Homemade Chicken Nuggets {Toddler Approved}

There a lot of things people tell you when you’re expecting your first baby. “Sleep while you can….you’ll never get a full night’s sleep…..ever…….again”; “Get all your home improvement projects done now because you’re about to be poor……forever.”; or just plain “you have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into”. And the enormously large pregnant woman with no choice but to give birth to what feels like an alien living inside her thinks “thanks people. just the kind of encouragement I needed”. And here’s the thing………that stuff is all myth. Sure there’s some truth to it, babies cry in the night. But not forever. Babies have expenses….but a little creativity and thrifty shopping goes a long way. And no one knows what they’re getting into when they have never been parents before but the same can be said for marriage, owning a home, getting a new job….the list goes on and on. HOWEVER, the ONE thing no one prepared me for…….the endless string of bugs and viruses that toddlers bring home……and pass on to mom and dad. I think Anna giggled a little inside this week when I was the one being treated for an ear and sinus infection. It earned her a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s for dinner so I could stay in bed for an entire evening without getting up to change a diaper, find a pacifier, or wipe a nasty nose. All this to say, I was completely uninspired by every sweeterthing type recipe I saw this week. Next week, I won’t be able to get enough, I’m sure. But what really sounded good today was chicken.

I had a bag of pretzels I meant to dip in chocolate at Christmas and never got around to. So I threw them into my food processor until they were teeny tiny crumbs. Perfect for making homemade chicken nuggets. This recipe is courtesy of Mels Kitchen Cafe, a blog I have raved about before. Her recipe calls for whole wheat bread that you process into bread crumbs but I never seem to have bread around these days (we eat a lot of PBJ’s). The first time I made this I used almond meal and it was delicious! The pretzels add a little salt to it as well, yum!

This recipe calls for panko crumbs, something I had never heard of before. I literally googled “panko crumbs”. So if you’re like me, living in the midwest and clearly sheltered from all things the rest of the world is educated about, here is what to look for at the grocery store. Apparently they’re everywhere.

So dump your “bread” crumbs or whatever you chose to use and your panko crumbs and some spices and parmesan cheese in a bowl and stir it all up. Then mix together a little egg wash (or open a can of evaporated milk, it will work just as well as egg wash).

Cut up some chicken breasts, at least four. Dunk in the egg wash, dunk in the crumb mixture, and place on a greased cooling rack ontop of a cookie sheet. This method allows you to not have to flip your nuggets half way through baking.

Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes and enjoy. I dipped mine in ketchup because I believe ketchup is the next best thing to frosting. Eric dipped his in a spicy BBQ sauce. Anna said “more, more”.


Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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Recipe from melskitchencafe.com 


  • 1 cup of bread crumbs, or pretzel crumbs, or almond meal. Whatever floats your boat.
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 large (about 2 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch or so sized pieces

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a cooling rack with non stick spray and place on top of a cookie sheet.

Add the crumbs and panko crumbs to a bowl. Add the basil, oregano and Parmesan cheese and stir until combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg whites and water until well combined. Dunk chicken in the egg/olive oil mixture and then dunk into the bread crumbs and coat evenly.

Place the coated chicken nuggets on the prepared cooling rack and bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately.


  1. says

    What a great idea with the pretzels! I’ll have to try that! I’ve used ritz crackers before but love pretzels more! I, too, frost burgers in ketchup – but not everything.