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Paleo Chicken Nuggets

paleo chicken nuggets

Chicken nuggets. Probably on the list of every kid’s ‘Top 5 Favorite Foods’. I’ve never really understood why. I’m more of a pizza & ice cream kid…I mean woman. But anyway..I’m no expert, but I imagine kids would never notice the switch-a-roo from any pre-made, frozen, or fast-food brand. If you’re rushed for time, I’d suggest flattening out the nugget, so it’s more of a patty–it’ll cook faster. We made a really quick Curry Honey Mustard to go along with.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 c + 1/2 c almond flour
  • 1/2 c dessicated coconut*
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • S&P
  • Curry Honey Mustard dipping sauce

Method

In a bowl combine 1/4 c almond flour, 1/2 c dessicated coconut and some S&P. Mix it around with your hands. In a separate bowl, combine the ground chicken, 1/2 c almond flour, onion & garlic powders, egg yolk and some S&P. Mix it with your hands until everything has been incorporated.

In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat.

Take about 2 tablespoons worth of the chicken mixture and roll into the shape of a ball. Drop it into the almond/coconut mixture and roll the chicken ball around with the fingers. Make sure it’s completely coated. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Place in the saute pan and cook on each side until nice and brown. I did 3 batches for 1 pound of chicken.

*Dessicated coconut is dried, finely shredded, unsweetened meat of the coconut. It’s the perfect size to replicate a bread crumb. If you can’t find it at your natural foods grocery store, you can always order it from Amazon.

47 comments

  1. Wow these look fab, and so much healthier than the greasy crap made of about 95% corn most chicken nuggets are. I will most definitely try this out.

    I’m currently a college freshman stuck on a meal plan, but my goals for the summer is to learn how to cook delicious and healthy foods. I will definitely be coming back to this blog for recipes. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  2. I just made these (sans the dipping sauce) for myself and my 10 year old daughter. She tore these things up. The two of us ate the entire lb of ground chicken and I think she had about 65% of it.

    I was out of my homemade mayo else I would have done the sauce as well. These are definitely on my list of kid-approved dinners now so I’ll be making them again. Hopefully with the sauce next time. Mine didn’t look like the picture though. I need to work on my presentation skills.

  3. Kortni and I made these last night and I have to say these were incredible! So simple,so easy and so tasty. We flattened them out as well to help them cook faster. Added bonus is that our house smells like a tropical island with the coconut smell :)

    Great recipe… it is probably now at the top of our favorite Health-Bent recipe list.

  4. I made these a few nights ago and, while I was pressed for time, they came out fantastic! Didn’t get to make the dip either but this recipe was great :) SO GOOD!

  5. These were so good, and I absolutely love the sauce! :)

  6. I find that broiling them works better than pan frying! Other than that, delish, especially the curry mustard.

  7. So we made these with shrimp instead of Chicken, and we threw in some left over cajun mix. they were great. Highly recommend!

  8. Nadine from Montreal

    Super good and easy, again!!! thx!!

  9. I stumbled upon your amazing website about 2-3 weeks ago, and I have to say, I am amazed!! I have made at least 10 of your recipes … ALL of which have been completely delicious.

    And then I found the recipe for these chicken nuggets. Wow. I have struggled with cooking meals for the entire family since deciding to eat mainly Paleo, and these were winners for all of us! I have two kids, 2 and 4, and they LOVED these! My husband also was caught trying to take some off of the kids’ plates!

    Thank you. You two are amazing and I am so glad that I have discovered your site. It is so user friendly, the recipes are so easy to follow and clearly detailed, and the pictures make me want to try everything. Not to mention that the food tastes incredible. You have made our family very very happy.

  10. Just made these tonight with a few substitutions: turkey for chicken and coconut flour for almond flour. Also threw in some Italian spices because we didn’t have onion powder. Husband and my 2 year old really liked them. Hope to find ground chicken to make them next time. Turkey tasted a bit gamey (this is UK poultry, they are fed less grain I am told) and chicken would have been perfect.

    Thanks for another great recipe! You guys are two for two for me in the last few days. Made the Fudgey Brownies and they were amazing.

  11. Made these last night and they were fantastic.

    Have you tried making these in their entirety (full prep through “breading”) and then freezing them? Making these ahead of time would be a great back-up plan for any last minute dinners, but I am worried that they would get soggy upon defrosting.

    Thanks!

  12. we LOVE this recipe! so much so, that we put it on our blog http://www.ecoike.blogspot.com/2012/01/coconut-chicken-nuggets.html

    we also love your website… dinner time has been fun since we discovered health bent :)

  13. Looks delish – I see these in my future meal plans!

  14. Would it work to just bake them instead of frying?

    • you’d have to douse them in some type of fat to get them crispy. but…yeah, maybe so.

