Italian Chicken Nuggets

italian chicken nuggets

Ciao friends! I’ve got a great recipe for you today that I think everyone in your household will love. Not only are these Italian chicken nuggets easy to make, but they are super budget friendly, saving you lots of money.

I’m a sucker for ordering chicken nuggets. But I know deep inside that they aren’t good for me at all. Maybe you can relate?

So, I’ve finally decided to document my own Italian version of chicken nuggets. Here’s a quick overview of the recipe.

Recipe overview

The good news is that these nuggets are not deep fried, instead they are cooked in about a 1/2″ of olive oil in a skillet. If you want to avoid the frying all together, check out my baked chicken nuggets video on YouTube.

I use whole chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces, and coat them using a basic flour, egg and breadcrumb dipping process. I use my own homemade breadcrumbs but you can also use store-bought.

This recipe makes about 35 chicken nuggets.

Ingredients needed

  • One large chicken breast (cut in half for proper nugget size)
  • White flour (gluten-free is fine)
  • Two eggs
  • Breadcrumb mixture (store-bought or homemade)
  • Dried parsley (only needed if making your own breadcrumb mixture)
  • Cracked black pepper (only if making your own breadcrumb mixture)
  • Finely grated Romano cheese
  • Olive oil. You can use regular or extra virgin. Avoid canola or vegetable oil.

Video

If you’d like to watch my recipe video, I guide you through the recipe each step at a time. The video should be embedded right below this paragraph. However to print out the recipe or see it in a concise format, see the recipe card further below.

YouTube player

Printable Recipe

For the condensed version of the recipe use this recipe card which has the specific ingredient measurements. Keep in mind these measurements are very flexible! I’m estimating 6-7 nuggets per serving.

italian chicken nuggets fried th

Italian Chicken Nuggets Cooked in a Skillet

These Italian-flavored chicken nuggets are a perfect substitute for fast food! Easy to make and are great for eating as-is or can be added to salads or even put in sandwiches!
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Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 serving
Calories: 453kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil or more if needed
  • 1 Large chicken breast cut to proper nugget size
  • 3/4 cup White flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1.5 cups Breadcrumbs store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup Dried parsley if making homemade
  • 1/8 Tbsp Cracked black pepper if making homemade
  • 1/8 cup Finely grated Romano cheese

Instructions

  • Start by cutting the large chicken breast in half, then into nugget-sized portions (1-1.5 inches).
    1 Large chicken breast
  • In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, dried parsley, finely grated Romano cheese, and cracked black pepper. Adjust the quantities to your taste.
    1.5 cups Breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup Dried parsley, 1/8 Tbsp Cracked black pepper, 1/8 cup Finely grated Romano cheese
  • Prepare three bowls: one with the white flour, one with the beaten eggs, and a third one with the breadcrumb mixture.
    3/4 cup White flour, 2 Eggs
  • Dredge each chicken piece first in flour, then dip it in the beaten eggs making sure to allow excess egg to drip off, then finally coat it with the breadcrumb mix.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it sizzles.
    1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Fry the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil for about 2-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until they are golden brown and cooked through. Internal temp should register 165F.
  • Place the cooked nuggets on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Notes

Above nutritional data are estimates created by an API calculation. 
  • Pair the nuggets with a fresh salad, roasted vegetables, or Italian-style pasta for a complete meal.
  • Store leftover nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 6 months.
  • Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until heated through. This helps retain their crispiness.
  • For more tips – read the blog post.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 453kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 376mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 4mg

Step by Step Instructions

Here’s the process for making this Italian chicken nuggets recipe.

  1. Cut the chicken: Start by cutting the large chicken breast in half, then into nugget-sized portions (1-1.5 inches). The larger the nuggets the more chicken you’ll need to make the quantity of nuggets I made in my video.
  2. Make the breading mix: In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, dried parsley, finely grated Romano cheese, and cracked black pepper. Adjust the quantities to your taste.

PRO TIP: If you are using your own Italian breadcrumb mixture, then skip the dried parsley or black pepper. Just add in the Italian cheese.

  1. Prepare three medium bowls: one with the white flour, one with the beaten eggs, and a third one with the breadcrumb mixture.
dredging chicken nuggets steps
  1. Coat the chicken: Dredge each chicken piece first in flour, then dip it in the beaten egg mixture, making sure to allow excess egg to drip off, then finally coat it with the breadcrumb mix.

PRO TIP: As you’ll see in the video, you can also dredge multiple chicken pieces at once. This requires slightly larger bowls to accommodate, but does save time.

chicken nuggets cooking in oil
As you can see, I’m not deep frying, but using enough oil to crisp up the nuggets.
  1. Heat the oil: Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it sizzles.
  2. Fry the nuggets: Fry the coated chicken pieces in the hot oil for about 2-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness, until they are golden brown and cooked through. Internal temp should register 165F.
splatter guard for chicken nuggets
Using a splatter guard helps minimize the mess.
  1. Drain and serve: Place the cooked nuggets on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce, like pizza sauce or tomato sauce with oregano.

Creating your own breadcrumbs

You can watch my video here, for creating breadcrumbs. But it’s very simple. I just take my bread, tear it up into pieces and then blend them to the desired texture in my blender.

I store the breadcrumb mixture in the freezer until I need it again, especially since it has the cheese in it.

Tips and Alternatives

  • Serving suggestions: These nuggets are great for kids’ lunches, picnics, or as a salad topping or in a sandwich!
  • Breadcrumb alternatives: If you don’t have breadcrumbs, you can use any artisanal bread, cornflakes, bran flakes, or gluten free sandwich bread.
  • No chicken breasts? Use chicken strips, tenders, or tenderloins instead.
  • Dip ideas: Pizza sauce, garlic aioli or honey mustard sauce. I also like a spicy ranch-style sauce too!
  • Additional seasonings: Feel free to up the Italian seasonings by adding oregano, basil, or garlic powder.

Storage and Reheating

How to store leftovers? Store leftover nuggets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for 3-6 months. Let them thaw and then reheat.

How to reheat the nuggets? Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes or until heated through. This helps retain their crispiness.

Additional chicken recipes

italian chicken cutlets th

These Italian chicken cutlets are just like my Sicilian mother-in-law made.

italian breaded chicken breasts

I love making these baked chicken breasts Italian-style. So simple and easy and no frying required!

For more chicken recipes visit here.

Let me know in the comments below how you like the recipe and if you made any changes to make it your own!

Ciao!
Liz

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Italian Chicken Nuggets

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