I tried these chicken nuggets as an experiment one night to see if there was something quick and easy I could make that was better for us than pasta (my usual fall-back on lazy dinner nights, which is most of them). It’s part of my ongoing attempt to cook more real meals, and since Calin prefers that our meals have meat in them, chicken is a good start.
This recipe was fairly easy (except for waiting for the chicken to thaw, which always takes way too long), but mine didn’t turn out quite as well as the original author’s, apparently. They refused to crisp up, or darken, so they just ended up being vaguely breaded little chunks of chicken. I’ve made them again since this first time and had basically the same results. But they were easy, and they were tasty, and I’d definitely make them again.
For some reason the little chicken cubes looked really cool to me. I’m not much of a meaty, personally, but raw chicken looks a lot like salmon, which I think is beautiful.
Covered in breadcrumbs, they look even sillier – little mountains of chicken under breadcrumb snow. I will say that adding the Panko breadcrumbs didn’t seem to make a bit of difference. The Panko crumbs were bigger, so they just fell off more efficiently. I think they were 90% of what was left on the tray at the end.
Baking things is much easier than cooking, because you get to put them in the oven and forget about them until the timer goes off. Flipping them after the first round isn’t as easy, but only because it’s easy to get lost and forget which ones you’ve already flipped – probably because like I said, they refused to really change color for me.
I decided to serve these up with several options for dipping sauces, using the fabulous bowls my friend Leah made us as a wedding present. The sauce choices were honey mustard, ranch, and marinara. I thought the honey mustard was a bit too much, but Calin loved it – I might have liked it better with a different kind of mustard. (When I made these, I hadn’t yet cooked up my annual batch of Marvelous Mustard, so we were just using Annie’s dressing.)
Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Gina’s Skinny Recipes
- 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp panko
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
- olive oil spray (I used my Misto)
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.
- Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet.
- Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 – 10 minutes.
- Turnover then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked though.
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Here is a closer look at those amazing little bowls. There are actually four of them, but I only had three sauces.