Nashville Hot Chicken Bites

Nashville Hot Chicken Bites – adapted from the original Hattie B’s Hot Chicken recipe in Nashville, TN. SO good!! Use frozen popcorn chicken for a quick and easy meal! Chicken, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, chili powder, and melted butter. Serve the chicken with white bread, ranch dressing, and pickles. SO good! Sweet and spicy in every bite – YUM! 

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Hattie B’s Nashville Hot Chicken Recipe

We are HUGE fans of Nashville Hot Chicken. Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack invented the dish. I’ve tried Prince’s hot chicken and it is HOT. Their mild chicken burned my lips. My lips were swollen and numb after tasting it! LOL! We’ve been to several chicken places in Nashville and our favorite hot chicken is from Hattie B’s. We hit up the original location every time we are in town. 

Now, you might be asking what is Nashville Hot Chicken? Traditionally Nashville hot chicken is buttermilk fried chicken tossed in a slightly sweet cayenne pepper-based paste. There is no wet sauce like with buffalo wings. Nashville hot chicken uses a dry sauce and it is HOT and spicy. I’m going to say it again for those in the back, this chicken is HOT! Make sure to dip the nuggets into some ranch dressing to help cool them off!

basket of hot chicken nuggets and fries

How to Make Nashville Hot Popcorn Chicken

This shortcut Nashville Hot Chicken recipe is super easy to make with only a few ingredients. Start with cooking some frozen breaded chicken nuggets or breaded chicken fingers for about 10 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, make the spice mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together cayenne pepper, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, and melted butter. Remove the chicken from the oven and toss in half of the spice mixture. Finish cooking the chicken and brush the chicken with the cayenne mixture again and serve.

  • You can use any breaded chicken for this recipe – tenders, nuggets, popcorn chicken, chicken breasts, or chicken thighs. You can use freshly fried chicken, leftover chicken, or frozen chicken.
  • I use Tyson popcorn chicken or Just Bare Chicken Nuggets from Costco.
  • You can make your own fried chicken nuggets if you prefer.
  • Can substitute canola oil for the butter in the sauce. Hattie B’s uses leftover frying oil mixed in with the spice mixture.
  • You can use light or dark brown sugar in the sauce.
  • As I said this chicken is super spicy. The recipe below is for mild hot chicken. Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper up or down to your personal taste.
  • Can I make Hot Chicken bites in the air fryer? Yes! Follow the directions on your package of chicken and toss the chicken in the cayenne sauce halfway through the cooking time.
basket of hot chicken nuggets and pickles

What to Serve with Spicy Chicken Nuggets

We love this at-home version of hot chicken. So much so that it is on the menu again this weekend! This is just as good, if not better than what we’ve had in restaurants around town. Serve the chicken with french fries, some pickles, white bread, and ranch dressing. It is also great with Hattie B’s pimento mac & cheese and black-eyed pea salad.

Here are a few of our favorite sides that go great with this spicy chicken:

Black Eyed Pea Salad

Black Eyed Pea Salad – recipe adapted from the famous Hattie B’s Hot Chicken restaurant in Nashville, TN. Red bell…

Pimento Mac & Cheese

Pimento Mac & Cheese – recipe from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken in Nashville. This stuff is SO good! Super creamy…

Air Fryer French Fries

The BEST Easy Air Fryer French Fries – perfectly crispy outside, tender inside, and absolutely delicious. They taste just like…

basket of hot chicken nuggets and fries with text overlay

Nashville Hot Chicken Bites

Yield: 8 people
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Nashville Hot Chicken Bites – adapted from the original Hattie B’s Hot Chicken recipe in Nashville, TN. SO good!! Use frozen popcorn chicken for a quick and easy meal! Chicken, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, chili powder, and melted butter. Serve the chicken with white bread, ranch dressing, and pickles. SO good! Sweet and spicy in every bite – YUM! 

Equipment:

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  • Place frozen popcorn chicken on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, combine butter, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, and brown sugar. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat at set aside.
  • Remove chicken from oven. Toss chicken with ½ of the sauce. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and with the remaining cayenne mixture.

Notes:

  • You can use any breaded chicken for this recipe – tenders, nuggets, popcorn chicken, chicken breasts, or chicken thighs. You can use freshly fried chicken, leftover chicken, or frozen chicken.
  • I use Tyson popcorn chicken or Just Bare Chicken Nuggets from Costco.
  • You can make your own fried chicken nuggets if you prefer.
  • Can substitute canola oil for the butter in the sauce. Hattie B’s uses leftover frying oil mixed in with the spice mixture.
  • You can use light or dark brown sugar in the sauce.
  • As I said this chicken is super spicy. The recipe below is for mild hot chicken. Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper up or down to your personal taste.
  • Can I make Hot Chicken bites in the air fryer? Yes! Follow the directions on your package of chicken and toss the chicken in the cayenne sauce halfway through the cooking time.
  •  

Steph

Remember this recipe.

Pin this recipe to your favorite board now to remember it later!

Pin This Recipe
basket of hot chicken nuggets and fries with text overlay
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Comments

  1. I go to Nashville 1-2 times a month, can you believe I've never been to Prince's or any of the famed hot chicken places? I need to change that.

  2. Bev would love these kicked up chicken bites – didn't realize Nashville had such a festival

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