How to make chicken nuggets

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How to make chicken nuggets
Homemade chicken nuggets from scratch (Getty Thinkstock)

McDonald's created its chicken nugget recipe in 1979 and added the item to its menu in 1980. The original chicken nugget, however, was invented by a food science professor at Cornell University who used minced chicken and chicken paste to render a "nugget." You can make healthful nuggets at home by baking, rather than frying like the fast-food versions, and using only the breast meat from a chicken.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Olive oil in a spray bottle or cooking spray
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

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  1. 1

    Set the oven to 190ºC (375 degrees F) to preheat. Line a large baking tray with foil. Spray with olive oil or a non-stick cooking spray.

  2. 2

    Place the bread slices in the oven directly on the rack. Close the oven door and let the bread bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn the bread over and allow it to bake an additional 5 to 6 minutes until crisp. Use tongs to remove the toasted bread slices from the oven. Allow them to cool on a plate.

  3. 3

    Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Add the salt, pepper and spices. Pulse to combine. Pour the mixture into a resealable plastic bag.

  4. 4

    Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them thoroughly with the egg.

  5. 5

    Drop ten pieces of chicken at a time into the crumb mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken evenly. Arrange the coated chicken pieces on the cookie sheets. Continue until all the chicken is coated.

  6. 6

    Spray the chicken lightly with olive oil or cooking oil. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown, crispy and cooked through. Serve the nuggets hot (but not too hot) with dipping sauce.

Tips and warnings

  • Vary the recipe by adding a cup of grated Parmesan cheese to the breading mixture.
  • Store any leftover breading mixture in the freezer and use within a month. Do not store in the pantry or refrigerator because of its contact with raw meat.

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