Grilled Chicken Nuggets

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Create the perfect dinner or snack with these easy Grilled Chicken Nuggets. Say goodbye to fast-food chicken nuggets, and hello to the real deal! With this recipe, you can make the grilled chicken nuggets of your dreams! Seasoned and cooked to perfection in a matter of minutes.

Grilled chicken nuggets with herbs and sauce.

My inspiration for this recipe is one of my daughters, who doesn’t like conventional chicken nuggets but prefers the grilled version. The seasoning is pretty easy, and you can nail this recipe in 15 minutes. It’s possible to make these fresh, high-quality chicken nuggets faster than it would take you to leave the house and go through a drive-thru.

One of my favorite things about this grilled chicken nuggets recipe is how versatile it is. The simple seasoning blend with hints of garlic, thyme, and paprika gives the chicken a pleasant flavor, allowing it to pair with various sauces and side dishes. Add some French fries, a fresh fruit cup, and your favorite sauce, and you have a winning meal for kids and adults alike.

If you can’t get enough chicken recipes, I also have Perfect Grilled Chicken, Chicken Skewers, and Epic Oven Grilled Chicken Wings that you need to try!

Dipping grilled chicken nuggets in sauce.

Grilled Chicken Nuggets

These healthy grilled chicken nuggets are not only delicious but also good for you! They’re packed with protein, and since you’re making them yourself, you know exactly what is in them.

They might remind you of the beloved Chick-fil-A nuggets. This isn’t a copycat Chick-fil-A recipe per se, but these healthy chicken nuggets are similar to one of Chick-fil-A’s menu items since they are grilled instead of fried.

However, my version does not contain preservatives or extra ingredients like modified corn starch, xanthan gum, cane molasses, or additives like calcium disodium EDTA. They are made with whole ingredients.

These healthy chicken nuggets aren’t just for kids, either! They’re great for people who like to create healthy meal plans. These unbreaded chicken nuggets are a great alternative for those who want a lighter option than a chicken sandwich or breaded chicken tenders.

In my opinion, though, the health benefits are just a bonus. The best thing about these nuggets is how easy they are to make and how scrumptious they are! You won’t be able to get enough. You might even want to double the recipe, just in case!

Ingredients Needed 

This grilled chicken nuggets recipe uses simple ingredients you can find in your local grocery store.

Measured ingredients for grilled chicken nuggets.

Here are some notes about the the ingredients:

  • Chicken: You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You can cut the chicken breast meat into small chicken pieces. Make sure to pat the breasts dry with paper towels.
  • Oil: Olive oil is best for this recipe since it has a rich flavor and high smoke point. You’ll also need a little oil for the grill grates.
  • Dried Spices: A variety of spices give these chicken nuggets an incredible flavor. The spices and herbs used are garlic powder (or dehydrated garlic), onion powder, dried thyme, and paprika.
  • Salt and Pepper: Table salt and black pepper help highlight the natural flavor of the chicken and complement the spices in the recipe.

You can scroll to the recipe card below to see the exact quantities you need for the ingredients.

Recipe Variations

  • Make it spicy: Add fiery spices like cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give the nuggets a bold, spicy flavor!
  • Bake them: I suggest grilling the nuggets because it’s quick and gives them a smoky flavor. However, you can cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and bake them on a baking sheet. Keep in mind that the cooking times will be different, but it should take about 10 minutes on each side (around 20 minutes total) when cooked at 400℉. 
  • Air fry them: The air fryer will take about 5-6 minutes on each side when cooked at 390℉. Of course, every appliance is different, so use a meat thermometer to be sure!
  • Brined chicken: You can use a pickle juice brine to give the chicken a deeper flavor. To make a pickle brine, combine pickle juice with brown sugar and allow the chicken to marinate in the dill pickle juice for a couple of hours before draining and cooking.
  • Lemon herb grilled chicken nuggets: You can make lemon chicken nuggets with zest from lemon peel, dehydrated onion, and bright, fresh herbs. This type of chicken nugget is delicious with rice pilaf or assorted veggies! Make a tangy dressing of olive oil and lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), minced bell pepper, and herbs to pour over the chicken and vegetables.

