Homemade Spicy Chicken Nuggets | Cookies and Cups


These Homemade sweet and Spicy Chicken Nuggets are way better than fast food! Make your own juicy and tender, ultra crispy and spicy chicken nuggets right at home. Stove Top, Deep Fry or even Air Fry, these nuggets are flavor packed!

Love nuggets but don’t love spice? Check out my MEGA popular (Chick Fil A inspired) Homemade Chicken Nuggets.

Spicy homemade chicken nuggets on a plate next to dipping sauce.

These Homemade Spicy Chicken Nuggets are Better Than Fast Food!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of spicy chicken nuggets? If it’s Chick Fil A or McDonald’s McNuggets, you’re probably not alone. And yet, here comes the best recipe for Homemade Spicy Chicken Nuggets that will completely change that train of thought. These extra tender, extra fiery, spicy and crispy homemade nuggets are destined to become a regular craving that you can satisfy at home! They’re made from juicy, sweet chili marinated chicken pieces, breaded with a flavorful spicy coating, and definitely don’t hold back in the heat department.

Spicy homemade chicken nuggets on a plate next to dipping sauce.

What You’ll Need

The flavors for this chicken nugget recipe come in two parts; first, a delicious sweet-and-spicy chili chicken marinade, followed by a fiery, specially-seasoned bread coating. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for both:

For the Marinade

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless chicken breasts, cut into nugget-sized chunks.
  • Garlic: Fresh cloves, minced.
  • Honey: Honey is the perfect amount of sweetness, and pairs super nicely with sriracha hot sauce.
  • Sriracha: A good hit of sweet chili heat.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidity enhances the spicy flavors, balanced by the extra sweetness.
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt

For the Breading

  • Breadcrumbs: Plain breadcrumbs are best, either homemade in a food processor or store bought.
  • Seasoning Powder: Garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder.
  • Ground Herbs & Spices: Smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried parsley.
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
Whisking together the ingredients for the spicy breadcrumb coating.

How to Make Spicy Chicken Nuggets at Home

Delicious and crispy, spicy chicken nuggets are only 4 steps away. You can marinate the chicken in advance and then finish them off whenever you’re ready to cook them! Here’s how to make these easy chicken nuggets at home:

Marinate the Chicken: Whisk together the marinade ingredients. Combine the marinade with the chicken chunks in a large resealable bag, and leave it to marinate in the fridge.

Prepare the Breading: Mix together the breadcrumbs with your chicken nugget spices and seasonings, and set aside.

Coat the Chicken: Take the chicken out of the fridge and remove it from the marinade. Roll the chicken chunks in the spicy breadcrumbs to generously coat them.

Fry the Nuggets: Use a Dutch oven or fryer, and fry the breaded chicken nuggets in small batches until they’re golden brown and crispy. Place the finished nuggets on a baking sheet in the oven to keep them warm.

Serve your homemade spicy nuggets warm with any dipping sauces your heart desires!

Air Fryer Method

You can easily make this recipe for spicy chicken nuggets in the air fryer as well, also in just 4 steps! To do so: 

  1. Marinate and then bread the chicken chunks as directed.
  2. Set your air fryer to 370°F and lightly coat the basket with cooking oil or non-stick spray.
  3. Place the nuggets in the air fryer and cook them for about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through. To get your chicken nuggets extra crispy, turn the air fryer temperature to 400°F for the final 2 minutes of cooking time.
  4. Serve!
A plate full of homemade spicy nuggets, with one chicken nugget cut open to reveal tender and juicy insides.

Tips for Success

  • Adjust the Level of Heat: The beauty of these spicy nuggets is that you can tweak the spice to suit anyone’s preference. Taste the chili marinade and spicy breading as you go, before they touch the raw chicken, until you reach your desired level of spiciness. You can always add an extra sprinkle of cayenne or chili powder after the nuggets are cooked for added heat!
  • Make Them Kid-Friendly: If you’re making homemade chicken nuggets for little ones, you can also bread a handful of these nuggets in the un-spiced breadcrumb mixture before adding in the hot stuff.
Spicy homemade chicken nuggets on a plate next to dipping sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Not only are these homemade spicy nuggets better than the real deal (IMHO), they’re great to serve for dinner, as a snack, or as easy Game Day appetizers. Whatever the occasion, there are so many chicken nugget dipping sauce ideas to try at home! Here are some of my favorites: 

You can also slice or dice up these spicy chicken nuggets to use in salads, on top of pizzas, served over nachos, or in spicy chicken sandwiches or wraps.

Spicy chicken nuggets on a plate next to a bowl of hot sauce for dipping.

How to Store and Reheat Extras

Store leftover chicken nuggets airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat before you serve them, place the nuggets on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for a few minutes until warmed through.

Can I Freeze These?

This recipe happens to be great for DIY frozen chicken nuggets. Once your spicy nuggets are cooked and cooled, pre-freeze them on a baking sheet until solid. Then just transfer them to a resealable freezer bag to freeze until you’re ready to cook them.

Reheat the chicken nuggets straight from frozen, either in the Dutch oven/electric fryer or in the air fryer. Tada! Frozen chicken nuggets from scratch, to enjoy at home whenever you please!

More Easy Chicken Dishes to Try

Print

Homemade Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Spicy chicken nuggets on a plate next to a bowl of hot sauce for dipping.

Description:

Move over, Wendy’s spicy nuggets! These Spicy Homemade Chicken Nuggets are so easy to make at home. Ultra crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, with a sweet and spicy kick.



Scale

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha 
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2  – 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2- inch chunks

Breading:

  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 cups vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Make the marinade. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, garlic, honey, sriracha, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  2. Marinate. Place the cut chicken into a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade on top, massaging into the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate 3 – 4 hours.
  3. Breading. In a large bowl whisk together the breadcrumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. 
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Coat each chicken chunk generously in the breading mixture.
  5. Fry. Turn your oven on warm and set aside a large baking sheet. Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven or electric fryer to 375°F. Working in small batches, fry the chicken until golden brown.
  6. Keep warm. Transfer the nuggets onto the baking sheet and place into the warm oven while you fry the remaining chicken.
  7. Serve warm.

Notes:

  • Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in a 350°F oven for 5 – 10 minutes until warm.
  • To make these chicken nuggets in the air fryer, set your air fryer to 370°F and lightly coat the basket with cooking oil or non-stick spray. Place the nuggets in the air fryer and cook them for about 15 minutes, flipping them halfway through. To get your chicken nuggets extra crispy, turn the air fryer temperature to 400°F for the final 2 minutes of cooking time.
  • To DIP: Mix 2 1/2 tablespoons sriracha sauce with 1/2 cup ketchup

Keywords: homemade chicken nuggets, easy chicken recipes, chicken nugget spices, air fryer chicken nuggets

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