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Chick-Fil-A Nuggets Clone Recipe

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If you love Chick-Fil-A nuggets as much as we do, then you’ll love this Chick-Fil-A nuggets clone recipe. With just a few simple ingredients, you can make Chick-Fil-A nuggets at home that taste a lot like the restaurant version. Chick-Fil-A nuggets are one of the most popular items on the menu. And for good reason! They’re juicy, flavorful, and perfect for dipping in Chick-Fil-A’s signature sauce.

Chicken nuggets on a white plate.

But why wait in line when you can make them at home? This Chick-Fil-A nuggets recipe is easy to follow and will have you enjoying the same delicious Chick-Fil-A nugget experience right in your kitchen. So grab your apron, preheat the oven, and get ready to enjoy Chick-Fil-A nuggets at home. Enjoy!

Chick-Fil-A indisputably makes one heckuva chicken nugget. There isn’t anything like it. Anywhere. Unless you make a Chick-Fil-A Clone at home.

What is in Chick-Fil-A nuggets?

The following is a list of ingredients in the nuggets that you get at Chick-Fil-A (according to Chick-Fil-A’s ownwebsite):

nuggets (whole chicken breast, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and dimethylpolysiloxane as an anti-foaming agent]).

This Chick-Fil-A Clone does not include some of those ingredients, such as nonfat milk or monosodium glutamate (MSG). One thing you will find in my recipe that is not in the original is powdered sugar. (Notice: Chick-Fil-A does list “sugar” as an ingredient.)

Copycat Chick-Fil-A nuggets on a white plate.

Kitchen Notes

The first couple of times that I tried to make a clone, I brined my chicken solely in pickle juice. I really like the way that it came out. However, one of my family members has an aversion to pickles, so I tried it with a combination of pickle juice and carbonated water. That combination worked fine, but there is more flavor when the chicken is brined in pickle juice.

I also followed another recipe that I found online and used flour and cornstarch for the base. It worked okay, but when I coupled it with an egg/milk wash to dip it in prior to breading, the chicken would come out beautiful but the batter did not stay on the chicken after removing it from the oil.

I have been battering crappie (fish) with a mixture of dry pancake mix, salt, and pepper for quite some time. Every time I cooked it I couldn’t help but notice how much the breading looks like that on Chick-Fil-A chicken. I have never had a problem with that breading with fish, so I decided to try it on chicken. It worked beautifully.

One thing I like to do is to make a double batch of breading. That way if I end up making a mess and need to use more I don’t have to stop what I am doing.

Let’s take a look at how to make this recipe.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make chicken nuggets.
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces (about 1-inch)
  • Peanut oil

Breading

  • Pancake mix
  • Powdered sugar
  • Paprika
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Basil

Brine

  • Pickle juice

Instructions

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.
Flour and seasoning in a glass bowl.
  • Soak chicken in pickle juice and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Chicken nuggets brining in pickle juice.
  • Place peanut or vegetable oil in a large skillet or deep fryer and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Drain the chicken and place the nuggets, a few at a time, in the flour mixture. Be sure to coat each piece well. Shake off any excess flour.
  • Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Drain nuggets on a plate that has been lined with paper towels.

Serve with Chick-Fil-A sauce, honey mustard, BBQ sauce, or your favorite dipping sauce.

Storage

Store any leftover nuggets in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Tips

In my research, I learned a couple of little tricks:

  1. To get those extra crunch pieces of goodness that are found on some of the nuggets, take a little bit of milk and splatter it into the dry mix before breading your nuggets. [Serious Eats]
  2. If you don’t have a thermometer and want to check if you have your oil at the right temperature of 350 degrees, you can test it by placing a couple of popcorn kernels in your hot oil. The popcorn will pop right around that temperature. [Cooking Comically]

Substitutions

If you or someone you will be serving have peanut allergies, you can use a neutral cooking oil like canola oil in place of the peanut oil.

Chicken nuggets on a wooden serving platter with waffle fries.

Make Chicken Minis at Home

Love Chicken Minis? You can easily re-create the delicious breakfast entree by baking a batch of Sister Schubert’s Parkerhouse Rolls. Once they have been baked, let them cool slightly, and then insert one nugget into each roll.

You’ll save money by making your own chicken minis at home. How much is a tray of chicken minis, you ask? A small tray with 20 chicken minis costs $19.50 and a large tray of 40 chicken minis costs $38.00.

Chicken nuggets on a white plate.

Chick-Fil-A Clone

This Chick-Fil-A Clone Recipe comes pretty close to the “real thing” and is good any day of the week.
4.63 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 28 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 483kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • peanut oil

Breading

  • 2 cups dry pancake mix
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon basil

Brine

  • Pickle Juice

Instructions

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.
  • Soak chicken in pickle juice and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When it is time to fry:

  • Place peanut or vegetable oil in large skillet and heat to 350 degrees.
  • Drain chicken and coat each piece with dry batter.
  • Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.

Notes

The nutrition information is an approximation. An 8-count serving of authentic Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets has 250 calories, 11 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs, and 27 grams of protein.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 483kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 1937mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g
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Honey mustard sauce on a chicken nugget.

Be sure to come back and tell us how your chicken nuggets turned out!

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38 Comments

    1. Hi Cynthia,

      I think any dry pancake mix will do, but I often find myself using Hungry Jack.

      (I know – my diet is all over the place. One day I will be good.)

      Lynda

  1. oh yum – we just got our first taste of Chik-fil-A here in TX – I’m not big on frying food in my home (I just don’t like the whole oil splattering thing), but these sound good enough to tempt me to try!

  2. There isn’t a Chick Fil A in my city, and since I am not fond of their personal view points, I won’t be eating there anytime soon. That being said, I have heard nothing but great things about their food so this recipe rocks! Now I can have my chicken and eat it too 🙂

  3. I’ve never been to Chick-Fil-A nor have I brined chicken before. I would have to come up with a substitute since I don’t eat wheat but I bet I could come up with something! Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  4. Now this is a cool recipe for us because we don’t have any Chick-Fil-A anywhere nearby. I’ve never tried it before so this will probably be my chance.

  5. I love the Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries :0. I have to give this a try my children LOVE their nuggets.

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