Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets (dairy and egg-free with gluten & grain-free option)

Need a Delicious Quick and Healthy Meal? Try this Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe. They taste like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen, but they come together in a flash. Grain & Egg Free and they freeze well too! No more pink sludge nuggets from the fast food companies for sure!

I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes since my life is full. full. full.  And since Hamburger Helper isn’t on the menu for this whole foodie family (though this healthy version is) anymore, I have to figure out alternative ways to get dinner on the table in a flash.

If you struggle like that, and you’re tempted to go through a drive through when time is tough, then this chicken nuggets recipe is for you!  It’s a super easy recipe that you can put together in almost no time flat that will make your family feel like you really went out of your way for them.

Recently we’ve been so busy that our meals have gotten a bit blase.  Meat, eggs, or beans, a grain and a veggie.  Good, but a bit boring.  I guess a highlight for my kids would be when I served them healthy no-nitrate, no antibiotic hot dogs :-).

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But the other night I pulled out some thawed chicken breast out of the fridge and served up this great chicken recipe for yummy chicken chunks and well, you should have seen the smiles on my kids’ (and my husband’s) faces.

You know by now that my criteria for a great recipe is one that is:

  • healthy
  • fast
  • frugal
  • tasty and
  • kid-friendly

then this just might be the best chicken recipe ever.

Not that fried chicken is necessarily unhealthy (I think it depends on the type of chicken and the fat that you fry in), but instead of deep fried chicken, you can make this easy recipe for healthy baked chicken chunks (and it’s less messy than fried chicken too :-)!)

{Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.}

I found the inspiration for this recipe in Simple Choices for Healthier Eating, a cookbook that was recommended to my by Linda, the owner of Whole Approach.

Simple Choices for Healthier Eating

Whole Approach focuses on providing products and resources for those suffering from systemic candida.  Unfortunately (:-)), I became acquainted with Whole Approach about 3 years ago when it became quite clear that candida had a pretty bad hold on me.

In any case, Linda told me what a great book this is — filled with simple, tasty, and pleasing dishes.  I couldn’t agree more.


More “Ready in a Flash” Recipes:

Indian Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes!)
Fast and Yummy Bean Dip (it’s a real winner!)
Quick Whole Grain Biscuits (w DF & GF options)

Or something that your kids are guaranteed to love?

Try Pakistani Kima (ground beef curry).  My kids ask for this all the time.  Enjoy!

How about you?  Do you have a quick and healthy “treat your family” meal?


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Your blog is great. I have a back log of recipes that I want to try! It’s so great to find other people who understand the impact food choices have on our health.

    • Hi Julie – Thanks for the compliment! And from checking out your blog, I see that you are in MI! Welcome back!

      I don’t know why, but I always wanted to live in MI — and now we do! Come visit on the South Western part of the state and we hope to visit Traverse and Pentwater one of these years :-)!

  2. So far, I have not been successful in making homemade chicken nuggets. The adults ate them, but the kids were not terribly impressed. But with multiple food allergies, our family meals are boring and uncreative and “safe” chicken nuggets are hard to find. I think I might just give nuggets one last try with this recipe… THANKS!

  3. Yum, these look good, and much healthier that the packaged variety. I bet my kids would love these. Thanks for sharing :) ~April

  4. These look GREAT!!!

    I can’t wait to have them!!

  5. I hate to be a party pooper, but you gave such exact measurements for everything but the chicken. How much chicken will this coat, and how many servings can I expect out of this recipe?

    Also, do you think coconut flour would work in place of wheat flour? Thanks bunches!

    • Oh Naomi – Guess that shows that mistakes do happen, eh? I just put the chicken in there and I think you’d have to determine servings based on how much everyone eats. In our family, I have to really limit these so we can get about 5 servings, but 5 is probably a more realistic expectation.

      As for the coconut flour, I think that would work great. Baking would be a more difficult substitution to make one-for-one. I haven’t used coconut flour much, but that it what I gather from what I have read.

      Hope that helps :-).

  6. how great! I haven’t had chicken nuggets in over a decade. These would be fun for the kids.

  7. You have such yummy recipes! We’ll be trying these soon! Blessings~ Jackie

  8. My daughter love chicken nuggets. I save this to try out! :)

  9. this looks yummy so I just pinned it on Pinterest so I will remember where the recipe is!!

  10. Um, these look FABULOUS! I must try them!

  11. I Love your recipe! Would you come over to Cast Party Wednesday tomorrow and share your tasty recipe with us?
    I hope to see you there!

