Mild Nashville Hot Chicken Nuggets From Scratch

The best Nashville hot chicken nuggets begin with a delicious blend of smoked paprika, cayenne, and garlic combined with sourdough breadcrumbs and egg wash. It’s the perfect recipe for a healthy summer weeknight meal with a mild heat level.

pan full of nuggets with ranch on the side and peppers
source: Plum Branch Home

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The first time we visited Nashville Tennessee in 2020, we had our very first taste of Nashville hot chicken. We got Biscuit Love’s Princess: a hot chicken biscuit sandwich drizzled with honey, which I highly recommend if you ever visit! From that day on, we fell in love with the Nashville hot chicken flavor. Now that we live near music city, I wanted to make my own version but healthier!

When I developed this recipe I was really mindful of each ingredient I choose to make this nutritious, simple, and so delicious. Homemade chicken nuggets DON’T have to take 2 hours or be hard to whip up, it really can be simple. This recipe is perfect for a summer night paired with baked potatoes and a large glass of watermelon lemonade!

Tips To Help

Mindset: The biggest tip I can tell you is, don’t let the thought of homemade chicken nuggets overwhelm you! Today’s society likes to make homemade anything seem difficult. These chicken nuggets are super simple and don’t take much time to whip up.

Cutting Chicken: If you’re in a rush, use kitchen scissors to trim off fat and cut it into chunks instead of a knife.

Dredging: The most important tip when dredging is to make sure any excess egg wash or breading is off before placing it on the tray. Also, use one hand or fork for the wet and dry to keep things from getting messy.

*Always be sure to wash your hands with soap and sanitize surfaces after messing with raw chicken and eggs to keep you safe from salmonella

Best Nashville Hot Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts (Skinless and Boneless)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Homemade Breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 3/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

Recipe FAQ

  • How to make sourdough breadcrumbs? Use PBH’s simple Sourdough Breadcrumbs Recipe.
  • Do I need to have sourdough breadcrumbs? Not necessarily, sourdough breadcrumbs especially whole wheat sourdough breadcrumbs have the best nutritional impact. However, you can use the sourdough breadcrumbs recipe above with any bread you have on hand. I do say homemade breadcrumbs will make this recipe so much better than store-bought.
  • What is the heat level of this recipe? Unlike some Nashville hot chicken recipes, these nuggets are mild in spice. If you’d like to make it spicier (think medium heat) add an additional 1/2 tsp of cayenne and paprika.
  • Do organic eggs and chicken really matter? Yes! When you choose organic eggs and chicken your body gets more nutrients and fewer chemicals and antibiotics. If you can’t afford organic no worries, look for sales, check Costco if you have one close, or save a little extra back. At the end of the day if you don’t have it available that’s okay but if you can 100% do it!

How to Make the Best Nashville Hot Chicken Nuggets

The steps to make baked Nashville hot chicken nuggets are super simple: chunk, dredge, and bake. First, you’ll trim fat off the chicken breasts and cut them into chunks. Then dredge the chunks in an egg wash then the homemade breading. Finally place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy More PBH Homemade Recipes

If you love this recipe or any other PBH homemade creation, it would mean so much if you came back and gave it a 5-star review! I love hearing how much you’ve enjoyed these goodies!

best Nashville hot chicken

Best Nashville Hot Chicken Nuggets (Baked for Better Health)

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
The best Nashville hot chicken nuggets begin with a delicious blend of smoked paprika, cayenne, and garlic combined with sourdough breadcrumbs and cashew egg wash. It's the perfect recipe for a healthy summer weeknight meal without overwhelming heat for your taste buds!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Supper
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • 1 Baking Sheet
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 pair of tongs
  • 1 whisk

Ingredients
  

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless & skinless)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk (any kind) cashew milk is my favorite to use
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs homemade (see notes)
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions
 

Preparing the Chicken

  • First, prepare the chicken breasts by slicing off any fat and cutting it into chunks for nuggets. Put these chunks into a bowl and let them sit while preparing the egg wash and breading mix.

Preparing the Egg Wash & Breading

  • Next, in a medium size bowl mix together cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, and breadcrumbs. Then in a second medium size bowl whisk together the egg and milk.

Dredging the Chicken

  • Then, one piece at a time, take a chunk of chicken breast, dip in egg wash until coated and let any excess drip off. Then roll it around in breadcrumb mix until coated, again letting any excess drop off. When finished dredging place each piece on a lightly greased baking sheet pan.

Baking the Nuggets

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit then bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked fully through. Let rest 2-3 minutes then serve with a side of ranch!

Notes

  • Heat Level: mild  (if you want it hotter, add another 1/2 tsp of cayenne and paprika)
  • Sourdough Breadcrumbs: try our PBH simple Sourdough Breadcrumbs recipe if you don’t have sourdough bread, use this same recipe with any bread you have on hand. 
 
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