Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets (Healthier + Freezer Friendly!)

Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets are deliciously juicy, tender, and crisp! They’re a FAVORITE around here and they’ll become your new go-to, too. The perfect cozy healthier meal both kids and adults will eat right up!!

One meal that always sounds like a good idea? Chicken nuggets! 😍 They’re a favorite among kids, adults, and picky eaters—and you can even customize them by dipping them in your favorite sauce.

You’re going to want to keep this Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets recipe in your back pocket for the next time you don’t know what to make the kids. And you can feel good about serving them up to your family because they are so much healthier than any fast food or frozen nuggets!

Serve these crispy nuggets with some oven-baked fries or Air Fryer Green Beans for a complete meal. You can even add them on top of a salad for some extra protein! And don’t forget the sauces. I love to dip these nuggets in classic ketchup, yellow mustard, BBQ sauce, and Skinny Chick-fil-a Honey Roasted BBQ sauce!

I also love to double this recipe and freeze a large portion for busy weeknights. You can even halve it if you don’t have too many to feed! Whatever you choose, just know that you are prepping a delicious and healthy comfort meal to be loved by ALL!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE PANKO BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS

  • They’re deliciously tender and perfectly crisp.
  • Both kids and adults alike will LOVE them!
  • Because they’re baked instead of fried, they’re lower in fat than traditional nuggets.
  • Made with real ingredients and no preservatives!
  • The perfect finger food and perfect for dunking in your favorite dip!
  • Staple recipe to add to your list. Because chicken nuggets always sound like a good idea!

INGREDIENTS

  • Chicken breast – We’ll be starting out with raw chicken breast.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – I find these get the crispiest!
  • Seasonings – Grab some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
  • Egg
  • Milk – I used unsweetened almond milk, but you can use any milk.

HOW TO MAKE PANKO BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add panko breadcrumbs to a large baking sheet. Spread out in an even layer and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 3-4 minutes. Then, stir breadcrumbs around and bake for another 3-4 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  3. Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Whisk in the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Set aside. 
  4. Next, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and almond milk. Set aside.
  5. Grab a cutting board and a knife and slice your raw chicken breast into your preferred shape. I like to cut mine into cubes.
  6. Add an oven-safe wire metal rack on top of the large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  7. Then, set the egg mixture, breadcrumbs, and baking sheet up in an assembly line. Using tongs or your fingers, dip the chicken into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place the chicken onto the wire rack and repeat until all the chicken is coated. 
  8. Generously spray the tops of the chicken nuggets with cooking spray. Then, place them in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees F.

Serve with your favorite sauce! Honey mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch, etc!

TIPS FOR BEST CRISPY CHICKEN NUGGETS

Use a wire rack – This makes a huge difference in the crispiness of your chicken nuggets! It allows both sides to bake the whole time in the oven and prevents the bottom side from getting soggy. If you don’t have a wire rack, you can still make it work. Just flip the nuggets halfway through baking.

Use nonstick cooking spray – How do we create crispy chicken nuggets with no oil in this recipe? With cooking spray! Spray generously. 😉

Toast your breadcrumbs – Breadcrumbs aren’t going to crisp up unless you toast them first. Just a few minutes in the oven before coating the nuggets is essential!

Use panko breadcrumbs – Normal Italian breadcrumbs don’t get as crispy as panko breadcrumbs.

PANKO VS NORMAL BREADCRUMBS

If you want crispy chicken nuggets, you need to use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs. Why? Because the texture allows for less oil absorption, leaving the crumbs nice and crunchy when they come out of the oven.

You can still use regular breadcrumbs for yummy chicken nuggets, but know that the texture will be more moist because of this.

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE YOUR PANKO BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS

You can store your leftover chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To reheat: Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and broil them on high for a couple of minutes until they’re heated through and crispy on the outside.

To freeze:

  1. Let cool COMPLETELY first.
  2. Then transfer to a baking sheet or other flat freezer-friendly dish (we want the nuggets to stay separated to prevent them from sticking together).
  3. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They’ll stay good for 3-4 months.

To reheat from frozen: Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until nuggets are cooked through. For best results, bake nuggets on a wired rack placed on the baking sheet so they crisp up evenly.

PANKO BAKED CHICKEN NUGGETS Q+A

Can I use traditional breadcrumbs to make these chicken nuggets?

For best results, stick with panko bread crumbs. They will give you the crispiest result! Normal breadcrumbs will work, the nuggets just won’t be as crispy.

Do I need to use a specific kind of milk?

Nope. Use what you have or like!

Can I freeze these nuggets?

Yes! I love to freeze them so I have some on hand in a pinch. See the directions above for information on how to freeze your nuggets. 

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

WANT TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?

If you try these Baked Chicken Nuggets and love them, please rate this recipe!

You can also tag me on Instagram, @LaurenFitFoodie. It makes my day seeing your yummy recreations!

Yield: 6 servings

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Baked Chicken Nuggets

Panko Baked Chicken Nuggets are deliciously juicy, tender, and crisp! They're a FAVORITE around here and they'll become your new go-to, too. The perfect cozy healthier meal both kids and adults will eat right up!!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb chicken breast, raw, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (122g)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, or milk or choice (45g)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add panko breadcrumbs to a large baking sheet. Spread out in an even layer and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 3-4 minutes, then stir breadcrumbs around and bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  3. Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Whisk in the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and almond milk. Set aside.
  5. Grab a cutting board and a knife and slice your raw chicken breast into your preferred shape. I like to cut mine into cubes.
  6. Add an oven-safe wire metal rack on top of the large baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
  7. Create an assembly line of the egg mixture, bread crumbs and baking sheet. Using tongs (or your fingers), dip the chicken cube into the egg mixture and then into the bread crumb mixture. Place the chicken onto the wire rack and repeat until all the chicken is coated.
  8. Generously spray the tops of the chicken nuggets with cooking spray then place in the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Serve with your favorite sauce! Honey mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch, etc!

Notes

MFP entry: LFF Baked Chicken Nuggets

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE

You can store your leftover chicken nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To reheat: Place the chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and broil them on high for a couple of minutes until they're heated through and crispy on the outside.

To freeze:

  1. Let cool COMPLETELY first.
  2. Then transfer to a baking sheet or other flat freezer-friendly dish (we want the nuggets to stay separated to prevent them from sticking together).
  3. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They'll stay good for 3-4 months.

To reheat from frozen: Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until nuggets are cooked through. For best results, bake nuggets on a wired rack placed on the baking sheet so they crisp up evenly.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

117g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 193Total Fat: 2.9gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCarbohydrates: 14.1gFiber: 0.7gSugar: 1.4gProtein: 27.7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram and tag me @LaurenFitFoodie! 

2 Comments

  1. Stop what you’re doing and make these ASAP! Browning the panko—the step we didn’t know we needed!! I was 15 minutes late coming back from my lunch break because the second she posted this recipe, I NEEDED it for lunch. It is so dang good. 100% worth being late to work.

  2. These look delicious! My son has an egg allergy, do you have any recommendations for an egg substitute?

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