The Littles love Chick-fil-A. I think our oldest could live happily ever after on the spicy chicken sandwich. And the nuggets? My word they are good.
What’s a mom to do!??!
When my friend Annie told me she had a chicken nugget recipe that was as good, or even better, than Chick-fil-A, I raised an eyebrow. Really? How could that be possible? And, how on earth would I coax the recipe out of my friend?
Annie emailed me the too-good-to-be true recipe later that day. Perhaps you heard the chorus of angels singing? Friends, the recipe is better than good, and with only a short list of ingredients, you can feel better about indulging on these delicious nuggets.
You’ll never guess the secret ingredient . . .
Powdered sugar. Yep. Two tablespoons. Enough to give the batter a perfect crispy finish, but still not too sweet when balanced with the spices.
I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix in lieu of all-purpose flour making these a perfect gluten-free option for all the Littles.
Now, who has the secret Chick-fil-A sauce recipe?Print
Homemade Chick-fil-A Nuggets Recipe
Lip smackin’ good chicken nuggets with a short list of ingredients you already have on hand.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 - 6 1x
- 2 lbs chicken breasts, about 4, boneless, skinless
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- peanut oil, for frying
- Cube chicken into bite sized pieces.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg and milk. Add the chicken to the egg mixture, stir to combine. Cover and marinate for 3-4 hours.
- In a gallon sized ziplock bag, mix the flour, powdered sugar, and spices until well combined. Add the chicken pieces and shake well.
- In a large cast iron skillet, or frying pan, pour 2 inches of peanut oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, add battered chicken to the pan. Cook chicken in batches, turning once half way through, until nuggets are golden brown.
- Drain chicken nuggets on a paper towel and serve.
Let’s give a shout out to Annie for sharing the recipe. I love my village.
Want more recipes? We’ve got you covered:
Logan @ LifeforDessert says
Love the look of the new blog by the way! And CANNOT wait to see you in 3 weeks!!!
Hershey, PA watch out! See you soon, friend.
Not sure if I did something wrong. Can you advise if I did? Seems like most of my breeding fell off in oil.
I had the same problem! I turned up the heat on the pan to the highest temp and tried again with much success
Hope this helps you as well
Patricia Matthews says
you have to use peanut oil.
cathy martin says
yes, peanut oil does make a difference in the taste…..
Wes Hampton says
You have to flour before dipping in the milk mixture. Then dip in the flour sugar mixture.
You have to make sure your oil is hot enough when you put the chicken in
Maybe grease wasn’t hot enough when you dropped the chicken?
Yep.you did something wrong. No you don’t have to use peanut oil. The powdered sugar should already be in the mix. Your heat needs to be on medium to start, after about 7 minutes on each side, you turn the heat up to brown each side a bit more then, bingo, nuggets.
Maggie Tate says
Yum – that looks delish. Thanks for the GF option! How about waffle fries…. 🙂
Maggie – I don’t have the waffle fries figured out, but I do have a delicious roasted potato fry recipe coming up soon. 🙂
dan Turner says
you can easily make these frites at home armed with only Idaho potatoes, peanut oil, a mandoline, a large pot, and some salt.
To get that signature waffle shape, wash and dry your potatoes; you don’t need to peel them for these fries. Then, set the fluted blade of your mandoline to a quarter-inch or half-inch thickness. Using a cross-cutting method (rotating the potato 90 degrees after each pass) slice the potatoes to produce that signature waffle design. Set the cut potatoes aside in a bowl of water to prevent them from oxidizing and turning brown while you heat your oil.
dan Turner says
Fries require a two-step frying process. First, you essentially cook the potato without color at a lower temperature, and then you heat the oil to a higher temperature to produce the signature crisp and golden-brown color.
In a large, heavy pot, heat about three inches of peanut oil to 320 degrees F. Drain and thoroughly dry the potatoes, or the water will cause the oil to splatter and break down. Next, add the potatoes in batches so as not to overcrowd the pot. Fry for four to five minutes. Remove the fries, drain, and place to the side on a paper towel. After all the fries have cooked once in the oil, heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Again, fry the waffle fries in batches, this time for two to three minutes or until golden brown. Then remove from the oil, drain, and rest on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. While the fries are still hot, season with salt, to taste. Serve with ketchup, or a special fry sauce.
You need a waffle fri cutter but if you just cut up yukon gold potatos and then take egg whites and sea salt and pepper let them soak for a like 15 mins then cook them on a cookie sheet for a good 20 mins on 400 just watch them and flip them they taste just like the waffle fries <3
Karen G says
This is amazing and potentially life changing. Thank you so much for sharing the good recipe word! I can’t wait to try these out in my own kitchen!!!!
