Panko Chicken Nuggets

Few foods are more kid-friendly than nuggets, but do you ever wonder what's in them? Rest assured with these easy homemade ones. They can[ be breaded in advance and fried up the day of, or just bread and fry them the night before for maximum convenience. Buttermilk and panko makes them both tender and crispy, and your kids will love them]

Total Time:
20 min
10 min
10 min

4 servings

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • Ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce for dipping, optional
  • Carrot, cucumber and or celery sticks, optional

Whisk the egg and buttermilk in a medium bowl. Soak chicken pieces in egg mixture while you gather remaining ingredients. Meanwhile, in another shallow bowl combine panko with paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper, to taste. Set a rack on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lift chicken from buttermilk, letting excess liquid drain back into the bowl, then dip into panko and turn to coat on all sides.

Carefully place chicken in oil and cook until they are golden and crispy and cooked through, about for 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to the rack to cool. Place in sealed container. Pack in a lunch box with their favorite veggies and ranch, honey mustard or barbecue sauce for dipping.

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    These are awesome! My whole family loves them. So tasty!!! Have only tried them right off the oven. We will see how they are the next day.
    These are awesome! I heated the leftovers in the oven the morning of school, popped them in a thermos and my daughter said they tasted great at lunch. This is a great recipe!
    What a great recipe! The kids loved them! No more nuggets from anywhere else!
    Very good. We baked ours at 450 for 10 min each side. It was easy and a crowd pleaser.
    After you fry them they taste delicious. If you put them in the refigerator the next day they will be soggy and gross. Kechup instead of honey mustard too.
    Fresh, tender, and flaky, but bland. I tripled the recipe. Maybe that changes the proportion of spices, but I found that there was a bit too much Italian seasoning and not enough garlic, salt and pepper. Recipe didn't say how much salt and pepper to add. Definitely need to add different and more spices. Good with honey or BBQ sauce. (I baked them, rather than frying them
    Quick, easy, delicious! The kids loved them and so did I! We ate them right away, in lieu of saving them for lunches. Easy go-to meal that i will use again! Just 1 note: i didnt feel like i needed to use all of the bread crumbs the recipe to call for, would only use 1 cup next time. Thanks for a great recipe!
    DON'T add HONEY to the buttermilk, as someone suggested. Chicken should not taste "sweet". Stick to the recipe.

    There's a reason why there's no "baking" instructions. Frying your nuggets will ensure a nice golden brown color, and they will turn out juicy and tender.

    I soaked them in the buttermilk overnight for maximum tenderness. Also, if your breasts are thick, flatten them down with a mallet to about 1/3" for more flavorful results.
    This recipe was a hit with the kids, my son kept saying, delicious! and he doesn't even like chicken. I baked the chicken instead as suggested on previews reviews, and it was tender and juicy. great recipe!
    DELICIOUS! I made this for adults and it was a hit! I recommend baking them in the oven, like other reviewers suggested. They keep well in the refrigerator...heated leftovers in the toaster oven, and they were even better than the first day! I used a honey mustard recipe from Allrecipes. YUM!
    Our family loves these, including my four-year-old son who dislikes chicken! I prefer to bake them at 450' for about 10 minutes per side, having sprayed the cookie sheet and drizzled a little EVOO on top to ensure they brown and crisp up. The entire family loves the flavor profile of paprika, garlic, and italian-type herbs (used oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil - so that was increased as well. Served with some salad, crispy oven-baked potato wedges and a honey/dijon/rice wine vinegar dipping sauce.
    My boys said that these are THE BEST chicken nuggets they've ever had and ask for them often. GREAT recipe!
    i havent tried it and i already know itll be delicous!!
    Why did you rate a recipe that you haven't tried?
    THe panko makes all the difference. Very light and crunchy. This one will go into rotation.
    A great recipe! My chicken was super juicy and it only marinated about 10 minutes in the buttermilk. I think next time I will add salt to the chicken first. I found the finished product a bit bland. Overall this is an excellent recipe. The texture of the crust from the Panko breadcrumbs is unbelievable. Yummy! I made Paula Deen's Honey Mustard Dipping sauce for these and barely made it to the dinner table... I couldn't resist.
    Excellent. I also baked mine and they were so moist and juicy! My 3 yr old helped making them and this is so easy it is great to introduce the love of cooking to children. She even wanted some for breakfast this morning!
    Maybe what they are talking about when they say healthy is that with canola, olive oil, etc... is that it is a heart healthy oil due to the fact that it is not artery clogging, like frying in crisco way back in the day. I don't think it means weight control and the hips. I will try these both ways as others have said.
    A quick and easy meal or snack. I baked half the batch and fried the other half to see which tasted better. Hubby and I both agree the baked is more flavorful and juicier. If your kids are a on the picky side, I'd lay off the italian spices as you can definitely taste them in the baked version. All 3 kids (ages 2, 3 and 5) and hubby ate these with gusto.
    This is absolutely a go-to recipe for chicken nuggets! Print it out, put it in your recipe box - it is a no-brainer! Easy to make, and the whole family will love it!!!  
    The Panko Chicken Nugget recipe gives you a light and crispy nugget, perfectly suited for children and adults alike. Panko crumbs gives this classic a wonderfully golden crust, but if your palette demands flavor beyond that of the dipping sauce you choose, then some adjustments must be made. I would suggest the following additions:

