Home-Made Chicken Nuggets

What is it about kids and chicken nuggets?  They love them!  Did you know you can easily make a fantastic version, with simple ingredients, right at home?  We’re talking nuggets similar to fast food and frozen versions, but with ingredients you control?  You can!  Read on, my friends!

Ok, I have a confession, we all love these nuggets.  Even the adults in the house have been known to scarf a few down.  They’re that good.  They’re the quintessential nugget; soft inside, crunchy outside.  Two things are essential to this recipe.  Can you guess what they are? The first is a food processor.  We will use the food processor to grind up the ingredients.  It’s a key step in order to get that store-bought/fast-food type of nugget.  The bonus to that is, since we are starting with whole chicken breasts, you can go organic if you choose.  Have you ever seen the price of organic chicken nuggets at the grocery store?  Ouch!  The second secret ingredient to get that perfect nugget?  It’s mashed potato!  Really!  It gives the nuggets that soft, almost fluffy/airy texture. You can boil or bake a potato and mash it, or use leftover mashed potatoes.  Either works great!

All you need is an hour or so and you’ll have a big batch of nuggets.  Bake some for lunch and freeze the rest.  For the recipe, you’ll put big chunks of chicken in the bowl of your food processor, along with the potato, a little seasoning, and some parmesan cheese.  Flip the switch.  Let it grind until it just starts to come together into a ball and everything is finely ground.  Then I melt a couple tablespoons of butter and mix it with some panko breadcrumbs.  With a small cookie scoop, scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and pat it into a nugget shape.  Press into the breadcrumbs and bam!  Nuggets.  Better than store-bought.  At this stage you can either freeze them or bake them.  You’ll get about 45 nuggets from this recipe.  No need to defrost when you’re ready to bake.  You can just bake them a few minutes longer than if they were fresh.

CAUTION: Cuteness overload ahead.  Sorry, I’m not sorry for all the pictures of my cute LB enjoying her nuggets.  I couldn’t choose between them.  She really is too cute for her own good.  No, I’m not at all biased.  Yes, you’ll just have to suffer through them to get to the recipe.  Ok?  Good.

Not sure about bbq sauce.
Much better. 🙂
That’s about 40 nuggets, ready for the freezer!


Home-Made Chicken Nuggets

Home-Made Chicken Nuggets

By Katie Olesen

Better than store-bought!


  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup mashed potato
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt-free garlic herb blend seasoning, like Mrs. Dash
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Cut chicken breasts into large chunks. Place into the bowl of a food processor along with the mashed potato, parmesan cheese, salt, and seasoning.
  2. Turn on food processor. Allow to process until chicken and other ingredients start to form a ball and are finely ground, about 30 seconds or so.
  3. Combine the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs together in a small bowl.
  4. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out 1 tablespoon size portions of chicken mixture. Pat into a nugget shape. Press into breadcrumbs to evenly coat each nugget.
  5. To bake: bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Switch oven to broil on high for a couple of minutes if you want them more browned on top.
  6. To freeze: Place breaded, uncooked nuggets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 min, until hardened. Place frozen nuggets into a freezer bag. Will last several months in the freezer. To bake frozen nuggets: place frozen nuggets on baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.
  7. Note: When baking, make sure internal temp reaches 165°. You can crank oven to 450° to speed up baking times.

Yield: 45 nuggets

adapted from weelicious

Printable version here!



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