Chicken Nuggets (Oven Baked)
Homemade Chicken Nuggets made with real ingredients! Plus these are oven baked instead of fried so they're a healthier option. They're deliciously tender and perfectly crisp, both kids and adults alike will love them!
- 1 1/2 lbs bonless skinless chicken breasts, cut into even 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Set a large wire rack over an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet, spray rack with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pour panko into a mound on a separate baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss with fingertips to evenly moisten. Spread into an even layer (wiggle baking sheet to level as needed).
- Bake in preheated oven 3 - 5 minutes until slightly toasted and golden brown (toss once halfway if needed, for even toasting).
- Remove from oven and scoop bread crumbs together in a mound in center, add paprika, garlic powder, thyme, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper). Toss mixture with a spatula.
- In a bowl whisk together eggs with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Dip chicken pieces (about a handful, 8 - 10 at a time) in egg, then transfer to panko mixture. Toss to coat, while pressing breadcrumbs so they stick well.
- Transfer pieces to prepared wire rack, leaving a little space between pieces. Repeat process with remaining chicken (scoop panko back together in mound between batches).
- Bake in preheated oven until center of chicken registers 165 on an instant read thermometer, about 15 - 19 minutes. Serve warm with a dipping sauce if desired.