Chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets (Photo by Tyson on Unsplash)

Chicken nuggets are a staple in the American diet. Kids love them, and parents secretly savor the remaining bites. Who created this delectable bite-sized piece of chicken with a crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior? It’s believed it was developed by a food science professor at Cornell University in the 1950s. McDonald’s popularized the chicken nugget on a massive scale with the McNugget, and as they say, the rest is history! If you go into any grocery store, the frozen food aisle is filled with dozens of brands. With such an overwhelming selection, choosing the best frozen chicken nuggets might seem daunting. That’s why we’ve streamlined the decision for you.

Chicken wasn’t always a mainstay in the human diet. According to a study, all this talk about chicken nuggets would have our ancestors turning in their graves. A team from the University of Exeter has discovered that Iron Age Europeans revered the humble bird, almost as a deity — rather than a delicacy. Today’s worship leans more towards the taste. Oops.

Since they are so popular now, picking the right frozen variety is a tricky task. The most delicious are defined by their tender and juicy interior encased in a perfectly crispy, golden-brown exterior. These nuggets should be made from high-quality chicken meat, free from excessive fillers and artificial additives. Additionally, they offer a versatile canvas for dipping sauces, making them a beloved snack or meal option that appeals to both kids and adults alike.

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, we’ve done the research to craft a list of the top five best frozen chicken nuggets based on 13 taste test reviews. We’d love to hear from you — share your favorites in the comments below!

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Someone holding a chicken nugget
Someone holding a chicken nugget (Photo by Fernando Andrade on Unsplash)

The Most Delicious Frozen Chicken Nuggets, According to Foodies

1. Yummy Dino Buddies Chicken Breast Nuggets

Yummy Dino Buddies Whole Grain Chicken Breast Nuggets
Yummy Dino Buddies Chicken Breast Nuggets

It’s hard to argue with nostalgia. Chefs interviewed by The Kitchn overwhelmingly chose The Yummy Dino as the best frozen chicken nugget because it brought them back to their childhood. It’s the nostalgia factor that makes these so irresistible. Plus, they are made with white meat.

Cheapism writer Wilder Shaw swears that these turn out perfect every time. They make a great comfort food, especially when paired with the dipping sauce of your choice. Shaw recommends a little ranch dressing mixed with Sriracha.

Sporked calls them iconic, and even thinks their whole-grain version is better than the original. Why? They tend to get crispier in the oven. It’s a win-win for flavor and nutrition!

2. Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Nuggets

Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Nuggets

If you want Chick-fil-A nuggets without having to visit Chick-fil-A, say hello to Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, according to the editors at Sporked. They are not your average nugget. These aren’t processed into unnatural shapes, they are simply pieces of chicken in a light breading, they write in their review. Insider agrees that the shape irregularity in these means they are more natural.

The editor at Eat This, Not That! says these nuggets taste the purest. They like the thin breading because it allows the natural chicken flavor to shine through in all its glory.

3. Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks

Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks
Just Bare Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks (justbarefoods.com)

For another Chick-fil-A nugget dupe, Eat This, Not That! says these are spot on. They are just the right amount of savory that other brands lack, they write in their review.

Imagine this: A golden crunchy exterior, a hot and steamy interior, and full-fledged chicken flavor, according to Cheapism. They recommend dipping in BBQ sauce for the ultimate flavor combination.

The Kitchn says these are a must from Costco and perfect for a quick meal. “The chicken chunks are naturally irregularly shaped, and most of them are a generous size, with just a few bits of breading-only bites at the bottom of the bag,” they add.

4. Trader Joe’s Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets

Trader Joe's Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets
Trader Joe’s Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets (traderjoes.com)

In his BuzzFeed taste test, Ross Yoder gave the Trader Joe’s nuggets a 10/10 and gave them the title of “Best Flavor.” He calls the “the most perfect chicken nuggets out there,” and commends their affordability.

Joe Skladaney at Today recommends making these in the air fryer over the oven. He also likes the varying sizes and garlic and onion powder flavor.

Sporked raves about the gluten-free version of these nuggets saying, “It’s rare that we find a gluten-free product that is as good as or better than the gluten-full option. That makes Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets a rare find. These are better than any other regular frozen chicken nuggets. They are so moist, the crust is perfectly crunchy, and they are well-seasoned. Not only are these the best gluten-free chicken nuggets, they’re the best-frozen chicken nuggets in general.”

5. Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
Applegate Naturals Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets

Mashed loves these nuggets especially because they are gluten, dairy, and casein-free. They commend the brand for raising the chickens with care, a vegetarian diet, extra space, and without antibiotics. Plus, the breading is delicious even though it is gluten-free.

These provide a nutritious option for people with various food allergies and intolerances. Influenster calls them “the best chicken nuggets I’ve ever tasted!” They describe them as perfectly seasoned, soft and tender chicken. Plus, the 14-minute cook time makes for a quick and easy bite.

“If you’re not a fan of dark tan breading and enjoy a smaller, poppable treat, it may be time to give Applegate a try,” suggests Insider reviewers.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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