These oven baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets are the perfect quick meal or hearty appetizer! Bite sized pieces of tender chicken breast are dipped in a rich buffalo mix, coated with breading, and baked to perfection for the ultimate crispy bite sized nugget with that signature buffalo kick!
Buffalo Chicken Nuggets – The EASY Way!
Chicken nuggets are almost a staple for most busy families! That doesn’t mean they have to be boring or unhealthy!
Our Crock Pot Buffalo Chicken has been a family favorite for years, but these Buffalo Chicken Nuggets are perfect for when you need it on the table Fast!
These tender bites of chicken are made extra flavorful with the combination both a rich buffalo sauce, and a seasoned breading.
They bake to crispy perfection using our special (super EASY) baking method. Which means grease, less mess, and hands off cooking!
What I LOVE about this recipe:
- Quick– These are both quick on prep and quick to cook!
- Flavorful– these are a delicious twist for switching up the regular old chicken nugget routine
- Wholesome- these chicken nuggets are not fried! Instead they are baked which saves on both calories and fat!
- Appetizer or meal– Buffalo Chicken Nuggets are equally great to serve for dinner, lunch, a snack, and also make a filling appetizer perfect for a party or watching football!
- Hands off – These bake without needing you to watch them so you can get the rest of the meal ready while they cook.
What to Serve with Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
Since this dish has the classic flavors of Buffalo Chicken, it will pair well with many of the flavors classically served with the dish.
Whether you choose to serve these chicken nuggets as an appetizer or an entree, these dipping sauces are a must in our family!
- Homemade Ranch Dressing – If you have 5 minutes to make this homemade dressing, you won’t regret it!!
- Blue Cheese Dressing – This is the most classic dip and this recipe is THE BEST!
- Carrots and Celery with ranch – makes the perfect grazing table
- Other bite sized meats such as Cajun Steak Bites, Hawaiian Meatballs, BBQ Drumsticks, or Cajun Chicken Bites
- Salads – Try something light and fresh like Mexican Corn Salad, Bacon Broccoli Salad or Cucumber Tomato Salad
Side Dish Ideas
- French fries, potato wedges, or Crispy Ranch Smashed Potatoes
- Roasted Green Beans
- Rotini Pasta Salad
- Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This baked chicken nugget recipe is as simple as promised! Just a few ingredients and a baking sheet for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
- Chicken breast- Chicken breast is traditional for white meat chicken nuggets because it is lean and tender. You can also use chicken tenderloins as well.
- Hot sauce– You will want to use a red hot sauce. You can choose according to the flavor you prefer. I used Texas Pete here, but I also use Franks frequently. You can also use a Buffalo Hot Sauce if you prefer. These generally already have some butter in them, which we add in the next step.
- Melted butter- I use salted butter, but unsalted will also work.
- Italian bread crumbs– These seasoned bread crumbs make the base of the breading for the chicken nuggets. If you don’t have seasoned, you can use plain bread crumbs and add 1 tbps Italian Seasoning.
- Parmesan cheese– You will want to use grated parmesan cheese (not shredded) so that it completely combines with the bread crumbs. The fresher the cheese the better the flavor!
- Spices– Garlic powder and Onion powder
- Evenly distribute sauce– You want to make sure that all of the pieces are evenly coated with the hot sauce mixture. This helps the breading stick to the chicken, but getting too much could result in a less crispy chicken nugget.
If it is easier, rather than dipping, you can put the cut chicken into a zip top bag or large bowl and toss with the sauce all at once.
- Don’t crowd the pan– It is important to not crowd the baking sheet when cooking the chicken nuggets. This matters because the chicken will release juices as it cooks. If the pan is crowded there is not enough room for those juices to cook off. Instead they get trapped on the baking sheet and cause the chicken to become soggy.
- Bake at a high heat- The high heat that these bake at allow the chicken nuggets to get a crispy outside and tender inside.
- No soggy bottoms– In addition to not crowding the pan, starting the chicken nuggets on a lower rack helps the bottoms to get nice and crispy, then moving them up helps them to cook through and crisp the top.
- How long to bake chicken nuggets in the oven? The number one enemy of tender juicy chicken is over cooking it! For this recipe we will bake the chicken for 8-12 minutes. To be done, the chicken should be 165˚F. Once they reach this temperature you can remove them from the oven.
