Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets

Posted · 51 Comments

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets |

If you have children or adults in your family that love fast food chicken nuggets or those ones packaged in the freezer aisle, guess what? You’re going to love these.

My homemade, better than fast food, chicken nuggets are simple to make and not anything like a chicken tender. In other words, they’re not fried up chicken pieces that tend to be stringy. Instead, they’re soft and simple to bite through making them the perfect toddler food… or adult food πŸ˜‰

My trick is to grind up organic chicken thighs, raw, by pulsing them in my food processor.

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets |

So instead of using pieces of chicken, I use ground, raw, chicken. That’s the key to a better than fast food chicken nugget.

I then add a bit of seasoning to the ground meat, shape the nuggets, and then dip them in egg yolk followed by homemade breadcrumbs seasoned with dried parsley.

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets |

A few minutes to brown on both sides in home rendered lard

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets |

and voila… Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets.

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets

Better than fast food chicken nuggets – a simple to make and nourishing lunch or weeknight meal for your family.


  • 4 - 5 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • breadcrumbs (I blended in parsley when I processed my own breadcrumbs from stale bread)
  • eggs, whisked
  • lard to fry


  1. In a food processor, process the raw chicken meat until it’s ground.
  2. Remove the chicken meat from the food processor and place it in a bowl. Mix in the garlic salt and onion powder.
  3. Working in batches, roll out small nugget sizes of the meat into your hand. Flatten them out, then dip them in the whisked egg and then breadcrumbs
  4. 4. In a skillet or cast iron pan, gently bring the lard to heat. Working in batches, fry the chicken nuggets on both sides until browned and cooked through; about 2-3 minutes per side.

Who knew chicken nuggets could be so simple to make and nourishing, right?

The best thing about these nuggets is that they freeze exceptionally well.Β To reheat, simply bake them in the oven at 375F for 10-15 minutes.

Does your family enjoy chicken nuggets? Tell me, how do you make your chicken nuggets at home?

51 Responses to "Better Than Fast Food Chicken Nuggets"
  1. Jenny.U says:

    Looks tasty and we do enjoy our nuggets! I generally make strips but have also made them nugget size. Hot off the press for meals or send them cold for lunches or pop them in the freezer to reheat another time. I used to use regular flour but have had success with a GF flour.

  2. Sarah says:

    Stupid question – you cook the thighs first before grinding right? Seemed obvious, but then I read what you wrote about cooking them through.

  3. AmyJ says:

    I’m assuming the chicken is raw and that 2-3 minutes per side is long enough to cook it through?

  4. Hi Diana and God Bless.

    Thanks for the recipe. What are your thoughts about baking rather than frying them?

  5. Kim says:

    Hi Diana,
    I can’t wait to try these. We love having different ways to eat chicken. One way we do nuggets is to cut up thigh and breast meat into chunks. Then I dip them in melted butter, roll them in a mixture of crushed cornflakes(I try to get the non gmo kind),crushed thyme and oregano(I grow and dry my own). We never have left overs! Sory for no exact measurements, I always for the most part cook that way. I sure it would be easy to adjust the amounts as to how much chicken you have. Something about the herbs and cornflakes together are a very good combination. Thank you for your posts. I am learning so much!

  6. April says:

    This is such a timely recipe, thank you! My husband and I are about to bring home three small kiddos (ages 4, 2, and 1), through adoption, and chicken nuggets are one of their favorite foods. I had been meaning to search for a real food chicken nugget recipe. This is going to be so helpful as they transition into our home. Happy to hear they freeze well too. I may be making these in bulk before they arrive πŸ˜‰

    • Annie says:

      What a good idea, to make ahead and freeze them, will save you so much time later, and what kid doesn’t love nuggets.
      Wow, 3 new kiddos, what an undertaking! We have two adopted, but they are all grown up now with kids of their own. I’ll be praying for you! Better get ahead on your sleep too!! : )

  7. monica says:

    nice ty for the recipe. if you want a healthier GF alternative you can use coconut flour and bake them they turn out yummy too.

  8. Jenn says:

    I don’t have a food processor. Do you think these would work if I purchased and used ground chicken instead?

  9. Ag says:

    Approximately how many pounds is the total chicken used?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Ag, I’m not really sure. For this particular recipe, it was from a 3 pack of organic chicken thighs that I bought from Costco. Their packs usually have around 4-5 thighs.

