McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Recipe


Just like the Big Mac, their fries and the Happy Meal are some of the most iconic McDonald’s menu items, so too does the Chicken McNugget fall into this hall of fame. We’re so happy to bring you this McDonald’s chicken nuggets recipe.

They have been around since the late 70s and the recipe has been tried, tested and changed over the years. No matter what changes they made, their nuggets always stayed delicious. They are crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They have the perfect amount of salt and are fried for the perfect amount of time.

mcdonalds nuggets
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Generally, they are sold in packs of 4, 6, 10 or 20. As easy as it is to get them via drive-thru, I have other problems when trying to obtain these.

I don’t always have the will power to get into my car and drive to McDonald’s. Even worse is when I get there and they’re out. I also hate it when I finally get home and devour my 10 nuggets in seconds and then still crave more. And buying a hundred packs to freeze will cost a pretty penny.

So in order to not have these problems anymore, I need to make them at home. And you would be surprised as to how easy they are. Sure, it takes a bit of work, but if you are making a big batch to freeze, it is worth it! All you do then is throw a couple in the fryer and enjoy it when they come out.

How To Make McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets

Add your chicken, salt and one egg in a food processor. Blend until the mixture looks like a paste.

Place the corn starch in a bowl. With wet hands, shape a handful of the mixture into a nugget. Dip the nuggets into the corn starch and place it on a lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine the water, one egg, mustard, spices and flour. Place the nuggets in the batter and place back onto the baking sheet.

Place the sheet in the freezer and allow them to freeze for 1 hour.

Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry the first batch for 5 minutes. Allow the nuggets to drain on paper towel and deep fry again for 5 minutes. This helps the chicken cook through without burning it.

Serve the nuggets with a sauce of your choice.

McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets Recipe

4 from 2599 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Freezing Time



These copycat McDonalds Chicken Nuggets are so similar to those at their restaurants that you would think it’s the real thing. They are delicious and the perfect hunger-buster!


  • 3 chicken fillets, boneless, skin removed and diced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 2 large 2 eggs

  • 1 ½ cups corn starch, divided

  • 1 cup 1 water

  • 1 tablespoon 1 onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon 1 garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons 2 yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon 1 ground black pepper

  • 1 cup 1 all-purpose flour


  • Place the chicken in a food processor with the salt and one egg. Blend until it forms a paste-like consistency.
  • In a shallow bowl or container, place the corn starch. Using wet hands, take a handful of blended chicken and shape into a nugget. Cover the nugget with corn starch, shake off the excess and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Finish shaping and coating the nuggets before moving on to the next step.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the water, one egg, mustard, garlic and onion powder, ground pepper and all-purpose flour. You should have a thick but runny batter. Place one nugget at a time in the batter and place it back onto the lined baking sheet.
  • Place the tray in the freezer and allow them to freeze for 1 hour.
  • Heat your oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Deep fry the first batch for 5 minutes. Allow the chicken nuggets to drain on paper towel for 3-4 minutes. Deep fry the same batch again for 5 minutes. This ensures that the chicken cooks all the way through without getting too dark.
  • Serve these nuggets warm with any dipping sauce.


  • If it is hot outside and you want to make a big batch of chicken nuggets, place each filled baking sheet in the fridge as chicken that stands outside for hours can become hazardous.

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Tips & Tricks

  • If you want to pre-make these nuggets, after freezing them, place them in airtight containers or zip-lock bags and place back into the freezer. These nuggets will last between 1-2 months. When you are craving nuggets, simply allow them to slightly defrost, about 5 minutes, before deep-frying them as per recipe instructions.
  • The size and amount of items being fried, the consistency of the oils’ temperature and the consistency of the heat sources’ temperature are all factors that heavily influence the cooking time. That is why it is important to make sure your oil is the correct temperature and check if the chicken is cooked all the way through. The nugget should not be any shade of pink on the inside. You can test one nugget in every second batch that you fry.
  • Probably the best trick to this recipe is that you can cook these nuggets in an air-fryer. This amazing piece of technology allows you to fry your food without using any oils, meaning your food is much healthier. Not everyone has an air-fryer, but I would definitely recommend investing in one. Fry the nuggets the same way you would in oil.


This recipe is so close to the real thing, that no one would have guessed that you made it yourself. It takes some time but it’s worth it as this homemade copycat recipe is always better than store-bought options.

Dipping sauces are obviously the best accompaniment, but you don’t have to use the traditional options of ketchup, BBQ or szechuan sauce. Experiment as there are tons of delicious sauces out there waiting to be dipped.

