Toddler Perfect Chicken Nuggets Recipe
These homemade chicken nuggets are baked to perfection with a crispy crunch on the outside and melt in your mouth tender chicken on the inside. Made with my special method, these chicken nuggets are easy for toddlers and kids to eat, and delicious for adults!
Chicken nuggets are are a common staple in the diet of many kids. They are incredibly accessible at fast food restaurants as well as in every freezer section at the grocery store. As much as kids love chicken nuggets from any source, the truth is that the best chicken nuggets are homemade. They are fresh, delicious and you don’t have to wonder what type of meat is ground up and packaged in your nuggets.
We’ve all made chicken nuggets using bite size pieces of chicken, rolled in a breading, and baked, right? We eat those a lot and love them! But, we started thinking how hard that is for toddlers and younger kids to chew. Sometimes, meat can be especially tough for toddlers without all their teeth. One reason processed nuggets are so popular among little kids (beyond the salt, fat, and chemicals), is of course that they are easier to eat. So, I decided to make our own ‘Un-Processed’ nuggets and they turned out absolutely amazing!
Ingredients to Make Kid-Friendly Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Chicken Breast – you will want to use boneless skinless chicken breast, You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you want the meat to be a bit more rich and moist.
- Egg – this acts as a binder to the chicken and helps it to stay in ‘nugget’ form.
- Bread Crumbs – you can use regular bread crumbs, or for an extra crispy version, try using Panko bread crumbs.
- Butter – this is optional, but helps to crisp up the outside of the nuggets.
How Do You Make Homemade Chicken Nuggets?
The typical way homemade chicken nuggets are made is by cutting up bite size pieces of chicken breast, dredging them in a flour mixture, egg mixture and then a breadcrumb mixture. After that nuggets can either be baked, deep fried, pan fried, or even air fried! Making chicken nuggets using this method is a super easy way to make them and they turn out delicious. But keep reading for our more kid-friendly method!
- Start by cooking the chicken breast. We chose to boil our chicken to help keep it moist. You can use whatever method you prefer to cook your chicken breast, just be aware that if your chicken breasts come out too dry, your nuggets will also be dry. So make sure you don’t overcook your chicken.
- Combine your cooked chicken in a blender or food processor with the egg and salt. Blend it together until you have a somewhat ground mixture.
- Shape your chicken nuggets. To make these chicken nuggets more fun, because the chicken is soft and moldable after blending, you can shape them! Dino nuggets are sold in a lot of stores, so if you have a dinosaur mold to use, that could be fun. But really you can try any shape. If you want to make shapes, press the chicken mixture into cookie cutters, and then press them into bread crumbs. It doesn’t take that long and kids love when their food is presented in a fun unique way. They can also help with this step – just make sure they wash their hands good after!
- Bake. Once your nuggets are formed, place on a cookie sheet to bake. We drizzled with a little butter, so they would come out crispier.. totally optional! Then, bake at 400 for about 10 minutes (flip half way through to get both sides crispy.
- Serve with your favorite dip like ketchup, honey mustard, ranch, or BBQ sauce. Enjoy!
Can You Freeze Homemade Chicken Nuggets?
Yes! This is a great recipe to make in a large batch and freeze some for a quick meal later. To freeze these chicken nuggets:
- Make following the recipe including baking the nuggets
- Let the nuggets cool completely.
- Portion out nuggets and place them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Label.
- Freeze for up to 2 months.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place nuggets on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Flip half way through to get them crispy on both sides.
Variations and Substitutions with Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- Egg Substitute. If you can’t have eggs, you can make a flax egg that works really well in this recipe. Just mix 1 tablespoon flax seeds with 4 tablespoons water and whisk until frothy. Then add it to your chicken just like an egg.
- Flavored Breadcrumbs. If you want to add more flavor to your bread crumbs, you can add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese to give it a salty flavor and more crunch.
- Buttermilk. To give these a bit more richness and help the bread crumbs stick, you can dip the chicken in buttermilk and then breadcrumbs.
More of Our Favorite Chicken Nugget Recipes for Kids
- Quinoa Coated Chicken Nuggets
- Kids Favorite Chicken Nuggets with 3 dips
- Ranch Crusted Chicken Nuggets
- Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Crispy Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips
- Chicken Fingers with 3 Dipping Sauces
Vegetarian Nugget Recipes
Kid-Friendly Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- 1/2 pound chicken breast 2 large breasts
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Cook chicken breast just until done. You can boil, bake or cook in the instant pot. Make sure you don't overcook or your nuggets will be dry.
- In a food processor or blender, pulse together cooked chicken breast, eggs, salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
- To make shapes, press the chicken mixture into cookie cutters. Then press into your bread crumbs. If you don't want to make shapes, roll a small ball of chicken mixture into a ball, and slightly press until flat and shaped like a chicken nugget. Then press into breadcrumbs.
- Place nuggets onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle with melted butter to make them crispier.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. Flip halfway through to get both sides crispy.
- Serve with your favorite dip like honey mustard, ketchup, spicy mustard, BBQ sauce, or ranch. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Nice! Your pictures look great! I make these for my son, well used to, now he will tolerate regular un-mushed chicken – but the softer texture of the mashed chicken really helped transition him from eating junk food nuggets to healthy whole chicken nuggets.