  10. Wow – I never thought to put it in the food processor first, that would make a huge difference. I saw lard at the farm I purchase our meats/raw milk from the other day but hadn’t done much with it. I need to do more research because I love frying my felafels but wanted a better oil/thing to fry it in. Thanks!

  11. bethany bubanji says:

    I’d love to make these, but my daughter is allergic to eggs. What would you suggest I roll them in to make the crumbs stick?

  12. Brenda Mead says:

    Ok… We have a winner!!! Wild Game Turkey made this way is absolutely the BOMB DIGGETTY!!! Made roast potatoes and greens with this tonight for dinner!

  13. Ann Sato says:

    My 2 year old loved them. Me, too. Thanks.

  14. Nathalie says:

    These sound (and look) so awesome! Definitely going to try these out of my resident chicken nugget aficianado (my 8-year old daughter). Lovely photos as well.

  15. Valerie says:

    Do you put your food processor in the dish washer afterwards or just clean with bleach? Definitely going to try these.

    • Briana says:

      Please don’t clean your dishes with bleach! =) If your like me you use your food processor ALL the time which means you’ll be using to grind up more vegetables and whatnot. Those bleach chemicals will remain and after rinsing and are very harmful to ingest! Could even leave a permanent “musk” which will make any food put in there taste and smell like bleach! I would through it in the dishwasher and if that doesn’t seem like enough you could make a paste out of vinegar and baking soda and scrub it out with that. Natural and not harmful! Sometimes I even add a 1/2 cup each of baking soda and vinegar to my dishwasher to get dishes extra shiny and steralized (works good for cleaning the inside of the dishwasher too)!

  16. Jennifer says:

    Genius! I would never have thought of grinding the chicken. I dislike stringy nuggets, too. What an awesome method. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Joanne says:

    We just loved Loved LOVED theses! So easy and I’ve been telling everyone I know….

    Can you do the same thing with fish???? Haddock. Will it grind up OK in the food processor? I’m worried it might turn into a liquid or be too mushy to work with…..

    I’ve been so blessed by the work you’ve done with this 25 day journey. Thank you for offering it to everyone.


  18. Amy Smith says:

    Hello Diana! My family and I enjoyed these last night – I used almond meal instead of bread crumbs and they turned out great! Thank you so much for this and your current “25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food!” With Joy in the Lord, Amy

  19. Jennifer says:

    Do you think these would bake up well instead of frying? My husband really dislikes frying foods. We’ve had pretty good success switching most things over from fried to baked. Would it make a difference with the ground chicken though?

  20. Jean says:

    Hi: I got out my small cookie scoop and made these instead of using hands. It worked like a charm! I baked them on parchment paper, they were not real crunchy, but my 19 year old eat them. She also did not know that I used ground gluten free oats as the breading. I will make these again. Thank You for the wonderful 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food. Peace, Strength and Courage, Jean

  21. Kari Spencer says:

    Hi! Thanks for the recipe. I make mine similarly, but with some differences. I use ground chicken thighs as well, with quick oats and some seasoned breadcrumbs, egg, and seasoning. I roll the balls in more breadcrumbs, and freeze them flat and store them. My husband stays home with our three kids (I am active duty Navy), and he says these bake and fry well, with no leftovers. Have a good day!

  22. Sarah says:

    Can you use packaged ground chicken instead of grinding the thighs (for sake of convenience)?

  23. Dena says:

    Thanks for this recipe. Is there any other oil you would recommend if we don’t have lard?

  24. sarah says:

    i buy bone-in thighs with skin…remove bones but do you grind the skin with meat?

  25. Gina F says:

    thanks for this recipe, it was a huge hit. I’m going to make up another batch for the freezer once I get more lard.

  26. mark says:

    Do you need to mix egg into the minced chicken in order for it to bind when frying?

  27. Kim says:

    These were amazing! My 2 year old and husband loved them. I fried in coconut oil. It was really moist! Better than chick fil-a for sure !! Wish my cast iron pan was bigger to dry faster but I will be making this a regular rotation on the dinner menu.

  28. wolfkin says:

    the SEO on this recipe is very good I just found it from Google. I tried it tonight and it turned out very well. and can’t wait to try it again tomorrow this time with all of the seasonings ahead of time. my own little spin was too add Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs.

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