Easy Chicken nuggets (from ground chicken)

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These 20-minute chicken nuggets made from ground chicken are a breeze to make and oh-so-delicious. Make them for your kids today, and never get these at a drive-thru again!

Chicken nuggets served in a bowl lined with parchment paper. Accompanied by glass of water and a pan in which chicken nuggets were made
Chicken nuggets from ground chicken

Most kids LOVE chicken nuggets!

But they aren’t the healthiest, especially when you get them from fast food restaurants. So we end up with two options – get frozen chicken nuggets from grocery stores or make them at home.

Making homemade nuggets may sound time-consuming, but it isn’t, especially if you make these nuggets from ground chicken. This easy recipe takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish!

Faster than getting dressed and getting to a take-out place:-D.

So, ditch your drive-thru, and let’s make these tasty chicken nuggets at home!

Why this recipe rocks!

EASE: Using minced chicken makes your job easier!
PROS: So much better and healthier than fast food restaurants.

How do you make chicken nuggets with ground chicken?

Traditionally the crispy chicken nuggets you get from the store or a supermarket are made from breast meat. They need to be cut into bite-sized pieces and then seasoned, before frying them or baking them.

Using ground chicken saves you a step here.

Make sure you use organic ground chicken made from 100% breast meat, such as Bell and Evan’s ground chicken from Whole Foods. This ensures that bones are not added to your ground chicken.

So do check your package before you buy!

Now let’s get to the 4 easy steps you can follow to make homemade chicken nuggets using ground chicken at home –

  1. Combine all the ingredients (eggs + seasonings) except the ground chicken. Reserve about 3-4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs for coating.
  2.  Add the ground chicken to the seasonings + egg mixture and combine them. Shape the chicken mixture into balls (about 2 inches) and then flatten them.
  3. Coat them with the reserved breadcrumbs.
  4. Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil and fry the chicken nuggets in batches till it is golden brown on both sides.

Note – I use panko bread crumbs to give these homemade nuggets a nice crunch.

a collage of images showing how to make chicken nuggets step by step
Step by step Chicken nuggets

Oven and air fryer instructions

While my recipe card shares instructions to make these ground chicken nuggets over the stovetop, you can also bake them in the oven or air fry them.

  • Oven – Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 15 minutes until the internal temperature is 165°F and the nuggets turn golden brown. Make sure to flip the nuggets around the 7-minute mark so that it cooks evenly.
  • Air fryer – Air fry at 400°F for 6-8 minutes (start with 6 minutes and cook for two more minutes, if needed). Make sure to flip them halfway through. Cook until the internal temperature is 165°F and the nuggets are golden brown on both sides.

Variations

  1. I use store-bought minced chicken, but you can always make your own ground chicken using a food processor. Make sure to chop the white meat chicken into cubes before pulsing them.
  2. You can use breadcrumbs with Italian seasoning for some taste variation.
  3. To make it gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  4. Increase the amount of black pepper and red chili powder to a teaspoon each to make it spicy. Serve it as an appetizer for adults.
  5. Add some ground green chilies if you really want it spicy 🙂

How to meal prep

You can easily double or triple this homemade chicken nugget recipe. If you like to meal prep, here’s how you can make a big batch of these minced chicken nuggets –

  • Cook the nuggets and let them cool completely.
  • Freeze the nuggets in an air-tight container in layers. Place parchment paper between each layer so the frozen nuggets don’t stick to each other.
a child picking a nugget from a white plate
Juicy chicken nuggets

How to store

Refrigerator: Refrigerate these juicy nuggets in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Freeze homemade chicken nuggets in a freezer-safe container for up to 4 months.

Reheat: Frozen chicken nuggets don’t need to be thawed. Reheat using either a microwave, oven, or air-fryer until heated through.

Serving suggestions

Serve these healthy chicken nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce, such as honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup. You could also serve it with a side of French Fries and veggies –

Did you enjoy this recipe or have a question?Please leave a comment below. Don’t forget to rate!
Chicken nuggets served in a bowl lined with parchment paper. Accompanied by glass of water and a pan in which chicken nuggets were made
Click on the stars to rate!
4.39 from 26 votes

Easy Chicken Nuggets Recipe

These 20-minute chicken nuggets made from ground chicken are a breeze to make and oh-so-delicious. Make them for your kids today!
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 18 nuggets

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • Combine all the ingredients except the ground chicken and oil.  Reserve about 3-4 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs for coating.
  •  Add the ground chicken to the seasonings + egg mixture and combine them. Shape them into balls (about 2-inches) and then flatten them.
  • Coat them with the reserved breadcrumbs.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and fry the chicken nuggets in batches (if needed). Fry them for a couple of minutes on each side till they are golden brown.
  • Serve them warm or at room temperature with a side of ketchup.

Notes

  1. We used a teaspoon of both pepper and chili powder for our recipe – you can see them in our step by step pictures. We love spicy chicken nuggets.
  2. Use breadcrumbs with Italian seasonings to mix it up.
NOTE – I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist. Nutritional information is provided a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients you use.
Read the post…For helpful information on ingredient swaps, storage tips, meal prep ideas, and variations!

Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 60kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 4gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 160mgPotassium: 138mgVitamin A: 20IUCalcium: 6mgIron: 0.3mg
Diet: Nut-free
Course: Snacks
Method: Stovetop
Keywords: easy, ground chicken, homemade
Cuisine: American

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This post was originally published on 07/23/2018 and was completely updated with pictures and new text on 5/28/2023.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was feeling a bit hopeless in finding a good homemade chicken nugget recipe. I wanted to do homemade because the frozen ones at the market have so much… stuff in them. Come to see a lot of the other homemade nuggets had a lot of stuff in them too. But this one, this has simple ingredients and was super easy to make. And they tasted great. So thank you. Thank you for giving me a win with my toddler of highly discerning, highly temperamental tastes!

  2. 5 stars
    These nuggets are awesome. I bake and then freeze them. They are a perfect lunch or dinner for my toddler.

    1. Hi – have you tried it in the air fryer with any success? I’m looking for ideas on how to convert this to an air fryer also . Thanks!

      1. I haven’t tried it in the air fryer. You can try at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes. Flip it at the halfway mark. Make sure the internal temperature is 165 degrees F.

    1. Ornella – I haven’t baked it but generally most recipes on the internet bake these nuggets in a preheated oven set at 375°F for 25-30 minutes.

  3. Have you ever made these and frozen them? I’m a shift worker and am always looking to make mealtime a little easier for him when he’s on his own.

    1. I haven’t but you should be able to do it without any issues. Just let it completely cool down before freezing.