Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

Believe it or not, the following flow chart is the product of nearly a year of trial and error at my house:

Ask your husband if he wants some buffalo wings.
Are the wings going to be boneless?
Are the wings going to be breaded?
Are you making a large batch at once?
Bake them all at once in the oven.  






Sit back and relax.
Start over.
Is the breading crunchy?
Pan fry them.

It all started as a nice gesture on my part to try to make one of my husband's favorite foods at home. He was appreciative of every batch, but would ask for some small tweak of the recipe every time I made them. First the bones had to go. Then it had to be breaded. Then the breading had to be crunchier. Decisions had to be made about white or dark meat, pan frying or baking, the amount of spiciness, and the size of the boneless wing.

After much trial and error, this is the recipe that we ended up with. The chicken is moist and flavorful, coated with a non-soggy breading, baked in the oven for healthiness and uniformity, (I could never fit enough in a pan to cook servings for both of us at the same time.) and uses all white meat. (Boneless chicken thighs also work. We just prefer the texture of the chicken breasts.) They have a very moderate amount of heat, but not so much that they are inedible. (Not as if that ever happened along the way. . . ) They are fast and easy to make and are a great way to get buffalo chicken taste without leaving your house.

After all the tweaking and changes, I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself when I finally came out with a batch that my husband liked. That is, I was proud until he paused while halfway through eating and asked me if they were chicken wings or chicken nuggets. He took a glance at the frustration on my face and wisely ate the rest of his dinner without saying anything else.

I've got a pretty smart husband, even if he is as picky eater.

Buffalo Chicken Nuggets


  • 1 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) (1/8 tsp is mildly spicy; use more if you want your nuggets to have a little more kick.)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or soybean oil
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper sauce (like Tabasco or Frank's)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat ranch dressing


  1. Heat oven to 425°F. In 1-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag, place cereal; crush with rolling pin. Add flour, sugar, paprika, seasoned salt and red pepper; mix well.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil and placing a cooling rack on it.
  3. In small bowl, stir together oil and pepper sauce. Coat chicken pieces with oil mixture.
  4. Shake about 6 chicken pieces at a time in bag of cereal mixture until coated. Shake off any extra mixture. Place chicken pieces in single layer on the cooling rack set in the lined baking sheet. Spray with vegetable oil spray.
  5. Bake about 10-15 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. (If coating looks dry, remove chicken, turn, and spray with more vegetable oil spray halfway through baking.) Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together sour cream and dressing. Serve sauce with chicken.
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Ready in: 30 min Yield: 4 servings

Recipe Source: adapted from www.bettycrocker.com

27 Click For Comments:

Yum! We are buffalo wing fiends, I'll have to make these soon!

These look amazing!  I'm a big fan of buffalo wings but it's hard to find a recipe that's still pretty healthy - this looks perfect!

My husband is always asking me to buy those bags of chicken nuggets from the store so I'm really glad you shared this recipe.  Now I can make him chicken nuggets at home and stop pretending I forgot to buy the bagged version at the store :)

Ha, ha! Your husband is funny. :) When my husband wants wings, I send him to the local WingStop to buy 'em. I don't even bother pretending I will ever compare. :) You're braver than I am. :) 

I can never say no to chicken nuggets. These sound delicious!

just found your blog! I love it... can't wait to browse around more! I LOVEEE chicken nuggets. Sometimes I'll even go for the chicken-less nuggets at trader joes. But this I will HAVE to make! 
-mini baker

No, not braver. Probably just cheaper and far away from any wing restaurants. :)

That was part of the struggle, too - trying to make it healthy enough that I could enjoy eating them, too.

Nicole - loved this post!  Ha!  I have a picky eating husband too - he doesn't eat 80% of the stuff I make.  The other day I made a pot of chili with black beans and canned pumpkin - and even though I told him you couldn't taste the pumpkin, he wouldn't even try it. :(  Oh well, made more for me!

I'm glad I'm not the only one! I've started hiding "weird" ingredients like pumpkin or anything "green" so that he'll at least try something before flatly rejecting it. I made a dish this weekend with spinach in it and before he could even complain I told him it was all for me and handed him a grilled cheese sandwich. :)

I wish these existed at the McDonald's right next to my house.  Or, not really, maybe I just wish you had a drive through right next to my house that I could pick some up on my way home. :)

My husband thanks you in advance. These look great!

Another fabulous recipe I can't wait to try!!

That arrow diagram is just hilarious!

I can only imagine the delicious possibilities if we were neighbors. Instead of coming over to borrow a cup of sugar, I'd probably ask for an emergency bag of those vanilla nut clusters and then stay long enough that you have to invite me for dinner. 

Anything buffalo makes me happy!  Love your flow chart :)

Hehe, cute story :) I love that these are buffalo flavored but not fried. I'll have to try to make them!

My boyfriend loves chicken wings but I think they're gross so I've only ever made them once. These nuggets look awesome, though. I hate bones, too, so these are perfect for me and they'll make my boyfriend happy. Yay!

These sound and look incredible!  I have one of those picky husbands too...personally, I think they are just spoiled!  lol 

Love your arrow charts!!! And the dish is amazing!

I think those need to be on my menu for game day!

Made these tonight!!  I was out of Frank's, so I used tabasco - I think they'll definitely be much better with Frank's.  I like more of a vinegar flavor in my red pepper sauce!  Otherwise these were so delicious.  Great recipe! :)

I had to leave a comment - these have become a staple in my house. The recipe is absolutely perfect - quick, easy, and rewarding! The only changes I've made are that I omit the sugar, and make dipping sauce using fat free greek yogurt and wing sauce. I just ate half the batch I made last night over arugula. Delicious!

You just made my day, Corinne. Thank you so much for letting me know you like the recipe. That dipping sauce is a great idea, too. I'm always looking for a healthier alternative. Thanks!

This is probably a really dumb question but when you say crispy rice cereal, do you mean Rice Crispies? 

Not a dumb question at all - yes, I mean Rice Krispies.

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