Fast Food Friday: Baked Spicy Chicken Nuggets

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WHEW. What a week. But, I have a feeling my weeks are going to get even crazier with what I have on tap in February. Take a gander at my 1/2 full calendar.

Luckily, I love what I do! However, it’s still a little daunting seeing that calendar and realize how much I have to cook, bake, photograph, assemble, stage and edit. But, that’s still a few days away so I’m going to TRY to enjoy my weekend. And what better way to kick off the weekend than with some fast food?

Healthy fast food, that is! My blog friend Mooshu Jenne came up with the brilliant idea to have a day dedicated to sharing our favorite fast food items, made over healthier and at home! Saving money AND staying svelte? Sign me up! We are hosting this every Friday so PLEASE join in!

To kick off this feature, I made something easy, delicious and a HUGE favorite of E’s…buffalo chicken nuggets!

These spicy little nuggets look and taste like the kind you get at Mickey D’s, except are made with real chicken and real breadcrumbs. I don’t know about you, but I like knowing exactly what’s going into my body, especially given the volatile nature of my internal organs.

E gobbled these up in 60 seconds. Literally. I had to grab one before he bit my hand off! ūüôā They are crispy, juicy and tender and have a fabulous kick from the Buffalo sauce. These are so good on their own, but you can easily dip them in your favorite sauce.

Oh, and not only are they delicious, they are better for you than most since they are baked! 3 fried chicken strips have up to 400 calories and 18 grams of fat, while these baked kind have 200 calories and 7.5 grams of fat in 4! More for less, baby!

Baked Spicy Chicken Nuggets


Yields: 10 nuggets
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Marinating time: over night


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, plain
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper
  • 2/3 cup buffalo sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)


  1. Cut each piece of chicken into 5 small nuggets or strips and place into a bowl. Pour sauce over them. Cover with foil and refrigerate over night, or at least 4 hours.
  2. When chicken is done marinating, preheat oven to 500F. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Mix breadcrumbs, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip each nugget into the breadcrumbs and cover liberally. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat until all chicken is covered. Bake for 10 -12 minutes or until chicken is crispy. Enjoy!

You’ll never want the drive through version again!

Nutritional information per 4 nuggets: 200 calories, 7.5 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of protein and 6 Weight Watchers points. 

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  1. Posted by Richard McCabe II on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    Those are awesome.  I will make these for my daughter tomorrow night!
  2. Posted by Danielle @ Runs with Spatulas on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    These sound fantastic, and something that my husband would really love!
  3. Posted by Christine on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    This looks amazing.
  4. Posted by Lacy on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    Sounds delicious! I love boneless buffalo wings & the fact that it's more than 1/2 the calories for the same serving size is fantastic! Yum!!
  5. Posted by Stephsbitebybite on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    OOooh!! Totally making these for dinner! I love chicken fingers, but am not in to fried food, so these are just what I need!
  6. Posted by Jenne on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    Those look yummy! I am going to have to try them out!
  7. Posted by Jennifer on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    How is it that I always "pin" everything you make?? I love me some chicken!
  8. Posted by Kelly on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    These look amazing!!!  Totaling pinning these, Chris would love them! :)
  9. Posted by Lauren on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    delicious! Chicken fingers were my go-to choice as a kid! Love the recipe :)
  10. Posted by Kiri W. on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    Wow, they look so crispy! I always have trouble with crispiness when I bake things, but I'll keep trying! Spicy is my favorite, so go you!
    • Posted by Claire Gallam10 on
      Saturday, January 21st, 2012
      The key, I found, is a really high temperature and Panko!
  11. Posted by Lindselicious on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    Love the idea of fast food fridays.  I would totally eat these up!
    • Posted by Claire Gallam10 on
      Monday, January 23rd, 2012
      You should definitely link up with us on Friday!
  12. Posted by Eliotseats on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    We were really bad and had some hot wing apps this week.   I was thinking as we devoured them that I would love a healthier version b/c we love hot wing sauce.   Thank you.  (I wonder about using panko??)
    • Posted by Claire Gallam10 on
      Saturday, January 21st, 2012
      Panko is a god send. It makes everything extra crunchy and crispy!
  13. Posted by Maris Callahan on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    That is a full calendar! These look scrumptious!
  14. Posted by Ann Mc on
    Friday, January 20th, 2012
    The nuggets look delicious and that is one CRAZY calendar!
  15. Posted by Cat on
    Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
    Um... just made them and every single person LOVED them.. No could believe they were baked (not fried) and chicken was so tender and moist!! Thanks for sharing this AH-MAZING recipe :D

  16. Monday, January 23rd, 2012
    I love that these are baked! Looks delicious :)
  17. Posted by Anonymous on
    Tuesday, January 24th, 2012
    Definitely diggin' on the healthier version of a classic!  And I love that you kicked it up a notch with the buffalo sauce =)  Hope February goes smoothly - you'll be a busy gal!
  18. Posted by Kate on
    Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
    Do these warm up well? I'm trying to decide if I should make a double batch...
    • Posted by cgallam10 on
      Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
      Yep! Just stick them in the oven (the microwave will turn them into squishy messes)
  19. Posted by Jenn on
    Sunday, September 16th, 2012
    I made these and they were delicious, but the breading/crumbs kept falling off and didn't fully coat the chicken as nicely as yours, any suggestions on how to fix this?
  20. Posted by Nike Clearance on
    Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
    Sure they can afford it, but in all probability not Waiters and
    TT both without jettisoning other pieces. A great deal depends on how both oof these guys perform this year (ie: gel
    with LBJ, KLove and KI), and who is potentially made available via trade in the deadline or next summer time.
  21. Posted by shar on
    Sunday, November 30th, 2014
    Is the 500F correct? sounds scary!