What is it about chicken nuggets that draw a kid’s interest? If you are at one of the many popular fast food restaurants (bleh) it could be the promise of a small toy; or maybe it’s the environment or colorful packaging.
Children may say it’s because they like the flavor, and maybe they do. But the mom in me thinks fast food chicken nuggets are highly overrated, and cringes at where they fall nutritionally. Even if you buy frozen chicken nuggets at the grocery store, you will often see more added fat, sodium, and other not-so-healthy additives than if you made them at home.
Why not try your hand at making these baked chicken nuggets in your own kitchen? It’s not hard. You end up with tasty chicken nuggets made from unprocessed chicken (not ground) and coated with a crunchy, seasoned panko breading. You control the added ingredients, and kids love them – adults too. What’s not to like about this?
Furthermore, you can prep the ingredients ahead of time, making the final preparation time faster and more convenient. Just buy fresh chicken tenderloins, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and freeze in the amounts you need for a meal. The breading and spices can be mixed ahead of time as well and sealed in sandwich bags. When you are ready to make chicken nuggets, just thaw the already-cut chicken pieces and use a bag of the prepared breading. Easy as pie . . . actually, easier than pie . . . and faster . . . and healthier . . . and tastier. Enjoy!
Baked Chicken Nuggets
- 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1/4 tsp. parsley
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. reduced sodium soy sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick pan spray.
- Cut chicken tenderloins into bite-sized chunks (1-2 inches), keeping the pieces all similar in size.
- In a small bowl, mix together the Panko bread crumbs, garlic powder, Kosher salt, pepper, sage, and parsley.
- Beat the egg with the soy sauce in a separate bowl.
- Prepare nuggets by dipping each unbreaded nugget into the egg/soy sauce mixture and the roll in the prepared breading till the nugget is evenly coated.
- Place nuggets onto the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 375° F for 30-35 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately.