Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets

These Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets are super crispy and flavorful on the outside, tender on the inside, and ready to go in less than 30 minutes!

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets -- crispy, easy to make, and SO tasty! | gimmesomeoven.com

Last weekend, I caved and ordered fast food chicken nuggets.

Yes, the fried, questionably-shaped, had-probably-been-sitting-out-for-hours, Lord-knows-what’s-in-them kind of nuggets.  Judge away.

But I have to admit, I was seriously craving some comfort food.  It was day two in the NICU back home in Wichita where our family had gathered to meet our very sweet, but very very sick, little newborn cousin and be with his parents.  So heartbreaking.  And especially considering that most of them had not slept in at least two or three days, so exhausting.  So that said, when my cousin decided she was ready take a brief break and walk to get some lunch, I was very happy to accompany her.

Once we stepped out of the hospital and into the warm sunshine, the only restaurant we saw within walking distance was basically the epitome of fast food.  But it sounded predictable and strangely comforting, and she said it sounded good, so we headed right in.  I normally would have ordered a salad or a healthy sandwich.  But for whatever reason, childhood nostalgia kicked in and all I wanted were chicken nuggets and fries with extra ketchup.

I’m not gonna lie.  They actually weren’t half bad.  And they definitely satisfied the craving in a moment when all I wanted was some comfort food.  But they did inspire me to make a legit batch of chicken nuggets when I returned home.

And let it be said — homemade is always a better idea.

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets -- crispy, easy to make, and SO tasty! | gimmesomeoven.com

Actually, I’ve always thought it a little sad that chicken nuggets in general have gotten such a bad rap over the last decade.  I mean, restaurants need to behave themselves and be smart with how they make them.  But in general, chicken nuggets are a delightful way to enjoy chicken!  They’re bite-sized and perfect for popping.  You get a much better breading to chicken ratio, verses chicken strips.  And as we all know, kids are basically biologically drawn to want them now.

So for all of you parents who have been requesting easy dinner recipes this month — and to all of you without kids, like me, who may just really love chicken nuggets — this recipe’s for you.

And as you can tell from the title, these aren’t just any chicken nuggets.  They super crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated with a super-tasty Parmesan-Panko breading.  (Oh, and I’m not kidding on the “tasty” part — these were so good that I even loved just eating them plain!)  Plus, they’re easy to make and ready on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets -- crispy, easy to make, and SO tasty! | gimmesomeoven.com

So yeah, no judging here for anyone who has ever caved to a craving and ordered fast food nuggets.  But the next time the craving hits, I’m going for these guys.

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets -- crispy, easy to make, and SO tasty! | gimmesomeoven.com

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets

These homemade crispy chicken nuggets are baked instead of fried and full of delicious Parmesan flavor!

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup *finely-grated or powdered Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • coarse sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • cooking spray
  • (optional) sauces for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread panko out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a small mixing bowl, then add Parmesan, and thyme. Toss until combined. Rinse off the baking sheet, then cover with parchment paper.

Place flour and eggs in separate shallow dishes. Increase temperature to 450 degrees.

Generously season the chicken with a few pinches of salt and pepper. One at a time, add a piece of chicken to the flour, and toss until coated, shaking off excess. Then dip it in egg until coated. Then transfer to the panko mixture, and toss until it is completely coated (pressing to adhere the Panko if needed). Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve chicken nuggets warm with dipping sauce(s), if desired.

*I do not recommend using the pre-grated Parmesan cheese you can buy in the refrigerated section at the store. Either buy a block and very finely grate it yourself, or use the powdered Parmesan you can buy in the shaker.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets -- crispy, easy to make, and SO tasty! | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Suné Moolman — August 11, 2014 @ 5:31 am (#)

    I love when you can make junk food at home that does not contain questionable ingredients and that tastes a millions time better. Thanks so much for this – it’s dinner tomorrow night for sure!

  2. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes — August 11, 2014 @ 6:01 am (#)

    So sorry to hear about your little newborn cousin. That must be very stressful. Love the way you made this comfort food healthier and home-made. My daughters would love these!

  3. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — August 11, 2014 @ 7:06 am (#)

    I will definitely be praying for your newborn cousin – that is so tough girl!
    I also love chicken nuggets and adore this healthier version! Perfect for those cravings…pinned!

  4. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — August 11, 2014 @ 7:35 am (#)

    I pretty much crave chicken fingers at all times. I love that we’re on the same page once again!! Praying for your little cousin… xo

  5. Erin | The Law Student's Wife — August 11, 2014 @ 7:37 am (#)

    So sorry to hear about your cousin, and I’m glad you were able to be with your family. I haven’t had a chicken nugget in forever, but it does sound very comforting. Thanks for the great at-home version and hang in there xo

  6. Cookbook Queen — August 11, 2014 @ 7:57 am (#)

    You’re killing it with the easy dinner recipes!! My kiddos will love this one :) Praying for your sweet cousin and best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  7. Jenny Flake — August 11, 2014 @ 8:58 am (#)

    Nice!!! Loving these for my boys!!

  8. Heather @ Shards of Lavender — August 11, 2014 @ 8:59 am (#)

    I love the use of panko to add the crispy coating to these little nuggets. I’m pinning them so my son can make them this week for dinner. I’m sorry to hear about your newborn cousin, but I’m sure you’ve been a great source of comfort to your family during this time.

