Kirbie's Cravings

3 Ingredient Super Crispy Chicken Nuggets (No Flour, Bread Crumbs or Oil)

These homemade chicken nuggets come out super crispy and are so easy to make. You don’t need to coat the chicken in bread crumbs or flour and you don’t need to fry or cook them in oil. The chicken nuggets taste and look as good as regular ones but without all the work. You can also make a large batch and store them for whenever you need a quick meal.
a plate of chicken nuggets.

I don’t think I will ever buy chicken nuggets again after making these super easy homemade ones. These nuggets come out so crispy (you can really hear the crunch when you bite in) and they taste just as good as regular chicken nuggets. When you look at the ingredient list, you may think it won’t work, but it does.


  • Chicken Breast
  • Shredded Mozzarella or Parmesan
  • Eggs

Chicken breast: This recipe works best with cooked fresh chicken breasts. You can also cook frozen chicken breasts but frozen chicken tends to have more sodium which may make your chicken nuggets turn out saltier. I don’t recommend using ground chicken because it has too much moisture and the nuggets won’t crisp up.

Shredded mozzarella or parmesan: This recipe works with either shredded mozzarella or parmesan. It’s the addition of the cheese that gives the chicken nuggets their crispy coating. For mozzarella, you can use low fat or full fat depending on your diet. For parmesan, make sure you are using shredded parmesan cheese and not the grated/powdered kind.

Eggs: Eggs are used as a binding agent and add some moisture into the chicken nuggets.
a plate of chicken nuggets with a bite taken out of one.

How to Make Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Add the chicken breast to a food processor and pulse a few times until the chicken is shredded.
chopped cooked chicken in a food processor.
Then add in the cheese and egg. Mix on high speed until the egg and cheese are fully incorporated and blended in. The shredded cheese should be chopped up enough that you won’t see long individual shreds.
the chicken mixture blended in the food processor.
Scoop 1.5 tbsp of your chicken mixture and shape into small oval patties (or whatever shape you wish your nuggets to be).

Cook the nuggets in the air fryer for about 8 minutes at 400F and then turn them and cook for an additional 2 minutes. You can also bake them in the oven but the nuggets won’t brown quite as evenly and you will need about 25 minutes in the oven.

You can also add an optional oil spray on the nuggets before cooking them. The nuggets do not need the oil to crisp up but it will give them a lighter and more even colored coating. The one on the left is with the oil the one on the right is without.
two cooked chicken nuggets.

Cheese Choice

I made these successfully with both mozzarella and parmesan but the results will differ depending on which one you use. The one on the left is with mozzarella and the one on the right is with parmesan.
a chicken nugget made with mozzarella cheese and one made with Parmesan.
If you use mozzarella cheese, the mozzarella flavor will not be very noticeable. They will taste more like regular chicken nuggets with the mozzarella mainly adding some salt to the nuggets. The nuggets will also have a darker crispy coating, more of a dark brown exterior instead of golden brown exterior.

If you make these with parmesan cheese, the nuggets will have more sodium and will have a definite parmesan flavor to them. They will also have a golden brown exterior.

I personally preferred the taste of the mozzarella version but I would make the parmesan one for occasions when the appearance really matters.
chicken nuggets on a plate with a small bowl of ketchup.

More Chicken Recipes

3 Ingredient Super Crispy Chicken Nuggets

Servings: 16 nuggets
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
These homemade chicken nuggets are so easy to make and taste just as good as regular nuggets. They need only 3 ingredients and they don't need any flour, bread crumbs or oil.
5 from 3 votes


  • 6 oz (170 g) cooked chicken breast
  • 1 cup (108 g) shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese (94 g)
  • 1 large egg 1.5 eggs are needed for the parmesan version