Karen – These nuggets were life changing at The Cafe, that’s for sure! Hope they bring as much delight to your table as they do ours, friend. 🙂
yes! so excited.
I’m making these TONIGHT! So excited! Life is so hard without a chick-fil-a around!
I just made these and they’re delicious! They taste very similar to chicfila…the only thing I could guess would be missing is mustard powder maybe?? This recipe is awesome though 😀 Thanks for sharing!
Chick fil a marinates their chicken in pickle juice. Thats the missing ingredient in this recipe.
These sound really good, but can I leave out the garlic powder? I’m allergic ='(
Katelin – absolutely leave out the garlic powder! The homemade nuggets will still be delicious and you’ll be safe and sound.
Have you tried these baked? I would love to avoid frying it’s so time consuming. Thank you!
Sarah in TX says
I actually thought the frying was SO quick! It was like 3 minutes for each batch and the oil heated up for me in like 5 min!
This was a total hit tonight for dinner. My son is a very picky eater, and when I served these up he was convinced that I tricked him and bought Chick-fil-a. Ha ha I’m good with that. Thanks for sharing! Helen in SC
These were great!
Dustin Mull says
Amazing thank you soo much
Hey! Girlfriend and I were attempting to make this tonight, and noticed once finally looking closely at the directions, it requires 3-4 hours of marinating! I think the initial ‘prep time’ threw us off as we had basically only read that and the ingredients before-hand. We’re still making them tonight (woo! Friday night!) but maybe that time should be added into prep time 🙂 Thanks a bunch, I’m sure they’ll turn out delicious!
Frannie King says
I made these tonight with Bisquick Mix instead of flour b/c I hardly ever use flour and I didn’t have any. They were a little on the sweet side but no sugar in Bisquick Mix? I will add more salt and pepper next time to offset the sweetness! My kids loved them!!!!
Jennifer Dickens says
On another recipe site that my son and I looked at, someone that used to work at Chick fil A said to add a small amount of dill pickle juice to the marinade. We fixed some with juice added and some without, and we both agreed that the pickle juice added just enough “umph” to make them very close to the real thing. My chicken is marinating now and this will be supper again tonight!
Who knew? I will try dill pickle juice next time too! Thank you so much for sharing the inside scoop. xo
I bet bread and butter pickle juice would be better!
Thank you so much in sharing this recipe. 🙂 I made this tonight for my family and they absolutely loved it! Although I didn’t have peanut oil to fry it in, it still turned out pretty good. Next time I make these, I’ll have the peanut oil in the pantry ready for use! Again, what a great recipe. Love, love, love Chick-fil-a!
I made these nuggets for my grandkids tea party and they loved them
I made these tonight and they turned out yummy!!! I let mine marinate in the milk/egg for like 5 hours, they came out really moist. The only thing I’d add next time is some lemon pepper. I made some honey mustard for dipping but they really are so good without any sauce. YUM!!
Hallelujah, I am so excited to try these. Its like a ritual for me to eat lunch at chic fil a with my kiddos once a week but now we can enjoy it right in our own kitchen plus cut out a ton of driving time, gas, etc. Its way across town from me. Thanks so much for sharing!!! 🙂
It is really hard for me to find recipes that my daughter likes. She even refuses to eat Chick-fil-a’s nuggets sometimes. I decided to try these today and she is GRUBBIN’ them. She loves them and I don’t have to fight her to get her eat them.
THANK YOU for sharing! 🙂
thank you for the recipe at least since the first time I made it last week I’ve already made it again today
Can you put these in a deep fryer of peanut oil rather than the frying pan? It would be easier and ours is ready to go, but if it would compromise the batter then I will skip it.
Hope, of course you can. In fact, it will save you time because you won’t have to flip it. Most people don’t have deep friers, hence the skillet or frying pan directions. To ensure the breading doesn’t break, submerge 1/4 of the chicken breast or strip in the hot oil then release. You want to avoid dropping it in.
Roy van Es says
Hey, me And my wife Just went to the USA.
We are from Holland And got addicted to the chick fil-a chicken. I Just made them this night they are deliciousssssssss!!
Thankyou so much for sharing this online!
I found a recipe for the famous chick fil a sauce online as well
Im in heaven. Thank you!
I made these “golden nuggets” for my daughters Peter Pan bday and they were a hit. Thank you for the simple and delicious recipe. Now when we are craving chickfila on a Sunday I can make it from home.
Made this wonderful nuggets for my daughter tonight. She wanted chick-fil-A nugget for dinner and I told her if I could fined a recipe to make them at home…..Would she eat them and she said yes. So I gave this recipe a try and it was a go with this one…thanks for sharing:)
I desperately want to make this during the weekend, but I want to know a calorie estimate.
