Homemade gluten-free, dairy-free chicken nuggets that use only a few ingredients and take just a little bit of time to make. Budget-friendly and delicious!
Welcome to the summer, where days are long and time to cook is short. Seriously, who wants to spend a long time in the kitchen when you can be outside enjoying Mother Nature's beauty? Not me.
Also, who wants to spend a lot of money on food? Not me, again.
I was in Walmart the other day and was trying to find some frozen chicken nuggets to make our life easier when my niece and nephew wanted dinner and we didn't feel like cooking. I know I know.
I "shouldn't" be buying frozen chicken nuggets, but like I said before, I want to spend my summer days (or all my days) outside. Sometimes it's just nice to have a few convenience items in the freezer.
I tried to find some chicken nuggets that weren't filled with sketchy weirdo ingredients or that didn't cost one million dollars and was very unsuccessful.
Being the resourceful kitchen-experimenter that I am, I decided that I'd make my own chicken nuggets. I have, in the past, made chicken nuggets but these might be my favorite.
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First, they appeal to the masses.
Need your nuggets to be gluten or dairy free? These are just for you. They have an egg in them; however, the egg is not mandatory. I made a few without it and felt like they were totally acceptable. The egg just helps them bind together a little more.
These are made for kids (even if they have allergies). Shaping your nuggets is also a great project for kids! They can make them in regular shapes or make their own crazy.
My group's choice for shapes were letters in their names. I was quite impressed with my niece's creation of her name in chicken nuggets. The little things in life...
Any who, there's nothing like getting your kids to help you in the kitchen shaping their own nuggets. It's almost a guarantee that they'll eat them.
Just so you know, these are not super fancy. If you are not a child or your child doesn't need things to be bland, then I would absolutely add more spices.
Since there were a few kids involved in the project, I decided to make them without cayenne pepper and other herbs or spices. I think thyme would be delicious, but that's probably because I'm on a thyme kick (from my Walnut Crusted Fish with White Bean and Walnut Salsa).
This batch makes a lot, so you can freeze them for the future. That's the beauty of this recipe. You spend a little bit of time in the kitchen, which can be shortened by enlisting the help of others, and you have tons of nuggets - enough nuggets to serve at least 12 kids.
I couldn't find ground chicken at the store, so I ground my own using chicken breast chopped into small pieces. However, if you're lucky enough to find ground chicken, grab it. You'll still need a food processor to create the bread crumbs.
For these nuggets, I used Corn Chex and flax meal for some added nutrients. I think Rice Chex would be tasty too (but I can't guarantee it).
Start by making the crumbs in your food processor. Divide the crumbs in half. Then add your chicken chunks into the food processor to process into ground chicken. I recommend pulsing your chicken so you don't make it too tough.
Now, mix together half of the crumbs and the ground chicken plus an egg. Shape your nuggets and roll the nuggets in the remaining crumbs. At this point, you have a choice to cook immediately or freeze for later. Either way, when you cook them, you heat the oven, rub a little olive oil on a baking sheet, and bake for 30-50 minutes (depending on whether they're fresh or frozen).
Not only do they taste delicious, they are nutritious and half the cost of store-bought frozen nuggets! #winning
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
- 6 cups Corn Chex
- ½ cup flax seed meal
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 ¼ tsps salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large egg
- 3 pounds chicken breast chopped into ½ inch pieces, or ground chicken breast
- Add Corn Chex, flax seed meal, garlic powder, salt, and paprika to the bowl of a food processor. Process until ingredients are combined and small enough to become a flaky coating on nuggets. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the chicken to the food processor and pulse until chicken is ground. Half way through push the sides down and stir.
- Transfer the ground chicken to a bowl and stir in the egg and 1 ½ cups of the ground Chex-flax seed mixture.
- Shape the chicken into small nugget shapes or any desired shape. Flatten the nuggets so they are about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
- Toss the nuggets into the remaining Chex-flax mixture to coat the nuggets. Repeat with remaining nuggets.
To cook now:
- To cook: preheat oven to 350*F. Rub about 1 teaspoon of olive oil on a large baking sheet. Transfer the coated nuggets to the baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until done.
To freeze for later:
- Transfer the shaped nuggets to a zip-top bag and freeze.
- To cook: preheat oven to 350*F and rub about 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a baking sheet. Transfer the frozen coated nuggets to the baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until done.
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Doesn't this recipe look good?! You should probably pin it for later: