Turning Chicken Nuggets into a Meal!

Chicken (Nugget) Parmesean 

With the current craziness going on in the world, my family—like I’m sure most of you—is trying to come up with ways to use our kitchen “staples” in new and interesting ways.  I don’t know about you, but in my home, frozen chicken nuggets are a staple; but I can only eat them the same way so many times before I feel like I have chicken nuggets coming out of my nose. 

In that spirit, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to “dress up” chicken nuggets into totally different meals!  To qualify for this list, the meal had to be (1) quick to make (who has time to slave over dinner these days) and (2) be made, at least primarily, from things I already had at home.  

Of note before moving on, I am hesitant to call anything in this post a “recipe” because I have mostly thrown these meals together, so there aren’t a lot of quantities.  If you decide to try any of these out, trust your own judgment and taste buds and I’m sure they’ll come out great!

Chicken (nugget) Parmesan
Ingredients:
  • Jar of your favorite red pasta sauce
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Cheese (Mozzarella and Parmesan, can add others like provolone).
  • Pasta noodles.

Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. Put thin layer of sauce in bottom of baking dish and cover with nuggets in a single layer.
  3. Cover with more sauce, then top with cheese; bake until cheese is melted; approx. 20 minutes.
  4. Cook your noodles according to package instructions and serve.


Fried Chicken (nugget) Salad
Ingredients:
  • Chicken nuggets, cooked
  • Mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • Mix-ins: see below

Steps:
  1. Roughly chop cooked chicken nuggets and mix with mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt, with tastes the same and is a little healthier).  At this point, you have very plain (but still delicious) chicken salad!
  2. From here, you can get creative with flavors.  These are some of our family’s favorites, but you should feel free to go crazy until you decide how you like it!
    1. Traditional: Finely chopped celery and onions, relish, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.
    2. Sweet and Fruity: mix in quartered grapes, golden raisins, diced apples, and slivered almonds or chopped pecans.
    3. CBR: Cheddar Cheese, Bacon Bits, Ranch Seasoning Mix (or you can use Ranch dressing, just decrease the mayo/yogurt), salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Chick-fil-a: Chopped Celery, Sweet Relish, Hard Boiled Egg (Borrowed from the Chick-fil-a webpage after they took chicken salad off their menu).


Homestyle Chicken Sliders
Ingredients:
  • Chicken nuggets, cooked
  • King’s Hawaiian Buns (or other small buns of your choice)
  • Toppings of your choice

Steps:
  1. Butter and toast buns in the oven
  2. Make sandwiches to your favorite taste.  Below are some of my favorite ways, but use your imagination and be inspired by your own fridge/pantry.
    1. Homestyle: Pickle and Mayonnaise
    2. BBQ: roughly chop nuggets and toss in your favorite BBQ sauce
    3. Cordon Bleu: ham and swiss cheese


Crustless Chicken Pot Pie– Instant Pot Recipe*
Note: this is the one that I would actually feel justified in calling a recipe; it’s a little more effort but oh so tasty!  This is also an instant pot recipe, but can be made on the stove as well, just reduce liquids and cook longer!

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium Onion, Chopped
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 T butter or oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1t Sage
  • 1t Thyme
  • 2 C Chicken Broth
  • 1 C White Wine (or another cup of broth)
  • 2 C Veggies: I get the frozen mix of peas, carrots, corn, and green beans, but it’s really more about what you like.
  • 1 Can cream corn
  • Chicken nuggets, quartered
  • ½ C heavy cream

Steps
  1. Sauté onions and garlic in butter/oil until translucent; add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add herbs (the ones listed above are what we use, but it’s really up to what you have and your family’s tastes), veggies, and chicken.  Add liquids and Cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes; quick release. (If cooking on stovetop, reduce liquids and cook over medium heat).
  3. Remove lid and set to high sauté.  Cook to thicken and reduce by 1/3.
  4. Add heavy cream, cook 2-3 minutes longer and serve.

Note: can be served alone as a soup or over basically any starch: noodles, rice, potatoes, cauliflower, etc.


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