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Crispy and flavorful, these Goldfish baked chicken nuggets are an easy dinner that your whole family will love. That’s right — your kids’ favorite snack cracker is the secret ingredient in the breading! Skip the drive-thru and serve the homemade chicken nuggets with honey mustard and ketchup for dipping, plus saladcoleslawcorn muffins, or potato wedges on the side.

Overhead shot of a white plate of homemade baked chicken nuggets with ketchup on a wooden table

I’m willing to bet that if you’re a mom with young children, you probably already have everything that you need to throw together this meal. While these homemade baked chicken nuggets are perfect for the little ones, they’re equally fun for the adults at your table. In fact, this is one of the meals that my family requests on repeat. It’s definitely a favorite, and I know that you’ll love it, too!

Are chicken nuggets healthy?

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. They’re also baked instead of fried, so they’re a much lighter, healthier option than traditional chicken nuggets.

Preparing breading for chicken nuggets

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of homemade chicken nuggets. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Cheddar cheese Goldfish crackers: crushed into crumbs for coating the chicken. They add so much flavor and crunch! You can substitute with other similar crackers, such as Parmesan Goldfish, Cheez-Its, or Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies.
  • Italian style breadcrumbs: I like the way the regular bread crumbs coat the chicken (rather than the larger Panko breadcrumbs). That said, you can use whichever variety you have on hand. The seasoning that’s added to the Italian style bread crumbs just gives the chicken more flavor.
  • Brown sugar: for a hint of sweetness, which nicely balances the savory breading.
  • Salt: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
  • Olive oil: adding the oil to the breading helps the chicken nuggets get especially brown and crispy in the oven.
  • All-purpose flour: for dredging the chicken; helps the egg adhere to the meat.
  • Eggs: helps the breading adhere to the chicken.
  • 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 nugget shapes. I find that the tenderloins are quickest and easiest to work with because they’re already in strips, so you can just use a knife or kitchen shears to simply snip them crosswise into smaller pieces.
Chicken nuggets on a baking sheet

How to Make Homemade Chicken Nuggets

This easy 30-minute meal comes together with about 15 minutes of hands-on effort. Perfect for busy weeknights!

  1. Stir together the breading mixture in a shallow dish.
  2. Pour the flour in a separate shallow dish, and add the eggs to a third dish.
  3. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, then dip in the egg, and finally coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Arrange the breaded chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  5. Bake the chicken nuggets in a 375°F oven for 15 minutes, or until the nuggets are crispy and golden brown. The meat should reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Child's hand dipping baked chicken nuggets in ketchup

What to Serve with Chicken Nuggets

Dip the crispy baked chicken nuggets in honey mustard sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing. Fried chicken tenders go well with just about any of your favorite sides, too. Here are a few easy ideas:

Horizontal shot of a plate of baked chicken nuggets on a white plate

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 baked chicken nuggets 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 soggier as it sits. You can also freeze the baked chicken in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Close overhead image of a plate of crispy homemade chicken nuggets

Recipe Variations

  • Use any Goldfish or similar cheddar crackers that your family enjoys. You can try the wholegrain Goldfish, Parmesan-flavored Goldfish, Cheez-Its, or Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies. Crushed up Corn Flakes cereal also works well — you just might need to add some extra salt to the mix.
  • I like the extra flavor that you get from the Italian-style bread crumbs, but you can use plain bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs if you prefer.
  • These are baked chicken nuggets. If you would rather make fried chicken nuggets, you can use the same preparation. First, heat about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the breaded chicken pieces to the pan (working in batches, if needed) and brown on each side, about 8 minutes total. Use a spatula to transfer the chicken nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate. Cool slightly, and then serve.
  • For a larger family, double all of the ingredients and bake the chicken on two separate trays.
  • 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.
Side shot of a kid's hand holding a homemade chicken nugget

Tips for the Best Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe

  • Cut the chicken into equal-size portions. This will help the nuggets cook in the same amount of time.
  • Skip a step! Instead of cutting the tenderloins into nuggets and breading each individual piece, simply use the same recipe to prepare baked chicken tenders. Bread each chicken tender and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  • I like to use chicken breast tenderloins because it’s very quick and easy to slice them into equal bite-sized pieces. That said, you can certainly use regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead.
  • 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.
Baked chicken nuggets on a white plate

More Chicken Recipes to Try

Child's hand dipping baked chicken nuggets in ketchup

Goldfish Baked Chicken Nuggets

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 367.9 kcal
Crispy and flavorful, these Goldfish baked chicken nuggets are an easy dinner that your family will love!

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup crushed cheddar cheese Goldfish crackers (start with about 1 cup of whole Goldfish crackers)
  • ½ cup Italian style bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins or boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Pour crushed Goldfish crackers, bread crumbs, brown sugar, and salt into a shallow dish.
  • Drizzle the oil evenly over the crumb mixture and toss until the oil is mixed throughout.
  • Pour flour into a separate shallow dish.
  • Place eggs in a third shallow dish.
  • Place the chicken in the flour and turn to coat. Shake off any excess flour. Then dip the chicken in the eggs, shaking off any excess egg before finally coating the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Place the breaded chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Notes

  • The nutrition information below includes all of the breading ingredients. If you don’t use all of the bread crumb mixture, egg, and flour when preparing your chicken nuggets, the nutritional facts will vary.
  • Cut the chicken into equal-size portions. This will help the nuggets cook in the same amount of time.
  • Skip a step! Instead of cutting the tenderloins into nuggets and breading each individual piece, simply use the same recipe to prepare baked chicken tenders. Bread each chicken tender and bake for about 20-25 minutes.
  • I like to use chicken breast tenderloins because it’s very quick and easy to slice them into equal bite-sized pieces. That said, you can certainly use regular boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of the recipeCalories: 367.9kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 33.7gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5.8gCholesterol: 163.8mgSodium: 753.9mgPotassium: 55.7mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 3.3g
Keyword: baked chicken nuggets, chicken nuggets recipe, homemade chicken nuggets
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in January, 2015. The photos were updated in September, 2022.

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!

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Comments

  1. These look like a kids favorite meal! Chicken nuggets & goldfish?? I can only imagine their joy! I would love to try making these for my nieces! Thanks for sharing!

  2. After my 4 year old got over the “murder” of her favorite crackers, she’d devour this in a heartbeat.

  3. 5 stars
    This looks so delicious! I know our kids will love this and their dads. We all enjoy chicken and who doesn’t love goldfish?! Great job with this post; thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Forget Fast food chicken nuggets! These look amazing !I bet they will be my kid’s favorite chicken nuggets after they taste it. My mouth is watering already! #client

  5. It’s nice to have a snack that everyone will like for game day! These look great! My oldest son loves goldfish too. Thanks for sharing them with us at Foodie Fridays!

  6. These look good and I love cheese crackers. If I can’t find Italian seasoned crumbs, I suppose I can just add seasoning to the plain ones, correct? Also, are nuggets generally big enough to accept an automatic thermometer?