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Healthy Chicken Nuggets

September 21, 2011

My daughter loves chicken nuggets, Mc Nuggets to be exact and she has the plethora of “Made in China” toys to prove it. I know what’s in McDonalds Chicken Mc Nuggets and yet leaned on them a MANY frazzled mama afternoon and evening throughout our 5 (yes 5!) moves this year.

Now that we are finally settling in to our permanent dwelling, it is time to resurrect my old standby chicken nugget recipe circa 2006.  But I couldn’t find my recipe and worse I couldn’t completely remember it.  So after a thorough scouring of the interwebs I have now a new and improved chicken nugget masterpiece to please three-year-olds and (nearly) thirtythree-year-olds alike. Thanks to Cheeseslave for my tweaking inspiration. My husband says this recipe is the best ever. 

So here is to writing things down… 

Healthy Baked  Whole Grain Chicken Nuggets


Chicken – boneless skinless chicken breasts

The Marinade:

PLAIN whole milk yogurt or buttermilk (1-2 cups) — enough to cover the chicken
Yellow or white onion (1 small finely minced)
Garlic cloves (2-3 smashed) – the best garlic ever
Paprika (1/2 tsp)
Cayenne pepper (1-2 pinches)

The Breading
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sprouted bread crumbs – 1 1/2 – 2 cups (crushed toasted or dried bread)

Sea salt (1/2 tsp) — more or less to taste

Freshly ground pepper (1/2 tsp) – more or less to taste

Parmesan Cheese – 1/4 cup freshly grated. (a microplane works wonders, get one and never buy icky shaker cheese again. So gross!)

Herbs and spices – I like to use 1 -2 tsp italian seasoning or dried basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc…

Optional yet tasty and nutritious – Ground flax, wheat germ, ground chia.


1. In a bowl, baking dish, or plastic freezer bag, marinate the chicken, cut in nugget-sized pieces, in yogurt or buttermilk with the chopped onion,smashed garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper for a minimum of 4 hours and up to 2 days.

2.  Preheat oven to 400-425  degrees.

3. Pulse the grated cheese, bread crumbs, flax/ wheat germ, salt and spices in a food processor or blender.  (You can do this the night before.)

4. Add the bread crumb mixture to a large plastic freezer bag, zip to seal, add 5-6 chicken pieces at a time. Call in your toddler who is hitting her brother over the head with a plastic hanger, hand her the bag and instruct her to shake it like a Polaroid picture. Laugh at the quixotic look she gives you at the mention of a  “Polaroid”.  Repeat until all chicken is coated. You can also dredge the chicken by hand in a large bowl if you prefer, but toddlers and raw meat. Hmm…I think not.

5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or tinfoil rubbed with olive oil. Bake for approx 7 min carefully flip the nuggies over and bake another 5-7min or until golden brown. If they start to brown up too fast, turn down your oven.

Amelia loves her nuggets with raw honey dippers.  My husband love his with ketchup.

TIP: Freeze before baking on a cookie sheet and transfer to a freezer bag. Frugal and clean! No synthetics in these nuggets!


Works for me!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2011 7:02 am

    What a great idea. It’s horrible to know what goes in and how bad factory made chicken nuggets are for you. This is fantastic, and they look a lot more appetising.

    • September 22, 2011 10:57 am

      What I like the best is making them in bulk and freezing for later. Frazzled mama dinner night solved!

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