Popcorn Chicken

  • Servings : 4
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 35m

It’s pretty hard to resist something called popcorn chicken. But when that something is also not too bad for you it’s kinda win, win.  Harry and I love the Chicken and Broccoli Quinoa Nuggets so I thought it might be nice to try something different. These are so moreish, poor Harry had Nanny and I picking them off his plate like vultures.

With only 1 tablespoon of butter per 500g of chicken, and baked not fried, these are a must try. You can get the kids involved too, they will love shaking the chicken pieces in the bag. I often serve them take-away style with some homemade baked vegetable chips and salad.

Nutrition Note: Cooking your own “takeaway” style meals at home helps keep the fat, salt and your budget under control.

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  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup multigrain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 500g chicken breast, diced into small nuggets.


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. -

Step 2

Melt the butter, pour over the chicken pieces and toss to coat. -

Step 3

Combine the herbs and breadcrumbs in a large snap-lock bag. -

Step 4

Place the chicken pieces in the bag, shut the bag and shake to completely coat the chicken. -

Step 5

Place the crumbed chicken pieces evenly spaced on the baking tray and place in the oven. Bake for around 15- 20 minutes or until they are golden and the chicken is cooked through. -

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Barbara Foster on June 15, 2013

    This was really tasty and very quick and easy. I used more butter and breadcrumbs and next time will add a little dry Chilli to give more bite (for adults). I will definitely cook it again. I give it a 4. Thank you.

    • posted by Allie on June 17, 2013

      Thanks for your feedback Barbara. I think chilli for the adults would be delicious, great idea. Ax

  2. posted by Leila on June 22, 2013

    Unfortunately my toddler refused to eat these, they ended up a bit bland. Maybe I’ll try using fresh thyme & parsley next time

    • posted by Allie on June 22, 2013

      That’s a shame Leila. You can definitely add other herbs and spices that your little one might like to boost flavour. Ax

  3. posted by Nic on August 11, 2013

    My almost mr 3 didn’t want to try these, but miss 18 month old and hubby and I thought they were yummy.

  4. posted by Gavin And Danielle Cook on December 28, 2013

    What sort of dipping sauce could you use ?

  5. posted by jess on January 7, 2014

    Im going to try these for my 11mnth old. But want to replace the paprika for something else. Any ideas?

    • posted by Allie on January 12, 2014

      Hi Jess. You could just leave it out – the other herbs should be enough flavour? 🙂 Ax

  6. posted by Karla on July 20, 2014

    Would these be okay to freeze? & then heat in microwave when needed? They look so good & I would love to make them for my 11month old but when I work ’til 6pm I need something I can prepare for him in a few minutes. He’s getting sick of the usual chicken & vegies lol
    Thank you 🙂

    • posted by Allie on August 1, 2014

      These are best baked fresh because they are crispy on the outside and moist in the middle. Could you freeze in individual portions raw, defrost in the fridge during the day and pan fry in 5 minutes or pop in the oven for his dinner?

  7. posted by Sacha on July 20, 2014

    My son is allergic to dairy, have you tried any alternatives to butter? Does the coating still stick when using vegetable oils?

    • posted by Allie on August 1, 2014

      Hi Sacha, I think these would be fine with coconut or rice bran or other oil. Let us know how you go. Ax

  8. posted by Shannon on July 20, 2014

    Thank you, my 13 month old won’t eat anything and these were a huge hit.

  9. posted by hayley on July 24, 2014

    Hi, I’m making these now. Just wondering if they can be frozen ?

    • posted by Allie on July 24, 2014

      Yes they can be! Best flash frozen raw as they may get a little tough twice cooked. Ax

  10. posted by hayley on July 24, 2014

    Hi, I’m making these now. Just wondering if they can be frozen?

  11. posted by bek on January 20, 2015

    My 21 month old went nuts for these, a real hit! I used half the amount of chicken but the same amount of herbs, breadcrumbs (and fresh chopped parsley and dried oregano instead of thyme as it’s what I had in the house)… hubby couldn’t keep his hands off them either, WINNER!

  12. posted by Steph on March 6, 2015

    I have one twin allergic to egg, any suggestions of what I could use to dunk chicken in before the herbs?

    • posted by Ange on March 23, 2016

      There’s no egg needed. You use the butter instead. This would be a great recipe for an egg allergy 😉

  13. posted by Caroline on November 12, 2015

    Could you make these with balls of chicken mince instead?

  14. posted by Paula on February 4, 2016

    I would marinate the chicken in some buttermilk and hot sauce before coating. Give them some more flavour. Even my pickiest eater eats them this way.

    • posted by Ange on March 23, 2016

      Oh! Great idea’ I’m gonna try marinating in Nandos sauce! Yum!

  15. posted by Yana on March 23, 2016

    Love this idea! Thank you!

  16. posted by Bec on July 11, 2016

    I make these almost weekly but I use the small chicken nibblets and add a heaped teaspoon of All Purpose Seasoning to make it a bit tastier for my husband. He and my 4 year old love them. Hopefully bub loves them too once he starts eating finger food. I trialled a few different cuts of chicken and found the nibblets to be perfect. Drumsticks were too big and the flavour was a bit lost and the breast ended up too dry. I introduced the recipe to some of my colleagues and now it’s a weekly staple for them too.

  17. posted by Danielle on July 26, 2016

    My 2 year old loved these. I made a spicy dipping sauce to go with the portion my husband and I ate and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

  18. posted by Katie on August 10, 2016

    Just made these for lunch, my 15 month old loved them, so did I! Had all the ingredients already in my pantry and used chicken thighs rather than breast. Great find!!

  19. posted by Michelle on April 23, 2021

    My 19mo never liked any type of meat, so when I made this I was ready for his rejections. But he gobbled the whole thing up and asked for more! The chicken was tender and easy to chew for a teething toddler. I added homemade tomato sauce on the side. Definitely saving this recipe for quick and easy lunch/dinner. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! X

  20. posted by Ana on December 18, 2021

    Wonderful recipe! I changed the herbs in it a bit, but kept the butter! A new favorite in our house!


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