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 3 Blue WW Freestyle SmartPoints and 5 Green 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 tips

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 Facts

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 Tips
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.

WW Freestyle SmartPoints
WW SmartPoints

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
FACTS: for Freestyle SmartPoints
82 calories, 1g sat. fat, 2g protein, 3g sugar

If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it. Leave me a comment below or give it a rating. Thanks so much. Happy Skinny Cooking!