Did you use straight bread crumbs? I’ve been adding grated parmesan to mine. Gives it a nice flavour kick, and the coating stays on well, I guess the cheese melts it all together a bit? Plus it’s sneaking some cheese in my picky guy 🙂
I bought that 4 section plate for him too! And the little dairy bowl. He likes the sections 🙂
sweet chicken nuggets rule
Thanks Cristi! I did just use straight bread crumbs because I was just trying to see if it all worked, but the flavor would have been so good with some Parmesan, maybe even garlic powder and onion powder.
is there a way to freeze these?
I knew someone would ask that!! This is the first time I’ve made them, but I’ll put them in the freezer right now, and report back tomorrow 🙂
Were you able to freeze these? The other link is from a while back and not working.
Yes! They did freeze perfectly!
I found something kind of similar and she cooked them fully and then frozen them.
Oh perfect! I love her. Thanks for finding that.
I got my family fun magazine yesterday and there it is, on page 37 just like expected.
Do you think you could add a veggie puree? Would they still hold up?
I addendum sweet potato puree and it worked perfectly! My kiddo loved it 🙂
For sure! These were only being held together with the egg, so if you have any type of wet ingredient, I’m sure it would just mash well with it.
Absolutely brilliant. Genius. Pinned!
These look great! I have never thought about why processed nuggets were so popular what a great hypothesis!
I love the cookie cutter idea, thank you!!! I put my chicken in the slow cooker for 5 hours … the chicken is very tender and falls apart … it can even be creamed with a fork. I use this chicken for tenders, in enchiladas, and sandwiches. Thanks for the great idea!!!
Oh … and I freeze them … I put them on a cookie sheet and freeze them individually. When they are frozen I put them in a zip bag.
They froze and reheated great! 🙂
This is a great website and you have given me so many great and healthy ideas for my toddler! I have a quick question about these nuggets though. Would I be able to make a bunch and freeze them? If so, how long do you think they would keep?
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I made these today and they were a big hit! My very picky 3 year old loved them and that’s an achievement. I’m adding them to my list of freezer meals. Thanks!
Oh, my God! It’s so easy! Thank You! I’ll do some health and beautiful nuggets with my daughter today! It’s going to be fun!
This is such a good idea! I love it! I make nuggets but they aren’t that well received LOL. This is going to be our dinner tonight. With sweet potato wedges and mini corn on the cob.
These are awesome. Tuna and or other light fish works great too for picky eaters. The kids also love helping bread these for me and I don’t have to worry about them getting salmonella everywhere since the chicken is precooked.
They were really good just a little bit dry. I guess white meet is that way anyways, but maybe if I add something else they would be better. I will try again 🙂
Can’t wait to try this, homemade things that aren’t loaded with sodium! Can you please tell me where you got those plates?
I made the plates and sell them on my website and Amazon!
My plate site is http://www.healthykidsplate.com I’m glad you like them!!
I wonder, how would you change it for a kid that is allergic to eggs? What kind of binder would you use? Oil? Milk? I have egg replacer, but… eww. I really don’t like that stuff.
I was wondering the same thing – if anyone has a suggestion I would love to hear it!
[…] Vía: blog.superhealthykids.com […]
[…] fish it is! We made fish sticks tonight! Similar to our Chicken Nuggets, we used mixed up Tilapia. The binder we used was whipped up flax seeds, as opposed to eggs that […]
Ok Stephanie, Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you! But I’ve been doing some experimenting and it worked great using flax seeds like I did for this recipe on Monday:
Basically, I would replace the egg with 1 TBL flax seeds, and 4 TBL water, in a blender till frothy. Then just pour it into your chicken like you would the egg!
[…] so I think the next time I make them, I might add some parmesean or maybe a bit of chili powder. Toddler Perfect Chicken Nuggets Reply With Quote « Previous Thread | Next Thread […]
I’ve made these a few times and the kids are lucky if they get any because my husband gobbles them up too! 🙂 I usually dip them quickly in fat free buttermilk and then the breadcrumbs so they stick better. Also used garlic powder and put some ground flax seed or wheat germ in with the bread crumbs.
Buttermilk is a great idea! Thanks for the tip. I’ll definitely use that next time.
I just love the heart shaped nuggets! I have added your recipe to my collection of nuggets recipes here:
Really excited about making these my son loves chicken nuggets, but i hate buying them i always am trying to find some that are healty. i been buying soy nuggets but they get expensive, am very excited to try these fingers crossed that he likes them i am very glad that i have found this page 🙂
[…] love them. They're a bit bland so I add a bit of parmesean cheese and a bit of mild chili pepper. Toddler Perfect Chicken Nuggets Reply With Quote « Previous Thread | Next Thread […]
Make sure to add some seasonings! I’ve been getting lots of feedback saying they are sort of ‘bland’.
Good luck, I’m glad you found us too!
I know this is exactly healthy, but my favorite coating for chicken nuggets has always been- One part breadcrumbs, one part captn’ crunch (no crunch berries) and the garlic and onion powder to taste. It’s supposedly a Planet Hollywood recipe. I hear it’s really great with honey mustard, but I always eat these plain without any kind of sauce.
isn’t* I mean
Yum! That brings back memories of my childhood.. ha ha. Actually- in high school, I literally ate 1 bowl of captain crunch every single day! 🙂
Man… I’m a college student and these still look delicious! Flower and heart shapes and all! I wish my mother would have done this kind of thing! And it all looks wonderful and healthy!
I love this idea! I think these would be great frozen!