    Add to the buttermilk mixture:
    2 TB honey
    1/4 cup chicken broth

    Add to the Panko mixture:
    1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
    1 tsp Onion Powder
    1 (more) tsp Garlic Powder
    1/2 tsp kosher salt

    **One last thing that makes or break this dish is your oil temp. To avoid greesey food, do not drop your chicken in oil that is less than 350 degrees.

    I made these last night for my family and we all loved them! They were so light and crisp. I soaked the chicken in the buttermilk and eggs for 12 hours because Alton Brown says that buttermilk needs 12 to 24 hours to really get into the chicken. They were so delicious there were no leftovers.
    When I was a kid, back in the 40s, my fave food was southern fried chicken. On my birthday, my mother made it for me. It was the first recipe I ever learned to make on my own. Then, of course, we learned of the dangers of fried food, and the saved bacon fat from my mother's recipe was the next thing to go. The third change was removing all the skin from the chicken (EW!), and I ended up with no southern fried chicken anymore. I still eat chicken -- all the time, in fact -- but never southern fried. However, this recipe comes close, believe it or not. Hubby and I like it very much, and for the first time ever, we checked out the dippings -- ranch, BBQ sauce, and honey mustard (actually we used "Durkees" Sauce, YUM!). Because I'm lactose intollerant, I had to use soy milk, and I made it into a form of buttermilk by adding lemon juice. I imagine the real thing -- real buttermilk -- is probably incredibly good, although my version wasn't bad at all, and totally safe. I never eat fried foods (I can't stand potatoes, even fried -- EW!), at my age fried foods are not good for me, but on occasion, I'll make these, maybe just for my birthday, just like when I was a silly kid . . . and I'll even remember the Durkee's for dipping (I hope).
    Good for you BevvyBoo! We don't want to kill ourselves, but we want to live and enjoy! It sounds like you've found a great "In the middlke" place! :)))
    We need to be able to find out the health statistics such as calories, fat, sodium and others for ALL recipes that are on Food Networks web site. Other sites give this, why can't Food Network.
    I originally gravitated toward this recipe with my 7-yr-old son in mind but thought, what the heck, why not make it for the whole family. Good choice! I used chicken tenders and thought they tasted great without adding extra the extra after-work time to cut the chicken into smaller pieces.

    Panko is a wonderful choice for the breading and its light texture lends itself well to a variety of herbs and spices. I chose to go a little light on those to placate the little one but feel free to pump up the volume and add whatever spices that suit you and your family best.

    Glad I ran across these again - a lunch-time treat for my son next week! Perfect finger food that's fun for kids and grownups alike.
    These are very good nuggets-I used boneless chicken thighs as well as boneless chicken breast. For those who want to make it healthier fry in extra virgin olive oil just enough to coat. You can also follow the recipe and place the coated nuggets on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and put in a 450' degree oven for about 10 minutes on each side you watch them and be the judge you want a golden brown, depending on your oven, times may vary. You can also use lowfat buttermilk.

    B. Adams
    Detroit, MI
    I would love to know the calorie and fat content for these so called healthy nuggets. Anything fried in oil is NOT a better way to go. If these were baked, rather than fried, perhaps they would be a healthier version. OF course they taste wonderful! Anything fried is wonderful! Don't fool yourself
    I have an extremely picky five year old and she loved these. We are planning to pack them in her lunchbox this week!
    When my nieces were last in town, I thought this would be a great recipe to make for them. I used more chicken and buttermilk than was called for, and I eyeballed the spices instead of measuring them. Lastly, I let the chicken soak for four hours in the egg and buttermilk mixture.

    The result was a batch of chicken nuggets that were crunchy, moist, and flavorful. The panko really provides a great crunch without giving the chicken an oily feel. I served the nuggets to my nieces with Alton Brown's honey mustard sauce and Paula Dean's white barbecue sauce, and the girls really loved the meal.

    These are great nuggets that will have you swearing off the nasty, chemical-filled fast food "nuggets" that obese people shovel into their kids. If you make these, I hope you enjoy them as much as my nieces did!
    Super easy to make and delicious! My 3 kiddos LOVED these because they were so crunchy. The Panko really makes the recipe in my opinion!
    These were a HUGE hit. My kids loved these. I love the panko crust. They add a nice crunch and great flavor from the spices. I will be making these again and again. Love to use different sauces to dip, honey mustard, ranch.
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