Buttermilk Dill Brined Cornflake Chicken Nuggets with Honey Mustard Ranch (Gluten-Free)

These chicken nuggets are….OUTRAGEOUS! In the best way. I really recommend brining your chicken overnight for maximum flavor and juiciness. You can also use chicken thighs here for even softer, more tender meat, but I like a good chicken breast nugget. You know what I love about this recipe? It’s gluten-free but you genuinely couldn’t tell. The cornflakes add a subtle sweetness and beautiful crunch to the coating of the chicken, and I think whether we’re gluten-free or not gluten-free, we can all appreciate a great crunch.

Not going to lie to you, I impulsively served this with honey mustard ranch. I just randomly decided “lets mix all this together because I have a bottle of ranch right next to me” but you don’t have to serve it with this! Ketchup, mustard, plain honey mustard, plain ranch or ketchup/mayo works great! Live your truth!

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Adjust Servings
For the brine
1cup buttermilk
3/4cup dill pickle juice buy a jar of pickles and use some of the juice inside of it
2tsp sugar
1 1/2tsp kosher salt
2tsp garlic powder
2tsp onion powder
1tbsp ranch seasoning I used Trader Joe's but Hidden Valley sells packets as well
2 tspdried dill or dill pickle seasoning I used the trader joes dill pickle seasoning
For the chicken nuggets
4chicken breasts, cut into ~2 inch cubes
2cups gluten-free all purpose flour can sub regular all purpose flour if you're not gluten-free
1tbsp kosher salt
2tbsp ranch seasoning
2cups finely crushed cornflakes (about 4-6 cups not crushed corn flakes)
Oil spray of your choice
For the honey mustard ranch
3tbsp honey
1/3cup yellow mustard
1/4cup ranch dressing of your choice



In a large bowl, combine all of the brine ingredients. Add the cubed chicken breasts and fully coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and set in the fridge overnight (8-16 hours) for optimal flavor. If you’re short on time, 1 hour will do as well.
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When you’re ready to make the chicken nuggets, remove them from the brine and set aside. Add 2 eggs to the brine and whisk together until the eggs are smoothly incorporated into the buttermilk mixture. Don’t dry them off.
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Set up 2 large bowls or plates. Pour the flour into one large bowl or plate. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tbsp ranch seasoning and mix together until combined. Place on the left hand side. Put the bowl of the brine/eggs in the center. On the right. Put the crushed corn flakes and the rest of the kosher salt and ranch seasoning. Mix until combined and place on the right hand side.
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Take each chicken nugget and dip into the flour. Shake off excess flour, then dip into the egg/buttermilk mixture. Then, coat in the cornflakes until fully covered. Repeat with all of the nuggets and place on a sheet pan. Let the breading set for 10-15 minutes.
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Preheat the oven to 425F or use an air fryer at 375F. Generously spray the nuggets on all sides with the oil spray. Air fry or bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and the nuggets are crispy. RNOTE: You also can traditionally fry these in an oil of your choice. Heat the oil to 350 F and fry until golden brown and fully cooked inside.
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While the chicken nuggets are cooking, make your honey mustard ranch by combining the honey, mustard and ranch in a bowl. You can also serve with a traditional honey mustard and skip the ranch!
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