  9. Lisa Andrews — August 11, 2014 @ 9:17 am (#)

    How do these freeze? I am definitely going to try these for my son, who has a corn allergy making it nearly impossible to eat out at all.

    • Ali — August 11, 2014 @ 9:20 am (#)

      Hi Lisa,

      I have not tried freezing these yet, but imagine they would freeze well. I would reheat them in the oven, vs. the microwave, to be sure that they are crispy.

      ~Ali

    • Sadye — August 12, 2014 @ 11:47 am (#)

      This reminds me, at its base, of Iowa Girl Eats’ popcorn chicken recipe, and that said you could just freeze before cooking, then bake as usual (don’t thaw first).

    • Stephanie @ Stephanies Az Kitchen — August 12, 2014 @ 6:51 pm (#)

      My son would love these!! Since we don’t get chicken nuggets much just because I don’t trust the quality of most fast food places kid food – these would be a welcome addition to a meal at our house. 2 dozen sounds like a good number to split to have for dinner one night and have some leftover to freeze for another easy meal. Having a baby in October and am starting to stock up on freezer homemade meals for easy dinners then.

  10. Jamie | Jamie's Recipes — August 11, 2014 @ 9:39 am (#)

    Prayers for your cousin. <3

    Homemade chicken nuggets just can't be beat. You won't have to worry about biting into some crunchy weird piece when you eat these.

  11. Nichole — August 11, 2014 @ 10:30 am (#)

    Oh yum! Sometimes the “bad” stuff is good for the soul as much as I try to avoid it. But I seriously love making the bad food at home and turning it good…this one definitely looks like a winner!

  12. Matt @ Plating Pixels — August 11, 2014 @ 10:51 am (#)

    Wow these look wonderful! I love chicken nuggets but stopped eating them after I decided to kick fast food a long time ago. The healthy baked nuggets look like a tasty alternative.

  13. Olivia - Primavera Kitchen — August 11, 2014 @ 11:20 am (#)

    Homemade chicken nuggets are the best! And your pictures are amazing ;-)

  14. Turner — August 11, 2014 @ 11:49 am (#)

    Sending healing thoughts to your family in this difficult time.

  15. kristin @ prettyloved — August 11, 2014 @ 4:25 pm (#)

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been starving for the last hour or so trying to figure out what in the world I can have for dinner lol. This will be perfect!

  16. Nathalie C. | Devoted Foodie — August 11, 2014 @ 4:38 pm (#)

    Sorry to hear about your newborn cousin. These nuggets look delicious–the perfect healthy yet tasty alternative :)

  17. Thalia @ butter and brioche — August 11, 2014 @ 5:17 pm (#)

    ooh i am so craving chicken nuggets right now. they look amazing!

  18. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen — August 11, 2014 @ 7:56 pm (#)

    I loved the chicken stars from Carls Jr but don’t eat them anymore- love this homemade version

  19. Emily of Sugar Plum — August 11, 2014 @ 9:11 pm (#)

    These look SO good! I admit, I do like the nugs from Chick-fil-a and Wendy’s…

  20. Katie | The Surly Housewife — August 12, 2014 @ 12:07 am (#)

    Yummo! My oldest is obsessed with chicken nuggets. I will have to give these a try. Pinned!

  21. Lori @ RecipeGirl — August 12, 2014 @ 12:07 pm (#)

    My family would go nuts for these!

  22. Meredith — August 12, 2014 @ 1:02 pm (#)

    Totally irresistible!

  23. Russell from Chasing Delicious — August 12, 2014 @ 5:14 pm (#)

    Why have I never thought to make something like this?? This is my favorite childhood food made even better!

  24. Phillip || SouthernFATTY.com — August 13, 2014 @ 4:05 pm (#)

    Yummm! Sweet childhood nugget memories :)

  25. Neetsee — August 14, 2014 @ 7:34 am (#)

    Can you freeze these once baked?

    • Ali — August 14, 2014 @ 8:09 am (#)

      Yes you can.

  26. Tina — August 18, 2014 @ 7:59 pm (#)

    I made this tonight for my in laws and husband, they loved it! So nice and crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Thanks for a great recipe!

  27. Miss Kim @ behgopa — September 4, 2014 @ 12:32 pm (#)

    I can totally relate. It doesn’t happen often (thank goodness), but last night, I had a sudden urge for some fast food. I tried to ignore it, but I ended up getting weak and caving in. I got a big mac and chicken nuggets from a Mcdonalds nearby. And this morning, I feel so bleh! Your nuggets look so much tastier than the ones I had last night. So true about homemade being better.

  28. Angel — September 9, 2014 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    Made these tonight for dinner and my five year old son helped (handled the flour)…. He loves chicken nuggets (actually anything he can dip in ketchup). I used homemade bread crumbs in place of the panko and they turned out great!! Will definitely be making these again with my little helper!!

  29. Cee Cee — September 28, 2014 @ 10:23 pm (#)

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’m struggling with how to get my toddler to eat. I also don’t want to have to give him the standard (sometimes unhealthy) packaged (aka processed/preserved) kid foods. Saw these on Pinterest & thought maybe they might be too involved to make (toddler=not so much time on my hands!), but I’m so happy that they look easy & straight-forward! I’ll let you know how it goes! :-)

  30. Haley Rider — October 7, 2014 @ 5:36 pm (#)

    Just made these for dinner and they are so good! Thanks for the recipe. I will be buying more stuff at the store so I can make more and freeze them on the nights I don’t feel like cooking!

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