These homemade Chicken Nuggets (with sweet potato!) are an easy toddler dinner that parents will enjoy too. They’re packed with nutrition and have a veggie right in the mix for an extra healthy punch!
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
I know that many kids love chicken nuggets, and they are a great option for easy meals that are filled with nutrients including protein. And this homemade version also has sweet potato, for more flavor and nutritions.
If you start with ground chicken, rather than breast or thigh meat, you can get right to the mixing and shaping the nuggets, without any grinding or chopping of meat required.
It’s such an easy method to make a favorite toddler chicken recipe.
Since the last thing you need is a fussy recipe that requires frying or standing by the stove, this homemade chicken nugget recipe is simply baked in the oven. I like to bake my chicken nuggets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet so the clean up is easy too.
We like these for dinner with a simple veggie and carbohydrate like rice or pasta. My kids like these most when dipped in ketchup. (We’ve also sometimes put them into tacos!)
TIP: You can even reheat fully cooked leftovers to crispy goodness in just 6-8 minutes.
Ingredients You Need
The beauty of this recipe is that it only has a few simple ingredients including:
- Ground chicken
- Sweet potato: You’ll want to use fully cooked homemade mashed sweet potato or canned or jarred sweet potato puree.
- Breadcrumbs: Plain or Italian-flavored both work, so use the one you prefer.
- Onion powder: This is optional for additional flavor.
- Gluten-free: To make these healthy chicken nuggets gluten-free, try these gluten-free breadcrumbs from Ian’s.
- This recipe is egg-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and can be easily made gluten-free, so it’s great dinner option for kids with food allergies.
- You can use panko or regular style breadcrumbs.
- You could use Mashed Butternut Squash in place of the sweet potato if that’s what you have on hand.
Here’s how to make this recipe so you know what to expect:
- Cook your sweet potato ahead of time. You can do this a few days a ahead and store it in an airtight container or the morning you plan to make these.
- Mash the cooled potato.
- Add the potato to a bowl with the ground chicken and salt. Add onion powder if you’d like.
- Form into small balls, flatten slightly, and coat in breadcrumbs.
- Place onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake.
TIP: The batter is slightly sticky, so you’ll want to wash your hands well once you have the nuggets formed!
How do I cook sweet potato for these homemade chicken nuggets?
For the sweet potato, which adds moisture as well as vitamin A and fiber, you can either roast ahead of time, steam cubes, or use the crock pot.
- To cook it quickly in the microwave: Simply peel, cube, and place it into a bowl covered with water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.
- To roast the sweet potato: Poke the potato with a knife, place onto a foil-lined baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees F or until soft.
- To prepare the sweet potato in the crock pot: Follow this easy recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use plain breadcrumbs or panko style, depending on what you have and what flavor you prefer. Panko style, which are slightly bigger pieces than traditional breadcrumbs, tend to be a little crispier—which is great for older kiddos.
Younger toddlers and babies may be able to handle the texture of regular breadcrumbs better at first.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat for 6-8 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees F or for about 15-30 seconds in the microwave.
(They will crisp up in the oven and be soft when reheated in the microwave.)
You can really pair this chicken and sweet potato recipe with anything you and your toddlers like, though we tend to keep it simple with a side of rice and veggies, or rolls and fruit.
Feel free to keep it super basic and just balance it with other food groups—since the nuggets cover protein, so you can add dairy, carbohydrates and produce to round things out.
How to Store and Reheat
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days. Reheat for 6-8 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees F or for about 15-30 seconds in the microwave.
Best Tips for Success
I’d love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe, so please comment below to share!
This post was first published March 2018.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato
You can double this recipe to feed a family of 4-6. Or make this smaller batch and serve to your toddler throughout the week. Try serving these with ketchup, ranch, or marinara sauce.
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup mashed sweet potato (or fully cooked and cubed sweet potato)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp onion powder (optional)
- 1/4 cup regular or panko style breadcrumbs (plain or Italian-flavored)
Mash together the chicken, sweet potato, salt, and onion powder in a medium bowl with a potato masher or a large fork.
Form into 1-tablespoon size balls and roll in breadcrumbs.
Flatten and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 22-24 minutes at 375 F or until golden brown on the bottom and cooked through.
Remove from oven, let cool for a minute or two and serve warm.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat for 6-8 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees F or for about 15-30 seconds in the microwave. (They will crisp up in the oven and be soft when reheated in the microwave.)
- *To roast a medium sweet potato, wash and poke with a paring knife. (The holes will let steam escape.) Place on a foil lined baking sheet or pan and bake for 45-60 minutes at 400 degrees F. Remove from oven, let cool, and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- *To steam a medium sweet potato, remove the skin with a vegetable peeler and dice the flesh. Place into a steamer basket in a pot filled with a few inches of water. Cover, bring water to a simmer, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until sweet potato is soft. Let cool before storing or using.
- Use traditional breadcrumbs or panko-style. Panko will make the exterior a little crunchier.
- Use gluten-free breadcrumbs if needed.
- Plan to prepare the sweet potato ahead of time so it has a chance to cool.
- You can omit the salt if making these for a baby.
Calories: 82kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 7gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 159mgPotassium: 244mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1572IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg