Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Can chicken nuggets be healthy? Yes! These Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets have a moist Chicken and Cauliflower Filling and a Bran Flake Crust. I developed this recipe in partnership with Produce for Kids. See all my healthy kid-friendly Produce for Kids recipes here.

Did you know that chicken nuggets were invented twice, 17 years apart, for different reasons? I bet you can guess who one of the inventors was.

Yes, the second inventor of chicken nuggets was McDonalds who sold their now-famous Chicken McNuggets beginning in 1980. McDonalds developed the Chicken McNuggets after the federal government’s dietary guidelines urged Americans to eat less fat and especially less red meat. The guidelines led to a decline in burger sales and so McDonalds decided to come up with a chicken-based product. They attempted several different menu items before developing the McNuggets we know today.

What about the first invention of chicken nuggets? That was back in 1963 when farmers were faced with a challenge. During World War II the demand for chicken had increased and farmers’ production had grown. After the war, they had a surplus. A professor named Charles C. Baker developed a method for making a ground chicken product in a crunchy coating that, if manufactured, could help farmers use up more of their poultry. Those first chicken nuggets didn’t catch on. I guess they were ahead of their time.*

Today I’m inventing chicken nuggets for a third time. I hope these catch on because they’re a much healthier version.


Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets
These healthy chicken nuggets have a filling of pureed chicken breast and cauliflower and a bran flake crust.

To make them you puree cooked chicken breast with cooked cauliflower, adding a bit of egg and liquid. The mixture is quite wet, which is what keeps it moist and tasty after cooking. You roll balls of the mixture in flour, then in an egg and finally in crushed bran flakes.

Then you plop the balls onto a lightly oiled pan and press down gently to flatten them. Into the oven they go! Oh yes, these chicken nuggets are baked, not fried.

Once they come out, you can eat them immediately or let them cool. Freeze them on a pan in a single layer. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag from which you can put them into lunchboxes or bake them for a quick dinner.


Click here for my recipe for Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets at Produce for Kids.

Why is my recipe over at the Produce for Kids site? Last year, Produce for Kids and I worked together to come up with family-friendly healthy recipes. I developed 7 recipes for them and photographed those and a whole bunch more. This year we’ve teamed up again with another round of healthy recipes to share with you. This is one of them. You can see all of my Produce for Kids recipes here.


Produce for Kids is a healthy family resource that offers meal planning tools and healthy recipes for your family. All of the recipes are approved by a registered dietitian for containing all the nutrients your kids need (and not too much of the things they don’t). All nutritional info for each recipe is given as well.

*The info about the invention of Chicken Nuggets (both times they were invented) comes from

Disclosure: I was paid by Produce for Kids to develop this recipe, to photograph the recipe, to post about it on my blog and to promote it on social media. All opinions are my own.


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