Are Boneless Wings Chicken Nuggets? (Differences & Similarities)

There’s nothing like sharing chicken nuggets & boneless wings with your friends as you watch your favorite sport playing in the background.

Whether you like your chicken screaming hot or covered in sweet and sour sauce, there’s something for everyone! Chicken nuggets & boneless wings are perfect snacks to share with your friends on weekend get-togethers.

But the real question is: Are chicken nuggets the same as boneless wings?

While chicken nuggets and boneless wings may look similar, they have many differences. Chicken nuggets contain ground-up meat and have unnatural shapes. In contrast, boneless wings are made of breaded whole chunks of white chicken meat and tossed into delicious sauces. 

In this article, we’ve shared key differences between chicken nuggets and boneless chicken wings. Let’s dive in!

What is a Chicken Nugget?

Chicken nuggets are a popular option on many menus. They’re also one of the most easily misunderstood menu items, with many customers wondering what’s actually in them.

A chicken nugget is a small piece of breaded and deep-fried ground-up, boneless chicken. There are many types of chicken nuggets, and all of them have high caloric content. A regular order of chicken nuggets can contain upwards of 600 calories.

What is a Boneless Wing?

Boneless wings are small pieces of white chicken meat prepared without the bone. They are most often tossed in a sauce and then baked or fried.

While not as common as chicken nuggets, many fast-food restaurants are adding boneless chicken wings to their menus. Boneless wings are a healthier choice than chicken nuggets in terms of nutritional value. 

What Chicken Parts Are Boneless Chicken Wings Made From?

There are two types of wings: the whole wing, the flat, and the drumette. Before the wing is broken apart, the drumette comes attached to the breast. Chicken wings also have a wing tip, but those aren’t usually included in boneless bits of the cut.

What Chicken Parts Are Chicken Nuggets Made From?

While chicken is typically made from ground-up chicken breast, other parts of the chicken can also make their way into your nuggets.

It’s common for nuggets to be made of white and dark meat, ligaments, tendons, bones, connective tissues, and fat. These parts of the chicken are ground up and formed into little nugget shapes.

While you may be cringing to know what goes into your chicken nugget, these chicken parts add flavor and texture. As you can see, nuggets can even have wing meat.

Boneless Wings vs. Chicken Nuggets – What’s the difference?

Here are the key differences between nuggets and boneless wings:

Serving Method

Boneless wings are served coated in sauce with celery and carrot sticks on the side. You can also serve a ranch dressing with boneless wings! The original boneless wings are buttery, tangy, and served with blue cheese dip and celery sticks. On the other hand, chicken nuggets are served with fries and sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce, and sweet and sour sauce to dunk your nuggets.


Depending on the restaurant, the shape of the chicken nuggets and the boneless wing may differ slightly. Most nuggets come in four shapes: the bell, the bow tie, the boot, and the ball. The reason for the different shapes is to ensure consistent cooking times for food safety.


Boneless wings are slightly bigger than standard chicken nuggets, requiring a few more bites to finish.


Chicken wings contain white meat to make them juicier and impart a concentrated poultry flavor. In contrast, chicken nuggets can be made from any part of the chicken, including ligaments, tendons, and breast meat.

Read Next: Is it Ok to eat chicken bones?

Are Chicken Nuggets the Same as Boneless Wings?

Chicken nuggets and boneless wings may share similarities, but they aren’t the same. 

Boneless wings are typically made from the drummette and the flat part or wingett of the chicken wing, whereas chicken nuggets are ground-up meat. They are deep-fried and then tossed in a sauce. Naming them boneless wings make it more socially acceptable to make grown-ups eat a chicken nugget.

Chicken Nuggets and Boneless Wings – Key Similarities

Both boneless wings and nuggets are made from chicken meat that has been battered and deep-fried. Both are tasty and perfect for dipping in any sauce.

