Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets

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

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! |

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! |

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! |

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Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 2 dozen chicken nuggets 1x


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


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread panko out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 3 to 5 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.
  2. Place flour and eggs in separate shallow dishes. Increase temperature to 450 degrees.
  3. 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.
  4. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Serve chicken nuggets warm with dipping sauce(s), if desired.
  5. *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.

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

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117 comments on “Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets”

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  4. All it takes for me is one recipe that comes out good to believe in chef.  And I believe in you.  I made several of your recipes lately and they all turned out good.  I shared them on fooducate.  I made those last week.  My kids loved them so much they couldn’t wait for me to make them again.  I used ground chicken and put a little less salt this week and doubled it ! After I baked them all I froze them to be warmed later in a toaster oven.  I am very happy that I can give them something they like yet a lot healthier than the fast food.

    • That’s so sweet of you to say, Tania! We’re thrilled that you enjoy the recipes, and that that these were a hit with your kids! :D

  5. why is there cooking spray listed in the ingredients?  I don’t see where you use it in the recipie.

    • Hi Susan, the cooking spray is listed in case someone doesn’t have any parchment paper – it would be the next best thing to use so the chicken nuggets don’t stick to the pan when they’re baking.

  6. Hi, can i use the regular bread crumbs? thanks.

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  8. I just made these for my picky two year old and he absolutely loves them!! Thank you for this yummy recipe ? 

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  10. I was just wondering why you wouldn’t recommend the grated parmesan cheese? That’s what I’ve used for chicken nuggets. What I do is a cut the grated cheese into small pieces (with my fingers to be fast) and it’s worked out well. I’m just curious because I want to know if I need to go to stop to buy a different kind than the one I already have in my fridge. Thanks!

  11. These are seriously amazing! I was too lazy and just cut chicken into strips. I didn’t toast bread crumbs. I omitted thyme and replaced it with oregano. I baked them on convection oven setting at 425 F for about 15 min, turning half way through. They were crispy on the outside and very tender on the inside. The whole family enjoyed them, including a picky 4 year old. Thank you so much for such a tasty and healthy recipe! This will now be my staple for baked chicken! Yumm!!! 


  13. Can these be frozen and reheated?

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  20. Made this recipe for my family the other day! Everyone loved it! So simple and yummy. I served the nuggets with garlic Parmesan mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Thank you for the lovely recipe :)

  21. I don’t have panko but I do have a huge bag of dried potato flakes. I wonder if I could  use it as a substitute. It’d be amazing if it turns out as good as your nuggets because the taste of potato and chicken together in one bite would be interesting. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Hi Spencer! We haven’t tried dried potato flakes in this recipe, so we’re not sure how those would work. We do know breadcrumbs (store-bought or homemade) would be a good substitute. Definitely let us know if you try it though!

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  23. I was wondering if there are any other spices that would work other than thyme? The family doesn’t really like thyme and I want to use something that is flavorful but not harsh. Would chili powder work or maybe paprika? Or is the thyme subtle enough in the recipe that it’ll work?

    • Hi Suzanne! Yes, totally! You could use oregano or rosemary, or chili powder or paprika would be yummy as well. We hope you and your family enjoy these!

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  27. Just made these, and they came out amazing. So crunchy outside, and so tender and juicy inside. I didn’t have parchment paper so I used a silicone sheet and they didn’t stick. I forgot to pre-season the chicken with salt and pepper, and so I had to add a pinch of salt after they came out of the oven. I definitely won’t forget this step next time.
    Very easy and foolproof recipe!

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  32. When do you use the cooking spray?

    • Hi Jan! You can either use parchment to cook the nuggets on, or spray your baking sheet with cooking spray. We hope you enjoy these!

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  41. 5 stars
    Tasted really good. Love how you toast up the breadcrumbs.

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  44. 5 stars
    I made These tonight and decided to double bread them, they were extra crunchy! After the flour, egg, and breading, we egged them again and did another round of breading. So delicious!

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