Guilt-free Chicken Nuggets



Most kids love McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. I’m sure many grown-ups do too. But, they are so unhealthy. Happily, not my skinny ones!  No deep frying here…I’m using skinless, white meat chicken and baking them. The bread crumb coating has a wonderful flavor similar to barbecue potato chips. Each 6 chicken nugget serving has only 214 calories, 4 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.  Great to make for lunch or dinner. I also like to serve them as an appetizer. Everybody is going to LOVE them!!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 18 minutes


Olive oil cooking spray

1⅓ cups Panko bread crumbs, see shopping tip

1 pound (2 large) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken breast tenders cut into 24 even bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1½ teaspoons smoked paprika or sweet paprika

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light

2 egg whites


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking pan with olive oil spray.

2. Melt butter in a small shallow bowl. Let cool slightly and mix in egg whites.  Add bread crumbs in another shallow bowl and toss with brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, chili powder, black pepper and garlic powder. Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then dredge chicken in bread crumbs and place on baking pan. Continue until all chicken has been coated. Spray top of chicken with olive oil spray.

3. Bake chicken for 10 minutes. Turn over, spray with a little more olive oil spray. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, if desired. Bake an additional 7-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked and golden brown.

4. Serve with barbecue sauce, ketchup or light ranch dressing on the side, if desired

Makes 4 servings (6 nuggets per serving)

Food Fact

Chicken McNuggets were introduced at McDonald’s in 1983. They are small pieces of processed chicken meat that have been battered and deep fried. Chicken McNuggets are one of the most popular trademarked items on the McDonald’s menu.

Shopping Tip
You’ll find Panko bread crumbs in most supermarkets either with all other bread crumbs or in the Asian section.

Serving Tips

These little nuggets are great to serve for dinner. In addition, they make a terrific appetizer and would be yummy to pack in a lunch.

Weight Watchers SmartPoints 
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS
Weight Watchers
(old points) 4

SKINNY FACTS: for 6 chicken nuggets
214 calories, 4g fat. 1.6g sat. fat, 55g chol, 29g protein, 16g carbs, 390mg sodium, 1g fiber, 4g sugar
FAT FACTS: for McDonald’s 6 piece Mc Nuggets
280 calories, 17g fat, 14g protein, 16g carbs, 0g fiber, 600mg sodium, 0g sugar

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14 Responses to “Guilt-free Chicken Nuggets”

  1. Joshua Bennett Says:

    If chicken nuggets at mcd’s were made like this I might consider going there.

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks Joshua!

  3. Ali Says:

    Thank you so much for linking up last week at Recipe Sharing Monday. The new link party is now up and I’d love it if you joined us again. Have a great week!

  4. admin Says:

    Thanks for hosting Ali!

  5. Carrie @ My Favorite Finds Says:

    I am always looking for good “fried” chicken recipes that I can bake. These will make it on our menu soon! Thanks for sharing at Must Try Monday!

  6. admin Says:

    Thanks Carrie…Enjoy!

  7. Carolyn Says:

    I am going to try this tonight, but I wanted to let you know that I entered this recipe into my recipe builder and it came out to 8 point plus – still really good for a dinner, plus I am going to make it with baked fries…I think it will be a hit for everyone in my family!

  8. admin Says:

    That’s so weird Carolyn. I use a site called Weight Watchers Points Calculator-
    When I put in the facts,

    Fat: 5

    I still get 5 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS!

    Good luck with this recipe, I hope you love it!

  9. Cassie Says:

    There was some confusion about the amount of points a little earlier in the comments, and I’m just confirming that the recipe IS 5 points plus.

  10. admin Says:

    Yes Cassie, one serving, 6 chicken nuggets have 5 Points Plus. I hope you enjoy them!

  11. Recipe inspiration from ‘Skinny Kitchen’ | Project Slim Says:

    […] […]

  12. admin Says:

    Wow…Thank you so much for featuring Skinny Kitchen! I’m so touched. I’m also so happy you are enjoying some of my recipes!
    Best of luck to you on your weight loss journey.
    With my warmest regards, Nancy

  13. Stephanie Says:

    I made a double batch of these last night for 5 adults thinking I would have leftovers – wrong! Everyone LOVED them. Will definitely be a go to recipe for me.

  14. admin Says:

    Fantastic Stephanie! I’m so happy your friends loved these. My family loves them too!
    With my best wishes,

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