Copycat McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Recipe | (2024)

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Why take a trip to the golden arches when you can make the nuggets at home? This copycat recipe gets you perfect nuggets every time, fried to just the right golden brown that you remember.

Copycat McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Recipe | (1)


ready in:

1-2 hrs

9 reviews
1 comment


1 egg
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon MSG (Accent)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
4 chicken breast fillets, each cut into 6-7 bite sized pieces
vegetable oil, for frying


Place the egg in a shallow bowl and beat it well. Stir in the water until blended.

In a plastic zip-top bag, combine the flour, salt, onion, powder, MSG, black pepper, and garlic powder. Shake to mix the ingredients.

Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and pound to an even thickness (about 1/4-inch thick) with a meat mallet. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and trim off any excess skin or fat.

Add the chicken pieces to the flour mixture and shake well to coat then shake off any excess flour. Remove the chicken to a paper towel.

When all the chicken pieces are coated in flour, individually dip them in the egg mixture to coat then let excess egg drip off them. Place them back in the bag with the flour. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

Shake the bag well to coat the chicken then place the bag - chicken and flour included - in the freezer for an hour. Place the egg mixture in the refrigerator, covered, while the chicken is chilling.

After the chicken has chilled, repeat the egg/flour process again to double coat them.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet or deep fryer to 375 degrees F. When the chicken is ready, add the McNuggets to the oil in small batches (do not crowd the pieces) and deep fry until brown and crispy.

Remove the McNuggets from the oil and drain on brown paper bags (do not use paper towels or they will make them soggy). Repeat with remaining chicken pieces letting the oil come back up to temperature between batches if necessary.

Serve the McNuggets with honey mustard, barbecue sauce, ranch, buffalo, hot mustard, or other dipping sauce.e.

recipe tips

Make sure the oil is at the correct temperature before frying to prevent soggy or oily nuggets.

Season the flour mixture generously for a flavorful coating.

Do not overcrowd the frying pan or deep fryer for even cooking and crispy results.

For extra flavor, marinate the chicken in buttermilk or pickle juice before coating and frying.

Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked through without overcooking.

Serve with a variety of dipping sauces.

Double coating the nuggets creates a thicker, crispier crust.

For a spicier version, add cayenne pepper or paprika to the flour mixture.

common recipe questions

What is the purpose of pounding the chicken breasts?

Pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness helps them cook evenly and keeps the nuggets tender and juicy.

Can I use a different type of oil for frying?

Yes, you can use any neutral oil with a high smoke point for frying, such as peanut or canola oil.

What is MSG and can I omit it?

MSG is a flavor enhancer that adds umami to the nuggets. You can omit it if desired, but it may affect the overall flavor.

How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

You can use gluten-free flour and make sure that all the other ingredients, including the seasonings, are gluten-free as well.

Can I bake the McNuggets instead of frying?

While baking is a healthier option, the texture may not be as crispy as frying. To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake the nuggets on a greased baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

How do I know when the McNuggets are cooked through?

The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165 degrees F when properly cooked. Alternatively, cut into a nugget to ensure there is no pink and the juices run clear.

How long can I store leftovers?

You can store the leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The coating will start to become soggy over time so they are best eaten fresh.

How can I reheat leftover McNuggets?

To reheat, place them on a baking sheet in a 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through. You can also use an air fryer for a crispier finish.

Can I freeze the McNuggets before frying?

You can freeze the coated nuggets on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. Fry from frozen, adding a few extra minutes cooking time.

Are the McNuggets suitable for kids?

Adults and kids alike enjoy these McNuggets. You can customize the seasonings to taste.

Why chill the chicken and egg mixture before frying?

Chilling helps the flour adhere better to the chicken, creating a crispier coating when fried.

nutrition data

355 calories, 13 grams fat, 25 grams carbohydrates, 32 grams protein per serving.

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reviews & comments

  1. recipefun REVIEW:
    January 16, 2021

    Are these exactly like McDonald's? Of course not. They have commercial equipment that makes their oddly addicting nuggies. Are these close? Yep. Best you can do with REAL ingredients (well, aside from the MSG).

  2. Roni REVIEW:
    August 30, 2020

    My family and I love this recipe. More nuggets in our lives!!

  3. Jo REVIEW:
    August 29, 2020

    McNuggets are celery flavored. These didn't taste like them. But they weren't bad

  4. Maddie REVIEW:
    July 14, 2020

    They were good but tasted nothing like the real ones. I’ll still make them they are amazing but still get the McDonald’s ones. Thanks for the recipe. Hi

  5. Guest Foodie REVIEW:
    January 25, 2020

    it was ok

  6. Rougue REVIEW:
    January 21, 2020

    Great recipe, however tastes nothing like McDonald's Chicken McNuggets. According to my husband this tastes almost exactly like Popeye's Chicken recipe.

  7. I know the secret ingredient REVIEW:
    December 10, 2019

    McDonald's nuggets have a hint of celery in them. Next time you get some break it open and smell it and you will notice it. These are still really good nuggets but I did leave out the MSG.

  8. Dee REVIEW:
    January 20, 2019

    They are delicious but tasted nothing like the mcnuggets. Only reason i gave 4 stars is for taste and I found I needed more flour mixture.

  9. GiselleDM REVIEW:
    July 16, 2018

    These were BETTER than those nasty chicken mcnuggets which have texture like they are made from fake chicken. I think the flavor was very much like the fake ones but the texture is like real food (the way it should be). For the flavor, the MSG is crucial (unfortunately). If you skip the MSG I could see why someone wouldn't think they tasted like the original.

  10. Craig January 9, 2018

    These were good chicken nuggets, however they tasted nothing like McDonald's chicken nuggets.


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