Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa

a toddler hand holding a baked chicken nugget

Using 4 simple ingredients you can make the most delicious and easy homemade baked chicken nuggets with hidden quinoa. Whether you want the health benefits of quinoa or are trying to introduce quinoa to your child these oven baked chicken nuggets are easy to make and cook fast.

Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa perfect for a weeknight dinner
Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets with Sneaky Quinoa
Healthy Oven Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa - perfect for the whole family

So these chicken nuggets are actually the second recipe for baked chicken nuggets on my blog, but you guys the two recipes are soooo different! Isn’t it funny how recipes can be the same thing but not at the same time. So in my first recipe, Healthier Baked Chicken Nuggets {Gluten Free} the chicken nuggets are cut from a chicken breast and marinated, they are then dredged in egg and gluten free flours, and baked in coconut oil. My new Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa are made with ground chicken, then formed into a nugget with a little parmesean and quinoa, covered with breadcrumbs, lightly sprayed with oil and baked on a sheet pan. Both are amazing but in totally different way.

So for this Baked Chicken Nugget Recipe I wanted to do easy. So I started with ground chicken, I find ground chicken cheap and easy to work with, not only for chicken nuggets but you could use it in a variety of ways you’d use other ground meats. 

I also used the least amount of ingredients that I could. I experimented a lot with the different ratios of what to add. I made a few batches with way too much quinoa in them, some with too much water, I tried to make them without a touch of cheese. I found many ways that weren’t quite right, and then I made a this recipe, and my husband Matt announced “These are the ones”. So here I am sharing them with you.

So let’s take a look at the ingredients in these Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa. I will also let you know the necessary steps to make sure these are nice and crispy when baked in the oven!

measured ingredients for chicken nuggets

The Ingredients

Ground Chicken. Chicken, the one thing everyone is sure to have in the fridge right?! But have you tried cooking with ground chicken yet? I love it because it can simplify so many recipes, just like these chicken nuggets! Just like almost everyone I love chicken because it is a heathy lean protein that keeps the family satisfied and healthy!

Quinoa. This nutrient dense pseudo grain is such an important food that the UN declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa” due to its potential for worldwide food security. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber, folate, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins B1, B2 and B6. Quite a list right!?! If you want to learn even more check out this article 11 Proven Healthy Benefits of Quinoa. And they best part is the texture of the cooked quinoa blends right into the chicken. So lets say you have a picky little eater or husband, you might be able to serve this and they wouldn’t even be able to tell! Give it a try, I want to know!

Parmesan. Just a little parmesan to give it a flavor boost. Part of the parm goes into the breadcrumbs and part goes into the chicken. I use freshly grated parmesan right off the block, but pre-grated should work just as good.

A little water and salt is also added to the mixture for a little extra moisture and flavor. 

And then breadcrumbs. I use just plain packaged breadcrumbs, but really any kind of breadcrumbs would work here. Italian breadcrumbs, panko, gluten-free, whatever fits your family best!

Lastly a cooking oil to finish. To make the nuggets nice and crispy you need to finish the nuggets with a spray or drizzle of oil. I find my Spray Pump Olive Oil Cooking Spray works best. Just enough to lightly coat the nuggets, you don’t want to drown the nuggets in oil. 

ingredients in a bowl for Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa

uncooked freshly formed chicken nuggets ready for the oven

The Method

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a small bowl or plate add breadcrumbs and half of the parmesan cheese, mix together and set to the side.

In a large bowl add chicken, quinoa, water, salt, and the remaining parmesan cheese. Mix ingredients together until fully combined, using your hands works best.

Grab a golf ball sized amount of the chicken mixture and form a ball, press into the bread crumbs to form a nugget, flip nugget to fully coat with breadcrumbs. Transfer nugget to a sheet pan.

Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used, it should make 24-25 nuggets. The nuggets can be close on the sheet pan but not touching, they will shrink slightly.

Lightly spray or drizzle cooking oil onto each of the nuggets. I usually use olive oil out of a pump sprayer. Not a lot of oil is needed but enough to lightly coat the nuggets.

Transfer sheet pan to the oven and bake 15 minutes.

Turn oven to broil and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until chicken nuggets are golden brown. Serve immediately, goes best with your favorite dipping sauce.

sheet pan full of baked chicken nuggets

close up of a baked chicken nugget

Inside of a Sneaky Quinoa Baked Chicken Nugget

TIPS & TRICKS

• You want the quinoa to be totally cooled down for best results, I have found if the quinoa is still slightly warm the nuggets will release a little extra water

• The chicken nuggets reheat really well so they can be saved in the fridge or freezer

• Need some sides? Check out my Crispy Oven Roasted Baby Yukon Potatoes, Rosemary Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges, or serve with my Healthy Yogurt Ranch Dip

Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa

Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 11 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

easy homemade chicken nuggets using ground chicken and sneaky quinoa

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground chicken
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs*
  • cooking oil for the pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. In a small bowl or plate add breadcrumbs and half of the parmesan cheese, mix together and set to the side.
  3. In a large bowl add chicken, quinoa, water, salt, and the remaining parmesan cheese. Mix ingredients together until fully combined, using your hands works best.
  4. Grab a golf ball sized amount of the chicken mixture and form a ball, press into the bread crumbs to form a nugget, flip nugget to fully coat with breadcrumbs. Transfer nugget to a sheet pan.
  5. Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used, it should make 24-25 nuggets. The nuggets can be close on the sheet pan but not touching.
  6. Lightly spray or drizzle cooking oil onto each of the nuggets. I usually use olive oil out of a pump sprayer. Not a lot of oil is needed but enough to lightly coat the nuggets.
  7. Transfer sheet pan to the oven and bake 15 minutes.
  8. Turn oven to broil and bake an additional 3-4 minutes until chicken nuggets are golden brown. Serve immediately, goes best with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

*you can use whatever packaged breadcrumbs serve your family best, I use plain but Italian seasoned, panko, or gluten-free would all work well in this recipe

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 5 nuggets
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352 Total Fat: 18g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 136mg Sodium: 387mg Carbohydrates: 17g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Protein: 40g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

P.S. Looking for more easy dinners like my Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa the whole family will love? Check out my Turkey Veggie Meatloaf Muffins or my Korean Ground Turkey & Rice Bowls.

Please note that my links above may be affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. I recommend them because they are helpful, and are companies that I trust, not because of the commissions that I may earn from you using these products.

2 Replies to “Baked Chicken Nuggets with Hidden Quinoa”

  1. These chicken nuggets are delicious! Using ground chicken was genius. My picky junk food loving 10 year loves them! Thank you:))

    1. Yay! I am so glad that you and your 10 year old enjoyed these! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment Maggie!

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