Breaded and Baked Homemade Chicken Nuggets

healthy chicken nuggets
Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD
Total Time: 40 min
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Servings: 4 (5 nuggets each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

220 calories
5g fat
12g carbs
30g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (5 nuggets each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 117mg 39%
Sodium 483mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 1g Added Sugars 2%
Protein 30g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 405mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Take a bite of these breaded and baked healthier homemade chicken nuggets. Lean chicken breast is coated in breadcrumbs and riced cauliflower, a smart swap that reduces the carb count. Baking this finger food instead of frying significantly lightens the fat load—each baked nugget rings in at about a gram of total fat compared to about 4 grams per fried nugget. A lower-fat diet is very helpful in reducing heartburn symptoms. Dunk each nugget into beet ketchup or just a bit of guac to mirror the classic eating experience in a heartburn-friendly way.


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1x2-inch rectangles
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/4 cups riced cauliflower


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking tray and set aside until ready to use.

  2. In a small shallow plate, combine egg, garlic powder, and salt. Whisk well to combine.

  3. In a separate plate, combine breadcrumbs and cauliflower.

  4. Dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture. Let the excess drip off before coating with the breadcrumb and cauliflower mixture (you can pat it on to help it stick if needed). Arrange the coated pieces on the prepared baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you prefer a more seasoned nugget, swap in seasoned breadcrumbs for plain.

You have two options when it comes to riced cauliflower: buy it pre-riced from the produce section to save time (it's available in most supermarkets) or make your own by placing about half a small head's worth of cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulsing a few times. No need to add oil or seasoning to it.

Cooking and Serving Tips

The size of each nugget doesn't have to be perfect—cutting 1x2-inch rectangles is a general guideline, so no need to break out the measuring tape. Besides, uneven nuggets make for a more homemade feel. Just shoot for 20 nuggets from your pound of chicken breast to keep portion sizes (and nutrition stats) balanced.

Be sure to practice proper food safety when preparing raw meat or poultry. Keep a designated cutting board for uncooked items in order to reduce the risk of cross-contamination with produce. Note that chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F. Keep a thermometer handy for times you're just not sure if your chicken is cooked through. And here's a reminder specific to this recipe: toss out any leftover egg and breadcrumb mixtures. They have remnants of the raw chicken you dipped in, so you won't want to reuse them.

Serve the nuggets right on the baking sheet for easier cleanup, alongside baked fries, beet ketchup (prepared by blending cooked beets with just a dash of vinegar, sugar, and salt), or a bit of guac. They taste best slightly cooled after being removed from the oven, but you can also freeze and reheat them for later enjoying.

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By Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD
Leyla Shamayeva, MS, RD is a registered dietitian with a master's in clinical nutrition. She focuses her efforts on digital health communication.