I got a burn on my belly when I was pregnant thanks to these healthy baked chicken nuggets. I was making this exact recipe in a crop top when I bumped my 9 month belly into the HOT baking sheet. I still can see the scar post-birth and that’s one of the reasons why I’ll always remember making these delicious little tender bites.
Another reason I love them? Tony said they officially are his favorite chicken nuggets. He couldn’t stop raving about them. And that’s saying a lot considering he basically lived off fast food for a few years post-college.
HEALTHY CHICKEN NUGGETS FTW!
The first time I tested this recipe I was blown away by just how crispy and flavorful these baked chicken nuggets were. The seasoning is based off my paleo chicken tenders (which I LOVE) but this time I was going for a version that was a little crunchier and one that could even give Chick-Fil-A a run for its money.
The results were FANTASTIC. Seriously tender. So flavorful. Crispy. Perfectly dippable. Outrageously good. ALL THE ADJECTIVES.
The secret to crispy baked chicken nuggets in the oven
- Make sure your breadcrumbs are toasted. This is essential for making crispy baked chicken nuggets. You’ll just need to toast the breadcrumbs in the oven for 5 minutes or so before tossing them with the spices and then the chicken. This is a crucial step for getting that deliciously crispy texture on the outside that tastes even better than the fried version.
- Use a wire rack to bake your chicken nuggets. This will not only prevent sticking, but also allows the chicken nuggets to bake up nice and crispy on all sides. If you don’t have a wire rack, that’s okay, you can just flip them halfway through baking.
Ingredients in baked chicken nuggets
Not only is is this healthy baked chicken nuggets recipe quick to make, dairy free, perfectly spiced and requires minimal ingredients that you might even have in your kitchen right now! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- A bit of cayenne pepper (if you like a little heat)
- Almond milk
- Chicken breast
- Dipping sauces: honey mustard (try the homemade one in this recipe!), ketchup or your favorite BBQ sauce for dipping!
What to serve with baked chicken nuggets
Besides dipping sauces (which are obviously key) I love serving these baked chicken nuggets with a hearty salad or veggies, baked sweet potato fries, or maybe a scoop of homemade mac and cheese. CAN I GET A YUM?! Grab these recipes for your next weeknight dinner:
I hope you love these best ever crispy baked chicken nuggets as much as we do. If you make this recipe please leave a comment and rating to let me know how you liked it — I really appreciate it! xo
See how to make the best crispy baked chicken nuggets:
The BEST Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets
These are the BEST crispy baked chicken nuggets you'll ever make! This delicious, healthy chicken nuggets recipe takes just about 30 minutes from start to finish and uses super simple ingredients like panko breadcrumbs, chicken breast and spices. Serve with honey mustard, ketchup or your favorite BBQ sauce. Kid-friendly and adult approved!
- 1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
- Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper*
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into into 1 inch cubes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add panko breadcrumbs to a large baking sheet and spread out in an even layer. Spray breadcrumbs with nonstick olive oil cooking spray. Bake for 2 minutes, then stir breadcrumbs (or just give the pan a shake) and then bake for 2-3 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. Keep heat in the oven.
Transfer breadcrumbs to a medium bowl. Whisk in spices: salt, black pepper, onion powder, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and almond milk. Set aside.
Line the large baking sheet with an oven safe wire metal rack. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Dip each chicken cube into the egg mixture, then use a tong to grab each chicken nugget and toss into the breadcrumb mixture to completely coat with breadcrumbs. Use tongs to transfer to the wire rack, placing about 1 inch apart.
Generously spray the tops of the chicken nuggets with nonstick spray. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and temp reaches 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer. Serves 4. Serve with BBQ sauce, honey mustard, ketchup or whatever sauce you’d like!
Feel free to use a gluten free panko breadcrumb if you can find them. Panko breadcrumbs are essential to the perfect crispy chicken nugget!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats