crumbs (I used homemade whole wheat), so use what you think is best. I rarely substitute things in their recipes, but did this time because that is what I had on hand.
- Don't brine more than the 30 minutes or your chicken will be too salty.
- I'm calling this recipe healthy because it is SO MUCH BETTER for you than traditional store bought chicken nuggets. Frying isn't bad, it's a very traditional cooking method. If vegetable oil isn't your thing cook them in avocado oil
- Homemade Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs: Dry 6-8 pieces of your favorite homemade wheat bread in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the bread feels dry. Tear the bread into large pieces and process in a blender or food processor until you have bread crumbs. Easy!
- Prep Time: 30 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets recipe, baked chicken nuggets recipe, best chicken nuggets, how to make chicken nuggets, healthy chicken recipe, easy healthy chicken recipe, easy baked chicken recipe, easy meal prep recipe
Do yourself a favor and stock your freezer with these Healthy Homemade Frozen Chicken Nuggets that will delight people from ages 1-99. They are easy to make and so much better than any fast food or store-bought variation.
I've made homemade chicken nuggets before... but I've never tried PREmaking them. What is wrong with my brain?! I must try this this weekend... 🙂
These look yummy and way better than store bought nuggets!
I just received the latest issue of Cooks Country yesterday and saved the order form for The Make Ahead Cook. I would love to receive a FREE copy! I too love the knowledge gained from all of the ATK recipes and I truly enjoy your blog! ~ Blessings to you and yours ~ TamiP
Would love ATK cookbook
I love ATK! Would love the cookbook!
I love ATK. Might be slightly obsessed. Excited to check out this book.
You are the sole reason I keep wanting ALL of the ATK Cookbooks!!
I hate to cook so much.........I'm hoping this book could make things a little easier for me? I don't think I'm ever going to win this fight for health without cooking more of my meals at home 🙁
This sounds like a great cookbook and ATK is usually pretty good with their cookbooks.
I love reading your website!
So excited to try them!
I loooooove ATK!!! I got their giant 900 page all-recipe book for Mother's Day. I've tried a bunch of the recipes and haven't had a failure yet.
Is it bad that I don't have little kids and STILL wanna make these?? LOL . . . they look delish!! Thanks for the post. . .
My kids love chicken nuggets. These look so much better than the frozen ones I will not let my kids eat. Can't wait to try these. Thanks for sharing!!
You have totally converted me to ATK, all of their recipes turn out amazing! One of my favorites is their oven fries, they taste just like ones you could get at a diner (actually, better!). I can't wait to try out these chicken nuggets--who am I kidding, I love them just as much as or more than my kiddos 🙂
Well, I know what's going on my grocery list next week! I love that we have a mutual adoration of ATK 😀
I've been looking for a great alternative for frozen nuggets and these look great!!
OMG, I love ATK. If I ever want the "best" recipe for something, that's where I go. So, basically I am always looking in my ATK cookbooks 🙂 Slow Cooker Revolution changed my life! I can't wait to get a copy of this one, it sounds so absolutely perfect for families. Time to cook is such a rarity during the week.
Hoping this is a recipe my daughter will like!
This is so perfect for me! I was just telling my husband that I wanted to start making freezer meals soon for when the baby gets here in December! I trust ATK way more than pinterest!
Just made these today. They made a relish lunch. And enough for more meals in the freezer. They are very tender and delicious.
Relish. Not. Relish
I hate spell check