- Adjust the spice level– If you want your buffalo chicken nuggets less spicy, you can use less buffalo sauce and more butter. If you want them more spicy, you can toss them with additional buffalo sauce after baking, OR add 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to the bread crumb mixture.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Pre-cut chicken– Chicken can be cut and prepped up to 3-4 days in advance, then stored in the refrigerator.
- Pre-mix hot sauce– Hot sauce can be mixed and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week before use.
- Pre-mix bread crumbs– Breadcrumb mixture can be mixed and stored in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days before use.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Saucy Buffalo Chicken Nuggets– To make these “wet style” buffalo chicken nuggets, prepare as directed. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then toss them in buffalo sauce and serve the saucy Buffalo Chicken Nuggets immediately.
- Gluten Free Buffalo Chicken Nuggets– To modify this to be a gluten free Buffalo Chicken nuggets recipe, substitute gluten free bread crumbs for the Italian Style bread crumbs. If they are unseasoned, add 1 tbsp Italian seasoning to the mix.
- Loaded Buffalo Chicken Nuggets– To make these oven baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets over the top, follow the recipe as directed. Let the chicken nuggets cool for about 5 minutes. Then pile them on a skillet, drizzle with ranch dressing, crumbled blue cheese (or cheddar cheese,) green onions and crispy crumbled bacon. Dig in!
If you have special dietary needs, this these Baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets meet some and can be easily modified to comply with others.
As always, check all store bought ingredients for compliance on specific dietary needs. The notes below serve as a general guide.
- Gluten free: This recipe can be make gluten free by using gluten free bread crumbs.
- Dairy free: This Buffalo Chicken Nuggetsrecipe can be made dairy free by substituting margarine for butter.
- Nut free: This recipe is naturally nut free.
- Egg free: This recipe is naturally egg free.
- Macros: The approximate macro calculation for these Baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets is- P: 36g C: 10g F: 10g
Buffalo Chicken Nuggets Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making these baked chicken nuggets, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Reheat leftover Buffalo Chicken Nuggets in the oven, skillet, or an air fryer.
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos– Reheat leftover nuggets. Warm tortillas in a skillet. Fill each tortilla with buffalo chicken nuggets, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and crumbled queso fresco or cojita cheese.
- Buffalo Chicken Salad– Reheat leftover nuggets. On a bed of mixed salad greens pile chicken nuggets, blue cheese, avocado, corn, and diced sweet red peppers. Drizzle with ranch dressing and extra buffalo sauce if desired.
- Buffalo Chicken Pizza– On a prepared pizza crust, spread a layer of ranch dressing. Add shredded colby jack cheese. Top with chopped leftover baked buffalo chicken nuggets. Bake as directed on the crust. Once done, sprinkle with green onions.
- Buffalo Chicken Sub Sandwich– Butter each side of a sub roll and sprinkle with garlic salt, then broil for 2-3 minutes until toasted and edges start to brown. Once done reheat chicken nuggets and chop into smaller pieces. Pile them on the roll and top with shredded lettuce, blue cheese and chopped tomato. Drizzle with ranch dressing.
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Potatoes
More Easy Chicken Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Easy Chicken recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
- Healthy Baked Chicken Tenders
- Million Dollar Chicken – Reader favorite!
- Mozzarella Chicken
- Cheesy Bacon BBQ Chicken
- Ranch Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Parmesan Casserole
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Baked Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
- 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 tbsp hot sauce
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Preheat oven to 425˚F.
- Trim any fat off of the chicken, then cut in 1.5" pieces.
- Whisk together the melted butter and hot sauce in a dish. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Mix the chicken pieces with the hot sauce mixture until all pieces are evenly coated. Then toss the chicken with the bread crumb mixture.
- Lightly grease or spray a baking sheet. Then lay the pieces out on the sheet with at least 1/2 in between each piece. Use two baking sheets if necessary.
- Bake for 8-12 minutes total. Start on the lower rack for 4-5 minutes, then move to the upper rack for 4-5 minutes. To help get the chicken nuggets extra crispy, you can broil for the last 2-4 minutes.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)