Fan-Favorite Homemade Chicken Nuggets

A registered dietician shares her favorite healthy homemade chicken nugget recipe that's sure to please busy moms and picky kids.
healthy homemade chicken nugget recipe

Running between work, gym, sports practice for the kids, social events, and everything else on the calendar makes it hard to find time for healthy food these days.

It’s even more challenging if you have picky eaters on top of a busy schedule. Why take time to make something they’ll refuse when you can heat up a box of chicken nuggets or pizza rolls, and the kids will gobble them up?

Convenience is king in most households. While there is undoubtedly a time and place for every food, too much convenience food, like frozen or fast food, can significantly affect health. With so many options readily available, our children are experiencing the impact of a diet too high in sodium and saturated fat, resulting in elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity.

Prepping healthy options to have on hand for busy days can be part of the answer to this problem.

These homemade nuggets promise to bring those flavors and textures home in a way you can feel good about serving your family. Quick and convenient to make, they’re sure to please your pickiest eaters.

Healthier Homemade Chicken Nugget Recipe

Yields about 25 nuggets


  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 2 cups whole-grain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350°

Prepare baking sheets with foil or non-stick spray and preheat the oven.

Prepare three bowls lined up next to each other;

  • the first with flour,
  • the second with 2 eggs and ½ cup water beaten
  • the third with panko bread crumbs

Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, grated carrot, and eggs.

Scoop nugget mixture into heaping tablespoons and form nugget shapes. Dip in flour, ensuring all sides are covered, then eggs mixture, and finally breadcrumbs. Thoroughly coat the nuggets in each step.

Place onto baking sheets, spacing the nuggets without overlapping or touching to get a crispy outside.

Bake 40-45 minutes or until the internal thermometer reads 165F, turning each nugget over after twenty minutes to ensure both sides are golden and crispy.

When the nuggets are done, remove, serve immediately, or cool.

If freezing, cool completely before storing. When you’re ready to enjoy them on a busy night, microwave for about 30 seconds each or reheat in a toaster or conventional oven.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Add chili powder, Old Bay, or other seasoning blends to spice things up. Shape into hearts, rainbows, or different fun shapes for kids and party themes. Change up the grated veggie with other veggies like zucchini.

Nutritional value: 

  • Protein 7.9g
  • Calories 120
  • Fat 3.3g
  • Fiber 1.2g
  • Sodium 97.2mg.
  • Carbohydrates 13.7g

Surprise your kids and plan an afternoon to prep healthy, convenient, tasty finger foods like these homemade chicken nuggets. Everyone loves chicken nuggets for the soft texture, mild flavor, and dip-ability. And you’re going to love how easy they are to make on your busy schedule.


Justine Hays is a registered dietician and wellness writer helping her clients prep, plan, and prepare healthy and affordable meals the whole family will eat. To get Justine’s tips on how to eat better with less stress, visit her at

Justine Hays, MS, RD, CDN
Hi! I'm Justine Hays, a registered dietitian, and wellness writer. Food, and memories of food, shaped my life early on, so did my drive and desire to help people. After getting a B.S. in business and marketing, I found my heart wasn't totally satisfied by what I was doing. So, I went back to school and earned my Masters in Dietetics and became a registered dietitian. Working with the general public, I see how much information (and misinformation) is out there. It can be overwhelming! Understanding the facts about food, and how foods work in our bodies, helps us let go of myths and fear so we can get back to enjoying food that nourishes our bodies. That's why I believe in letting experts, like dietitians, deliver the straight answers. I can help you understand what works, what doesn't, why, and how you can make choices to live your healthiest and happiest life. I believe in a whole food approach, meaning everything in moderation. As a working mother, I don't want to spend all my time in the kitchen when there are pictures to paint, flowers to pick, and playgrounds to explore. I find ways to prepare most of my foods from scratch with a healthy dose of convenience foods to make it easier. I prep, plan, and produce (mostly) healthy and affordable meals the whole family will eat, with a sweet treat thrown in the mix for balance, and I always look for ways to get the littlest hands involved in the kitchen. For more information about me and what I do, and for ways to communicate health value with your customers, or to work with a registered dietitian for yourself, your practice, product, website, or blog, please visit and get in touch!