You can also glaze the chicken nuggets or toss them with your preferred sauce to entirely coat them. Although it is messy to eat, it is so delicious!


  • Oil: Although I suggest olive oil, you can use another cooking oil like avocado oil, soybean oil, or vegetable oil. Do not use cooking spray to grease the grill grates. Oil is much better.
  • Salt: If you prefer, you can use sea salt instead of table salt.
  • Pepper: White pepper can be used instead of black pepper; just keep in mind they have a slightly different taste!
  • Herbs: Instead of dried thyme, feel free to use dried oregano, rosemary, parsley, or tarragon.

How To Make Grilled Chicken Nuggets

  1. As preparation, dry chicken with paper towels and cut it into nugget shapes (small pieces).
  2. Place chicken into a mixing bowl. Drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle the seasonings in. Toss to combine.
Seasoned boneless skinless chicken pieces.

3. Heat your gas or charcoal grill on high heat and brush with oil for easy grilling. If using a large skillet grill pan on the stove top, set it to high heat as well.

4. Add the chicken nuggets to the heated pan or grill in a single layer and cook them. Aim for a cooking time of 3 minutes for the first side, which gives the chicken nice grill marks and creates aromatic nuggets! Flip and cook another 3 minutes or so until both sides are done.

Cooked boneless skinless chicken nuggets.

5. Check the internal temperature of the chicken; it should read 165℉ on a meat thermometer.

6. Cover the grilled chicken for 5 minutes to redistribute the juices. Serve warm.

Close up shot of grilled chicken bites with grill marks.

Important Tips For The Best Grilled Chicken Nuggets

  • Store any leftovers from the chicken recipe in an airtight container. First, allow the grilled nuggets to cool. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, and you can also freeze them for longer storage. Try to vacuum seal them if possible.
  • Serving ideas: Enjoy this grilled nuggets recipe with yummy accompanying sauces like BBQ sauce, honey mustard, or even Polynesian sauce. I guarantee they will taste amazing no matter what your favorite dipping sauce is!
  • Try to cut the nuggets into pieces that are relatively the same size to promote even cooking!
  • If you plan on making a larger batch and you’re using an indoor grill pan, I suggest cooking them in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pan.
  • Remember to work cleanly and practice safe food handling with raw chicken. Keep utensils and tools separate for the raw vs cooked chicken, and ensure the nuggets reach 165℉ for safe consumption!


Serve these grilled nuggets with the following recipes:

More Easy Grilled Chicken Recipes

If you make this recipe please leave a star rating below. Your rating helps others find the recipe plus I love hearing from you! Thank you!

Chicken nuggets with grill marks.

Grilled Chicken Nuggets

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Create the perfect dinner or snack with these easy Grilled Chicken Nuggets. My inspiration for this recipe is one of my daughters, who doesn't like conventional chicken nuggets but prefers the grilled version. The seasoning is pretty easy, and you can nail this recipe in 15 minutes. Add some French fries and your favorite dipping sauce, and you have a winning meal for kids and adults alike.
Prep: 7 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts patted dry with paper towels and cut into nugget slices*
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil plus more for oiling grill grates**
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


  • Add the chicken to a large bowl. Drizzle on the olive olive and sprinkle on the salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, and paprika. Toss well to combine.
  • Heat the grill or grill pan on high heat and brush with oil. Add the chicken nuggets and cook for 3 minutes per side until the chicken registers an internal temperature of 165℉ on a meat thermometer.
  • Cover the grilled chicken with aluminum foil for 5 minutes to redistribute the juices. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.


*To cut chicken breasts into nugget slices, cut each breast horizontally in half, then slice each piece into 1-inch-wide slices. If you have smaller chicken breasts, slice them diagonally, then slice each piece in half.
** Brushing the grill grates or pan with oil before grilling is an important step that prevents the chicken from sticking to the grill.


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 375mg | Potassium: 306mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.04g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Western
Calories: 221
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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