Zucchini Parmesan Crusted Chicken Nuggets
Come on. You guys had to know this was coming.
Okay, maybe you did not know these chicken nuggets were coming.
But you had to have known I was gonna be throwing a few zucchini recipes at you. Remember that giant zucchini I was telling you guys about on Saturday? Yeah, well I have been working my way through that thing for what feel like two weeks…….
Seriously, it will not end. I still have a hunk left after baking those nutella muffins, these chicken nuggets, another dish you have yet to see and countless other things that are just not worth noting. Which means they were sub par or highly boring.
Basically, this idea came out of desperately needing something else to put zucchini in, or I guess in this case on.
Someone asked me for chicken nuggets and well, the stupid zucchini was just sitting there on the counter, still like a foot long and well… this is the result. But don’t tell anyone in my family that. The boys would freak if they knew they ate zucchini and not the cilantro I told them the green stuff was.
Oh and cilantro is the ONLY green thing the boys will eat and it is solely because Chipotle adds cilantro to their rice. Cilantro + Chipotle = cool. Zucchini + Tieghan = not cool. So don’t tell them – k!
I am actually not a hundred percent sure they bought it, but surprisingly they just went with it.
I think it helped that I ended up covering their portion in buffalo sauce to help disguise the “green things”. It worked, I was happy, they were happy and we’re all good.
That’s a miracle.
So even though they are covered in shredded zucchini they are totally kid friendly.
Trust me, if I got my family to eat them, you can get yours to. Plus, I have never met a kid who turned down chicken nuggets. Never.
These are also crazy easy to make. Cover the cubed chicken in butter milk and then just shred the zucchini and squeeze out the liquid with a paper towel. Mix the shredded zucchini with some crushed corn flakes, cornmeal, a few seasonings, salt and pepper. Then dredge and bake.
The zucchini gets all nice and crunchy, almost chip-like and it blends in really well with the crushed corn flakes and parmesan. The parmesan is must! It’s so good.
Oh and I also made some Spicy Sriracha Basil Ketchup that is probably not kid friendly, but so good for the adults! I love the kick from the Sriracha and the sweetness of the ketchup-basil flavor. It just works really well!
Skinny Zucchini Parmesan Chicken Nuggets
- 1 pound boneless chicken tenderloins cut into nugget-sized pieces
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup finely grated zucchini squeezed dry with a paper towel
- 2 cups cornflakes finely crushed
- 1/4 cup cornmeal or whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Spicy Sriracha Basil Ketchup:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- To make the Spicy Sriracha Basil Ketchup, add the ketchup and Sriracha to a small sauce pot. Heat over medium heat until just under boiling. Remove from heat and immediately stir in the fresh basil. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush it with the olive oil.
- Add the chicken to a large bowl and pour the buttermilk overtop. Mix well and set aside.
- Grate the zucchini and squeeze out the liquid using a paper towel or dish towel.
- In a shallow pie dish or large bowl add the grated zucchini, crushed cornflakes, cornmeal or whole wheat four, parmesan cheese, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk, and dredge through the crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken has been used. Make sure not to crowd your pan, if necessary use two baking sheets. Spray each chicken nugget with non-stick spray or a mist of olive oil.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with the Spicy Sriracha Basil Ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce.
Sometimes kid food kind of rules.