Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chicken Nuggets: Perfect for game day

With Super Bowl Sunday only 5 days away, and if your social media feed looks anything like mine, then I’m guessing you’ve been completely inundated with appetizers, snacks, and other game-day recipes.

Problem is, they’re usually super unhealthy or loaded with ingredients that I can’t eat.

We’re headed to a friend’s house to watch this year’s game, but I’m certainly not one to show up empty-handed. Bringing my own dish is also a good way for me to make sure that I have something safe to eat, and I won’t end up getting cranky because all I’ve had are a few celery sticks off the wings plate. (Yes, that’s happened before and no, it wasn’t fun.)

My goal with this recipe was to make something gluten-free that other people wouldn’t think was “strange” or inedible. Sure, I could have brought a crudité platter or some sort of dip, but that seemed too easy. Instead, I wanted to recreate a classic, not-so-healthy dish and give it a gluten-free and nutritious twist.

I settled on chicken nuggets.

Chicken nuggets are always a crowd-pleaser. They’re one-bite, dippable, and kid-friendly. Plus, they don’t really take that much to make – just ground chicken and a breaded coating.

I knew they wouldn’t be too hard to make gluten-free;it was the healthy part I was a little skeptical about. I’ve made baked chicken poppers before, but those had a coconut coating and weren’t the “traditional” recipe I was going for.

Another challenge I gave myself was to make these without eggs and dairy, either. That way they’d be even more allergy-friendly, and every single one of my friends would be able to enjoy them.

It took a few attempts, but I’m excited to share my creation with you today. I used a coating of our almond flour, dredged them in a cornstarch slurry (to act as the egg wash), pan fried them in a little olive oil, and then baked them until done. Super easy and super tasty!

While these almond flour chicken nuggets are perfect for the big game, these little bites would be great any time. Pack them in your kiddos’ lunch; serve them for fun and easy dinner, or keep them in the freezer to cook whenever you’d like. You could dunk them in ketchup, make your own aioli, or eat them as is. You really can’t go wrong!

To start, we’ll preheat the oven to 375°F. Place an oven-safe wire rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside.

almond-flour-chicken-nuggets-3In a large mixing bowl, combine the following:

1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Mix together with a spoon until the spices are evenly distributed throughout the chicken. Set this mixture aside.

almond-flour-baked-chicken-nuggetsIn another bowl, combine:

2 cups almond flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Whisk together and set the bowl aside.

gluten-free-baked-chicken-nuggetsFinally, in a third bowl, beat together 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to create a slurry.

Now it’s time to set up your assembly line!

almond-flour-chicken-nuggetsWith wet hands, take about 2 tablespoons of chicken and shape it into a small disk. Coat first in almond flour, then dip in the cornstarch slurry, then coat again in almond flour and transfer to the wire rack.

Repeat this process until no chicken remains; this recipe yielded about 15 for me, but it will vary depending on the size of your nuggets.

almond-flour-chicken-nuggetsIn a non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add half your chicken nuggets to the pan. Cook for about 1 minute, until the bottoms begin to brown. Flip and cook for another minute to brown the other side. Transfer the chicken nuggets back to the wire rack.

Repeat this cooking process until all your chicken nuggets are browned. Place the baking sheet (including the wire rack on top) on the oven’s center rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, flip the nuggets over, and let them cool.

almond-flour-chicken-nuggetsWe’ll be enjoying these bites with a few different sauces, but that’s up to you!

What makes these extra-special is the crunchy coating and tender meat inside. They’ll definitely remind you of those deep-fried ones everyone loves, but you can feel great about serving these because they’re healthier and gluten-free!

almond-flour-chicken-nuggets

Please make, rate, and review our recipe for Almond Flour Chicken Nuggets.

Click here to print the recipe.

Alyssa Rimmer
About

Alyssa grew up in Vermont, attended the University of Vermont and now lives in New York City, where she bakes and writes recipes for her blog Simply Quinoa. She’s been living gluten-free for over four years. Alyssa also authors her own food blog and enjoys ...

comments

    1. Alyssa Rimmer, post author

      Hi Leah, I think the best way to freeze and reheat would be to cook them as the recipe calls for, then let them cool and pop them in the freezer. Then to reheat, I’d use a low oven (maybe 250 – 300 degrees) and thaw them on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Hope that helps! – Alyssa

  1. Kalisa

    Mmm, baked chicken nuggets are always good! I am not GF but might try the cornstarch slurry. Sometimes the egg wash doesn’t get my breading to stick.

    Reply
  2. Nena

    I’m definitely going to try this. I would love to double the recipe and freeze them, for whenever I need it for my boys. At what point should I freeze them? After I pan fry them? Please let me know. I absolutely love KAF. What would I do without you. 🙂

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We think they could be baked, then completely cooled and frozen – then all you have to do for a quick meal or snack is to thaw slightly and rewarm or refresh. Usually a lower oven temp (275′ or 300′) will help so the treats get warm and crisp and don’t dry out. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  3. Lisa Wilson

    Great low carb recipe, if you use the egg wash instead of the cornstarch! Thanks for posting this. I will definitely try it.
    If I may ask – I would rather cut a chicken breast into cubes or strips instead of using it ground, and simply add those spices to the batter mix instead of the ground chicken. Did you try using the chicken this way and it didn’t work? Would you recommend changing the baking time?

    Reply
    1. Alyssa Rimmer, post author

      Hi Lisa, thanks for the question! I have tried with cubed chicken and it works great. I think your bake time will be about the same since the sizes are similar. Hope that helps! Let us know how they turn out for you 🙂 Alyssa

  4. Joan Lansdell

    My sister opened a lunch cafe almost three years ago and asked me to help her out couple days a week. Well after 42 years working for a local bank, I said ok. Yes, we both love to cook and entertain so it was good for both of us.
    The Cafe is call Sweet Tea and Biscuit and like the name says, we serve a little fresh hot buttermilk biscuit on every plate. We think our biscuit are the very best and our customers agree. In fact, when a catering is being planned we smile when they always ask about the biscuits first.
    My challenge for King Authur is to show us an even better biscuit. We display a ring of empty White Lily flour bags around the ceiling of our kitchen as a border, but we would change that if you show us our biscuits could improve with your flour. We are alway in the market for a better quality product.
    A King Authur showdown sounds like a good idea. We invite you to send your best baker and teach us ole southern girls a new trick. Hey, let’s have some fun.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Now, that does sound like fun, Joan! Unfortunately, we’re kinda snowbound up here in the cold North at the moment – but perhaps one of our Southern sales rep/bakers could reach out to you. You’re in Tupelo, looks like from Googling? Verify that, and I’ll see what we can do. 🙂 PJH

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