I just found this recipe and I LOVE it! Thank you so much…my youngest won’t eat any “whole” piece of chicken and last night as I was watching her eat mcdonalds chicken nuggets (*cringe*) I was thinking to myself, “Why will she eat these nasty nuggets but not chicken bites?” So this is PERFECT! So making these this week. Thank you!!!!
We love these, I have fiddled with the recipe to suit our tastes and now add two teaspoons of English mustard powder. I also use dark meat now as breast can be a bit dry sometimes. Also dark meat has more ‘good’ stuff inc B12. I now freeze them and they are fab!
Rachel, one thing I hardly mention is we are chicken thigh family! I buy breasts for recipes I make for the blog, but my husband only likes thighs, and I’ll be honest, I prefer thighs any day of the week!
My son is very picky when it comes to chicken nuggets. He usually doesn’t like them no matter where they come from but he LOVED these! I made a small batch just to try them out and he ate them all then asked for more! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have been making a lot of your recipes lately and I haven’t found a recipe that we didn’t love!
Thank you for such an easy recipe! My son is so picky and one of the very few things he will eat is chicken nuggets and strawberries but i am through with store bought chicken nuggets……the store bought nuggets must be so unhealthy. I made these today and he loved them! Now i can feel good that he is eating healthy.
Such a great idea.I read one comment about using fish. I pay a fortune for healthy version of fish nuggets. Has anyone else tried to make these with fish? Thanks again for the inspiration!!!! Love your site.
We did write a recipe for fish ones! http://blog.superhealthykids.com/2012/04/fish-sticks-kids-wont-resist/
Thanks for reading!
Hi, i tried,fried the nuggets, crumbs did not come out better, anything else to add in crumbs like rice four?
Hi there! I tried these last night for my 1 year old and couldn’t wait to try them myself. They came out GREAT when first out of the over, however when they cooled, they became really dry and hard… Like the chicken was too dense. Any ideas to moisten them up so that they stay softer? The whole reason for making these for my son was because I was looking for something he could “chew” on his own, with the few teeth that he has. Any ideas would be helpful!! Thanks!
That is strange, and has never happened here, so I’m not sure how to troubleshoot! Was your chicken shredded in a blender or food processor? Was it overcooked and dry before you made the nuggets?
I can imagine if you blended it with a little chicken broth it might retain its moisture better (or use dark meat!?)
If you try it again, let us know what happened!
Hi, how can I purchase your plates for delivery to Australia? Love them!
Hi. I love cooking for my family and always looking for more ways to get my kids to eat healthier. They love chicken nuggets! I was wondering if there is a way to make them with ground(raw) chicken? And by baking instead of frying them.
I have never tried it that way Jody! I’d love for you to try it and let us know!!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine chicken and egg together. Roll a tablespoon of the chicken mixture into a ball, then press it to about 1/2 inch thick. Coat gently with breadcrumbs, then transfer to a baking sheet which has been lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray. Continue until all chicken has been used. Spray the tops of the breadcrumb-covered chicken nuggets with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the nuggets have cooked all the way through. Our kids 5 and 3(the picky one), loved them. Haylee, the 5 year old said they were better than the store bought. 🙂
we are learning about how to make healthy chicken nuggets in chool and this has given me a better understanding on why we need to keep healthy and how we can achieve on becoming fit and a healthier person ! thanks so much 🙂
We tried these and I had to cook them longer to get them brown/crispy. But, sad to say, they were not a hit with myself, 3 or 5 year old. They were dry, dry, dry. Maybe using thighs would be better and give it some moisture?
Oh bummer! Maybe your chicken breasts started out dry? There is definitely a fine line between moist chicken breasts, and dry- like just in a matter of minutes!
Also, a bit more salt might help them to have more flavor as well!!
Good luck, let us know if you dare try again!
(but we do love some good thigh meat!!)
So sorry. Forgot. Add 1/2 tsp onion salt into the meat mixture. Making these tonight, with a side of broccoli. Can’t wait.
I’ve made nuggets with raw ground turkey. Excited to try w/ cooked chicken! Thanks for the recipe.
Would canned flaked chicken do the trick as well?
I don’t see why it wouldn’t Marie! I’ve never tried it though. If you try it, let us know how it turns out!
Thanks for this recipe! I have had an ongoing battle with with my almost 3 year old about food. She ONLY eats oatmeal, rice, crackers, yogurt and bananas. She hasn’t eaten chicken or any meat in over a year! I made these and she ate 4! I was so happy!
Any tips on reheating? I made a batch tonight and plan to put them in the freezer and reheat in the toaster oven.
Any idea of what temp and for how long? Thanks!
P.s Tasted one and they’re great! Added some onion powder, garlic along with the salt with the meat and they turned out great. Hope my 2 year old likes them!
We just put them back in the oven at about 400degrees for about 15 minutes- just until hot in the middle and crispy on the outside.
Hi I love how easy this is. ok, so i’m such an amateur cook, but i have to ask… in order to freeze for later, would these be best cooked in oven as your recipe says and then freeze individually? or should i just roll in the crumbs, then freeze individually & then pull out as needed & bake for 15 mins? Thanks
I would cook first and then freeze- and 15 minutes is all you should need!
ummm, this is absolutely brilliant!
I threw a handful of a frozen veggie mix (peas, carrots, corn, green beans) STILL FROZEN in with the chicken and egg mixture that was already pureed, pulsed a couple of times. That way I got little color bits of veggies! Kids love them!
Made these tonight! Thanks for the alternative to McDonald’s. =)
I seasoned the chicken with onion and garlic powder while blending and used two eggs because the blending took me AGES. I think I have an awful blender. Which do you recommend?