  12. These look delicious! I’m going to have to try these.

  13. These look so good and seem so simple. I love it, I just bookmarked this page to make next week! Thanks.

  14. We enjoy making our own chicken strips in a similar fashion, too!

    (visiting from Raising Homemakers’ Homemaking Link-Up)

  15. Wow! your site is amazing! and I have discovered you at just the right time… one of my new goals is to eat healthier ex: low-processed foods … not so easy! but you have loads of info, so Thanks! I look forward to trying out your recipe (I found you at Keeping it Simple)
    … in the meantime let me invite you over for some great lemonade to go with the yummy chicken! http://bit.ly/qYmRuW

  16. This is a great looking recipe and I cannot wait to try it out. Come over and visit us. We have a terrific gnocchi recipe this week and be sure to leave a comment on our blogiversary post. You might win a prize!

  17. With a preschooler in the house, chicken nuggets are ALWAYS a hit. I’d be thrilled if you’d link this recipe up at Tastetastic Thursdays!

  18. Your Chicken Nuggets look so delicious and healthy! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  19. This is the perfect recipe for my boys.I am always on lookout for recipes that make dishes they love healthier.

  20. This looks like something my kids would love. Thanks!

  21. Those look super yummy and easy! Thanks!

  22. Great recipe!! I will be pinning this one for sure!!

  23. What a great alternative that kids will love! Thanks for sharing at Church Supper. Have a blessed week.

  24. Those look yummy, but how is the coating actually thick enough without egg to hold it on or something like egg?
    Thanks for sharing on the hearth and soul blog hop!

    • You know, it seems like it wouldn’t work, but it does. The chicken is moist enough and there isn’t that much coating. In actuality, the original coating had less to it and I spiced it up. When putting the coating on, just use your hands to work it into the chicken a bit. But really you don’t have to do much! Hope you enjoy it!

  25. So tasty!

  26. I made these for dinner tonight, well they were supposed to be for tomorrow night but the kids saw me making them; needless to say we had baked chicken nuggets and baked french fries for dinner. They were delicious, even the grumpy DH enjoyed them, he never likes “fast food”. The only suggestion I have is that when freezing these for later use, try flash freezing by laying out on a tray in the freezer a few hours till they freeze then bag or box or wrap. This will prevent the nuggets from freezing together. These will definitely be a staple in our quick fix meals be it lunch, dinner, midnight snack (i’m a night owl) or maybe even breakfast with a few wrapped in a tortilla shell a bit of cheese scrambled egg and out the door with the kiddies to wait on the bus.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Hi Mechelle, – Nice tip. I think mine stuck together a bit too so I just put them on the cooking tray, baked them for a bit and then they pulled apart easily. So glad you liked them! I have a great potato wedge recipe that I will have to share with you soon! (You reminded me :-)!)

      • Potato wedges *YUMMY* can’t wait to try them. As for the nuggets sticking together, my 12 year old son often will not eat something we are having for dinner, not due to allergies or any medical reason other than the fact that he says it will make him sick if he does eat it. I learned with my older son to chose my battles. Food is not going to be a battle, so we have “alternate” meals and these I can feel good about him eating. I even have little single serving size portions of veggies he will eat made up in the freezer. Being able to pop the nuggets out of the freezer and onto a pan to cook alongside whatever else is for dinner is such a wonderful alternative to the icky nasty store bought nuggets. Thanks again so much.

  27. thanks so much for linking up to Tasty Tuesday! can’t wait to see what you’ll bring this week. http://nap-timecreations.blogspot.com/

  28. It is days like this that I love my linkys. You shared this with us at Baked with Bizzy and I plan to make it, later today. I think, it will be my favorite chicken recipe too.

    I did make a baked chicken cutlet recipe with honey that turned out to be yummy. It is from Ellie Krieger’s new book which I plan to cook many recipes from. No, I don’t get paid for complimenting her book.


  29. These sound delicious and I love all the allergy friendly options you have provided. There is something so delicious about wholesome homemade chicken nuggets! Thank you for sharing your recipe for them with the Gallery of Favorites.

  30. Wow! I will have to try this with the chicken tender meat I just purchased.

  31. Great post! I like making my own nuggets for the kids too, can’t wait to try out the blend of seasonings you used!

    Thanks so much for linking up to MomTrends this week! :o)

  32. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    My kids would love these!

