Best Frozen Chicken Nuggets: Our Updated Ranking!

Ideally, the best frozen chicken nuggets taste like what you would get from a fast food drive-thru. They remind you of childhood. They’re quick and easy to cook. Frozen chicken nuggets prepared at home should be a treat in every way.

I have eaten approximately 500,000 chicken nuggets in my life, but before the first round of this taste test, I had never really prepared frozen chicken nuggets at home. Why would I? Chicken nuggets are almost free at fast food restaurants. That being said, I love not leaving my house, so store bought chicken nuggets definitely have some appeal.

After two separate taste tests, I am officially a frozen chicken nuggets fan. Some of them are even better than fast food chicken nuggets! We tried a ton so we could find the best store bought chicken nuggets money can buy, including gluten free chicken nuggets and vegan chicken nuggets. Good news: We found them! Now, grab the best chicken nuggets dips and read on.


best chicken nuggets

Best Fast Food at Home

Pilgrim’s Tempura Chicken Breast Nuggets

While a lot of the frozen chicken nuggets we tasted were reminiscent of the nugs at various fast food establishments, Pilgrim’s Tempura Chicken Breast Nuggets were most like the kind you’re handed in a paper bag through your car window. These have a deep, rich dark-meat flavor that is way more complex than some of the other nuggets we tested. If you are addicted to fast food but need to cut down on your spending, fill your freezer with these. They’re the best frozen chicken nuggets for scratching that fast food itch.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Vons

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

frozen chicken nuggets

Best for Dipping

Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets

If you want Chik-fil-A nuggets without having to patronize Chik-fil-A, say hello to Bell & Evans Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets. Unlike processed, formed nuggets, these are just big hunks of chicken in a light breading. Some of our tasters argued that these aren’t technically nuggets because of their shape, but I don’t care about that and I’m the one writing this article. Their flavor is mild, so they are ideal for dipping in the nugget sauce of your choice. I can’t wait to get these into some Buffalo ranch.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best frozen chicken nuggets

Best Dino

Yummy Dino Buddies Whole Grain Chicken Breast Nuggets

We tasted a bunch of dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets in our taste tests. Yummy is the iconic dino nugget brand for a reason. They’re the best frozen chicken nuggets if you happen to prefer nuggets that are shaped like prehistoric creatures. And, surprisingly enough, the whole grain version of these nuggets was better than the original version. They got much crispier in the oven. This feels like a double win because the whole grain nuggets are more nutritious and more delicious. A rare find!

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

frozen chicken nuggets

Best Plant Based

Impossible Plant Based Chicken Nuggets

If you live a plant-based lifestyle or just want to have a little less meat in your diet, Impossible Nuggets are the best frozen chicken nuggets you can buy. They are easily the best vegan chicken nuggets on the planet. It is almost impossible to tell that these are not made with real chicken. I swear! In fact, they’re better than most of the actual chicken nuggets we tasted. Try them. I’m certain you’ll like them.

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

store bought chicken nuggets

Best Crunch

Tyson Panko Chicken Nuggets

Sporked editor-in-chief Justine Sterling loved these because they are the most like McDonald’s chicken nuggets of all the brands we tried. If you, too, worship at the altar of the Golden Arches, buy these Tyson Panko Chicken Nuggets. The panko (aka Japanese breadcrumbs) gives them extra crunch, which perfectly complements the juicy chicken center. Looking for that real fast food crunch? Toss these in the air fryer. All you need is hot mustard and, voila, you’re Ronald McDonald.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

gluten free chicken nuggets

Best of the Best

Trader Joe’s Breaded Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

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.

Credit: Liv Averett

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Good & Gather, Good & Gather Whole Grain Dino Nuggets, Tyson Naturals, John Soules Foods, John Soules Foods Dino Nuggets, Sprouts GF, Sprouts Grain Free, Yummy GF, Yummy, Kirkwood, Kirkwood Dino, Fast Fixin’

Read Sporked’s ranking of the best vegan nuggets!

Tyson All Natural Fully Cooked Chicken Nuggets

When Rhett & Link did their very own frozen chicken nugget taste test, they determined that the Tyson All Natural Fully Cooked Chicken Nuggets were their favorite. Rhett said he “could eat a whole plate of these.” They beat out Perdue with their crunchy texture and fun orange coloring. Link liked that “they don’t hide the [natural nugget] flavor with pepper.” If you’re looking for a straightforward, meat-focused chicken nugget, check these out!


About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.