Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

All of the flavor of a classic chicken Parm in little, baked nuggets! Serve these Parmesan Chicken Bites with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, and watch your family smile. The Italian chicken nuggets are tender and juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and delicious alongside salad, garlic bread, or spaghetti. An easy dinner recipe for busy nights!

Close up side shot of a white plate with Italian Parmesan baked chicken nuggets and a side of marinara

Italian-Style Baked Chicken Nuggets

These Italian-inspired baked chicken bites are really just homemade chicken nuggets jazzed up with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. They’re crispy, flavorful, and perfect with a side of marinara for dipping! In fact, they include all of the same ingredients that you’ll find in a classic Chicken Parmesan recipe — without all of the effort. There’s no need to pound the chicken into cutlets, and you don’t have to spend time pan-frying the meat in batches.

While I sometimes fry chicken tenders or chicken nuggets at home for a special treat, these oven baked chicken bites are definitely much healthier and easier for weeknight meals (and they’re actually kid-approved)! I’ll show you how to make the simple lunch or dinner at home with just a handful of basic ingredients.

Are chicken nuggets made of real chicken?

When you make a chicken nuggets recipe at home, you can control all of the ingredients that go into your dish. While nuggets from a fast food restaurant may contain more fat and filler than actual meat, these easy homemade chicken nuggets are made with 100% boneless, skinless white meat chicken.

You can use 1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 lb. of chicken tenderloins (the tender muscle located underneath each of the chicken breasts). Either way, you’ll need to dice the chicken into smaller bite-size 1-inch cubes.

Overhead shot of a plate of baked chicken nuggets with a side of dip

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for Parmesan chicken bites. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs: to coat the chicken.
  • Parmesan cheese: for extra flavor in the breading. Freshly-grated cheese is best when available, but even the canned stuff will work in a pinch!
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Onion powder: for even more flavor.
  • Olive oil: added to the breadcrumb mixture, the oil helps the outside of the chicken turn especially golden brown and crispy in the oven.
  • All-purpose flour: for dredging the chicken; helps the egg adhere to the meat.
  • Egg: coats the chicken and helps the breading adhere.
  • Chicken: dice boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins into pieces with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Chicken thighs will also work if you prefer the dark meat.
Dredging chicken nuggets in breading

How to Make Chicken Bites

Baked instead of fried, these Parmesan chicken bites are crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, and so incredibly flavorful! They have all of the texture and taste that you crave from classic fried chicken nuggets — but without an oily mess on the stovetop and without too much prep. The oven baked breaded chicken bites are quick, easy, and incredibly family-friendly!

  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil and use a fork to incorporate the oil into the breading.
  2. Place the flour in a separate dish, and the beaten egg in a third shallow dish.
  3. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour, shaking off any excess flour.
  4. Dip the chicken in the egg to coat, again shaking off any excess.
  5. Finally, dredge the chicken bites in the bread crumb mixture.
  6. Arrange the breaded chicken bites on an ungreased baking sheet.
  7. Bake in a 375°F oven until they’re crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside, about 15 minutes. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  8. Serve the chicken bites with a side of warm marinara sauce for dipping.
Side shot of a plate of baked chicken bites with salad on the side

What to Serve with Parmesan Chicken Bites

Baked chicken nuggets go well with a variety of sides — from pasta and bread to salad and veggies. Here are some easy options:

Overhead shot of baked chicken bites on a plate with hands holding a fork

Make Ahead

You can bread the chicken and keep the bites wrapped tightly in the fridge for up to 1 day. I do not recommend freezing the breaded chicken before baking.

Storage

These parmesan chicken bites are best when served warm, immediately from the oven. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, but the chicken will get soggy as it sits. You can also freeze the baked chicken in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Plate of crispy Parmesan chicken nuggets with marinara for dipping

Recipe Variations

  • I use these Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can substitute with plain breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs. If using plain breadcrumbs, I recommend seasoning with some herbs, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, and extra onion powder (or just use Italian seasoning) to add some flavor to the coating.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare about ½ lb. of chicken.
  • For a larger family, double all of the ingredients and bake the chicken on two separate trays.
  • Season the chicken by adding herbs to the breading, such as parsley, basil, thyme, or oregano.
  • Air fryer: instead of baking these bites in the oven, you can cook them in the air fryer. To do so, preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 8 minutes. Add the chicken (working in batches, if necessary, so that you don’t overcrowd the basket). Cook the chicken bites at 400°F for about 7-8 minutes, or until crispy and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
White plate with baked chicken bites and a side salad

Tips for the Best Chicken Bites Recipe

  • If available, use freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture. In a pinch, a can of pre-grated Parmesan will work fine!
  • Shake off excess flour, egg, and breading to prevent the chicken from getting soggy instead of crispy.
  • The oil in the breading is a key to these extra crispy oven fried chicken bites since the fat helps the breading turn brown and crunchy in the oven. Don’t skip the oil, or the end result won’t be nearly as good.
  • Season the warm chicken nuggets with additional salt and pepper, if desired, as soon as they come out of the oven.
Overhead shot of fork eating baked Parmesan chicken nuggets

More Chicken Recipes to Try

Close up side shot of a white plate with Italian Parmesan baked chicken nuggets and a side of marinara

Baked Parmesan Chicken Bites

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 3 – 4 people (about 16 bites total)
Calories 391 kcal
All of the flavor of a classic chicken Parm in little, baked nuggets! Serve these Parmesan Chicken Bites with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, and watch your family smile.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup dry Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 lb. chicken breast or chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Marinara sauce, for dipping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, onion powder, and pepper. Add the olive oil and use a fork to work the olive oil into the breadcrumb mixture until it’s completely incorporated.
  • Pour flour into a separate shallow dish.
  • Place eggs in a third shallow dish.
  • Dredge the chicken pieces in flour and turn to coat. Shake off any excess flour. Then dip the chicken in the egg, shaking off any excess egg before finally rolling and coating the chicken bites in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Arrange the breaded chicken bites in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake until the chicken is crisp and golden brown on the outside, and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve chicken bites with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Notes

  • I use these Italian-style seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can substitute with plain breadcrumbs or panko bread crumbs. If using plain breadcrumbs, I recommend seasoning with some herbs, garlic powder, and onion powder (or just use Italian seasoning) to add some flavor to the coating.
  • Cooking just for two? Cut all of the ingredients in half and prepare about ½ lb. of chicken.
  • For a larger family, double all of the ingredients and bake the chicken on two separate trays.
  • Season the chicken by adding herbs to the breading, such as parsley, basil, thyme, or oregano.
  • Air fryer: instead of baking these bites in the oven, you can cook them in the air fryer. To do so, preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 8 minutes. Add the chicken (working in batches, if necessary, so that you don’t overcrowd the basket). Cook the chicken bites at 400°F for about 7-8 minutes, or until crispy and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • If available, use freshly-grated Parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture. In a pinch, a can of pre-grated Parmesan will work fine!
  • Shake off excess flour, egg, and breading to prevent the chicken from getting soggy instead of crispy.
  • The oil in the breading is a key to these extra crispy oven fried chicken bites since the fat helps the breading turn brown and crunchy in the oven. Don’t skip the oil, or the end result won’t be nearly as good.
  • Season the warm chicken nuggets with additional salt and pepper, if desired, as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • The nutrition information provided is merely an estimate, and includes all of the breading and egg. If you don’t use all of the ingredients to coat your chicken, the nutrition facts will vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 391kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 34gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 935mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 206IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 140mgIron: 3mg
Keyword: baked chicken nuggets, Chicken Bites, homemade chicken nuggets
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.