  • Add chicken breast to a food processor. Pulse a few times until it is fully shredded.
  • Add in cheese and egg(s). Mix on high speed until the eggs and cheese are fully incorporated. The cheese shreds should not be easily noticeable and should be finely chopped up into the chicken. Scrape the sides and bottom of your food processor a few times to make sure the egg and cheese are fully mixed in. You want everything to be evenly mixed otherwise when you cook it, your nuggets will brown unevenly if there are large cheese shreds or streaks of egg not fully mixed in. See photo in post for reference.
  • Using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop, scoop up chicken mixture. Press lightly into palm to compact it a little. Then shape into an oval patty between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. You can also make other shapes if you prefer a different shape for your chicken nuggets. Place finished nugget onto a sheet of parchment paper. Repeat with remaining chicken mixture.
  • For the air fryer version: Remove the inner basket plate from your air fryer. Preheat air fryer to 400°F/204°C. Grease the inner basket plate with cooking oil spray. Place chicken nuggets onto the plate, making sure none of them touch. You may need to cook in several batches depending on the size of your air fryer. If desired, spray the chicken surface with cooking oil spray. This step is completely optional and I explain more in detail in the notes and in the post. Cook in preheated air fryer for about 8 minutes. The nuggets should be mostly browned. Working quickly, briefly open your air fryer to flip the nuggets and then cook for 2 more minutes or until both sides are evenly browned and crispy (you don't need to wait for the air fryer to preheat again but keep the temperature set at 400°F/204°C.
  • For the oven version: Preheat oven to 400°F/204°C. Line a large baking sheet parchment paper. Place chicken nuggets on the lined baking sheet, making sure none of them touch. If desired, spray the surface of the chicken with cooking oil spray. See notes for more details on the optional oil step. Cook nuggets in preheated oven for about 20 minutes and then flip and cook for about another 5 minutes or until both sides are evenly browned and nuggets are crispy.
  • Uneaten nuggets should be stored in the fridge or freezer and reheated in the oven or air fryer.



  • If you have an air fryer, I recommend making these in the air fryer as they will be completely crispy and evenly browned. It is a little harder to get them evenly browned in the oven. The top and bottom of the nugget that is touching the baking sheet will brown and crisp up the best so the sides of the chicken nuggets won't be as evenly browned or crispy.
  • The nuggets in the pictures are made with the parmesan cheese cooked in the air fryer. It is also a mix of nuggets that were cooked with the oil spray and ones without.
  • The oil spray on top of the nuggets is completely optional. The nuggets will be just as crispy without the oil spray. The only thing the oil spray does is give the nuggets a more evenly browned coating that is slightly lighter in color than if you don't use the oil spray. I don't use the oil coating if I'm just making these for myself but if I'm making them for others where the appearance is very important, then I will use the oil spray. You can see a photo in the post for the difference between oil spray versus no oil spray. 
  • Whether you use parmesan or mozzarella will change the taste and also appearance of the nuggets. See photos and more details in the post.
  • You can use low fat or full fat mozzarella cheese. If using parmesan, make sure you use shredded and not the grated powdered one that comes in a canister.
  • The parmesan version needs slightly more egg otherwise the chicken mixture won't bind together. I found 1.5 large eggs was ideal, but you could use 2 eggs if you don't want to measure 1/2 of an egg. To measure out half an egg, crack an egg into a bowl and whisk. Pour into a liquid measuring cup and add half into the chicken mixture (along with the other egg). Using 2 eggs will make the batter very moist so the nuggets will need a little longer cook time to turn crispy and the golden coating isn't as even.
  • You can use whatever method is easiest to cook your chicken breast. I cook mine for about 1 minute in the instant pot.
  • Nutrition estimate is calculated with parmesan cheese. 


Serving: 1nugget, Calories: 42kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.02g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 62mg, Sugar: 0.01g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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Recipe Rating

12 comments on “3 Ingredient Super Crispy Chicken Nuggets (No Flour, Bread Crumbs or Oil)”

  1. Hi there, I’ve made these and they are delicious! I’m trying to program them in my fitness pal. By chance are they in my fitness pal? 

    Thank you! 

    • You will probably have to enter the nutrition info, we’re not sure if they’re already in there. So glad you liked the recipe!

  2. Made these for dinner last night. Used some leftover frozen turkey breast. They came out a little dry but I believe it’s from being frozen then thawed. Other than that we loved them. I did put them in the air fry and it does brown them up nicely. I will make them again.

  3. these are really, really good! i was a little nervous because the process seemed a little odd, but they were simple to make and absolutely delicious! we had them with homemade oven fries and greek salad. the guys want them again next week!

  4. Hi Jennifer..
    I love everything you cook.
    Yum yum yum??

  5. Kirbie, how do you cook the chicken breast before using in this recipe?

    BTW I have made several of your recipes and like them a lot. I just can’t always find time to post anywhere these days. I don’t have an air fryer so will try these in the oven since they will be for me!

  6. Hello !!

    I stumbled across your recipe and have one question : when you say mozzarella cheese do you mean the white shredded one or the milky white ‘ball’ that you can use for tomato caprese? Your answer would be greatly appreciated.Can’t to give this a try!