Super crunchy and delish!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets! 

If you’re looking for a healthy chicken nugget recipe that your kids will love you have found it.  For a natural and savory coating, we mixed panko breadcrumbs with a variety of seasonings that will appeal to the whole family. High in protein and a good source of iron, these cooked nuggets freeze very well.  Make extras so that they can be served in a pinch!

Kids love to help make these nuggets and it’s a great opportunity to teach them about food safety when handling chicken!  The best way to get them involved is to set-up three stations (dry, wet, dry) so that they can dip the nuggets through the process to conclude at the baking sheet!  It’s fun and a great way to make double and triple batches baked!

Dipping Sauce:  Move over ketchup!  Challenge your child to create his own dipping sauce for the Homemade Chicken Nuggets by combining a variety of ingredients on hand in your kitchen, such as onion and garlic powders, low-sodium soy sauce, paprika, ketchup or tomato sauce, honey, agave nectar, dried herbs, cumin, etc. — the sky is the limit when it comes to her creativity!

1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon paprika
2 large egg whites
4 ½ teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into fifteen 1-inch chunks

Assembly line nuggets kid-style!


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Grease baking sheet.
  2. In large bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika. In pie plate, whisk together egg whites, honey, and tomato paste. In medium bowl, place panko.
  3. One at a time, coat chicken chunks with flour mixture, shaking off any excess; then dip in egg-white mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Finally, toss in panko, pressing crumbs onto chicken if necessary to coat evenly.
  4. Place chicken chunks on prepared baking sheet and spread out to allow for even cooking.
  5. Bake chicken 12–15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crisp and chicken is no longer pink inside.

Makes 5 servings (3 nuggets per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 210 calories; 2g fat (0g sat fat, 1g mono, 0g trans fats); 55mg cholesterol; 23g carbohydrate (2g fiber, 6g sugar); 25g protein; 170mg sodium; 4% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 4% DV vitamin C; 2% DV calcium;10% DV iron.

IF YOU FREEZE CHICKEN NUGGETS: Prepare recipe as above, then cool nuggets. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and freeze until frozen. Transfer to freezer-weight plastic bag and freeze up to 6 months. To heat, place frozen nuggets on baking sheet and bake in 450°F oven for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and heated through.

Do you make your own nuggets or serve store-bought nuggets at home?

– Stacey Antine, MS, RDN, author,
Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, director, HealthBarn Foundation, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

* Recipe is courtesy Appetite for Life, Stacey Antine, HarperOne, September 2012.


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