Chicken Nuggets vs. Boneless Wings – Nutritional Information

Chicken wings can be ordered traditional or boneless, and most restaurants can customize boneless wings with more than 20 sauces and dry seasonings. Boneless wings without any additional seasoning are the lowest sodium choice.

A small order of boneless wings (6 wings) provides:

Carbohydrates20 g
Protein29 g
Saturated Fat7 g
Sodium1260 mg

A small order of chicken nuggets (5 nuggets) provides:

Fat14.9 g
Carbohydrates10.8 g
Protein11.6 g
Saturated Fat2.9 g
Sodium513.8 mg

Our Chicken Wings Better than Chicken Nuggets?

Boneless wings are a healthier option than chicken nuggets, but they also lack flavor. If you’re trying to decide between the two, the better option will be the one that’s lower in calories, fat, and sodium. But, if you’re craving nuggets, feel free to order them once in a while! You can also ask for sauce on the side and fries for a complete cheat meal.

Chicken Nuggets & Boneless Wings Recipes

We’ve shared our favorite recipes for both dishes! Pick one to cook over the weekend.

Boneless Wings in An Air fryer


  1. 4 Chicken Breasts (16 oz.)
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 2 tablespoons butter
  5. 1/2 cup hot sauce
  6. 1 Tsp cayenne
  7. 1 Tsp chili pepper
  8. ½ Tsp paprika
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Shape the boneless wings by cutting your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and adding salt and pepper to the pieces.  
  2. Scramble two eggs in a bowl for your wet dip. Make a dry mixture of flour, cayenne, chili pepper, and paprika in another bowl. Give it a whisk, so it’s properly mixed.  
  3. Dip the boneless wings in the egg bowl, and then dip them into the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour, and place them on the air fryer tray.  
  4. Right before putting boneless wings into the air-fryer, spray them with olive oil to make your wings extra crispy on the outside.
  5. Preheat your air fryer to 375-degrees Fahrenheit and cook your wings for 15 minutes
  6. While the boneless wings are in the air fryer, start preparing your dipping sauce in a small saucepan.  
  7. Toss pre-cooked boneless wings in the saucepan and mix with a spoon, so you don’t break up the batter.
  8. Eat boneless fresh, and hot with your favorite blue cheese dipping sauce!

Protip: Your boneless wings will come out extra crispy and juicy if you don’t open your air fryer.

Chicken Nuggets Recipe


  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  3. 1 large egg
  4. Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  5. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch piece
  6. 1 cup prepared breadcrumbs
  7. 1 cup vegetable oil


  1. Place the flour in a bag and season with garlic, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the flour and shake to coat. Transfer the breadcrumbs to a clean plate and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Whisk the egg and water in a medium bowl. Remove chicken from the flour, dip in the egg mixture and breadcrumbs, gently press the crumbs into the chicken, and set on a plate.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken nuggets to the pan and cook for 4-minutes on each side or until brown. Use a spatula to transfer your chicken nuggets to a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and a side of fries.

Related Questions

Are boneless wings popular?

Yes. Boneless wings are popular and make big portions of restaurant chains’ wing sales. According to Wingstop, boneless wings make about 35 percent of wing revenue. Buffalo Wild Wings sells more boneless than bone-in at Morrison. They reportedly sold a billion boneless wings and 768 million bone-in wings in 2015, showing that boneless wings may be the true key to growth.

What are the best boneless wing flavors?

There’s nothing better than buttery buffalo boneless chicken wings, but chicken wings go great with any sauce from sweet to spicy.  

Our favorite sauces that you can purchase at the grocery store are teriyaki, barbeque, and Korean gochujang. 

Are boneless wings the same as chicken tenders?

Chicken tenders are made from the chicken tenderloin, located near the breast. Therefore, boneless wings and chicken tenders are not the same.

Final Thoughts

While chicken nuggets and boneless wings may look similar, they’re prepared completely differently. Boneless wings are a unique delicacy and are nothing like chicken nuggets or even chicken popcorns. Also, boneless wings are closer to chicken tenders than nuggets.

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