31 Fancy Chicken Nugget Recipes That Prove Finger Foods Aren’t Just for Kids

Admit it: You love chicken nuggets. And why not? They’re one of those beloved comfort foods that’s so wrapped in nostalgia, it immediately brings us back to our childhood. But if you think you can’t enjoy this finger food past the age of ten, we’re here to prove you wrong. Presenting 31 totally fancy chicken nugget recipes—from sticky glazed tenders to boneless wings—to make for dinner (or, you know, whenever a craving hits).

The 101 Best Chicken Recipes for When You’re in a Dinner Rut

1. Baked Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

Here, the typical breading gets a sophisticated (and healthy-ish) twist. Bonus: Your kids will love them too.

2. Coconut Chicken Tenders

It’s all about that crispy-sweet coating. We suggest pairing these with a spicy barbecue or Thai chili sauce for dipping.

3. Katsu Bites With Chipotle-gochujang Sauce

Chicken katsu is a Japanese dish of crispy panko-breaded chicken cutlets. Here, we made them bite-size for maximum snackability.

4. Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders

This is one dish where a knife and fork are optional (but honey mustard is not).

5. Mini Chicken And Waffles

We found your new favorite party app. It goes without saying that you should serve maple syrup on the side.

6. Spicy Glazed Popcorn Chicken

Once you pop, you just can't stop. Psst: The spicy, sticky glaze is just five store-bought ingredients.

7. Chicken Parmesan Bites

A little sprinkle of cheese (OK, fine, an entire cup of Parmesan) goes a long way.

8. Chicken Kebabs With Garlic Lemon Yogurt

They’re basically chicken nuggets on a stick. What’s not to love? (Don’t get us started on the garlicky yogurt.)

9. Firecracker Chicken With Rice

They’re still *technically* in nugget-form, just served over a bed of rice. Very adult.

10. Almond-crusted Nuggets

Twenty-five minutes is all you need to make these babies, which just so happen to be gluten-free.

11. Chicken Nuggets With Lemon Glaze

We’d put this four-ingredient citrus glaze on just about anything.

12. The Best Crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets

The key to the crispiest nuggets of all time? Toasting the breadcrumbs beforehand. (Genius).

13. Coconut Popcorn Chicken With Sweet Thai Chili Lime Sauce

You know what they say: Two sauces are always better than one.

14. Korean Chicken Nuggets

These nuggets are fried in rice flour and cornstarch for the lightest crunch possible, then glazed in a spicy gochujang-honey sauce.

15. Copycat Chick-fil-a Nuggets

These just might be—dare we say?—better than the real thing.

16. Ultra-crispy Baked Chicken Nuggets

These chicken nuggets have a secret: They’re coated in potato chips.

17. Baked Boneless Honey Barbecue Chicken Wings With Spicy Ranch

To us, boneless wings are really just another excuse to eat chicken tenders. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.)

18. Baked Popcorn Chicken With Raspberry Hot Honey

You had us at “raspberry hot honey.”

19. Baked Honey Barbecue Popcorn Chicken

The best part about game day? These lil’ cuties.

20. Chipotle Popcorn Chicken With Honey Mayo

If you like honey mustard, just wait ’til you try honey mayo.

21. Bacon Wrapped Chicken And Jalapeño Bites

Cream cheese, spicy peppers and bacon…yep, you might want to make a double batch.

22. Oven-fried Cajun Popcorn Chicken With Creamy Honey Mustard

These bites are coated in finely crushed cornflakes, which mimic that deep-fried texture we can’t get enough of.

23. Boneless Buffalo Wings

You’ll want extra napkins on hand for these saucy tenders.

24. Ginger Honey Garlic Chicken Tenders

We give you permission to double dip, just this once.

25. General Tso’s Chicken

FYI, you can bake them in the oven or even bust out your air fryer if you’re not into deep-frying.

26. Black Pepper Rub Chicken Fingers With Greek Yogurt Ranch

Baked tenders and yogurt dipping sauce? These are practically a salad.

27. Sticky Garlic Chicken And Broccoli

These are twice-baked to ensure a crackly coating.

28. 30-minute Bang-bang Chicken

Three words: sweet chili mayo.

29. Hot Honey Pretzel Chicken Fingers With House Sauce

Pretzels + honey + BBQ sauce + jalapeños? It's like the Take 5 of chicken tenders.

30. Sheet-pan Sticky Pomegranate Chicken And Honey Roasted Squash

Proof that chicken nuggets can be downright gorgeous.

31. Buffalo Cauliflower Nuggets

OK, so these aren’t chicken, but you definitely won’t miss it. (Besides, they’re still nuggets and that’s the most important part.)


Senior Food Editor

Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City...

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Freelance PureWow Editor

From 2015-2017 Hannah Loewentheil held the role of Editor covering entertainment, food, travel and all things nyc.