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  33. HI, these delicious nuggets are being featured at Bake with Bizzy. These are truly a treat.

  34. My kids don’t typically like chicken…it’s one of those texture things they don’t like the fact that it feels like they are chewing forever when they eat chicken. I thought I would give this a try and they LOVED it. There was nothing leftover :)
    Thank you!

    • You are so welcome! We love them so much here too. My husband dislikes big cuts of meat and it’s funny -every time I make these he says, “Are these hard to make?” because he likes them so much.

  35. My son is allergic to everything…eggs, milk, peanuts,soy, and wheat. I have found that even if something is gluten free that doesn’t mean wheat free. Is there a kind of flour that can be used to make these chicken nuggets that isn’t wheat??? I’m no Betty Crocker but I would like to be able to make and have my son enjoy chicken nuggets for once.

    • My son has the same issues, though he is gluten free due to having autism but no real diagnosis of an allergy and he also has a lot of nut allergies. I feel for you. Anyway, I am not sure what you mean about the GF foods not being wheat free, but perhaps you mean when a company will use wheat bran? The bran is gluten free so that is probably where the issue comes in for you. Technically the allergy should be to the protein in the wheat so your son shouldn’t have many issues with that, but you would need to check with his physician.

      I just updated the recipe to show what flours I used. I’ll have to write a post about my flour choices. I am really not that particular most of the time. I should be, but this is real life and I am so busy that I make it and thankfully, they eat it :-). Hope that helps and I hope he likes them!

  36. I guess we always thought gluten free meant wheat free but when we had bought some products that were gluten free we did some reading on the back and it still said contains traces of wheat. So we haven’t tried to use any of it for safety reasons

    • I always thought that “traces of wheat” would mean gluten free, but then I learned that “gluten free” meant at or below a certain level of gluten. 20 ppm, I believe, is the cut off. However, I have seen articles recently that state that the gluten free designation isn’t as accurate as it is supposed to be. I didn’t review the information thoroughly, but it seemed troubling. I should ask a friend of mine who is quite strict due to having celaic sprue. Please stop by to tell me how the nuggets worked out :-)!

  37. Not to mention all the gluten free products that still contain Caramel Coloring and gum base and weird stuff like that…I’ve had to learn so many words that may just mean wheat, not to mention milk and all the others. It would be really easy if they would just say it plain jane on every package. Either way I plan on trying to make your nuggets and will let you know. I already printed off the recipe and the homemade rice milk…I’m really glad I found this web site…your really helping out a dad trying to cook one meal for all his allergies and yet the same thing with the regular ingredients for my other kids! So for this I thank you!!!

    • You’re right. It’s all a muddle. Making everything from scratch is for sure the way to go, in my opinion. At least it has worked the best for me. I try to do everything from scratch, easy, in bulk. You may even find with most of my recipes that you can make it “special” for everyone since I tend to not use expensive ingredients. That’s pretty much what I do here at least. I just use eggs for the rest of us when I have time for extra nutrition. Let me know if I can help with anything else. If I can I’d be happy to.

  38. I made this tonight and it was excellent. I much prefer this breading technique (all at once) vs. doing one at a time.

  39. Just made for my husband, he really liked it-we devoured them! Thanks so much WholeNewMom! Follower for Life!

  40. Thank you – these were a big hit, though my children feel calling them “nuggets” was misleading and next time they’d like me to say we’re having spicy chicken bits cooked in the oven. :)

    • Hi Kristen. I see your point. My kiddos haven’t ever eating the store bought nuggets….I guess it depends if you need your nuggets to be super chopped up and mixed chicken or not :-). I don’t know how “Baked Chicken Bits” as a title would sound…..:-)??

  41. My husband used to buy the big bay of chicken nuggets from Costco to feed our girls because it was quick & easy. It bothered me because I know how bad they are, but he stays home with them & I don’t, so nothing I could do. I found this recipe & printed it out for him. He said “I’ll never buy nuggets again, these were so easy to make & the girls ate 5 nuggets each…normally they eat 2. Thanks for making it easy to feed my kids healthy food.

    • Brooke – you made my night. And now I’d better go thaw some chicken so we can have these again soon! Thanks for taking the time to share! I hear Costco has some really nice organic chicken now too :-).

