Grilled Chicken Nuggets, an easy and delicious meal or snack! This recipe is perfect for those who love Chick-fil-a’s grilled chicken nuggets but want to make them at home!
Normally, I am a chicken strip kind of person. However, I’ve lately come to really enjoy Chick-fil-a’s grilled chicken nuggets and I figured I should probably learn to make them myself so I don’t spend all my money on takeout!
A few years ago I made a tasty grilled chicken sandwich recipe (with a homemade chick-fil-a sauce!) and so I figured it was time to brush off my research skills and figure out how to make a delicious grilled chicken nugget dupe.
Why I love this recipe:
- Chicken is a great healthy snack.
- It gives you a lot of protein while keeping calories manageable.
- It’s delicious and easy to make (probably the most important to me!).
Ingredients You Will Need
- Chicken Breast- Boneless Skinless
- Seasoning- Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Powdered Sugar, Paprika, Dried Parsley
- Brine- Apple Cider Vinegar, Milk
Does Chick-Fil-a use pickle juice to brine their nuggets?
The short answer is no. A while back a rumor started that they used pickle juice to brine their chicken which is false.
Pickle juice is typically white vinegar with spices. Chick-fil-a actually uses apple cider vinegar to tenderize their tasty nuggets.
Similar but not the same.
Actual ingredients to chick-fil-a chicken nuggets: Chicken (boneless skinless chicken breast, water, apple cider vinegar, soybean oil, modified corn starch, salt, yeast extract, sugar, chicken breast meat, chicken broth, dehydrated onion, dehydrated garlic, sea salt, cane molasses, spices, chicken fat, natural flavor [including smoke], lemon peel, red bell pepper, paprika, lemon juice concentrate, parsley and vinegar solids, xanthan gum, and calcium disodium EDTA [to protect quality]).
Can you use pickle juice to brine chicken?
Yep. The acid from the vinegar in the pickle juice will help to tenderize the meat. Just swap out the vinegar and salt in this recipe for pickle juice.
Let’s talk really quick about the chicken I used. Good Ranchers sent me a box of their chicken and it is amazing.
I shared my love of their steak when I used it in this pasta recipe and I am happy to report their chicken is delicious too!
Good Ranchers sends you a box of meat via a subscription straight to your door. ALL the meat is sourced from American ranchers.
Not only do they support ranchers locally but they also donate 10 meals to a food shelter per box sold! Truly an amazing company with an amazing product!
How to make grilled chicken nuggets?
- Cube the chicken into nugget size.
- Combine spices in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine apple sider vinegar and milk. Then stir in ½ tbs of the spice mixture.
- Add the chicken to the brine and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Remove from marinade, pat dry, then toss with remaining spice mixture.
- Heat your grill, pan, or oven then cook for 3-4 minutes each side.
- Nuggets are done when they are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Why mix apple cider and milk together for the marinade?
The vinegar will curdle the milk and create a buttermilk of sorts. The fat from the milk and the acid from the vinegar create a tender piece of chicken.
Pro Tip: The size of your nuggets will affect the time it takes to cook. The bigger/thicker the pieces of chicken the longer it will take to fully cook.
Can I cook these on the stove?
Yes! Using a fry pan or grill pan (to get those sweet lines!- affiliate link) just heat the pan with a little oil and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until done!
Can I bake these in the oven?
Yes. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake chicken for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
What to serve grilled chicken nuggets with?
Watch how to make this recipe!
Grilled Chicken Nuggets
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 tbs Powdered Sugar*
- ¼ teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon Dried Parsley
- 1 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup milk
- Cube chicken and set aside.1 lb chicken breast
- In a small bowl combine garlic powder, onion powder, salt, powdered sugar, paprika, and parsley.½ teaspoon Garlic Powder, ½ teaspoon Onion Powder, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1 tbs Powdered Sugar*, ¼ teaspoon Paprika, ½ teaspoon Dried Parsley
- In a medium sized bowl combine apple cider vinegar, milk and 1 tbs of your spice mix. Add your cubed chicken to the bowl and let it marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.½ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup milk
- Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry. Then coat with remaining spice mixture.
- Heat grill* to high or add a little oil to a grill pan and heat on high. Add chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Serve with some homemade (or store bought) Chick fila sauce and enjoy!
*If you don’t have powdered sugar use 1 tbs of granulated white sugar and ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch instead.
*I used a grill pan for this recipe so I could cook it on stove top. Plus, sometimes it’s difficult to place the small chicken pieces on a grill and I find it easier to use a grill pan.
*Cooking time will vary depending on size and thickness of chicken.