Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard

Before I begin telling you about this recipe I must give you 3 DOs and 3 DON’TS I learned while making these healthy little nuggets.


DO try making these chicken nuggets for your kids. Yes they have spinach in them, but you really can’t tell.

DON’T try serving them without some kind of sauce, whether it’s the honey mustard recipe below, ketchup (I recommend Hunt’s because there is no high-fructose corn syrup), or barbecue sauce (I recommend Bullseye for the same reason). They taste a lot better with sauce, which my husband said, “Of course they do, who eats chicken nuggets without sauce?” Good point.


DO use freshly grated Parmesan if you have some to grate on hand.

DON’T cut your thumb with the microplane grater while looking to see where the camera is pointing.


DO use a band-aid to cover your wound if you do cut yourself.

DON’T keep only Sesame Street band-aids in your house, because they just don’t cut it. I have gone through 2 already and now have two wrapped around so they will stay…bad news tennis shoes.

Now. On to that recipe.

I have had this cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, for quite some time now and have only made one or two things from it–mainly because I never have quite all the ingredients around. Basically the idea behind the cookbook is to stick healthy fruits/veggies into things that kids/picky husbands would normally eat without them knowing they are there. Sneaky, I know.

So I tried this tonight, adapting a recipe for chicken nuggets with spinach slightly and baking them instead of frying. Frying is a lot more work and mess to me. Honestly, I couldn’t taste the spinach. I think for kids they would be great.

Owen thought so too.

I used chopped spinach and then ran it through the food processor after thawing and draining it. I think that step could probably be eliminated, though, making these even easier. It is not a difficult recipe, but it is a little messy. Justin said, however, that the clean up wasn’t that bad. From start to finish it (from thawing the chicken in the microwave to putting the food on the table) it took less than an hour.

Overall, I think they would be great for kids. Personally, I would prefer something with more flavor…but, I’m not a kid, or at least my palette isn’t 🙂 so I poured on the honey mustard!

Healthy Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Adapted from Deceptively Delicious and America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into strips or nuggets all similar in size
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed, and drained
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons flax-seed meal
  • 1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Cooking spray

1. SET UP AND COMBINE INGREDIENTS. Move oven rack to middle rack and preheat oven to 475 degrees. Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Whisk together flour and salt in shallow dish one. In shallow dish two, whisk together spinach, mustard and egg. In shallow dish three, whisk together breadcrumbs, flax-seed meal, Parmesan, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder.

2. COAT, DREDGE, AND ROLL Coat each chicken nugget with flour, dredge in spinach-egg mixture, roll in breadcrumb mixture and place on prepared rack, evenly spaced. Once all chicken is on the rack, spray the top of the chicken lightly with cooking spray.

3. BAKE AND SERVE Bake chicken nuggets for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Serve warm with honey mustard or other condiment of choice.

Honey Mustard Sauce

  • 1 Part Honey
  • 1 Part Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

Whisk honey and mustard together. Salt and pepper to taste. For a sweeter taste, use more honey. For a spicier taste, use more mustard. Complicated ingredients for Honey Mustard, I know.