  42. Where do you get coconut oil? Visiting from Miz Helen’s. Love your blog and the focus on healthy foods. I’m trying, really I am! :)

    • HI Vicki and welcome! I’m here to encourage. You can do it! If you are looking for non-coconut flavored coconut oil, I use Tropical Traditions. They have a very nice product and their expeller pressed non certified product is very reasonable. They will give you an informational book for free w/ your first order and it includes 85 recipes. If you prefer a product that tastes like coconut I can help there too. Just ask away. Here is the link to Tropical Traditions. Non certified means it is technically organic but not certified so it costs less. That’s the one that I use for a lot of my baking. Hope that helps! Oh – the link to TT is an affiliate link, just so you know. We have to disclose all that blog technical stuff.

  43. I just found this through Pinterest and this recipe looks awesome! Unfortunately I’m allergic to coconut (which sucks since it’s so popular right now) so I was wondering if you had any suggestions for another kind of oil to use. Thanks!

    • Sure, Felicia! Just use butter, or palm oil. Actually, I think you could use almost anything but if you’re concerned about cooking at a high heat I’d stick w/ those. Enjoy!

  44. Bless you! My son is autistic and has food allergies so he’s dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and bean and squash-free. Phew. He also has a feeding disorder that makes it difficult for him to coordinate tongue and chewing movements.

    I am forever trying to find protein options for him since he can’t have dairy soy, or beans, and he can’t chew nuts or most cuts of meat. The cost of the Applegate Organic GF chicken nuggets was breaking my grocery budget! I think these just might work instead!

  45. Great post! I love making homemade chicken nuggets – I modified my Mom’s oven-baked fried chicken recipe from my childhood. I use crushed up Rice Chex instead of flour for a more substantial coating. Also, try putting paprika in the coating – it’s delicious!

  46. I make a similar recipe, but I fry mine, these look much healthier. I do have a question though. You put the spices on, then drizzle the oil. What does step 4 mix to lightly coat mean? If you rub the oil on the dry spices, wont the spices rub off or get chunky? thanks for helping me out! I like to cook, but I guess I need more hand holding than most!

  47. Wow! These look incredible!! I can’t wait to try them. I just did something similar with sweetbreads on my site. http://acraftygourmet.blogspot.com/2012/09/saturday-night-crafty-gourmet-dinner-in.html

  48. I make my own ranch dip with a mix of sourcream and greek yogurt. I add onion and garlic powder, parsley flakes and a dash of paprika and a hint of sea salt.

  49. my flour/seasoning mixture was washed off from the coconut oil. it was basically baked chicken nuggets with coconut oil and that’s it. any tips?

  50. I must have started following your site RIGHT after you posted this. Thanks for bringing attention to it again! Desperate to kick the store-bought frozen nuggets habit, and have been trying to get that motor running for two weeks now. I need your site so much! I don’t comment very often because life is hectic, but I’ve had great success with most of your recipes I’ve tried so far. Thank you. (now, if I could just get a Vitamix…:)

    • And I must add, I’ve had an unprecedented chance to explore a lot of your kitchen tips tonight. You are truly a godsend. Thank you for your passion for the easy, simple and cheap! I can’t believe how many things I’ve just read that are going to revolutionize yet even more in my life.

      • You are just too kind. I needed a pick me up tonight. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope to be of help in the future.

        • We finally got a chance to try these nuggets last week. You rock. I was a little intimidated by sprinkling on the melted coconut oil, but it DOES work. Very cool. (I sprinkled on with a spoon, and wasn’t even the most careful.) My husband says very little even when he loves something. For these he said, “Man, I need some more of those!” Thanks!!

    • Thanks for the kind words. It means a lot. :)

  51. My picky eaters love this one! Thanks!

  52. This looks great. Thank you for sharing.

  53. Catie Easterling says:

    Thanks for sharing this will help me, cause, I can not have Wheat or Diary.
    Thank You Catie

  54. Love this, thank you! Would coconut flour be a suitable option?

    • I think you could do that but coconut flour soaks up a lot more liquid so it might leave it dry or you may need to add a little more oil or something liquid so the chicken is still moist.

  55. Love the picture! They look delicious. Thanks for sharing at Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Adrienne. It looks like you forgot to add a link back. :)

  56. Just wanted to let you know how much my family loves these nuggets! We bake them often, they are so flavorful!

  57. These would be a really great S when using almond flour! Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday.

  58. I never thought about baking these. I always fry in coconut oil, but I think baking is a better option. Pic looks great :)

  59. SO GOOD! Thank you, thank you, thank you! These are so very delicious.

  60. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’ve been searching for a good egg free chicken nugget recipe and this is just what I’ve been looking for. I tweaked the spices some but this is great. Thanks!