Oh that looks healthy and tasty! I’ve been trying to cook healthier for my kids so I hope they will like this!
I am going to try this tonight. My son, also hates veggies so, hmmmm. I am going to get the juicer out and pulp some carrots. I hope that adding this to the egg and then to the chicken may keep them moist. Fantastic idea Amy thanks!
I will definitely try this out after seeing how a processed chicken nugget is made.
I will definitely try these out. They look so much healthier then the fast food ones.
My 5 year old son just got diagnosed with high cholesterol. He ONLY eats chicken nuggets from McDonalds. He has never tried red meat !
I am going to try this, so keep your fingers crossed!
I think my son would love this recipe, it looks absolutely delicious, even I want to try this! Thanks for sharing!
Tried these tonight as written and they were pretty good. Two questions:
1) if you freeze, would you recommend doing so before or after baking?
2) have you tried with a mix of breast and boneless, skinless thighs? I thought that they were a little dry and was wondering if you’ve tried with a combo of white and dark meat?
1) After baking! and 2) Yes, and they are super delicious! We love dark meat!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I got to this recipe while looking for an alternative to chicken nuggets not for kids but for myself. Even after I stopped eating them because I knew they were terrible I still wanted something similar. So, thank you for this recipe. It looks really good and I bet it fills the empty space left by nasty processed chicken nuggets. Chiropractic Chattanooga
Oops! Froze them pre-baking. The chicken is cooked but they do contain raw egg. Will they still be safe to eat if I cook them thoroughly out of the freezer?
Yes, if they are thoroughly cooked, you will be fine!
My son is allergic to eggs. What do you think (or have tried) to substitute for that?
Most people use 1 TBL Flax frothed wtih 1 TBL water to replace an egg!
These look so fun and so much healthier than those nasty store bought ones! I am going to have to make these for my son, who loves chicken nuggets to death.
Flaxseed is a great egg substitute. 1tbs flaxseed to 3tbs water, let it sit and get a bit thicker and use as one egg.
Found this recipe today and tried it out as soon as I got home! I had to use 2 eggs for the mest to stick together, but did not blend it to death. As I now see in your picture, your mixture has been knocked out 🙂 Maybe that is why my nuggets tasted great but texture was …tiring. Dry and boring. Do you think that’s the reason, too?
Will be definitely experimenting with this because it’s a great recipe! Thanks
Does it make a difference if I use a blender vs food processor? I only have the food processor, so hopefully not!
It doesn’t caroline! as long as you can get it to mix!
Hi There! Just found your website and am thrilled about it! I am making the chicken nuggets and having a hard time doing the cookie cutter shapes? I don’t know if its because I did add a handful of frozen veggies? Any tricks? Love to do Mickey Mouse ones for my kids birthday party! Thanks!
That would be cute!! I would just say, make sure your “dough” is dry enough… then, just squish it into the cutter. Literally, squish and shape!
Thank you for this recipe! I have tried it twice and both times the chicken is really dry. Your blended chicken looks smooth but mine just looks crumbly, which makes it really hard to form into nuggets. Do you think I am overcooking the chicken when boiling? Thanks!
Hi Zoe- I definitely think you are overcooking your chicken. To retain the moistest chicken breast, don’t let it cook past 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer if you need to. Also, try cooking in the oven, so you can keep that thermometer in the whole time! Good luck!
hi, this looks great! i’m going to try this tonight. is there a way to just print the recipe?
Not for this recipe- sorry! Our newer recipes have a print feature though. 🙁
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Yum! That looks great. I am going to have to try this out really soon.
I do something similar but I use half bread crumbs and half sour cream and onion veggie chips, I used parsnips and yellow squash instead of the potato it turned out great and you can use the rest of the chips as a mostly guilt free side.
I did this yesterday and it was total success. If I want to do the same but with fish, should I pre-boil fish? or because is fish, I just shred it raw and cook it longer? Thanks!
Try this recipe for fish ones!
This is going to sound silly, but where did you buy the cookie cutter in the form of a gold fish?.. I found fish shaped cookie cutters, but none were the perfect size and none were like simple gold fish. Any suggestions?
Maria- the craft store, by the clay supplies.
My mom, who has more time than I do to experiment, did something similar for my kids. She used cooked chicken, cooked quinoa, applesauce, an egg and some Italian seasoning in the food processor. We made silver dollar sized patties that we cooked in a little grapeseed oil in a pan on the stove. They kids loved them! I love the idea of mixing in some veggies too! Definitely going to try that next time!
I used a recipe once that used mashed potatoes as the binder. They turned out very nicely texture and taste wise.
I was wondering if u put in any liquid when u put the chicken in the crockpot. Also do u bread the nuggets before freezing?
How about adding some white beans in the chicken puree? That would hold up things great and add some fiber. Plus, loads of protein AND your kid is eating beans without noticing them! lol
Great idea. I blend my chicken with finely grated spinach. & crumb with bread crumbs & a bit of grated broccoli, cheese. Or can add mixed herbs. (Just to add a bit more health to it.) 🙂
I am so happy to have found your site (through The Blender Girl)! My kids are 9 and 11 and still love chicken nuggets. My oldest has ADHD and sensory issues, and he refuses to eat my homemade chicken nuggets. I never thought about grinding up the chicken first! I would like to try this, but I think he would like a batter coating instead of bread crumbs. Any ideas on how to do that?
Glad you found us too Karen! We love the Blender Girl! As far as batter goes, I haven’t tried it that way, but a mixture of flour, salt, egg, and milk is what we’ve used to batter other things. Let us know if you try it.. You may have to “fry” them to have that work.
This is so simple & so much better than ‘mechanically retrieved’!…..I am surprised about blending it….but I guess that is where they get their texture from!….and we get to control the salt!
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thanks for so simple and wonderful recipe
I have 4 month baby as well as toddler so I am always finding some simple recipe for her .
my only question my nuggets have become dry and a little hard after baked in oven .
I have only tested a little bite and rest is in refrigerator so I can fix my problem if happens .
I don’t know how to make it soft either I have baked too much or I have boiled the chicken too much .
can I put butter in chicken mixture to make it soft and a bite buttery?
I am wonder if adding applesauce would act as a binder as well as some moister and flavor. I add applesauce to my seafood stuffing
Thanks Pearl! that’s a great idea.
Came out great so far. I used 2 chicken breasts and two eggs. I added some honey to chicken mixture. Also brushed with butter . It yielded 18 nuggets. I used Italian style bread crumbs with parmesan and garlic powder.
Are the flaxseeds ground flaxseeds or whole flaxseeds when replacing the egg?
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Also, the shiny surface and velvety texture makes it vulnerable to stains and watermarks.
Is there alternative to using egg in blender my son has severe allergy to egg
I have a kiddo with an egg allergy. Is there a way to substitute the egg with something else?
Bethany- I used it to act sort of like a glue- if you have other binding ingredients, it could work in it’s place… what about honey or something?
what do you mean freeze them individually first?
Hi, i just found this recipe and i was thinking about making them for my School assignment. i was wondering about how many nuggets the recipe makes?
I was also wondering, do you think that if i made my own soft bread crumbs out of wholemeal bread to make it a bit healthier would it still work for my school assignment?
My son is allergic to eggs and milk. Any thoughts on a different binder to mix with the chicken-so I can get him away from junky, processed nuggets?
Maybe honey, water , applesauce, coconut milk, k
We use applesauce a lot as a substitute for egg with my allergy toddler. I would think with Chicken it is actually pretty good (think of the sweet sauces restaurants use on their chicken). I plan on trying these tonight with applesauce as my binder.
Mine is allergic to eggs and milk as well. I am planning to make these with applesauce as the binder. It will sweeten up the taste so I plan on using some garlic, onion and pepper in the breading to offset some of that. But my 2 year old loves spices.
Oh and instead of butter to make them more crispy in the oven, I plan on using olive oil. Super healthy alternative for a toddler with milk allergy. Better than margarine (although we use that sparingly as well), but won’t give as much flavor, just crunch.
I made these with applesauce, but I didn’t need to use much (1 tbsp) because I also steamed cauliflower and carrots and those worked as a good binder. I also had to use panko breadcrumbs because all my other choices at the grocery store were made with whey (milk product). They don’t work as well, next time I will grind them for a more kid like texture.
So I did this today and it was a disaster! I boiled about 2 pounds of chicken because I wanted to do a big batch for my kid and my husband (he loved them) and first i putted to much egg then the blender wouldnt blend well since i have to add more chicken..the mix ended up being not like cookie dough so wasnt easy to make shapes and bread it… anyway i did it anyway and i guess they werent so thick and i might have over baked them so i feel they are hard for my kid but still good for us…. can you give me and idea of how many eggs would be needed if i use around 2pounds of chicken? also, what type of blender did you use? thank you it is really an amazing recipe!
Susy- I would use as many eggs as it takes to become dough. We used one egg for one chicken breast, so you would need a few more eggs for sure.
I actually used a hand mixer.
I’m having this same issue. I used 2.15 lbs of chicken, my food processor is great, I’ve used 4 eggs so far and it doesn’t want to shape very well. Did I add too many eggs or not enough?
Thank you! Yes a hand mixer sounds like it works better hgreat I’ll definitely try again
Made these for the first time today. They were delicious! My 3 yo had fun making them and eating them. Glad I found this website!
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My son has celiac disease any way of substituting the bread crumbs?
These are a great idea! I’m not a mom myself, but I constantly have my nieces over, plus I babysit a very very picky six year old who won’t eat anything that isn’t frozen. Would they come out good if I added a little cream cheese to make the chicken creamier and not so dry?
What kind of chicken do you use? I know that sounds like it might be a silly question, but we are trying very hard to not get mass factory raised chickens with hormones added. Is there a particular brand of chicken you buy?
Hi I was wondering how these turned out with the applause. I too have a toddler that’s who’s allergic to eggs.
Do you have to cook before you freeze them? Or can I make, freeze, and then cook?
Great idea but the amounts and time is off. I tried my Vitamix and Oster the 5 oz quantity is incredibly off, forcing you to scrap the sides every pulse, the other issue is that the cooking time is double.
Your chicken breast wasn’t cooked in 20 minutes boiling? That is always the amount of time I boil my chicken. The cooking in the oven part shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes, as the chicken should already be cooked.
Thank you for those who posted substitute for egg. I’ll give this try with applesauce first as binder.
I apologize for the confusion. In the oven it took double the time. 🙂 Just to get browned! I do have to note with thigh meat they were still juicy.
HI Thanks for posting this. I love this idea for my 14m old. He loves his nuggs. Plus who cares about the butter part–it’s still healthier than what’s on the shelves. TYVM, JW
Mine turned out really dry — I’d love to try it in the slow cooker though! What else do you add to the chicken before you cook it??