They are crispy, soft, tender and juicy; what more could you ask of a piece of chicken? Oh wait, you could accompany this with their apple pies.


  1. Debbie Welchert

    These sound so wonderful. I know my grandchildren would love them.

  2. Gina Ferrell

    My daughter would love this recipe!



  4. Monica McCarthy

    My son would love them!

  5. Megan Wilson


  6. Jennylyn Gross

    sounds yummy and easy!

  7. Letisha Williams

    I’m definitely trying this recipe

  8. This sounds amazing. I can’t wait to try it

  9. Tom Bellamy

    Very delicious!

  10. Debra Luecke

    Much Better than McD’s

  11. Onyinye Elochukwu

    My son would love this

  12. Susan Ladd

    Looks Easy

  13. Beverly Metcalf

    These look yummy!

  14. Michele Childress

    This recipe sounds good! It would be great for meal prepping.

  15. I will definitely be trying this recipe for my grandchildren.

  16. Theresa Jenkins

    I’m giving this recipe a 5…now I need to make it

  17. kathy pease

    They look way better than McDonalds

  18. Sandy Klocinski

    These sound so awesome! I will surely try it.

    • David Miller

      Made these tonight. A couple words of caution.
      1. Don’t make them too big. I used a full spoon for mine. Before I cooked them they were about the right size, afterwards they were HUGE!
      2. Dunking them is the batter is a royal pain.
      The flavor was spot on, just made mine too big.

  19. Susan Marina Brown Lane

    All of my kids Love these!

  20. Can you cook them in an air fryer instead of oil? If so how long for?

    • Laura Ritterman

      Absolutely, great thing about the air fryer is I find they turn out really tender & juicy. About 6-7 minutes is all you’ll need in the air fryer and they’ll become crispy quickly. I’d recommend pre-heating the airfryer first for 8-10 minutes.

  21. Are chicken fillets the same as boneless, skinless, chicken breasts or are they just thin cutlets or scaloppines?

  22. Lorelei Rogers

    I am not a fan of white meat, but grind it up into chicken nuggets and voila!!! These are fantastic!

  23. Could this be done in the oven or would it come out weird?

  24. Rina Bensoussan

    Do you think it would work the same with bought minced chicken as opposed to blending the breast myself?

  25. Hi I am planning to make this for the kids tomorrow, and I just went out and bought mustard, got home and then though is she talking about English Mustard ? or that Yellow squeezy American mustard (the stuff you put on hotdogs ? 🙂 which I am not sure is real mustard 🙂 = many thanks for reply 🙂

  26. Made these for my granddaughter and they turned out so good. I used an air fryer for mine.

  27. Courtney McMillan

    The cornstarch gives the breading a KFC crispy when you fry them. I noticed when they were baked it came out exactly like McD’s… But better!!

  28. These were fantastic! The only thing I did different was use pre-ground chicken. I will definitely be making these again, in a larger batch to freeze some!

  29. This recipe looks great, and I can’t wait to try it. What kind of oil is best for these?

  30. Patricia K Walker

    By golly these are chicken McNuggets! As the author states, they are a little tedious to make the first time. Next time I’ll know what I’m doing. Husband wants me to use this batter for other fried food. He loved it so much.

  31. Mrs.Wiegand

    I have a gluten allergy so I used an all purpose gluten free flour instead but these came out AMAZING! I didn’t fry them twice, I fried it once and put it in the oven at 385 for 8 mins but I will definitely be making this again. They tasted just like McDonalds nuggets

    • Laura Ritterman

      Thank you so much for the comment. Really good to hear the recipe worked out well for you and proving they can turn out well when you change up the recipe slightly.

  32. Brittany Thatcher

    I am making these for my daughter this weekend. Trying to break unhealthy habits as McDonald’s chicken nuggets, fries and a Dr. pepper is her absolute favorite meal. I will be trying the air fryer method. Can’t wait to follow up.

  33. Excellent recipe they turned out great! One thing I did differently, though, was to split up the freezing time. After shaping and coating the nuggets in corn starch (I suggest making them a little smaller than you think they should be) lay them out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. This way they’ll be partially frozen when you dip them in the batter and it makes the job much easier and less messy. After coating each nugget in the batter return them to their spot on the parchment lined cookie sheet, cover once more with plastic wrap, and put them back in the freezer for the remaining 30-40 minutes before cooking. I also found that, so long as I’m deep frying them in batches of 6 (and they aren’t more than a 1/4″ thick) I don’t need to fry them twice, they get perfectly done by just putting them in oil and setting a 5 minute timer.

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