Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Updated: September 14, 2023, By Swasthi

You will love these Chicken Nuggets for everything! Deep fry, air fry or bake them in the oven. They turn out so good – Extra crispy, extra juicy, super flavorful & made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Chicken Nuggets are a delicious appetizer that is enjoyed by children and adults, alike. With a light, crisp exterior, juicy & well-seasoned interior, they are popular on restaurant menus. The truth is, you can make them at home quite easily which has the added benefits of being healthier and less expensive.

chicken nuggets



The traditional process of making Chicken Nuggets involves dipping seasoned chicken in flour and then in the beaten egg. Lastly breaded with seasoned bread crumbs which are deep fried. Egg is the main ingredient here as it locks the juices in the chicken and keeps them soft even after frying.

However if you want to make super addictive, extremely juicy and tender chicken nuggets then you have to try out with the extra step of brining the chicken. This extra step is worth the effort!

If you are in a rush to make them quickly you may skip this step. But nothing beats the brined crispy Chicken Nuggets!

With this technique and recipe, you can feel confident about serving really tasty chicken nuggets that your family will love.

Pro Tips

This is a key to making thoroughly and well-seasoned chicken nuggets that are super juicy. In this technique, we will use a unique buttermilk brine to make sure that your chicken nuggets are never dry. Your guests will marvel at how tender they are! That is due to the acidity of the buttermilk which actually traps moisture within the chicken and imparts a delicious flavor.

Brining your chicken does require a small bit of prior preparation. A simple, hands-off step that involves soaking your chicken with buttermilk will yield fantastic results. If you have never tried this method before, you will be pleased with the results.

Choosing the Chicken

When making chicken nuggets at home you want to select the best chicken. Chicken breasts will give you the best texture and flavor. By cutting them into uniform pieces, you will be able to cook them rather uniformly.

Choosing the Spices

This is the part that gets a little more creative. At home, we love the combination of garlic powder, garam masala, and paprika/ chilli powder for a burst of flavors. You can take this recipe in a different direction by switching those spices up a bit. Try using Italian seasoning or adding some lemon zest with dried thyme and oregano.

The point here is that once you have mastered the technique of making juicy and crispy chicken nuggets you can put your own spin on it to flavor them. The options are endless!

What Oil Is Best?

When you are deep frying in your home kitchen, you want to choose a neutral-tasting oil with a high smoke point. Good options for this include vegetable oil or canola oil. Not only do these hold up well at high temperatures, but they will also impart very little flavor to your chicken nuggets, which really lets the taste of the chicken shine.

Which Bread Crumbs are Best?

There are a number of options when it comes to breading your chicken nuggets. Optimally, you can make bread crumbs at home from leftover bread which allows you to control any additives. Prepackaged bread crumbs are also fine, and this is where you have even more options.

You can go with traditional bread crumbs for a finer crust or try panko bread crumbs for something a bit of a lighter and crunchier exterior.

For more chicken recipes, you may like to check
Popcorn chicken
KFC Fried chicken
Chicken burger
Crispy chicken pakora
Chicken manchurian

Photo Guide

How to make Chicken Nuggets (Stepwise Photos)

Once you have gathered your ingredients it is time to get started. Begin by preparing your chicken well in advance of when you plan to eat. Since the chicken requires at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours in the brine, plan accordingly. Simply cut your chicken into evenly sized pieces, place them in a bowl with your brine, cover, and refrigerate.

Preparation

1. Optional Step – I brined it overnight in the refrigerator. To make the brine solution, whisk together ¼ cup yogurt with 1/3 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Then pour 1 ½ cups water and mix. Cut the chicken to 1 inch pieces and add them to the bowl. Chicken looks pale after it is soaked in buttermilk.

cut chicken for nuggets

2. Once you have brined your chicken for at least 3 hours, remove it from the brine. At this point, season your chicken with your spices, coating them evenly.

seasoning chicken

3. Next, is the breading procedure. It will help to have three bowls ready: one with egg, another with seasoned flour, and the last with the breadcrumbs. Beat the egg well with a fork. If you want to skip egg you may use the buttermilk brine in place of egg in the recipe.

prepare flour, egg for chicken nuggets recipe

4. Dredge the chicken nuggets with the flour.

coating marinated chicken in seasoned flour

5. Next dip into the egg.

dip chicken nuggets in beaten egg

6. And then finally into the breadcrumbs.

coat chicken in bread crumbs

7. Continue until all of the chicken has been breaded, allowing the nuggets to sit while you begin heating your oil for frying.

resting breaded pieces

Fry Chicken Nuggets

8. Heat your oil in a deep pan making sure it is deep enough to accommodate the chicken. When it has reached a temperature of about 350 degrees, begin frying in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan.

frying breaded chicken nuggets in oil

9. Cook until golden brown on one side, then turn nuggets carefully to ensure that both sides are thoroughly cooked. This process will take about 5-7 minutes, depending on size and temperature.

When your chicken nuggets are light golden brown, remove them carefully from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly on a paper towel-lined pan to absorb any excess oil. Continue with the remaining chicken until they are done and serve immediately.

golden fried breaded chicken nuggets

Serve chicken nuggets hot with ketchup or a garlic mayo dip.

chicken nuggets recipe

Air Fry or Bake Chicken Nuggets

There are alternate ways of cooking these chicken nuggets for times when you are looking for something perhaps a little healthier. You can successfully air fry the breaded chicken at 400 degrees F or 200 C, for 5-7 minutes per side, turning for even browning.

Alternately, you can bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. Serve while still warm and enjoy!

