Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets – dairy & egg-free with gluten-free & grain-free options

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Need a delicious, quick and healthy meal? Try this Easy Baked Homemade 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!

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 gluten-free 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.

Truly, 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.

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

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

With all of that being true about this recipe, this just might be the best homemade chicken nuggets 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 use this easy baked homemade chicken nuggets recipe instead (and it's less messy than fried chicken too :-)!)

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The origin of this Baked Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe

To start with, here is where this Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe came from……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.

I had to move on from Whole Approach when it was obvious that I had more going on than candida, but I have stayed pretty close to some form of the candida diet since then, and one of my boys has as well.  Most likely another will be joining us soon as we have seen the effects of too many carbs on him.

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

Making Healthy Changes

I'd has a sugar problem my whole life, but didn't want to talk about it or face how bad it had become.  In fact, there was one day that I was standing listening to some friends of mine talking about some health issues and how they were related to sugar intake.

I basically almost covered my ears with my hands and walked away because I didn't want to think about what changes might lie ahead.

But….eventually I faced the music and had to do something.

It was one of the big turning points for our family's health as several of us had to deal with sugar problems head on.

The first change we made was going sugar-free, and we also went gluten-free.

As time has progressed, we have eaten more and more low carb, and on and off I have dabbled with the AIP diet to address autoimmune issues.

 

Easy Baked Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe-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!

I have updated this Easy Baked Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe 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!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Easy Baked Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe- gluten-free
 
Author:
Recipe type: Finger-Food
Cuisine: dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, grain-free
 
These Easy Baked Homemade 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)
  • avocado oil (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!

Serving Options:

You can serve these alone or serve with dipping sauces.

I mentioned the Homemade Vegan Ranch Dip in the recipe, but this Easy Marinara Sauce would make a great dip as well.

This AIP Guacamole is another great option.

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
Need a delicious, quick and healthy meal? Try this Easy Baked Homemade 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!

These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.

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  1. Jenna Urben says:

    I really appreciate this dairy-free & egg-free recipe! If choosing between all-purpose flour vs. bread flour, which would you recommend? And will using a different type of flour change the measurement?

    • I would tend to use bread since it has more protein but then I avoid gluten so I’m no longer a gluten flour expert. They can typically be used interchangeably. Hope you like it!

  2. I grind oat flour in the coffee grinder to make the flour for this recipe and it’s so fab it made it to my “Favorite Recipes” Pinterest board. Thank you 🙂

  3. Jennifer says:

    Absolutely LOVE this recipe!! My kids are picky and they actually ate these. I made a honey mustard sauce to go with them and it was amazing.

  4. do you have to use avocado oil when making this?

  5. Katherine says:

    These were absolutely delicious! The whole family (including twin toddlers) loved them. Making for the second time today and doubling the recipe for quick freezer meals for the kids. Thanks for the recipe!

    • So great! My son was just asking for these. We tried some nugget samples at Costco and he said that these were much better — made my day :)!

  6. Kristie @SheChoseHealth says:

    Do you flash freeze these on a sheet pan before putting them in a big bag to store in the freezer, or can you just coat them, toss them in a freezer bag and be good to go?

  7. Cassandra says:

    This is probably a silly question, but do you think these would be ok being frozen after cooked and reheated later? I have a (very impatient) toddler with food allergies and looking for quick, safe, and healthy lunch options. Thank you!

    • I think it all depends on how long it’s been sitting around. I have personally done this kind of thing but just be cautious. Why not just make a bunch and put them in the freezer? You mean you will have extra after a meal? Hope you enjoy them either way!

  8. OF COURSE I’d find the exact recipe I was looking for here, Adrienne! GF chicken tenders that will be yummy but with NO egg or dairy. I should have started here in the first place. 😉

  9. What is the seasoning ingredients??

  10. I’ve been using this recipe at least twice a week. I’m a Chick-Fil-A addict and this has helped tremendously with not only cutting that expense, but also making it healthier so I don’t feel as bad. Would it be ok to share this recipe on my (very young and new) blog?

    • Hi Estefania. I really appreciate your kind words. You are welcome to put a link on your blog to my blog but putting this recipe up there would be something I wouldn’t want you to do. I worked hard to develop it. Bloggers don’t like that.

      Typically this is what people do in this business. If you change a recipe changing 3 or more ingredients (not including salt), then you can put a recipe on your site but you would link to the original recipe and say that you got your inspiration from there. Copying directions is a complete no no and is a violation of copyright.

      I hope that helps and good luck w/ your blog!

      • Adrienne,

        Thanks for the quick reply and clarification. I knew there were some copyright issues, but was unaware of what you mentioned.

        I will write a blog post about your recipe and how much I’ve enjoyed it and plan on using it for my super bowl party. I will share a link to this page (your blog) for readers that want to see the recipe and instructions.

        Sorry to bug so much. Just trying to make sure I don’t do anything I shouldn’t do.

        Thanks for your help!

  11. Would the recipe work with tofu as a chicken substitute? I’m vegan and looking for tasty recipes 🙂

  12. Just wanted to say I used olive oil instead of avocado oil because I was too lazy to go to the store and baked at 16 minutes instead of 14, and they still turned out great!

  13. Coconut oil should not be used above 400F! It starts smoking. Recommend avocado oil instead. 🙂

  14. Jennifer Sanchez says:

    Finally, a chicken nugget recipe to rival chick-fil-a that is healthy!! I used almond flour and chicken thighs instead of breast and they turned out great – my kids loved them! Thank you!