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The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets. Kid approved, low fat baked chicken nuggets in a delicious herb & spice coating; crispy outside, tender on the inside.

The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets shown with honey dip on a white serving platter

The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

We do not buy processed chicken nuggets or chicken strips at our house. I’ve never seen the point really. Making them from scratch only takes a few minutes. In this version they are in the oven for less than 15 minutes.

Making your own herb and spice coating mix and oven baking with very little canola oil ensures that they are low fat, preservative free and much healthier. Plus this version tastes better than any fried version I’ve ever encountered.

Deboned chicken breasts for Chicken Parmesan Lasagna.

Deboned chicken breasts for Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets.

I like to debone my own chicken breasts so that I can roast the bones and skins for stock later. I freeze them until I have enough to cover a baking sheet then use the instructions in my post on making Chicken Stock here.

How to get Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets crispy.

The trick to getting these Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets crispy is to bake them very quickly at very high heat. My kids absolutely love them and enjoy them most with a little drizzle of honey. Or in Noah’s case a little honey mustard.

As is mentioned in the recipe notes, this recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups of the coating mix. You will NOT use ALL of it on a single batch of nuggets.

When coating the chicken pieces, I like to start with less than a cup of the coating mix in a shallow baking dish. I just add more if it is needed to coat the amount of chicken I have.

This helps use only as much of the coating mix as you need. It also saves as much as possible for the next couple of batches of nuggets that you make. And you will make more, trust me!

Discard any leftover mix in the pan that has come into contact with the raw chicken. Save the rest in an airtight plastic container or Ziploc bag. Then you can quickly and easily have these nuggets ready in only about 20 minutes or so.

The perfect side dish.

Of course nothing makes a kid happier with these chicken nuggets than some crispy wedge fries. Try these fantastic Crispy Baked Wedge Fries to go with them and maybe try to sneak in some steamed broccoli for good measure! 😉

 

You also may want to check out this collection of our TOP TEN Boneless chicken breast recipes.

Boneless Chicken Breast Recipes Collage

Originally published Aug 2013. Updated Nov 2020.

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The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets shown with honey dip on a white serving platter
Yield: 6 servings

The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The Best Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets - kid approved, low fat baked chicken nuggets in a delicious herb & spice coating; crispy outside, tender on the inside.

Ingredients

  • 4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 cup buttermilk

For the Herb and Spice Dredge Mix

  • 3 cups flour, you can use whole wheat flour if you like
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp powered thyme
  • 1 tbsp powdered sage
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp powdered ginger
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Preheat a cookie sheet in the oven as it heats up. This helps prevent the nuggets from sticking.
  2. Cut the chicken breasts into nugget sized pieces or into strips. Season with salt and pepper. Soak the chicken pieces in buttermilk for 1/2 hour to an hour. You can substitute buttermilk with 1 cup milk plus 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Mix all the dredge ingredients together very well. I use my food processor or stand mixer to do this to make sure all ingredients are well blended. Take about 1 cup of the flour and spice mix and place it in a small bowl or small shallow baking dish. You can always add more of the coating mix to the dish if you need it. Just discard any mix that has come into contact with the chicken.

Dredging and cooking the Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets

  1. Drain the buttermilk off of the chicken nuggets and toss them in the herb and spice dredge mix. I like to leave the chicken in the bowl for 5 minutes, pressing the nuggets down into the mix as they are surrounded by it to get really good contact. This helps the mix stick to the chicken.
  2. Take the hot pan from the oven and brush the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of canola or peanut oil.
  3. Remove the chicken nuggets from the coating mix and place them on the hot oiled pan. Using a spray bottle, spray a thin coat of oil all over the top of the chicken pieces as well.
  4. Bake for 13-15 minutes until fully cooked. You can turn them once, half way through the cooking time if you like.
  5. Store any leftover herb and spice dredge mix in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Notes

This recipe makes about 3 1/2 cups of the coating mix, all of which you will NOT use on a single batch of nuggets. ( It will actually make enough to make about 4 batches of nuggets)

When coating the chicken pieces, I like to start with less than cup in a shallow baking dish and add more if it is needed to coat the amount of chicken I have.

This helps use only as much of the coating mix as you need while saving as much as possible for the next couple of batches of nuggets that you make...and you will make more, trust me!

Discard any leftover mix in the pan that has come into contact with the raw chicken but save the rest in an airtight plastic container or Ziploc bag to quickly and easily have these nuggets ready in only about 20 minutes or so. I like to store it in the freezer between uses.

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

serving

Amount Per Serving Calories 259Saturated Fat 2gCholesterol 111mgSodium 553mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 38g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Beverly

Sunday 6th of December 2020

Making this tomorrow night. And I just want to say, the re-vamp of your website is spectacular! Looks awesome - well done!

Jeannie G

Sunday 6th of December 2020

As everything I’ve tried of yours,Barry , these are delicious. I made mine with quinoa flakes instead of flour because my daughter is gluten intolerant and they are soft and delicious

Judith Fay

Tuesday 1st of December 2020

Can you use fresh boneless chicken instead.

Elizabeth Grier Carey

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

How well do they freeze? I like to make things for lunches.

M Burridge

Saturday 7th of May 2016

Do you think these could be made with the egg/water coating from your oven fried chicken recipe? We're dairy free here and so I can't do buttermilk (unless it's almond milk - not sure how that would work out...) Thanks!

Barry C. Parsons

Monday 9th of May 2016

Yes indeed.

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