Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets (dairy & egg-free with grain-free & AIP options)

Need a delicious, quick and healthy meal? Try this Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe. They taste like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen, but they come together in a flash. Grain & Egg Free (with AIP and THM:S options) and they freeze well too! No more pink sludge nuggets from the fast food companies for sure!

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

I’m always on the lookout for easy recipes since my life is full. full. full.  And since Hamburger Helper isn’t on the menu for this whole foodie family (though this healthy version is) anymore, I have to figure out alternative ways to get dinner on the table in a flash.

If you struggle like that, and you’re tempted to go through a drive through when time is tough, then this chicken nuggets recipe is for you!  It’s a super easy recipe that you can put together in almost no time flat that will make your family feel like you really went out of your way for them.

Recently we’ve been so busy that our meals have gotten a bit blase.  Meat, eggs, or beans, a grain and a veggie.  Good, but a bit boring.  I guess a highlight for my kids would be when I served them healthy no-nitrate, no antibiotic hot dogs :-).

But the other night I pulled out some thawed chicken breast out of the fridge and served up this great chicken recipe for yummy chicken chunks and well, you should have seen the smiles on my kids’ (and my husband’s) faces.

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You know by now that my criteria for a great recipe is one that is:

  • healthy
  • fast
  • frugal
  • tasty and
  • kid-friendly

then this just might be the best chicken recipe ever.

Not that fried chicken is necessarily unhealthy (I think it depends on the type of chicken and the fat that you fry in), but instead of deep fried chicken, you can make this easy recipe for healthy baked chicken chunks (and it’s less messy than fried chicken too :-)!)

{Please note, there are affiliate links in this post. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.}

I found the inspiration for this recipe in Simple Choices for Healthier Eating, a cookbook that was recommended to my by Linda, the owner of Whole Approach.

Simple Choices for Healthier Eating

Whole Approach focuses on providing products and resources for those suffering from systemic candida.  Unfortunately (:-)), I became acquainted with Whole Approach about 3 years ago when it became quite clear that candida had a pretty bad hold on me.

In any case, Linda told me what a great book this is — filled with simple, tasty, and pleasing dishes.  I couldn’t agree more.

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets -Need a delicious, quick and healthy meal? Try this Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets Recipe. They taste like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen, but they come together in a flash. Grain & Egg Free and they freeze well too! No more pink sludge nuggets from the fast food companies for sure!

UPDATE 12/15:  I just updated this post to be AIP (autoimmune protocol) since I have done that diet on and off and have found it to be very helpful.  The flours and the spices are different.  Still delicious!

 

Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
 
Author:
Recipe type: Finger-Food
Cuisine: dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, grain-free
 
Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets taste like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen. But they come together in a flash. Grain & egg-free and they freeze well too!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • ¼ cup flour (almond flour or whole grain gluten-free preferred. I used my “thrown together GF blend” – see notes. Use coconut flour or tiger nut flour for AIP.)
  • ¾ tsp salt (I recommend Real Salt. Add a tad more if using coconut flour if desired.)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (See Easy Homemade Garlic Powder)
  • 1 tsp paprika (use onion powder for AIP)
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper (optional - omit for AIP)
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
  • coconut oil, melted (or other fat suitable for high heat. Use amount desired. About ¼ cup should be enough.)
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into small chunks, about 1 – 1½ inch chunks. Place in bowl.
  2. Mix flour with seasonings.
  3. Sprinkle flour and seasoning mixture over chicken and mix well to coat thoroughly.
  4. Melt coconut oil. Drizzle over chicken and mix to coat lightly.
  5. Bake in preheated oven (425 degrees for convection / 450 for conventional) until chicken’s internal temperature reaches 180 degrees (about 10 minutes for a convection oven [I love my Hamilton Beach convection oven] and 14 for conventional).
Notes
1. The smaller you cut the chicken, the faster it will bake. Don’t cut them so small that you have crispy bitty pieces of chicken, but not as big as commercial nuggets.
2. The original recipe recommended a spray bottle for the oil to coat the chicken. I recommend using a solid oil like coconut for this recipe as its smoke point is higher and you will not be creating free radicals by cooking at a high temperature.
3. Experiment with the cayenne and pepper to adjust the “spicy-ness” to your taste.
4. For even faster meal prep, cut up chicken into chunks, coat and store in small plastic bags in the freezer. Just take out of the freezer and bake in the oven for a ready-in-a-flash meal! The chunks will only take about 5 minutes longer to cook.
5. I am not an “iron chef” when it comes to flour choice most of the time. I typically use a blend of mostly sweet brown rice, some millet, some buckwheat and sometimes GF oats. Especially with a recipe like this where the flour is just a coating, it will work just fine!
Serve with rice, in pitas, grain of choice and with or without a dipping sauce. These would also taste great with the homemade barbecue sauce from my Oven Barbecued Chicken! And I’m working on a Ranch Dip that would be great as well. So stay tuned for that!

 

More “Ready in a Flash” Recipes:

Indian Lentils (ready in as little as 9 minutes!)
Fast and Yummy Bean Dip (it’s a real winner!)
Quick Whole Grain Biscuits (w DF & GF options)

Or something that your kids are guaranteed to love?

Try Pakistani Kima (ground beef curry).  My kids ask for this all the time.  Enjoy!

How about you?  Do you have a quick and healthy “treat your family” meal?

