Crunchy Chicken Nuggets


There are no nasties in these chicken nuggets: if you make your own you know what's in them. I like to make a big batch, then freeze them.  They are a great standby on nights, when the fridge is looking empty. For smaller children you can omit flavourings (like garlic, lemon zest and paprika); and just keep it simple. In this recipe I marinate the chicken for 30 mins to 1 hour, this really tenderises the chicken meat and is well wroth doing. 

I warn you adults will love these as much as kids so make plenty. 


  • x4 free range chicken breasts, taken off the bone and skin removed

  • 2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional for older kids to add flavour)

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 200g breadcrumbs, I use wholemeal

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Cut the chicken breasts into chunks or strips, the size you would like the finished chicken nuggets to be (smaller nuggets will cook faster but don't freeze as well). 

To make the marinade: in a large bowl (that can hold the chicken pieces) add the yoghurt crushed garlic, paprika (if using) and chicken pieces. Coat the chicken evenly in the mix and marinate for 30 mins to 1 hour. 

Meanwhile prepare the bread-crumbing assembly line:

  • Mix the breadcrumbs you are using with a tablespoon of oil, scatter on a large tray to plate, ready for coating there chicken. (If making the breadcrumbs from leftover bread - take some wholemeal bread and blitz with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil).

  • Take another tray, or large plate and add the lightly beaten egg

Once the chicken has finished marinating: add the chicken pieces to the egg and coat, then add to the breadcrumbs and coat evenly in the breadcrumb mix. 

If freezing: take a lined tray and line up the chicken nuggets (so they aren't touching), wrap the tray tightly in cling film. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or solid to touch. Then take the semi-frozen chicken nuggets and place them in a zip lock bag, label and date. (This method means the chicken nuggets don't freeze in one big lump, but remain separate).

If cooking: place the chicken nuggets on a tray and bake at 180°C,  for 20 minutes approx (longer if cooking from frozen). They should be completely cooked through. Test them by cutting one chicken nugget in half: the meat should be white with no traces of redness. 



Other flavourings for the marinade - 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Other flavours for the breadcrumb coating:

  • add 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan

  • add finely chopped parsley to the breadcrumb mix

meatMiriam Cooper