Chicken Nuggets


When I was growing up chicken nuggets were never something that were homemade. They came in brightly colored boxes next to the toy in a fast food meal or were frozen processed morsels served in the school cafeteria. Nevertheless, I loved them. I loved that they were something you could eat with your fingers and I loved the little buckets of sweet and sour sauce that were just the right size for dipping.

Now these tasty chicken tidbits may be a child's dream, but knowing that they are heavily salted, battered and deep fried, makes them a choice moms want to avoid. Many processed nuggets contain flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate. Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has been approved by the FDA as "generally recognized as safe" for amounts used in cooking; however, numerous anecdotal reports have suggested that some people may have reactions such as headaches, sweating, numbness around the mouth, rapid heartbeat, and/or nausea. Just to be on the safe side, this is one additive that I would rather steer clear of. And if that doesn't convince you, remember that deep frying the nuggets transforms naturally lean chicken into a meal heavily laden with 17 g saturated fat!

Fortunately chicken nuggets don't have to come from the frozen food section of your supermarket; you can make them in your own kitchen with the added benefit of fiber and calcium supplementing the lean protein. I used whole wheat bread crumbs instead of traditional batter and I've enhanced the flavor with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. By baking the recipe, I've cut the fat content down to a minimum. Try dipping them in all-natural honey (mix with equal parts hot water for ease with dipping and lower calorie content) or salsa instead of the traditional sweet and sour sauce or ketchup. Your kids will love these finger-friendly nuggets and you will love the fact that you know they are healthy.



  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 pound boneless chicken tenders
  • canola oil spray


Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray baking sheet with canola oil and set aside. Beat the egg whites in a shallow bowl and set aside. Mix Parmesan cheese with the bread crumbs and pour onto a plate.

Cut chicken into nugget sized pieces. Mix the pepper and garlic powder with the flour in a zipper sealed plastic bag and then add the chicken. Shake to coat.

One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the egg white and then roll in the breadcrumbs.

Place the nuggets on prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time.