Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets

Healthy baked chicken nuggets with lots of dill pickle flavor paired with a delicious dipping sauce! Air fryer method is also listed.

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets - Dash Of Mandi

If you love Chic Fil A’s chicken nuggets and dipping sauce, you will love this healthier at home version. The secret is to marinate the cut chicken in pickle juice for a little bit before breading and baking! The nuggets have such a big dill pickle flavor. In other words, they’re straight up amazing.

Chicken Nuggets - Dash Of Mandi

For the breading you can do Trader Joe’s gluten-free rice crumbs (my favorite method) or regular breadcrumbs.

What’s chicken nuggets without some fries to go with them? I paired these healthy chicken nuggets with some round crinkle cut sweet potato fries. I got a crinkle cut tool on amazon for less than $10 – linked here. Air fryers come in handy when it comes to cooking fries. They always come out so crispy. Also, they cook so quickly compared to the oven!

In the note section of the recipe I list the air fryer method for these chicken nuggets! I love air frying just about everything, including these chicken nuggets. But, I’ll leave the option to you!

Chicken Nuggets, Fries And Dipping Sauce - Dash Of Mandi
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Healthy Pickle Brined Chicken Nuggets



Chicken Nuggets

1 lb. boneless chicken tenders, cut into nuggets (chicken breast will also work)

1/2 cup dill pickle juice

3/4 cup Trader Joe’s gluten free rice crumbs, or breadcrumbs *

1/3 cup gluten free flour or all purpose flour, coconut flour also works

2 eggs

1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Dipping sauce

3 tbsp mayo

2 tbsp BBQ sauce

3 tsp dijon

2 tsp honey

1 tsp lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


First, take a resealable container or ziplock bag and place your cut chicken nuggets in it. Pour dill pickle juice over the chicken – cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. I try to at least 2 hours for extra flavor!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or lay out a piece of parchment paper.

Add rice crumbs OR breadcrumbs to a shallow dish or bowl with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.. mix together.

In another shallow dish whisk together the two eggs and in a third shallow dish add the flour.

Using forks or tongs carefully take each chicken nugget and toss in the flour, then the egg (drip off the excess egg, should just be lightly coated), and the rice crumbs or breadcrumbs. You can press the mixture onto the chicken so it sticks better. 

Repeat with every piece of chicken and place on the prepared baking sheet. Generously spray chicken nuggets with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes (flip them half way) or until they’re golden and crisp.

For the dipping sauce just combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. 

Serve immediately and enjoy!



Spray air fryer basket and add chicken nuggets in a single layer (you make have to work in batches)

Lightly spray chicken nuggets

Air fry at 380 degrees for 8 minutes, flipping the chicken nuggets half way.

Cook at 400 degrees F for 1-2 more additional minutes or until they’re golden brown and cooked through.

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