In a slightly different twist on the traditional children’s favorite, these bite size pieces of chicken are lightly breaded with a sweet cornbread crumb crust then baked until tender and slightly crisp. I loved the way these turned out and they were just different enough to make me smile.
The cornbread flavor isn’t prominent, but it is different enough to make you pause for a moment to consider it. I made two different batches of these nuggets, one with a full cornbread crumb crust and the other batch with half panko crumbs instead.
We were a house divided on preference, so I’m including both options here. The panko crust is crispier with just a slight crunch and the cornbread crust remains a bit softer with a more unique flavor.
My husband and I both preferred the cornbread version. We dip these into our favorite Southwestern Po’dunk Sauce or Homemade Spicy Barbecue Sauce.
Cornbread Crusted Baked Chicken Nuggets
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour I used brown rice flour for a gluten free variation
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 egg whites whisked lightly
- 1 1/2 cups cornbread crumbs OR ¾ cup cornbread or plain bread crumbs plus ¾ cup panko crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with foil or silpat mats and set aside. Trim any visible fat off the chicken breasts and then carefully slice them in half lengthwise to create thinner pieces. Now slice them into bite size chunks, about 1 ½ -2" in size.
- Roughly chop your cornbread into small pieces and then spread across a baking sheet. Let it dry out in the oven for a few minutes and then place in a food processor and pulse a few times.
- Assembly line style, place the chicken pieces on a plate and set aside. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in another bowl and set near the chicken. Place the egg whites in a small dish and set next to the flour. Place the bread crumbs in another dish and set beside the egg whites. Place the lined baking sheets at the end of this assembly line.
- One at a time, dredge a piece of chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg whites, then press into the breadcrumbs, being careful to coat both sides completely. Then place the coated chicken pieces onto the baking sheet. When all the chicken is coated, place the baking sheets into the oven.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn each piece over and rotate the trays back into the oven. Bake another 5-6 minutes, until the crust is barely browned. Remove from the oven and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy!
11 Comments Leave a comment or review
My own homemade nuggets is something I have never gotten around to trying. Much healthier and I'm sure much tastier than the fast food variety.
Yum! I am such a cornbread fan. I eat it almost every day. I love this twist on a children classic. Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to make this for my niece and nephew (and my husband!)
Tricia @ saving room for dessert says
No matter how you made them, they do look yummy! I love baking instead of frying too!
The Slow Roasted Italian says
These look fantastic Mary. I love the cornbread crust. Very nice touch! This recipe is so fabulous my mom even loves it.
Angie's Recipes says
A brilliant idea of using cornbread crumb to coat the chicken nuggets. They look delish!
Sue/the view from great island says
I bet these were fabulous!
Blond Duck says
I'm making this for dinner as soon as we get back from Shreveport. This is going to go perfectly with mac and cheese.
The cornbread crust sounds wonderful; different from other nuggets!
Gerry @Foodness Gracious says
I could eat a whole plate of these easily! The cornbread sound amazing to be honest, I gotta try!
Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says
I just used cornbread and flour mix for fried green tomatoes and loved the result. So timely since I have chicken breast thawed for dinner tonight. This will be on the table.
Athena @ Lifes Abundant Adventures says
I've never thought to put cornbread on chicken like this. What a great idea, and I LOVE cornbread. I would imagine the breadding being lighter and sweeter.