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close up of crispy fried and golden homemade chicken nuggets

Freezer Friendly Homemade Chicken Nuggets

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths-Bless this Mess
  • 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 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (Cut into strips that are 3/4 inch wide)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (store bought, homemade, or Panko)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil


To Prep:

  1. 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.
  2. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine the flour, onion powder, granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.
  4. Beat the eggs in a second shallow dish.
  5. Add the bread crumbs to a third shallow dish.
  6. 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.
  7. Heat 1/4 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.
  8. 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, 1/3 at a time (so you'll cook a total of 3 batch of chicken nuggets).
  9. 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:

  1. Let the chicken cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
  2. 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:

  1. 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

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