Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Kid Favorite!)

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parmesan chicken nuggets
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Kid Favorite!)

I’m not a fan of most chicken nuggets and “kid foods” that cater to picky eaters. Or ones that are mostly processed and devoid of vitamins. At the same time, kid-size food can be fun every once in a while. Especially if the kids help prepare it!

Chicken parmesan is a classic recipe and an adult favorite. This recipe combines all the big flavors of chicken parmesan with the fun size of chicken nuggets for a more sophisticated kid food. I like to serve this with homemade pasta sauce instead of ketchup as a dip. They get less sugar, and it’s a fun way to eat a kid’s favorite recipe.

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe

The actual credit for this recipe goes to my oldest son. Years ago he saw me making regular chicken parmesan and suggested smaller pieces. Most of the kids don’t eat a whole piece anyway. His love for cooking has continued and he even co-wrote a cookbook with his friends.

With his help, this grain-free, dairy-optional recipe was born.

Chicken Nugget Ingredients and Substitutions

Most chicken nuggets have breadcrumbs (like panko bread crumbs). All-purpose flour is another common breading for these. And of course, there’s the unhealthy vegetable oil for frying!

This real food recipe doesn’t have any of that. I use a blend of almond flour, coconut flour, and parmesan cheese for the breading. Not only are they gluten-free, but they’re grain free too. If you need to make them dairy free, simply omit the parmesan cheese. They’ll still taste great, just more like regular chicken nuggets. You can even add a little onion powder or paprika to the flour mixture if desired.

If your family is nut-free or egg-free, you’ll need a few modifications. You can use any flour in place of the almond/coconut mixture. Substituting for the eggs is a little more complicated though. The best option I’ve found is to dunk in melted butter or coconut oil in place of the eggs. This doesn’t stick as well as the beaten egg mixture, but it does the job.

The Best Chicken

Forget the ultra-processed meat-like substances from fast food places like McDonald’s. These are made with pieces of actual chicken. You’ll want boneless skinless chicken breasts for this. Boneless chicken thighs can also work if you prefer dark meat. Some stores also sell boneless chicken tenders, which are just thinner chicken breasts.

Don’t Want to Fry Them?

If you don’t like to fry foods (or don’t want the mess), you can modify the recipe. These chicken nuggets work well in the air fryer and I’ve included directions for that in the recipe. Or if you prefer to bake them, first preheat the oven to 375°F. Continue with steps 1-4 in the recipe, dredging the mixture as you would for frying. Next, place them on a well-oiled baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil before baking for about 35 minutes.

Cooking spray gets a more even coating on the nuggets, but many of them have unhealthy oils I try to avoid. This avocado oil spray is a good option though. To better protect against sticking, you can also line the tray with parchment paper.

It may sound complicated at first, but homemade chicken nuggets are an easy way to get dinner on the table. You can also check out more of my easy recipes with these personalized meal plans.

parmesan chicken nuggets

Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe

You can’t go wrong with homemade chicken nuggets! These are coated with grain-free Parmesan breading and served with marinara sauce. This Italian take on chicken nuggets is a kid favorite.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Calories 348kcal
Author Katie Wells






  • In a large skillet, heat the tallow or coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  • Cut the chicken into strips or nuggets (about 1 and 1/2 inch pieces).
  • In a medium bowl, beat the large eggs with 1 teaspoon of water or buttermilk.
  • In another bowl, combine the almond and coconut flours, Parmesan cheese, one teaspoon garlic powder, Italian seasoning, one teaspoon salt, and pepper and mix well.
  • Once the oil is hot, coat each piece of chicken first in the egg mixture and then dredge in the seasoned flour mixture.
  • Drop them carefully into the hot oil and cook for 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Remove from the pan onto paper towels and keep in the oven to stay warm while additional batches are cooking.
  • Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve with marinara dipping sauce.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to several days. Reheat in the oven until crispy.


Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 130mg43%
Sodium 722mg31%
Potassium 581mg17%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 341IU7%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Other cooking options:
  • Bake: Place the coated chicken pieces on a well-greased baking sheet and spritz with avocado oil. Bake at 375°F for about 35 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Air Fry: Place the coated chicken pieces in the air fryer basket and spritz with avocado oil. Air fry at 400°F for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

Dipping Sauce Options

Marinara is our family’s favorite option for these and it fits with the chicken parmesan theme. If your kids aren’t feeling the marinara though, then there are plenty of other options! Here are some more homemade and healthy chicken nugget dipping sauces:

Do your kids love chicken nuggets? What’s their favorite way to eat them? Leave a comment and let me know!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


19 responses to “Parmesan Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Kid Favorite!)”

  1. Mindy Avatar

    Hi! Has anyone tried an air fryer for this recipe? I’m going to try air frying for the first time and would love tips! Thanks!

  2. lindsay Avatar

    Hi Katie. Thanks for all the recipes! I am going to try this one this week! I was wondering (and this may not be be the best place to ask this question but I don’t know how to otherwise contact you LOL!)…do you approve of all the products that pop up as ads on your site or are they random? I saw a probiotic and an essential oil company and realized I wasn’t sure. I’m typically a skeptic and like to do my research but usually if the wellness mama approves of a product then I approve of it! 😉

  3. Sheila Avatar

    Have you ever tried preparing the Chicken Parmesan Nuggets Recipe through the breading stage and then leaving them in the fridge until you are ready to fry/bake them later that day? Do you think that would work, or would they become a soggy mess? I’m just trying to think of time savers before dinner time. Thanks!

  4. Hélène Avatar

    Weight on the chicken? 3 breasts is pretty vague. Whole breast, half a breast?

  5. Catherine Avatar

    Any thoughts on how these would be to freeze? I’m due with my second child and wanted to batch cook for my two year old.?

  6. amr Avatar

    Where’s the parmesan cheese?
    is it sprinkled after the nuggets are fried?

  7. Tomika Avatar

    I am going to try this recipe tonight! What’s the temperature and baking time for the oven baked version?

      1. Lynn Avatar

        When you need the egg replacement to be sticky for breading, I use honey and a little warm water mixed together. It gives the chicken a nice flavour and works very well.

  8. Erika Avatar

    This looks delicious! I know my kids would love it. Thanks for sharing tips on modifications too.

3.26 from 51 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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