Chef Lisa Appleton knows the value of a childhood classic, but she’s not afraid to get a little creative in the kitchen. Here’s her take on homemade chicken nuggets. 

Homemade chicken nuggets with Fritos, pretzels, and bread crumbs

As a kid, was there any better meal than chicken nuggets? They’re the perfect finger food, and the perfect vessel for practically any sauce. But what if you could make the chicken nuggets themselves more flavorful? The secret to the perfect nugget lies in your favorite snack foods. 

A good nugget coating needs to be something crispy or crunchy, but that doesn’t always have to be breadcrumbs. Pretzels, potato chips, and Fritos all make for a delicious coating. Choose your favorite snack and crush into pieces the size of breadcrumbs, it will work just fine. A toss in flour and a dip in beaten egg will get any of these things to stick and coat the chicken pieces. This hands-off recipe calls for baking in the oven. There’s no hot oil and no messy stove to clean up. Grab your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy.

Baked Chicken Nugget Recipe 

  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups coating of your choice (breadcrumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, chopped pecans, crushed Fritos, crushed potato chips and crushed pretzels)

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with foil, and lightly oil the foil. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into approximately 1 ½ -inch pieces, and season with salt and pepper. 

2. Place the flour and beaten egg in two separate bowls. Place the coating in a third bowl. (I did 6 different coatings for fun, but you only need one.)

3. Working a few pieces at a time, thoroughly coat the seasoned chicken in the flour (shaking of any excess), then in the beaten egg (letting the excess drip off), then in the coating (pressing to adhere). Transfer to the prepared sheet pan. 

4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. If you want to brown them a bit more, broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes after baking. Transfer to a plate and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.