Don’t use a lot of applesauce, it will make them too hard to handle when breading them. Using applesauce did make them flaky (didn’t hold together very well). I would try the flaxseed approach next time. 1Tbsp of Flaxseed, 3Tbsp of water…combine and let sit for five minutes then add to the chicken like you would have the egg. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Really when someone doesn’t understand after that
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@Melissa- We bought some chicken from a local farmer awhile back and still have quite a bit. As far as grocery store chicken, I don’t have a brand I prefer over another. Local Harvest has a directory of local farmers you can use http://www.localharvest.org/organic-chicken.jsp
@emily- the best way to get your chicken not so dry is to cook it with a meat thermometer and not let it be cooked above 165 degrees.
Do your kids really eat raw bell pepper!?
I have been looking for a recipe like this for quite awhile, thank you!! I am the one who loves chicken nuggets in our family though!
All the time @Felicia ! it’s the best way to eat them. Especially with some hummus or laughing cow cheese, or even ranch as a dip.
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Thank for a lot of information about how to make a chicken nuggets, i really enjoy it, you inspired me how to make a chicken nuggets, i try it.i’m sure my family like this.
thank you for your information on how to make a chicken nuggets, i really enjoy it.
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I make mine like this: chicken in small cubes, let it rest in the fridge in yoghurt or buttermilk, smash some seasoned crackers and dip the chicken in it. fry for a minute or 2, ready. A succes everytime. but I have to try this one too. kids love the shapes 🙂 thanks for sharing
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Interesting…we raise meat rabbits and this might be a good way to use up all the little leftover pieces.
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How do you blend it without a liquid? I tried this and had to add a lot of liquid in my blender. It turned out really runny and I couldn’t shape it or roll it at all. I had to spoon it onto a cookie sheet and it just didn’t work.
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Do you think this would work with steak as well? Turkey? Have you tried any other meats? My son is 16 months and the only way I can get him to eat meat is to either give him chicken nuggets or puree the meat with mashed potatoes. I love this idea but I wonder if it would work just as well with other meats.
That’s a good question Rebecca. I don’t know about steak, but Turkey probably would be ok. We’ve only also done it with fish.
How do u do them with fish?
Hi there! My son has egg-dairy-gluten allergy. There is any way to do it without egg? Any substitute?
Thanks in advance!
Hi there! My son has egg-dairy-gluten allergy. There is any way to do it without egg? Any substitute?
Thanks in advance!
Hi love this. I too am not keen on working with meat but I went to local butcher and he minced thd chicken for me. It really saved a lot of effort!
once you have made the nuggets you could bake them and let them cool. once they are cool to the touch take a baking sheet with either wax, or parchment paper and lay each nugget out on the sheet like you would to bake them before. put in the freezer for about an hour to semi freeze then take out and store in a freezer back. the semi freeze helps keep the shape of the nugget and prevents them from sticking. i hope that helps (EM B)
How many nuggets does 1 breast make?
I have been looking for an alternative. Especially for my little one. My family has been transitioning from whole foods and clean eating. Thanks for the recipe will try.
I would try butting gluten free toasted bread in a food processerand make your own crumbs
So just curious, do you ever make batches of them and freeze them? If so how do they taste reheated?
Hi, I live in Australia, what would you recommend a substitute for Captn crunch as well don’t have that here 🙂
Love the idea! Thanks for sharing it. I can’t wait to give it a try. One thing though, the ‘pin’ option won’t work because it “doesn’t have a valid picture” attached to it. 🙁 Just FYI
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I didn’t know until this year that chicken nuggets weren’t just chicken breast pieces, as many online recipe sites have been sharing their recipes. When my kids (now 28 & 30) were little & asked for McDonalds nuggets, I simply chopped up one of the breasts (from a whole chicken that I cut up myself), & shake N baked them with the rest of the chicken.
It really just depends on the size of the chicken breast. @Cynthia
Yes Luisa, we’ve done the same thing but with a flax/water mixture and no egg.
OK, thank you! I will have fun finding out at least! I love finding new recipes! Thanks again!
I just tried the recipe, it worked so well. I didn’t have breadcrumbs so I threw Total cereal in the food processor beforehand to coat the nuggets. Definitely going to make again! Thanks 🙂
My chicken goop was too wet. They didn’t roll, they chicken just adhered to my hands
Just made these tonight and they were really nice tasting but a little dry. I made the following alterations: Cooked three organic chicken breasts for exactly 20 min on the stove in a covered pot. Then put all three in my kitchen aid stand mixer and beat it on medium until very very shredded. Then mixed in three eggs, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1/2 tsp emeril’s seasoning. Then shaped and dipped in milk and then into italian breadcrumbs. Sprayed with cooking spray and baked until crispy. Next time i’m definitely going to use a cookie cutter and make them into cute shapes!
These were great! One egg wasn’t enough for the breast size I had. I though 2 would have been too many. I used a little water from what I boiled the chicken in. They came out great. I made my bread crumbs with this delicious organic wheat bread we get from Costco. I also added some organic sweet potato tortilla chips and some grounf flax seed and made the breading that way. Very good! I think I’ll try with another binder next time, like pureed cauliflower. This will save me huge money over the all natural store bought ones we’ve been buying. They are so expensive! Thank you!
