3 Ingredient Chicken Nuggets

3.96 from 47 votes

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Who doesn’t like chicken nuggets?? If you are looking for an easy alternative to frozen chicken nuggets, look no further! These are my kids favorite chicken nuggets and they are SO easy to make.

These chicken nuggets take about 5 minutes to prepare, and 13 minutes to cook. So not *quite* as easy as frozen chicken nuggets, but almost! If your little loves chicken nuggets, this is a MUST TRY. I make these every week.

Why 3-Ingredient Chicken Nuggets Are Great for Toddlers:

  1. Simplicity: With only three ingredients, these chicken nuggets are a breeze to prepare, perfect for busy parents.
  2. Protein-Packed: Canned chicken is an excellent source of lean protein, essential for your toddler’s growth and development. Read on to learn how to decrease the sodium in canned chicken!
  3. Customizable: While the base recipe includes just three ingredients, you can get creative by adding seasonings, herbs, or even veggies to suit your toddler’s taste.
  4. Versatile Cooking Methods: Whether you have an air fryer or an oven, we’ve got you covered with two cooking methods, so you can make these nuggets regardless of your kitchen appliances.


  • 10 oz canned chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp mozzarella cheese


Canned chicken- you can use rotisserie chicken instead, but it can get a little dry. I would add a little bit of olive oil or chicken broth if you do that. Also, you can use ground chicken, just make sure you cook it long enough that it is completely cooked through.

Egg- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, or a store bought egg replacer.

Mozzarella cheese- you could use parmesan instead.


For air frying:

  1. Blend the Mixture: In a blender or food processor, combine the canned chicken (rinsed if desired), egg, and mozzarella cheese. Blend until you achieve a smooth mixture.
  2. Shape the Nuggets: Form the chicken mixture into chicken nugget shapes using your hands. You can make them as traditional nugget shapes or get creative with fun designs.
  3. Air Fry: Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the nuggets in the air fryer basket in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch. Air fry for about 13 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.

For oven baking:

  1. Blend the Mixture: Follow the same blending process mentioned above to create the chicken mixture.
  2. Shape and Arrange: Shape the mixture into chicken nuggets and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake the nuggets for approximately 13 minutes or until they are golden brown and cooked through, flipping them halfway through for even cooking.


To store any leftover chicken nuggets:

  • Refrigeration: Place the nuggets in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze for up to 3 months!

How to Decrease Sodium by Rinsing Canned Chicken:

If you’d like to reduce the sodium content in canned chicken, follow these steps:

  1. Open the can of chicken and drain the liquid.
  2. Place the canned chicken in a fine-mesh strainer or sieve.
  3. Rinse the chicken thoroughly under cold running water, gently stirring or agitating it as you rinse. Continue rinsing until most of the excess sodium has been removed.
  4. Once rinsed, pat the chicken dry with paper towels before using it in your recipe.

Where to Find Canned Chicken:

You can typically find canned chicken in your local grocery store, often located right next to the canned tuna and other canned meats. It’s a convenient pantry staple that can be used in various recipes, making it an excellent choice for quick and easy meals like these chicken nuggets.

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3.96 from 47 votes

3 Ingredient Chicken Nuggets

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Servings: 3


  • 10 oz canned chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp mozzarella or parmesan cheese


  • Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender.
  • Form mixture into nuggets.
  • Air fry at 350 F for about 13 mins or until golden brown.
  • If you don't have an air fryer, you can bake in the oven at 400 F for 13 mins or until golden brown.


You can rinse the chicken under water first to remove some of the sodium.
Store in the fridge for 3 days, and the freezer for 3 months.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Tried this recipe?Mention @reallittlemeals or tag #reallittlemeals!

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About Ashley

As a mom to two, I know how stressful feeding little ones can be. That’s why I love helping other parents provide simple, healthy meals that your toddler and whole family will love. From quick and easy snacks, to full meals, I’ve got your mealtimes covered.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I’m giving this recipe a shot, but I threw in a few vegetable in the mix. I really hope my baby likes it. Thank you for sharing all these recipes they are super helpful. Keep up the amazing work mama!

  2. Is it 10oz canned chicken drained? Or a 10oz can? Obviously I will still drain just want to get quantities correct. I have cans that say 12.5oz, or 7oz drained. Thanks!

  3. Are they supposed to be mushy after you cook them? I cannot get the consistency right! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’ve tried baking and air frying.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness my 10 month old absolutely loved these! Thank you so much! It took a little while longer for mine to get browned but so worth the wait!

  5. Can you use raw ground chicken in this recipe? Might need to change the ratios, add an egg or more cheese since I buy ground chicken by the pound (16oz). Thanks!

      1. Hi! I tried this recipe and mine keep coming out mushy. I added a little olive oil since the recipe said to do that so the rotisserie chicken wouldn’t dry out- however I can’t seem to find a good consistency. Would there be any more tips for using regular chicken? We try our best not to use any canned products. Thank you!!