Are You Making This Mistake With Your Kids’ Chicken Nuggets?

You know—and love—frozen chicken nuggets as a convenient dinner for the kids. Just be sure you're making 'em the right way!

What kid doesn’t love chicken nuggets? For many households, frozen chicken nuggets are a staple. But cooking them improperly has been linked to foodborne illnesses—which is particularly dangerous for young children. Here’s the rub: Just because your chicken has a golden-brown breading does not mean it’s already been fully cooked.

No one wants to inadvertently serve up a side of salmonella with dinner. The good news? It’s easy to cook this kid-friendly food safely.

Check the packaging every time you cook nuggets. You want to A) figure out if they’re raw, B) see the temperature at which to cook them and C) set your timer for the correct duration.

The Right Internal Temp for Cooked Chicken

The safe internal cooking temperature for chicken is 165°F (or 75°C). And the easiest way to make sure you hit 165° each and every time? Get yourself a meat thermometer. They’re fairly cheap and can save you a whole lot of hassle in the long run. As long as your readings hit that magic 165°-mark every time, you’ll know you’ve killed off any potential bacteria lurking in the chicken.

Making sure you preheat properly and let the chicken cook for the full time recommended on the package will help you double-down on safety.

It’s True for Fresh Chicken, Too

Even when you’re making better-for-you homemade chicken nuggets, the same temperature rule applies.

The best part about making these nuggets is that they don’t take too long. If you’re a busy parent, this recipe will get you through the most hectic of weekdays.You can have dinner ready to go in under 30 minutes from start to finish!

How to Make Quick Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Step 1: Dredge

Combine dry ingredients in a deep bowl. Dip chicken in the egg, then add to the flour mixture to coat. Once coated, set aside on a clean plate.

Step 2: Fry

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in batches for approximately 6-8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and serve. You’re all done!

Trying to wean your kids off chicken nuggets and tenders? Here are our top kid-friendly meals that aren’t chicken nuggets.

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.