Photo Credits: Naomi Huzovicova

Comments

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  1. Hi Adrienne! I’m new to some of these concepts of healthier eating. I’ve been doing the no sugar thing for years but recently dove into gluten free due to medical problems and my doctors recommendations! I was curious on this post with the chicken nuggets you suggest serving them with rice in a pita and grain of choice. What other grains do you use? I’m feeling lost! Thank you for this wonderful blog! It’s given me the confidence to keep going on this journey. Blessings to you and your family!

    • I use buckwheat, millet, quinoa and rice mainly. Sometimes amaranth but that’s mainly in baking and for a breakfast porridge that I hope to share. Thanks!

  2. Hi to every one, the contents existing at this web page are in fact amazing for people knowledge, well, keep up the
    good work fellows.

  3. I love itty bitty crispy pieces of chicken. I definitely want to try this with small pieces! Yummy

  4. How do you melt the coconut oil to drizzle onto the chicken? Thank you!

  5. I thought these looked good, tried them last night and they came out even better than I expected!

    I used grapeseed oil, which is fairly new to me but is good for high-heat cooking and has a mild flavor. I was amazed at how the coating came together. I used a large spoon to stir the chunks in a bowl, I think a key may be making sure they are very well coated with the flour first (it looked like a lot of flour at first, but I kept stirring til all wet surfaces of chicken were well coated). Then drizzle oil (I didn’t have to use much) and stir til evenly moist.

    I used these in a chicken salad this time, but I’m looking forward to using them in lots of other ways and mixing up the spices!

    Thanks!

  6. I just made these for dinner tonight using thigh meat. I made about 1.70lbs of meat so I used your measurement plus a little more. I am gluten free, so I used a GF biscuit/pancake flour mix with a couple TBS of coconut flour and also added extra brown rice flakes to give it a nice crunch. These were sooooo good and my husband couldn’t tell it was gluten free!! Score!!

  7. Adrienne, these are amazing!!!

  8. I just made them for my picky four year old , who was just diagnosed with a gluten intolerance and dairy allergy .. He loves them so much , he wanted me to make them for dinner ! Lol I made these with almond flour and actually made two extra batches for quick baking in the future ????

  9. Going to try these tonight – they sound yummy and easy! You drizzle the coconut oil over the chicken after it has the flour on it?

  10. feliciay walmart says:

    for your ranch you can try something newer to the market called (just mayo) it is an egg free mayo using yellow peas I believe. not to sure but many stores are now carrying this since it has topped the market as #1 mayo choice in only six months of it’s introduction to wholefoods markets which is why walmart and target are now carrying it as well!

  11. Adding a little arrowroot powder is good too.

  12. Thanks for the great recipe!

  13. I have never seen any sweet brown rice – what brand do you use and where do you find it?
    I love this recipe

    • Here is a link to one of the brands I typically buy. I am not sure what the other brand is — it comes from a local health food co op. But Lundberg is high quality. This is an affiliate link. I am hoping to make this this week as well. http://amzn.to/1DLzwlR

  14. Do you have recommendations for an almond flour replacement?

  15. Karen Hobbs says:

    Hello ~ Questioning about Gluten Free Panko Crumbs as listed in your Chicken Nuggets Recipe, I have GF for years and have never seen GF Panko Crumbs. Many That see this listed will automatically think that Panko Crumbs are GF, which they are made from Wheat. I have even Googled Panko Crumbs Many times, looking for them, unless you make something similar to them ~ you cannot buy them, or I should say they are the Best Hidden Secret Anywhere …

    Why List Something like that where Everyone can see this, and Newbies to Gluten Free Eating would go buy them thinking they are doing something right and become seriously ill all over again? I still have not found your notes were it explains how you are making them, So sorry for the blast, but this is a serious point for those that are Celias or Gluten Sensitive. After Spending 12 day in ICU and almost losing my COLON … I am quite alarmed at these kinds of things and everyone else should be too … not a good thing / unless people reading your blog are educated to read between the lines

    • Hi there. I am not sure where you saw GF Panko Crumbs listed in the recipe — is it possible it was an ad there? I didn’t use anything like that to make them — just GF flour. Thanks in advance.

  16. This looks like such a wonderful and easy recipe that I featured it yesterday on a Facebook page I curate called Cooking with Whole Grains & Real, Whole Foods. I know my grandkids will love this. Thank you for sharing it.

  17. hey i made these for my daughter last night for a snack and OMG!!! i had to make more she loved them. thanks for the recipe! ill be using this more often.

  18. Cathy Scott says:

    Hi I’m new to all this healthy eating I have a granddaughter that has Celiac and my mom has kidney issues. Learning to cook for them I have found how much better we all feel. My question you keep referencing AIP could you let me know what that means please…… I really want to try these nuggets hopping the grandkids will like them……

    thanks

    • Sure – AIP is autoimmune paleo. I hope to write more about it later. You can find info about it on the web. There are a few good cookbooks too :). Hope they like the nuggets. We made them last night and they were gone in a flash!

  19. Patrick Egan says:

    Hello Adrienne,
    I just wanted to get some advice, my 14 month old has FPIES it’s basically multiple food allergies. Her majors are all dairy, eggs, soy, rice, oats, ground beef, cherries, mangos, onions and cinnamon. We recently found some nuggets for her at fresh thyme but they since stopped carrying them. I seen your recipe on the chicken nuggets and wanted to know what a good substitute would be for garlic as we aren’t sure about garlic yet? Any other recipes you might have would be great, as you know soy is in EVERYTHING so I’m sure you would understand our frustration Thanks and Merry Christmas!!.

    • Hi there. Asafoetida is something you can use in place of onion and garlic. What other recipes are you needing? Merry Christmas to you as well. I know it’s hard!!

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