22 Mar Healthy Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Paleo, GF)
This Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets recipe is inspired by the super tender and crispy chick-fil-A chicken nuggets. Now I give it a healthy twist with an easy and flavorful gluten free crust. These healthy chicken nuggets came out so perfect. It is also paleo, whole30 and keto.
When it comes to chicken nuggets, I have to confess my love for Chick-Fil-A. I may have come up with this healthy chicken nugget recipe on Sunday (when Chick-Fil-A is closed).
These crispy healthy chicken nuggets I fried up are made with all clean ingredients: real chicken cut into little pieces, tossed in gluten free crust, fried up in air fryer or cast iron skillet, and dipped in a simple homemade whole30 “nugget” dip.
I made some sort of gluten free fried chicken when I first got my air fryer a while ago. It is so easy and flavorful and Tom couldn’t even believe there was no breadcrumb used in the recipe.
But the only problem was that since the chicken tenders were in relatively bigger pieces then chicken nuggets, they came out a little dry.
So this time, I perfected the recipe and made this gluten free chicken nuggets!
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets Batter
This healthy chicken nugget recipe doesn’t require any breadcrumbs, not even the gluten free ones.
All you need are almond flour, coconut flour and a few spices.
I promise they turn out so flavorful. I could literally eat the crust by itself.
How to make this Healthy Chicken Nuggets recipe:
Step by Step to the most crispy healthy chicken nuggets – (You need 3 shallow bowls)
Bowl 1: Make Gluten Free flour mix
Firstly, in a medium to large shallow bowl, combine 2/3 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup coconut flour and seasoning together. Set aside.
Bowl 2: Beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp cooking oil
Bowl 3: Make gluten free crumbs
Crumble up about 1 cup tortilla chips
Note: You can use potato chips or any chips you like. My favorite is Nacho Siete tortilla chips. It is paleo, gluten free and whole 30 approved.
Pat dry 1.5 – 2 pounds chicken breast or chicken thighs (I usually like a mix of both). Then cut into pieces.
Okay now we have all the ingredients for the chicken nuggets. Let’s get cooking!
Step 1: Coat chicken with the flour/seasoning in the first bowl. Shake off the excess flour
Step 2: Dip coated chicken in the egg mixture
Step 3: Coat chicken with the “chip” crumbles
Step 4: Fry it up.
Healthy “Frying” methods for this Paleo Fried Chicken Recipe
Obviously I’m not that fancy and just have a deep fryer sitting in my kitchen. So here are a couple frying methods you could use in this recipe:
1. Air fryer
Very minimum oil required for this frying method. And you don’t have to flip the chicken nuggets. Because the hot air flows all around these crispy bad boys.
2. Cast-iron skillet
The reason I choose cast-iron skillets is because it can get a lot hotter than a regular pans. So you can have chicken nuggets that are super crispy on the outside but still moist and soft on the inside.
However, if you don’t own a cast-iron skillet, you can use a regular pan. Just make sure you heat up the oil on high for a couple minutes before frying.
I highly recommend using Avocado oil when frying these chicken nuggets. Since we want the frying process to be hot and quick, oil with a low smoking point like olive oil or coconut oil will start smoking very quickly. On the other hand, Avocado oil has one of the highest smoking points in cooking oils.
Why do I love this Healthy Chicken Nuggets Recipe
1. So easy to make
2. It is so flavorful: a little spicy, a little sweet
3. You feel so cool when you tell your friends “Hey I made some gluten free chicken nuggets, what’s up”
An easy Whole30 Chicken Dipping Sauce
I would like to call this “Almost Chick-fil-A” Sauce. This dipping sauce is so easy to make. I used half ketchup and half BBQ sauce. If you are following whole 30 diet. I have linked a couple of my favorite whole 30 brands for ketchup and BBQ sauce.
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup BBQ sauce
¼ lemon squeezed
1 tsp maple syrup (paleo but not whole 30)
These healthy chicken nuggets are not just drive-through finger food. But they are definitely finger licking good! They are perfect for a summer party, a kids friendly dinner, or just fulfil our guilty pleasure for a quick and easy meal. And this chicken nugget recipe is paleo, gluten free and whole 30. I’m secretly calling it “Almost Chick-Fil-A” chicken nuggets.
Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This does not result in any extra cost for you, but it does mean that I make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
- 2 lb chicken breast (room temperature)
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt n pepper (to taste)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2-3 tbsp avocado oil (for frying)
- 1 cup tortilla chips
- Preheat airfryer to 400F
- Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch bites sized pieces and set aside
- In a shallow bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion and garlic powder. Mix well to combine the flavors
- In a second shallow dish, whisk the eggs.
- In a third dish, crumble up a cup of tortilla chips
- Coat the chicken with seasoning and flour in the first dish, shake off any additional.
- Dip the coated chicken in the egg mixture
- Cover the chicken with a layer of chip crumble
- Spray the airfryer basket with avocado oil, then line up the chicken nuggets in the basket. Fry for 8 minutes
- Combine 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce and 1/4 cup of Ketchup
- Dip and Enjoy!
- If you are using pan fried method: Heat up 2-3 tbsp of avocado oil in a cast iron skillet. Fry the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a paper towel to cool.
- If you don't like tortilla chips, you can use potato chips as well. My favorite is nacho flavored chips to coat these chicken nuggets
- Check out detailed Whole 30 dipping sauce in the post above
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