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Herbed Chicken Nuggets in a white bowl on a checked napkin

Herbed Chicken Nuggets

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These baked herbed chicken nuggets will please the kids AND the adults in your family. Guaranteed.

Instead of running through the drive-through for your chicken nugget fix, make your own at home with this super simple, much more wholesome baked chicken nuggets recipe!

Herbed Chicken Nuggets in a white bowl on a checked napkin

Baked Chicken Nuggets

I found the inspiration for this recipe in an old Southern Living while vacationing at a lake house in Arkansas over 2 decades ago. In the evenings, I’d flip through a stack of cooking magazines, jotting down recipes to try at home and when I spotted homemade baked chicken nuggets, I took the bait! The family loved these, so they quickly became a regular on our dinner rotation!

How Do You Make Chicken Nuggets at Home?

Back then, with 3 children aged 2-8 and the picky husband, it was nearly impossible to make a dinner that everyone would eat without complaining. But McDonalds’ chicken nuggets seemed to be popular with the wee ones, and I was determined to make a healthier, more appealing version.

With a simple coating of  Parmesan and crushed croutons with a few dried herbs thrown into the mix, these baked chicken nuggets were hailed a success by all of us!! I was delighted that these nuggets were made with real chunks of chicken breasts instead of ground chicken breasts and skin. Ewww. Somehow the former seems so much more wholesome, right?

The process is to dip, coat and bake starting with chunks of boneless skinless chicken breasts. It’s as easy as that. Read on for tips and a detailed recipe.

Herbed Chicken Nuggets in a white bowl with a silver serving spoon

Tips for Making Baked Chicken Nuggets

Even though this recipe uses a bag or box of seasoned croutons, they’re much healthier than their fast-food counterparts! Here are a few tips for making baked chicken nuggets at home.

  • Cut your chicken breasts into cubes while the chicken is still slightly frozen. You will be able to make nicer looking nuggets with better control over the slicing.
  • Wait until the chicken pieces are defrosted before dipping into the butter. Cold chicken will make the melted butter congeal and then the coating will not stick.
  • PRO-Tip: I like to have two pie plates for dipping, one with the melted butter and the second with the breading. Your fingers will get a little messy, but it’s worth it to get all the nuggets well coated. If you’re a pro, you’ll keep one hand for dipping and the other hand clean. Somehow that never happens when I’m cooking.
  • A dose of herbs makes for a most flavorful result….I love the combination of basil and thyme added to the crumbs to give a boost of spice. No salt is needed as the croutons and Parmesan provide plenty.
  • I line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil for easy cleanup. Not necessary, but an option I use frequently.
  • Bake until browned and crispy, about 25 minutes. Time will vary depending on the size of your nuggets

More Copy Cat Fast Food Recipes You Can Make at Home

Would you like to make more copycat fast food recipes at home? Check out the Real Housemoms’  Slow Cooker Copycat Wendy’s Chili, Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese from Rachel Cooks, and Barefeet in the Kitchen’s Homemade {Baked} Chick-fil-A Sandwiches! Plus my Classic Coleslaw with Buttermilk Dressing tastes a lot like KFC’s tasty cabbage salad.

Herbed Chicken Nuggets

Herbed Chicken Nuggets

An easy, delicious weeknight meal that will please the whole family. Adapted from Southern Living.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 4 servings


  • 5 ounces seasoned croutons, processed or crushed into crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 400ΒΊ. Cover large baking sheet with foil (or just lightly grease baking sheet).
  2. Place crushed croutons, Parmesan, basil and thyme in a pie plate and mix to combine.
  3. Pour melted butter into a second pie plate. Dip chicken pieces in melted butter, then crouton mix. Place on large baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, till lightly browned.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 441 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 9g Cholesterol: 123mg Sodium: 724mg Carbohydrates: 24g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 45g

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28 comments on “Herbed Chicken Nuggets”

  1. The nuggets look great Liz, might be something new to try for Sunday dinner:@)

  2. Gosh, this is probably the kinkiest nuggets I’ve seen! Pass me some, won’t you?? xoxo

  3. they look perfect with a nice crispy coating and that Parmesan chesse adds such a wonderful flavor!

  4. Yum! I love chicken nuggets-a total guilty pleasure.

  5. Liz, I’ll be happy to enjoy every dish you make. πŸ™‚ especially these nuggets. Yum!

  6. I will devour the whole bowl! They look so crunchy and tasty.

  7. My great-nephew would LOVE these darling nuggets…Er, a few Ninja adults might like the tasty golden nuggets, too =) Presume seasoned panko would work, too.

  8. Don’t these look happy! I love that they’re baked.

    p.s. is there any way for viewers to get only one video sound when they visit? Like a button to push that I don’t know about? I open 4-5 blogs at a time and then I race around to find which one has the automatic videos because I can hear two. Then I found it was two on yours going off at the same time.

    • Ugh. So sorry I dislike audio on blogs…and it irks me that I had it x2. If I can figure out which ads are the culprits, I’ll see if I can opt out. Thanks for letting me know, Maureen.

  9. Yup, my kids love nuggets. Sometimes it seems like the only things they like are burgers, nuggets, pizza, and mac & cheese. This sounds like a good way to make it tasty for all of us!

  10. These look delicious- you can see the flavor in those nuggets!

  11. Haha!! Love Shirley Tay’s comment. How funny! These sound good, Liz…great for a picky husband and daughter. It seems you have a real challenge on your hands. I had the same with my boys when they were growing up. LOL I used to have to make something for each of them.

  12. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to try these for my kids. Much healthier than frozen nuggets.

  13. They might be persnickety, but at least they know a good thing when they see it! These sound great, Liz and I am sure they would be a favorite anywhere!

  14. I love that golden herbed coating, these look like a winner!

  15. Nice idea, Liz. I bet these are really delicious!

  16. I can certainly understand how the whole family would enjoy the chicken nuggets. It has to be a real challenge to cook for picky eaters.

  17. Ooh, serious yum. And I don’t even have a persnickety palate. πŸ™‚

  18. My children are crazy for chicken nuggets. I gotta try your recipe with herbs and Parmesan cheese.

  19. I’m picky too….you cope lol. And yepp-I’d love these nuggets!!

  20. I think my whole family will love this chicken nuggets as well!

  21. These chicken nuggets look awesome, so flavoursome!

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. I’ve heard lots of good things about Kerry Gold and would love to try it. These nuggets are so much better than the fast food fakes. Nothing like having real chicken nuggets!

  23. Well now! Who wouldn’t be satisfied with butter dipped chicken?!!!
    I’m happy just looking at them and thinking of that warm melted butter bath….this one is a definite keeper, Lizzy!


  24. Lizzy,
    It’s no wonder these are a family favorite, they look delicious. You’re so good to keep everyone happy.

  25. –I’ve seen this butter recently! I shall buy and make these little gems! xx

  26. It’s no wonder this recipe is a favorite! You majorly upgraded chicken nuggets & I cannot wait to try them!

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