My mom likes to tell a story about my refusing to eat anything except for bean burritos and chicken tenders for a good 5 years. I’ve grown since then but give me a good chicken nugget and I’m in! Sadly, as soon as I eat one from a fast food joint I’m instantly regretting it. Maybe that’s a good thing since it means no fast food for this family. What this also means is that our boys don’t like chicken nuggets. I know right, what kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets?!?! That brings us to tonight and the task of making a healthy chicken nugget that our kids will eat (so I can eat one too). The best first step to accomplishing this: have your kid make the food. They are so much more invested to eat something they made! So off we went…
The meal: Parmesan baked chicken nuggets, fries, peaches and corn
This was a 30 minute meal…partly because we just used fries from a bag and peaches & corn from a jar. We were coming back late from the zoo. Sometimes you gotta roll with it.
Parmesan Baked Chicken Nuggets
Serves 4 (+ a baby)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (it’s important to grate this fine!)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- coarse sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- cooking spray
- (optional) sauces for serving
- parchment paper
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Spread panko out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer to a small mixing bowl, then add Parmesan, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp garlic powder and mix all together.
Rinse off the baking sheet, then cover with parchment paper and set it out of the way for a minute.
Get out two shallow dishes. Place flour in one and eggs in the other (you can see in the picture, we beat the eggs in the dish).
Increase oven temp to 450 degrees.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper (don’t hold back here). One piece at a time, add a chicken nugget to the flour, and plop it around until well coated, shaking off excess. Then dip it in egg until coated – make sure no extra egg hangs on. Next, transfer to the panko mixture, and roll it around until it is completely coated (pressing to adhere the panko if needed). Transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.
Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
These nuggets are great with BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s!!) and of course, ketchup. Our little man will just eat a bowl of ketchup if allowed (I know…).
[Note: this recipe is a more child-friendly adaptation from Gimme Some Oven]