Healthy Panko-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets have gotten a pretty bad reputation over the years. I’m definitely guilty of picking through one to see if I can identify any pieces of actual meat. Fast food chicken nuggets are usually made up of “chicken mash,” which is then breaded and deep-fried. This means that 4 chicken nuggets have between 150 and 200 calories and lots of fat. This version has only a fraction of the fat and calories.

It’s another recipe that you can enjoy guilt-free!

Healthy Panko-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

To make these chicken nuggets even lighter, I don’t dredge the chicken before coating the pieces in breadcrumbs. Instead, I use a drizzle of olive oil (or even just a little cooking spray). The breadcrumbs still stick, but definitely fall off a little easier. If you want to dredge them, dip the pieces in about 1/2 cup flour, a bowl with 2 lightly beaten eggs, then into the breadcrumbs. This method will also create a thicker crust.

In order to get a beautiful golden-brown crust, I always toast the panko breadcrumbs first. Otherwise, you’ll completely overcook the chicken waiting for the crust to brown. Just toss the crumbs into a hot skillet and stir until they turn a light golden-brown. There is no need to add butter, cooking spray, or olive oil because they will easily brown on their own. That said, they will also burn easily. Keep a close eye on them and stir constantly.

Healthy Panko-Crusted Chicken Nuggets

Serve these chicken nuggets with a side of chipotle mayo, Sriracha dipping sauce, or a creamy avocado sauce.

Or all three!

Healthy Panko-Crusted Chicken Nuggets
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1½ lbs chicken tenderloins
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the dry panko breadcrumbs and cook until the breadcrumbs are a light golden brown (about 1-2 minutes), stirring constantly. Pour the breadcrumbs into a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Cut the chicken tenderloins into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken pieces into a medium-sized mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken with the olive oil to coat, then set aside.
  4. Add the dried Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese to the panko breadcrumbs. Stir until combined. Add the chicken pieces to the breadcrumbs in batches to coat, then place on a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake the chicken nuggets for about 8 minutes, then flip. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Serve with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.

 

0 comments