Drew Swantak/Thrillist

Chicken Parm Nuggets Recipe

Total Time:  50 minutes
Yield:  16-18 pieces


  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1.5” x .5” pieces
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
  • Minced parsley for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
  • Cut each chicken tender crosswise in half. Using a paring knife, cut a pocket into each piece lengthwise. Gently insert a finger into the pocket to expand it without tearing it. Push a stick of mozzarella into the pocket until it's completely enclosed with chicken. Repeat until all nuggets are stuffed.
  • Season nuggets with more salt and ground black pepper. Dredge each piece in flour and tap off excess, then dip in egg, then dredge in bread crumb mixture.
  • In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add chicken nuggets, 6 at a time, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Heat tomato sauce in a medium saucepan until simmering.
  • Garnish nuggets with parsley and Parmesan. Serve with sauce on the side for dipping.
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist
Drew Swantak/Thrillist