I don’t have a blender so I just used ground chicken instead. It was quick and easy, and my extremely picky eater really enjoys them. I’m so thankful! 🙂
Hey there !! I am sure you have answered this before but I can’t seem to find the answer in the many comments below I was wondering how long will these last in the freezer? What would you suggest is the best way to store these to prevent freezer burn? Thank you so much!
I made the Nuggets yesterday. I used two large breasts, 2 eggs and added a little soaked rolled oatmeal. I hoped to have it for the lunchbox and the rest for lunch/dinner when they come home. Well, i was wrong – they gobbled it upd for breakfast, at least i was lucky to have some for the lunchboxec.
I did add a little more salt, garlic and onion powder – both to the meat mixture and to the breadcrumbs, but my kids are bigger (almost 9, 6 and 4) and dont´t like bland food.
Deffinitely will make them regularly now. But I will need lots of meat – I was surprised that there didn´t came out more than one sheet of Nuggets.
Thank you! I made this tonight, and my son are all of his. That’s something that doesn’t happen a lot. I will definitely be making this again.
My 3 year old loved making these with me!
These didnt work out for us. I think I boiled the chicken too long. Also the bread crumbs didnt realltbrown
I know my kids will love it. Thank you for sharing the recipe! It maybe weird but I have never made chicken nuggets for my kids 🙂 Love this recipe! I will definitely try it.
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OMG these were devoured by my 16 month old who is very selective and headstrong about what she will/will not eat. Made them egg free by substituting a “flax egg” in case anyone is wondering if the egg is essential. Also mixed bread crumbs with ground almonds for the crust.
These turned out great! All 3 of my kids loved them, including me!
Had trouble lifting pressed shapes & breading. So placed cookie cutter on baking sheet, sprinkled bread crumbs within, pressed on chicken & sprinkled more breadcrumbs on top.
Next time will use thighs, as was dry.
Nice easy recipe. One question , can those nuggets be made and stored in the deep freezer?
This didn’t work out for me. The chicken wouldn’t stay together.
Definitely sending this recipe for my grand daughter, since the bite must be more tender to than using full chunks of chicken (although being 2 yrs old -no toothpicks or skewers for her, & more likely to nibble diced bell pepper more than the strips). She’ll love the nuggets -great variation!
is there any way i can omit the egg? my daughter has an egg allergy…or is there anything else you recommend replacing the egg with? thanks
Hi, I need to make a large batch for a party. Can you please send me the instructions for making ahead and freezing them?
May I know why do you boil the chicken first then only to blend and bake? How if it is blended together with egg then bake it straight away? Anyone tried that?
I really like these!!
I would like to freeze a batch of the nuggets.
Shall I cook them and freeze them or shall I freeze them uncooked, and them cook when I am going to give them to my lo? 🙂
Hi well done for these! will try them!!
Shall I freeze them before I put them in the oven and then cook them when I am going to give them to my lo or shall I cook them and put in the freezer then thaw?
My kids loved these!!
Kids like them but not a lot
Ive been dying to make these for my kiddos who are chicken nugget fanatics! I finally made them today. My 15 month old didn’t like them (who is the main person I made them for) but my 3 year old gobbled them up! I even managed to get my husband to try one and he said “not bad, I could eat them”
They were a little dry, I think I over cooked them when I boiled the chicken so next time I’ll pay closer attention. I added paprika, salt, poultry seasoning and garlic powder to the meat before I blended it and then some pepper and parmasean cheese to the bread crumbs. I also brushed butter on the top side and flipped them after 5 minutes.
I also used a cookie cutter on like 4 of them but that was a pain so I stopped and just formed meat lumps that look like nuggets you get in a bag! lol
Hi amy! Can you freeze them for later consumption? I want to make a bunch of it for my kid.
So I prepared these yesterday and froze them. I put the egg in, but didn’t cook,before I froze. Was that ok to do?
Yep! As long as you cook after, you’re ok!
I didn’t try the recipe as is because I was afraid of the warning that the nuggets can end up dry if over-boiled! Of course I didn’t want to risk wasting my good organic chicken! So I baked my chicken cutlets in a covered glass casserole dish with a little bit of oil. It was super moist when fully cooked! The other modifications I made were: I added some garlic powder to the chicken mixture (so it was chicken, egg, salt and garlic powder blended up); and I fried instead of baked the nuggets because, again, I was afraid of ending up with dry nuggets! The result was pretty good! Most and tender chicken nuggets. It’s a great basic recipe you can jazz up by adding different spices to either the chicken mixture or the bread crumbs. I’ll definitely make this again. Thanks so much for posting this awesome recipe!
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Easy to make. I used chicken thigh meat because it’s less apt to dry out. Added a little grated parmesan to both the chicken mix and the bread crumbs. I let my kids pick the shapes and made hearts, stars, Christmas trees and “gingerbread” men. I wouldn’t recommend the gingerbread men…. their arms and legs fall off too easily. 🙂
Can I shallow fry these nuggets?
Hi Grace, I think that would work just fine!
Making these now and I can already tell they’ll be great. I used some rotisserie chicken that I had bought and some homemade breadcrumbs (I forgot to buy any at the store). I’m excited to give these to my little one who loves chicken nuggets!
Awesome Theresa, thanks for sharing!
Made them, pretty easy recipe
Haven’t had a chance to cook them, but I am going to try to cook in air fryer and see how it turns out
Thank you so much for the recipe. I always feel bad taking my son to McDonald’s buy chicken nuggets because they are so salty
I am excited to try this recipe to my son hope he likes them
Thanks for sharing Judy, I hope your son loves them!