      • I tried baking them, and it doesn’t work nearly as well. Sure, it cooks the meat, but it doesn’t crisp/brown them at all. FAIL, IMO.

        I also experimented with broiling: I oiled the pan first, then sprayed olive oil over the top. When the first side was browned, I flipped them over, sprayed them again, and finished broiling the second side. (I can’t give you a time estimate because broiling is so oven-dependent. You really can’t leave *anything* alone while broiling, so just keep watching.)

        While the broiled nuggets were a bit crispier than the baked version, they simply couldn’t compare to the plump, juicy pan-fried ones. I can’t recommend any cooking method but Megan’s original.

  15. What is the S&P in the ingredients?

  16. I have made these and thought they were great! I really liked the texture. However, my hubs didn’t care for the coconut so much, so I want to try again and will leave out coconut. Have you ever made them with more of a savory flavor? what spices would you recommend to get more of a traditional nugget flavor? I also thought baking would be easier, maybe spraying with coconut oil spray and cooking at high heat?

    Thanks!

  17. So since January I’ve been on a ‘Clean Eating’ plan (which has now become a total lifestyle change) All thanks to my employer’s wellness program this year (way better than discounting our gym membership)….Anyways, every first Wednesday of each month we having a tasting of clean/paleo recipes….This is going to be my contribution for April! Cant wait!!!

  18. This was so yummy, had it with your broccoli salad!

  19. I loved this recipe although I did a little tweek for the dipping sauce (not a big curry fan) just used mustard and agave syrup with a little dill.

  20. Made these last night, though I did use rotisserie chicken, that I shredded in the Cuisinart. I had to add two whole eggs for it to have enough moisture. I had some homemade mayo that had turned (more like salad dressing), so I added Sriracha to it and had spicy dipping sauce! Love it and it didn’t take that long to make. Thank you!

  21. Made these for dinner tonight, really yummy! I made the mustard sauce as well, only left out the cilantro and used a cilantro cube(Goya), because I don’t care for cilantro and I wanted it to keep longer in the fridge. Does that make sense?!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Wowie were these good!! So good that I ate too many last night and didn’t have enough for my luch today, on the boy did. Now I know to do a double batch next time :) Only change I made was to fry in ghee as I am not a coconut oil fan. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  23. I just made this chicken nuggets for dinner. They are fantastic! My son (and myself too) love them! I made the the size of a McDonald’s chicken nugget so he thinks that he is getting something everyone else can eat. My son, thus far, has eaten about half the nuggets.

    He asked me to make these in the morning and put in his thermos for lunch. Thanks for giving us an new school lunch-box item.

    Thank you for a child friendly Paleo recipe.

  24. Tried the nuggets with the curried honey mustard. Really enjoyed it. Gonna try that sausage and apple bake tomorrow. I really enjoy your blog, keep it up!

  25. Hi Megan,

    Do you recommend any gluten-free flour in place of almond flour? My roommate has a deadly nut allergy.

    Also, would you recommend freezing these?

    Your site is phenom.com; THANK YOU!

    • Try just using a regular gluten free flour baking mix, or even a pancake mix for an extra tasty treat! They all essentially can be intermixed with a recipe like this!

  26. Courtney, I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free flour and it worked great! I’m going to try broiling the next batch, like Valerie suggested; will probably spritz the tops with a bit of oil to help the crisping.

    Megan, these nuggets are so freaking delicious! Kudos for an awesome recipe, and thank you very much for sharing it.

  27. My 8 yr old daughter has Aspberger’s, so my goal of eliminating grains and gluten from her diet is daunting, to say the least. She’s a very rigid, routined little person, so trying new foods is a challenge. Most of the Paleo recipes for kids are things she wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole. My question is – does the dessicated coconut impart a coconut flavor to the nuggets? If yes, is there an alternative ingredient that would work just as well? I’ve tried pan frying chicken w/almond flour before, and it was a spectacular failure, as the coating just fell right off the meat and burned at the bottom of the skillet. Any tips you could share would be appreciated!

    • Hi!
      I know this is like 6 mos too late for you, but I always put everything in a coat of coconut flour before I do the egg wash. The coconut flour binds to your meat or veg and then the egg can bind to that. It seems to stop the coating from falling off. Also, I didn’t find that the coconut added too much flavor to this at all. Coconut oil will put coconut flavor on stuff (unrefined kind) but coconut seems surprisingly neutral to me.

  28. This chicken nuggets recipe will be perfect for my paleo lunch recipe. My two kids love chicken nuggets, what a great relief that I can now prepare it the “paleo way”. Thank you for being so kind to share this recipe. Being new to paleo, I am searching for creative recipes that will not only serve my purpose of living a healthy lifestyle through paleo, but also to ensure that my kids too benefit from this lifestyle. My drawback is that my kids are picky eaters, but with this recipe, I’m sure I can get them hooked on this.

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