5 from 1 vote

Oven Baked Dill Pickle Chicken Nuggets

 February 26, 2023

There is no food on the planet that is more nostalgic than chicken nuggets. Whether you’re making them for a kid or a kid-at-heart, nobody can deny that the chicken nugget is the ultimate comfort food. But let’s be honest… those fast food chicken nuggets are not only filled with unhealthy ingredients, but can sometimes lack in the flavor department. Which is why I’m excited to introduce you to my perfect Oven Baked Dill Pickle Chicken Nuggets. These tender nuggets are juicy, flavorful, and get their perfect tenderness from a not-so-secret ingredient: pickle juice!

A plate of the oven baked pickle brined chicken nuggets, sitting on a countertop alongside a bowl of ketchup and a drink

Friends, if I had a dollar for every time my boys asked me for chicken nuggets, I would never have to work again! I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, my boys just cannot get enough of their chicken nuggets, and I know that they aren’t the only ones. Chicken nuggets are one of those foods that people at all ages enjoy, and I’m not ashamed to admit that even I crave them sometimes, too.

But let’s be honest: fast food chicken nuggets are just not it. Not only are they filled with ingredients that leave us feeling anything but full and satisfied, but they can also be lacking in flavor. While they can be great in a pinch, on the day-to-day, we can do much better, which is where this recipe comes in!

These juicy nuggets are bursting with flavor thanks to their special marinade: pickle juice! That’s right. By using the leftover juice from your pickle jars, you can make the juiciest, most flavorful chicken nuggets EVER. And that’s because the pickle juice works to break down the fibers in the meat, so it is tender and juice every time!

If you LOVE the taste of Chick-Fil-A nuggets (fun fact: they pickle brine theirs as well!) then I guarantee that you are going to love this recipe as well.

What You Need to Make These Crave-Worthy Chicken Nuggets

  • Chicken Breast: Of course, you will need chicken breasts in order to make these nuggets! Be sure to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in order to get the best results.
  • Eggs: Eggs will help the breadcrumbs and seasoning bind to the chicken.
  • Pickle Juice: Pickle juice is our secret ingredient here, and is key to making these chicken nuggets shine! The pickle juice helps to break down the fibers in the meat, so it turns out nice, juicy, and tender every time.
  • Coconut Sugar: A little bit of coconut sugar will help this brine come together! If you don’t want to use coconut sugar, you can also opt to use brown sugar instead!
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: Bread crumbs will give these chicken nuggets their perfect crunchy coating! If you want to make these nuggets gluten-free, you can also opt to use gluten-free panko bread crumbs instead. 🙂
  • Seasonings: We’ll be seasoning our chicken nuggets with a combination of paprika, garlic powder, dried dill, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Yum!
Two bowls, sitting on a countertop: one with egg wash, and another with panko bread crumbs and seasoning
While your chicken is marinating, prepare your dredging station by cracking your eggs into a bowl, and placing your panko bread crumbs and seasonings into another.

How to Make These Better-Than-Chick-Fil-A Nuggets

To make these chicken nuggets, start by cubing your chicken breasts and add them to a bowl with your pickle juice and coconut sugar. Next, stir your chicken until its fully coated in the brine, cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate. While the chicken is marinating, preheat your oven to 400 F.

Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together your eggs and set it aside. Then, mix your dry ingredients together in another bowl.

Once your chicken has finished marinating, dredge each chicken nugget into the egg wash, then place it in to the dry ingredient mixture to fully coat it in the breadcrumbs. Line your dredged chicken onto the baking sheet, then bake them for 12 minutes, being sure to flip them halfway through. Once they’re done, broil them on high for one minute, to get some extra browning.

Remove them from the oven once they’re, and enjoy! Serve them with your favorite ketchup, ranch dressing, or even French fries, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to one week.

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Bea Moreno
A plate of the oven baked pickle brined chicken nuggets, sitting on a countertop alongside a bowl of ketchup and a drink
Dairy Free/gluten-free/Nut Free/Refined Sugar Free/snacks

Oven Baked Dill Pickle Chicken Nuggets

5 from 1 vote
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
SERVES 12 Nuggets
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There is no food on the planet that is more nostalgic than chicken nuggets. Whether you're making them for a kid or a kid-at-heart, nobody can deny that the chicken nugget is the ultimate comfort food. But let's be honest… those fast food chicken nuggets are not only filled with unhealthy ingredients, but can sometimes lack in the flavor department. Which is why I'm excited to introduce you to my perfect Oven Baked Dill Pickle Chicken Nuggets. These tender nuggets are juicy, flavorful, and get their perfect tenderness from a not-so-secret ingredient: pickle juice! 

Ingredients

For the Brine:

  • ¾ Cup Pickle Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar or substitute brown sugar

For the Chicken Nuggets:

  • 1 ½ Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast cut into nuggets
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups Panko Bread Crumbs or substitute gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Dill dried
  • 2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Start by cubing your chicken breasts and add them to a bowl with your pickle juice and coconut sugar.
  • Next, stir your chicken until its fully coated in the brine, cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate.
  • While the chicken is marinating, preheat your oven to 400 F.
  • Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together your eggs and set it aside.
  • Then, mix your dry ingredients together in another bowl.
  • Once your chicken has finished marinating, dredge each chicken nugget into the egg wash, then place it in to the dry ingredient mixture to fully coat it in the breadcrumbs.
  • Line the chicken pieces onto the baking sheet, then bake them for 12 minutes, being sure to flip them halfway through.
  • Once they're done, broil them on high for one minute, to get some extra browning.
  • Remove them from the oven, and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to one week.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made – tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. Made these and my 27 year old son said yes please again please yum!! My husband said wow these could be my lunch once a week please!!

    • I am so thrilled that you loved this recipe, Julie! Thank you so much for making it, and for leaving such a kind review!