Copycat Shake ‘n Bake Chicken Nuggets is a quick and easy recipe for making tasty homemade nuggets that are a hit with kids and adults alike!
Well, we are officially back to school ’round these parts! And I have to admit, I’m feeling mighty organized now that we’ve resumed a schedule of day-to-day predictability. Of course, talk to me at the end of the week when I’ll likely be cursing early alarms and lunchbox packing and weekly menu planning. 😉
But today? Today I sent my kids to school with a healthy breakfast in their bellies and a wholesome lunch in their backpacks. And when they arrived home, I already had dinner planned, prepped, and ready to go. Because if Copycat Shake ‘n Bake Chicken Nuggets aren’t a great way to cap off the first day of school, I’m not sure what are!
Now, I realize that I already have two different versions of homemade chicken nuggets/tenders on the blog. Let’s face it…my whole family loves ’em — right down to my pickiest of picky 4-year-old — and y’all seem to, too! But one day a few months back, my kids requested chicken nuggets when I didn’t particularly have time for dipping and breading. That’s when I remembered the “homemade” baked chicken of my youth, thanks to that little box of wonder known as Shake ‘N Bake.
So I wondered…could I could use the same speedy, effortless method originated by Shake ‘N Bake, but with natural ingredients instead? I decided to give it a go. And sure enough, measuring breadcrumbs and spices into a plastic bag, adding cubes of chicken, and then shaking it all together worked like a charm.
The key, however, is adding a tablespoon of oil (I use extra-virgin olive oil) to the crumbs and spices in the bag, which helps the mixture adhere to the chicken. No egg wash, no dipping, no mess required! Zip the bag and shake vigorously for perfectly-breaded chicken nuggets. Just don’t put too many nuggets in the bag at the same time or they won’t get evenly coated…I found that shaking 1 pound at a time was an amount that worked well.
As I mentioned earlier, I first made these Copycat Shake ‘n Bake Chicken Nuggets several months ago…and I’ve made them half a dozen times since! I’m not saying that I don’t still love the other nugget recipes in my repertoire, but this recipe is just so darn easy. It doesn’t dirty a bunch of dishes — just throw away the plastic baggie when you’re done — and dinner is ready in a flash!
I also love how simple it is to customize the herbs and spices for different flavors of nuggets. Prepared per the recipe using your favorite kind of breadcrumbs (I typically use whole wheat breadcrumbs, but Panko are also delicious), we enjoy these nuggets with Greek yogurt-based Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Made with Italian breadcrumbs, the nuggets are delicious dipped in marinara. And when adding taco seasoning to the breadcrumbs, I like to serve ’em with Creamy Jalapeño Dip or a blend of sour cream and salsa.
Furthermore, you can use this same treatment for other cuts of chicken — thighs, drumsticks, wings — or even as a breading for pork chops. Whatever your mama “shake-n-baked” in the 80s, you can do the same now!
So tackle busy weeknights head-on by whipping up Copycat Shake ‘n Bake Chicken Nuggets…in no time flat! After all, it’s always fun to be a dinnertime hero. 😉
♥More kid-friendly dinner ideas…