How to Make Baked Chicken Nuggets

Need a quick recipe for family dinner? Here's how to make baked chicken nuggets from scratch in less than 30 minutes.

There’s a real joy in meals that remind you of being a kid—especially when they make a decent dinner for adults, too. These baked chicken nuggets are a healthy take on a tried-and-true favorite. You can bring a restaurant-quality dish to the table without any deep-frying.

How to Make Baked Chicken Nuggets in 30 Minutes (or Less)

The conveyer-belt style prep is a fun way for the family to cook together. And because you’re making these from scratch, you can put your own spin on the seasonings.


  • 1-1/4 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2-in. pieces
  • Cooking spray


Step 1: Prep your coating

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Preheat your oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a baking pan.

In a shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, salt, thyme, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow bowls.

Step 2: Prep the chicken

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One at a time, dip each piece of chicken in the flour so it’s thoroughly coated. Shake off any excess. To reduce mess, use a pair of tongs while moving the chicken from mixture to mixture.

Step 3: Dip the chicken in the egg

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Then dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture. The egg will help the bread crumbs stick to the chicken in the next step.

Step 4: Coat the chicken

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Dip the chicken in the crumb mixture. Pat as needed to help the coating adhere. This is where all of the flavor is, so you want each piece to be thoroughly coated!

Step 5: Prepare the chicken for baking

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Place the chicken on a greased rack set in a 15x10x1-in. sheet pan, leaving space between each piece. Spritz the tops with cooking spray.

Step 6: Bake

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Bake the chicken until the coating is golden brown and chicken is no longer pink, 12-15 minutes. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the center reaches a safe temperature of 165°.

Tips for Making Baked Chicken Nuggets

Can You Use Different Types of Bread Crumbs with Baked Chicken Nuggets?

To make the nuggets as crispy as possible, use panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. The Japanese-style bread crumbs soak up less oil, which means more crunch.

What Other Seasonings Can You Use with Baked Chicken Nuggets?

This recipe invites plenty of cooking ingenuity. We love sneaking Parmesan cheese into the crumb mixture! You can also add more dried herbs. For extra heat, sprinkle in cayenne pepper.

What Kinds of Dipping Sauces Should You Serve with Baked Chicken Nuggets?

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The limit does not exist. Ketchup is always a staple (try spicy kethcup for additional heat), but you can get as conventional or as creative as you want. We love everything from classics like honey mustard and barbecue sauce to refreshing chimichurri and cool ranch dressing.

What Sides Can You Serve with Baked Chicken Nuggets?

It’s fun to pair them with kid-friendly french fries. But for a more sophisticated meal, serve the chicken nuggets with a crisp green salad or Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. Of course, mac and cheese is always a classic side, too.

Can You Double This Recipe?

You sure can! Make bigger batches as needed. The cooking time will remain the same.

How Do You Store Baked Chicken Nuggets?

Your baked chicken nuggets will last up to a week when stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Can You Freeze Baked Chicken Nuggets?

Yes! These are a great make-ahead meal for whenever you’re short on time. If you plan to freeze right after baking, let them cool first. Separate servings with parchment paper so they don’t stick together when frozen. They’ll last in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Kim Bussing
Kim Bussing is a writer and editor living in Los Angeles. She has written for publications including Reader’s Digest, Modern Farmer, Clean Plates and Vice, among others, and she is working on her first novel. She is always on the hunt for the perfect gluten-free cinnamon roll.