Tender and juicy Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets are baked to perfection and served with a lightened-up, Greek yogurt-based Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce for a simple, yummy, family-pleasing dinner!
Who doesn’t love the classic chicken nugget? My kids certainly do. In fact, my 3-year-old daughter is turning out to be the pickiest eater of all my offspring, and most nights she refuses to eat anything — and I mean anything — labeled “dinner.” But lo and behold, she will eat “dinner” if it consists of pizza or chicken nuggets. As a result, some nights she goes to bed with a mostly empty tummy because she chose not to eat what was served…and other nights, my cold, hard heart takes pity on her stubborn threenager ways and I make pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner, simply because I know she’ll eat them.
While there are decent frozen organic chicken nuggets available at the grocery store these days, they’re awfully expensive and I’ve never really thought they taste like anything special. On the other hand, it’s surprisingly quick and simple to make homemade baked chicken nuggets, and the kids can even help! There are lots of ways to coat your nuggets, from bread crumbs to Panko crumbs to crushed cornflakes. But my family’s favorite coating is finely-crushed pretzel crumbs, which result in a crunchy, salty crust to contrast with the tender, juicy chicken.
In this recipe, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are cut into bite-sized chunks and coated in seasoned whole wheat flour. The nuggets are then dipped in lightly beaten eggs followed by rolling around in a combo of pretzel crumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bake ’em for 2o or so minutes and…that’s it! Simple, addictive Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets.
Now the key to baking chicken nuggets is…are you ready? Don’t overbake them. They should be cooked through yet still juicy, because everyone knows that dry chicken nuggets are not particularly enjoyable chicken nuggets. And don’t expect your oven-baked nuggets to turn golden brown as if they were fried, either. If you’d like them to darken and crisp up a bit more than the ones pictured here, you can lightly spray them with olive oil cooking spray before baking. But I usually just bake them as-is and nary a complaint is heard from the vicinity of the dinner table.
Let’s not forget about the glossy, delicious dipping sauce, which everyone knows can take a humble little chicken nugget from good to great. Honey Mustard is our family’s dip-o-choice. While it’s typically concocted with a base of mayonnaise, this version swaps in lighter, healthier Greek yogurt. Depending on how sweet you like your sauce, it’s easy to add more or less honey to taste. In the same way, you can tweak the ratio of Dijon mustard vs. yellow mustard to your liking, using more (or all) of one or the other. But regardless of the proportions, I always prefer whipping up my Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce first, allowing the flavors to blend in the fridge while I assemble and bake the chicken nuggets.
So who’s ready for some tasty, betcha-can’t-eat-just-10 Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Nuggets? I promise, y’all…these are guaranteed to be a hit with kids and adults alike. Because sometimes, a peaceful dinner where nobody (nobody!) whines about what’s being served is worth its weight in (golden) Honey Mustard.