I just bought some pre-ground chicken. It tends to be more watery than boiled chicken. Have you ever used that for this recipe? I wonder if I need to add more bread crumbs.
Hi Nikki, I haven’t tried this but it would be an interesting experiment!
Love this but for some reason. Mine are super dry. I had a really hard time blending them in my blender and I used just over 1lb of chicken and 2 eggs. I did have to try to blend a tiny bit at a time but still took forever. Not sure if this is what dried them out.
Hi Kelly, thanks for your feedback. I wonder if the cooking method (boiling) could be the culprit, since it’s so easy to overcook chicken this way, which would make the texture tough. We’re working on updating this recipe and we’ll post out results when we’re finished!
great thnks for sharing
quick question, it says 1/2pound in ingrediants list then 5 ounces in the method?
Hi Heather, thanks for pointing this out. It should be 1/2 pound, and I updated the recipe to reflect the right amount.
Very disappointed they were dry even when I added extra egg won’t be making them again with this recipe
Don’t like this recipe at all, I followed exactly as it is, but then when it was time to make the shapes the dough was very loose, so I tried adding one more egg to hold it together, still not firm enough, so I added a bit of four, and still not good so I added more. RESULT: i was able to make flat circles with the dough so I could roll on the crumbles, but came out very “floury”, I mean I don’t know what I did wrong on the beginning, but I will try again with other modifications…
Would ground chicken work?
Hi Alexis, I think it would work but it may have more moisture, you might need to add a few bread crumbs to the meat itself to get it to hold together. Give it a try!
They are good but a little dry. Any suggestions to make them a little moist.?
We like to pair them with a tasty dipper! You can also try baking rather than boiling the chicken first, to keep more moisture in the meat.
This is great. I am so glad I do this for my toddler. She has problem with meats. She was born with esaphucus defect. I am always try new ideas to hel her eat without complications. Thank you for sharing.
My daughter rejected these and I wasn’t sure why. Until I tried them. These absolutely need sauce bc they are so bland and just not quite right.
Made these tonight and they were great. Haven’t been able to get my little guy to eat meat on its own (usually has to be mixed in with something else) and he happily ate some. Its hard to get him to eat much when it not in puree form out of a pouch so definitely take this as a win!
I used 50/50 chicken breast and thighs to give it a bit more moisture and rather than cook the chicken before hand I blended it raw with some onion and garlic powder, and the egg, shaped into nuggets and rolled in bread crumbs and baked for about 15 mins. I think cutting out the second cooking time helped with the dryness.
Thanks for the recipe!
Very good nice website
It says 4 servings, but doesn’t say how much a serving is. Does anyone know roughly about how many average size nuggets this makes? Or some other way to describe how much the recipe makes? Thanks ?
1 serving is about 4 nuggets. 🙂
is there a substitute for egg? We are egg and dairy free.
You can use a flax egg- 1 Tablespoon flax meal and 3 Tablespoons water. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes before using! This will replace 1 egg.
Thank you for such delicious recipe. Loved it.
My picky 3 year old and my 20month love it. They love dipping those in Japanese style mayonnaise sauce. I used an air fryer to fry it . Very easy, save time and less oil needed. Thanks for a perfect recipe.
They froze and reheated great! ?
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Can I use cooked quinoa to coat the outer layer by replacing breadcrumbs?
Yes! You can also check out our posted for Quinoa Coated Chicken Nuggets. 🙂
Hey! First of all, these came out great. Instead of salt, I added thyme parsley and garlic powder. The breadcrumbs stuck to the chicken very well. Just a couple of things- the chicken was a bit hard to mold because of the juiciness but it was still manageable! And when I tried to flip them halfway, they fell apart completely. The ones I didn’t flip came out really well though! and I’d do the recipe again with just a couple of tweaks. Thank you so much for sharing. My toddler loves his chicky nuggies, I know he’s going to love these for dinner later.
Made these tonight and my 7 year old loved them!! My 3 year old not so much…but I have a question? There is a bit of water when you are forming the shapes is this to hold it together? I made big nuggets that looked like nugget patties lol!! When flipped them they started to separate? Would you have a thought on how to have them stay together?
After pureeing the chicken, try and remove any extra moisture. Also, some users have had more success with them staying together by not flipping them during the bake time. 🙂
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I thought they were good. My husband thought they were horrible.
I will be giving them to my Grandson who I think will love them. He is 2 1/2.
Hi there. I would love to try these for my toddler but I don’t have a blender or food processor. Do you think these would work with any other appliance such as a stand mixer, hand mixer, or immersion blender? Thanks!
You could try! You could also dice the chicken really fine with a knife before mixing with the other ingredients. Good luck!
I think my kids will LOVE this! How long do you recommend boiling the chicken?
Just until cooked through- about 15 minutes usually works for us!
I really liked this recipe. Like others I found that the mix was very juicy, and after making a couple struggling to keep them in shape, I modified how I was making them keeping them in the cookie cutter and then setting them in the bread crumb mixture and flipping them over, this helped me keep them in the shape better.
Then I just dusted more of the bread crumbs around the sides after pushing them out. I also found these nuggets turned out thick and huge because my cutouts were quite thick, it would maybe be a little thinner to try rolling out the chicken mixture in some way like with cookie dough. I think these were great though otherwise, and the suggestion to put butter on top really gave them a nice golden color I flipped them and did this on both sides.
I think these would hold up nice in the freezer and my two 8 year olds said they tasted just like the store bought ones.