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Forget the drive-thru: A healthier, tastier chicken nugget at home

By Hilary Meyer, September 20, 2010 - 11:43am

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Forget the drive-thru: A healthier, tastier chicken nugget at home

My husband, Russ (who incidentally is a doctor), loves McDonald’s chicken nuggets. He doesn’t hit the drive-thru very often, but when he does, he always gets them.

Related: Healthy Food to Satisfy Your Junk-Food Cravings

I never really considered what ingredients might be in those crispy little morsels. There should be chicken. Maybe some flour, a little seasoning and the oil to fry them in. Right? Wrong.

The chicken nuggets that my sweet husband cherishes can have upwards of 25 ingredients. 25! Yikes. Even though some of the ingredients aren’t that alarming (like water, canola oil and wheat starch), the mere principle that something seemingly so simple is crammed with so much stuff is off-putting, to stay the least. So next time he gets a craving, I’ll be swiping his keys and making him healthier, tastier chicken tenders at home.

Related:
Healthier Recipes for Chicken Nuggets and Chicken Tenders at Home
Cheap & Easy Chicken Recipes

In the EatingWell Test Kitchen, we’ve developed some pretty darn good substitutes for the classic chicken nugget (see one of my favorite recipes below). They’re all a little different, but the method is basically the same for all of them. We start with chicken tenders, coat them with a breading mixture and oven-fry them so they have less fat but still get that crispy crust like the Chicken McNuggets that Russ is so fond of. The recipes are quick, easy and kids love them too.

Related:
Healthy Kids Dinner Recipes
Quick Chicken Recipes

This recipe for BBQ Chicken Tenders is a better alternative to the drive-thru Chicken McNuggets. Compared to a 6-piece order of Chicken McNuggets, you’ll save 127 calories, 15 grams of fat, 441 mg sodium (and they have 15 fewer ingredients too!).

Get the Recipe: BBQ Chicken Tenders

What drive-thru favorite would you like to make at home? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Family meals, Recipe Makeover

Hilary Meyer
EatingWell Associate Food Editor Hilary Meyer spends much of her time in the EatingWell Test Kitchen, testing and developing healthy recipes. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What drive-thru favorite would you like to make at home?

Tell us what you think:

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