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

chicken nuggets recipe

Chicken Nuggets Recipe

4.91 from 65 votes
You will love these chicken nuggets for everything! Deep fry, air fry or bake them in the oven. They turn out so good – Extra crispy, extra juicy, super flavorful & made from scratch with fresh ingredients.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Comments

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Servings2
AuthorSwasthi

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 250 grams (½ pound) chicken breast (cubed to 1 to 1¼ inch)
  • cup all-purpose flour (or wheat flour prefer organic)
  • teaspoon salt or as needed
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 tsp ginger garlic paste (divided)
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala or 1 teaspoon Italian herbs (divided)
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed black pepper or paprika or red chilli powder (divided)
  • 1 egg (or use buttermilk)
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs

To brine (optional)

  • ¼ cup yogurt (plain)
  • cups water
  • teaspoon salt


Instructions

Preparation

  • Cube the chicken breast to 1 to 1 ¼ inch pieces.
  • Brine: (optional) If you wish to go ahead with brine, whisk together yogurt and salt in a bowl until smooth. Pour water and mix well. Add the chicken and brine overnight in the refrigerator or at least for 3 hours. Later drain completely.
  • To the chicken cubes, add ½ teaspoon each of garlic powder, garam masala or Italian herbs and black pepper to the chicken. Also add ⅓ teaspoon salt and mix well.
  • Add the rest of the seasonings to a bowl along with the flour. Mix well. (check step by step pictures)
  • Break one egg to a bowl and beat it well with a fork. Alternately you may use the brine.
  • Transfer the bread crumbs to another bowl. Arrange all the 3 bowls side by side – flour, egg & bread crumbs.
  • Dredge chicken in flour and then dip it in egg. Then coat in bread crumbs. Repeat this for all the chicken nuggets. Gently press down each nugget with your fingers so the bread coats it well.
  • Rest them for 10 mins. Meanwhile heat oil in a pan for deep frying.

How to make Chicken Nuggets

  • When it has reached a temperature of about 350 degrees F, begin frying in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. If you do not have a thermometer, gently drop a piece of bread crumb to the oil. If the oil is hot enough, it will rise.
  • Cook until chicken nuggets turn light golden brown on one side, then turn them carefully to ensure that both sides are thoroughly cooked & fried.
  • Remove them to a wire rack or a kitchen tissue.
  • Serve chicken nuggets hot with your favorite dip or sauce.

Air fryer

  • Place the chicken nuggets into the air fryer basket. Spray them with olive or avocado oil. Air fry them for 5 to 7 minutes at 400 F or 200 C.

Bake in oven

  • Place the chicken nuggets on a prepared tray and spray oil. Bake them for 18 to 20 mins at 400 F or 200 C, turning the chicken once after 10 mins.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Nuggets Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 221 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 83mg28%
Sodium 644mg28%
Potassium 334mg10%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 96IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 72mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Chicken nuggets recipe first posted in March 2016. Updated and republished in May 2021.

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Comments

Recipe Rating




49 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
I love chicken nuggets so much, it’s easy to prepare and cook. My children love it too

Hi, I made the nuggets till the stage just before frying ( bread crumbs stage) and froze those raw in the freezer. How long is it edible ?

5 stars
I make these chicken nuggets very often. I brine the chicken for a few hours and get the juiciest chicken. Thank you for this recipe. I also love the spice blend and flavors.

4 stars
Very nice recipe!

Hi, Can chicken brine is buttermilk instead of yogurt mixture?

5 stars
My kid loves these nuggets. Just wanted to know if I can freeze the breaded nuggets… and use if yes then for how long.. Thanks in advance for your help.

Hi,
I love ur recipes and have tried some too. I have a question, my kids are allergic to egg but they can eat chicken and fish. While preparing chicken patties or nuggets, I can’t use egg to coat them in bread crumbs. Can u please give me an alternative for egg. I want to prepare them at home especially now during the pandemic – I don’t want to go for frozen foods. Ur tip will be very helpful. Thank u.

Hi,
Can we bake this?
If so at what temperature and how many minutes ?

Thanks

Hello Swasthi,
What can I use for coating the nuggets, instead of the egg?
Thanks in advance.

5 stars
I tried chicken nuggets step by step by your recipe..it was so yummy and crispy.
Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Very nice recipe. Steps are easy to follow.

Yeah thanks.
What a lovely recipe, Keep up the good work

Hi swasthi, what is plain flour? Is it rice flour?

5 stars
All recipes are fabulous

5 stars
Following your instruction here in Nepal and its quite started working. Keep up the good work dear.

5 stars
Which bread crumbs you use.
Fresh bread slice grind it.
Bread slice toast then grind it.

4 stars
I prepared your chicken nuggets. Why does the oil become frothy.
Otherwise regarding taste it’s good

5 stars
Can I skip Egg in chicken nuggets or chicken popcorn recipe? I am allergic to egg

5 stars
I like it, nice
Very useful

5 stars
I like it ,
Nice very useful

4 stars
Hi Madam,

The recipe looks yummy. Can we replace maida with any other flour? Please advise

5 stars
Dear Swasthi,
I have been trying your recipes for the past one month and I couldn’t stop myself from penning down my appreciation. Your recipes are great and the taste is awesome. 🙂

I tried the KFC fried chicken recipe and it tasted awesome (my 7 year old loved it) however, since my hubby prefers more spice, I tried the chicken nugget recipe and instead of bread crumbs I used slightly crushed oats. Look was exactly like KFC fried chicken and taste was amazing with the required spice. So it turned out really nice. Thank you dear 🙂 Now both hubby and Ryan – my son enjoy it.

A quick question – instead of maida can I use corn flour?

Thanks,
Priya