Let me be the bearer of good news: it is entirely possible to make great buffalo chicken at home. These baked buffalo chicken nuggets have all the bells and whistles of the traditional fried version—crispy breading, spicy sauce, and cool, creamy blue cheese dressing—for a fraction of the calories and fat (418 calories or 6 Weight Watchers points). Here’s how to make them yourself:
Healthier Baked Buffalo Chicken
7 simple ingredients:
Boneless skinless chicken breast
Light blue cheese dressing
Cut the chicken into 1 ½-inch pieces and season them with salt and pepper. Set up three shallow bowls with your breading ingredients: the first bowl with flour, the second with the eggs (lightly beaten), and the third with the seasoned breadcrumbs. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, arrange them on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. A note about breadcrumbs: we want to create a thin but *even* breading on the chicken nuggets, so it’s better to use traditional breadcrumbs (with a fine texture) over panko since the coarser texture of panko tends to leave gaps in the coating.
Then it’s time to dunk them in the hot sauce. I recommend Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce. It’s hot without reaching burn-your-mouth levels and has just the right balance of tang and spice. It also happens to be the sauce that was used on the original Buffalo wings in 1964.
Serve your baked buffalo chicken nuggets with creamy blue cheese dressing (Ken’s Steakhouse makes the best light blue cheese I’ve tried) and celery sticks.
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk or almond milk (or water)
⅓ cup white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
⅓-½ cup hot sauce
½ cup light blue cheese dressing, for serving (I like Ken’s)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and milk (just enough to break up the eggs and incorporate the milk). Place the flour in a second shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl, and the hot sauce in a fourth shallow bowl. Set the first three bowls in a row: the flour, the beaten eggs, and the breadcrumbs. Set the hot sauce aside for after baking.
Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge the piece first in the flour, turning to coat and shaking off the excess (you only need a light dusting), then dunk into the beaten eggs, and finally into the breadcrumbs, pressing and turning to help the breadcrumbs stick to all sides of the chicken. Place it on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
Spray the breaded chicken nuggets well with cooking spray (this will help them brown and crisp). Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the nuggets are golden brown, crispy, and firm to the touch. Let them cool for 5 minutes.
Using a spoon or tongs, toss each nugget into the bowl of hot sauce and set the nugget on a plate. Repeat with all of the nuggets. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks, if desired.
Nutrition Information & Notes:
1 serving (5-6 nuggets with 2 tablespoons of dressing): 6 WW Freestyle points