Great recipe! I normally marinate strips and nuggets in buttermilk. The acid tenderizes the chicken and doesn’t require a long a marinating time. Didn’t find this recipe until I’d already used buttermilk and it was still awesome. * Another tip from a southern cook: My mom always taught me that foods don’t brown well when fried in all new grease and it’s true. I always keep a quart or so of “used” grease in the refrigerator as a kind of starter. I’ll add new grease to it to make up enough to fry and always keep part of it for next time. Browns the fried food so beautifully! Thanks for this really wonderful recipe! New family favorite!
Thank you for sharing a great recipe. Looking forward to try it. However, just wanted to clearify one thing that do you just add the chicken to the flour mixture it the entire milk and egg mixture along as well?
this sounds great but if i was in a crunch for time would marinating only 1 or 2 hours make a difference???
Does it have to be a cast iron skillet??? I want to try this recipe so badly since my daughter loves chickfila but I don’t have a cast iron skillet.
No! You can make these nuggets in a regular old frying pan. Let me know what your daughter thinks!
I love this recipe! I found that the best way to keep the coating perfect is to “double dip”. Take the nuggets out of the milk/egg, shake in flour, the gently put back in milk and egg for another 10 minutes or so. Then shake in flour/spice mix again! More breaking sticks… So yummy!!
These are the best thing to ever happen to me!
I used this recipe for thin sliced pork chops and after frying, I let them hang out in the oven at 280ish for 20- 30 minutes to finish cooking. Omg. My husband said they were the best he’s ever had!
Allison – BRILLIANT! I can’t wait to try our fave recipe with pork chops. Thank you for sharing this idea. xo
jeff allen says
I’m disappointed in these, they don’t have enough flavor. Too floury tasting
Jeff, I’m so sorry you didn’t like the chicken nuggets. Maybe kick it up a notch with the spices. 😉 Kristin
Made this for my family tonight and even my picky 6 year old came back for seconds and thirds 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Do you have to use peanut oil or can you use canola oil?
UT Vols says
These went over great with my 13 year old. He wondered how I got Chik-fil-A on a Sunday. I did make a slight change, used buttermilk for the marinade /wash. Looks and tastes like the real thing.
I made these nuggets tonight and they were a little bit soggy…They did not taste like Chic-Fil-A right off the bat, but they tasted better when cooler. I had to put them in the oven to make them a little crunchier, but without too much oil. I might make them again with a few modifications. I did put a little pickle juice in the marinate and I believe that made the taste closer to the original recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Stay At Home Dad, here, from Downingtown, PA:
Flexible, straightforward, and addicting recipe!
I didn’t marinate (anywhere close to) the full time and they still got gobbled up in a hurry!
They came out crispy & golden even in vegetable oil at approx 300 degrees.
I gave the nuggets a very light, (yet purely gratuitous), salting right as they went to the cooling rack and it was heaven. Kids and adults both loved them. Bookmarked for frequent use.
Thank you very kindly!
I made these for dinner tonight and my husband absolutely loved them! He said they were better than chick-fil-a. Thank you for a great recipe!
These didn’t taste like Chick-fil-A to me but they were still the best homemade chicken nugget recipe I have made!!! Definitely gonna be making these again!
Erika Thompson says
These taste nothing like chick fil a nuggets. The recipe is good and the nuggets are tasty but it is not even close to being the same. We loved the nuggets from this recipe and will make them again. Especially tasty with biscuits and honey.
MSG isn’t unhealthy.
MSG isn’t unhealthy. Glutamate is flavor enhancer found naturally in many foods. Dietary glutamate does not cross the brain blood barrier so anyone portraying msg as harmful to consume is misusing information about glutamate that is produced in the brain to cause panic about dietary glutamate.
The amount you would need to eat for it to cause harmful effects is absurdly high and would need to be consumed in one dose to cause harm. Same can be said of water and many other obviously healthy things. Too much can be lethal but we aren’t about to stop drinking water because there’s a level of it that is unhealthy.
Do your own research when you hear these things. Don’t let anyone else’s desire to cause panic, sell a book, etc cause you to be a pawn in furthering the spread of misinformation.
Would it be smart to add some mustard powder? If so, how much?
michael timberman says
Thanks for the recipe it taste great
Samuel T. Owen says
Great recipe! Love it. I omitted the gluten free option because face it… It’s not a healthier way of life.
I can’t believe I’ve never commented on these before. I have been using your recipe for sooo long and these nuggets always come out my perfect! Truly the closest thing to Chick-fil-A possible, and perfectly juicy on the inside/crunchy on the outside every single time.
One tiny thing I do differently is adding dill pickle juice to the marinade. It gives that extra something that Chick-fil-A nuggets have. Otherwise, I have followed your recipe to the letter for over a year now and just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for sharing it with us!