  61. Hi Adrienne! I’m new to some of these concepts of healthier eating. I’ve been doing the no sugar thing for years but recently dove into gluten free due to medical problems and my doctors recommendations! I was curious on this post with the chicken nuggets you suggest serving them with rice in a pita and grain of choice. What other grains do you use? I’m feeling lost! Thank you for this wonderful blog! It’s given me the confidence to keep going on this journey. Blessings to you and your family!

    • I use buckwheat, millet, quinoa and rice mainly. Sometimes amaranth but that’s mainly in baking and for a breakfast porridge that I hope to share. Thanks!

  62. Hi to every one, the contents existing at this web page are in fact amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the
    good work fellows.

  63. I love itty bitty crispy pieces of chicken. I definitely want to try this with small pieces! Yummy

  64. How do you melt the coconut oil to drizzle onto the chicken? Thank you!

  65. I thought these looked good, tried them last night and they came out even better than I expected!

    I used grapeseed oil, which is fairly new to me but is good for high-heat cooking and has a mild flavor. I was amazed at how the coating came together. I used a large spoon to stir the chunks in a bowl, I think a key may be making sure they are very well coated with the flour first (it looked like a lot of flour at first, but I kept stirring til all wet surfaces of chicken were well coated). Then drizzle oil (I didn’t have to use much) and stir til evenly moist.

    I used these in a chicken salad this time, but I’m looking forward to using them in lots of other ways and mixing up the spices!


  66. I just made these for dinner tonight using thigh meat. I made about 1.70lbs of meat so I used your measurement plus a little more. I am gluten free, so I used a GF biscuit/pancake flour mix with a couple TBS of coconut flour and also added extra brown rice flakes to give it a nice crunch. These were sooooo good and my husband couldn’t tell it was gluten free!! Score!!

  67. Adrienne, these are amazing!!!

  68. I just made them for my picky four year old , who was just diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and dairy allergy .. He loves them so much , he wanted me to make them for dinner ! Lol I made these with almond flour and actually made two extra batches for quick baking in the future ????

  69. Going to try these tonight – they sound yummy and easy! You drizzle the coconut oil over the chicken after it has the flour on it?

  70. feliciay walmart says:

    for your ranch you can try something newer to the market called (just mayo) it is an egg free mayo using yellow peas I believe. not to sure but many stores are now carrying this since it has topped the market as #1 mayo choice in only six months of it’s introduction to wholefoods markets which is why walmart and target are now carrying it as well!

  71. Adding a little arrowroot powder is good too.

  72. Thanks for the great recipe!

  73. I have never seen any sweet brown rice – what brand do you use and where do you find it?
    I love this recipe

    • Here is a link to one of the brands I typically buy. I am not sure what the other brand is — it comes from a local health food co op. But Lundberg is high quality. This is an affiliate link. I am hoping to make this this week as well. http://amzn.to/1DLzwlR

  74. Do you have recommendations for an almond flour replacement?

  75. Karen Hobbs says:

    Hello ~ Questioning about Gluten Free Panko Crumbs as listed in your Chicken Nuggets Recipe, I have GF for years and have never seen GF Panko Crumbs. Many That see this listed will automatically think that Panko Crumbs are GF, which they are made from Wheat. I have even Googled Panko Crumbs Many times, looking for them, unless you make something similar to them ~ you cannot buy them, or I should say they are the Best Hidden Secret Anywhere …

    Why List Something like that where Everyone can see this, and Newbies to Gluten Free Eating would go buy them thinking they are doing something right and become seriously ill all over again? I still have not found your notes were it explains how you are making them, So sorry for the blast, but this is a serious point for those that are Celias or Gluten Sensitive. After Spending 12 day in ICU and almost losing my COLON … I am quite alarmed at these kinds of things and everyone else should be too … not a good thing / unless people reading your blog are educated to read between the lines

    • Hi there. I am not sure where you saw GF Panko Crumbs listed in the recipe — is it possible it was an ad there? I didn’t use anything like that to make them — just GF flour. Thanks in advance.

  76. This looks like such a wonderful and easy recipe that I featured it yesterday on a Facebook page I curate called Cooking with Whole Grains & Real, Whole Foods. I know my grandkids will love this. Thank you for sharing it.

  77. hey i made these for my daughter last night for a snack and OMG!!! i had to make more she loved them. thanks for the recipe! ill be using this more often.

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