Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Published Jan 10, 2020, Updated Feb 07, 2022
This post may include affiliate links. Thank you for your support.
These healthy baked chicken nuggets are coated in a crispy almond flour breading and baked instead of fried. And you only need 8 ingredients!
I have been a chicken nugget fan for as long as I can remember. I used to think they were the healthy option at fast food restaurants. While they probably are healthier than some options on the menu, they still weren’t that healthy! You went wild for my baked chicken tenders so I decided to create a healthy chicken nugget recipe that rivals Chick-Fil-A nuggets… I actually think mine are better, but you can be the judge.
How to Make the Perfect Baked Chicken Nuggets
I have a secret tip for you. Are you ready? Marinate the chicken breasts in pickle juice. Sounds so weird, right? But many believe that’s exactly what Chick-Fil-A does to really flavor their chicken and it makes sense!
So to make these nuggets, you’ll start by marinating them in pickle juice for 8-12 hours, or overnight. After marinating, discard the pickle juice and make your breading.
In a shallow bowl, mix the almond flour and spices. Crack and whisk the egg in a different shallow bowl. One at a time, take the chicken pieces and dredge them in the egg. Wipe excess egg off and then dip in the almond flour mixture – making sure the entire piece is coated.
Place nuggets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet. Using a wire rack will result in crispier nuggets! Cook until golden brown and completely cooked through.
Are Chicken Nuggets Healthy?
Most of the time I wouldn’t consider chicken nuggets to be a healthy food option, but these are! They are made with minimal ingredients and baked instead of fried! Here’s what you need for these healthy chicken nuggets:
- chicken breasts
- dill pickle juice
- beaten egg
- almond flour
- spices – garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper
Compared to McDonald’s chicken nuggets (which involve lots of oil, white flour and natural flavors), I’ll take my version any day.
What to Serve With Chicken Nuggets
First things first: SAUCE! You can’t have chicken nuggets without dipping sauce, right?! I love honey mustard sauce, vegan ranch, healthy BBQ sauce or my new fave: healthy Chick-Fil-A sauce.
Fries are an obvious choice to pair with nuggets! My sweet potato fries are fan favorites, but if you’re feeling creative, I highly recommend my turnip fries or jicama fries.
If you’re dealing with a picky eater, this is the perfect example of how healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. Chicken nuggets and vegetable fries for dinner? Kids love this meal! You can also pair nuggets with protein-packed healthy mac and cheese or vegan mac and cheese.
Of course, if you want to go the extra healthy route you could pair the nuggets with a green veggie side like roasted brussels sprouts or green beans or serve the nuggets over a salad.
More Healthy Chicken Recipes to Try
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers
- Slow Cookie Teriyaki Chicken
- Maple Turmeric Chicken
- Lemon Garlic Chicken Sheet Pan Meal
- Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Chicken Breast
Baked Chicken Nuggets
- 1.5 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks/nuggets
- ½ cup dill pickle juice
- 1 egg
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Marinate chicken 8-12 hours in pickle juice.
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Place almond flour, paprika, garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- Crack egg into another shallow bowl and whisk.
- One by one, dredge each chicken nugget in the egg bowl, wiping off any excess and then dip each into the almond flour mixture. Roll until each nugget is covered completely. Place the coated nuggets on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a wire rack that fits on a baking sheet. The wire rack will make for a crispier texture. Bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping the nuggets once at the 10 minute mark. When done the chicken nuggets should be golden brown, crisp and completely cooked through. Remove nuggets from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Can you use an air fryer?
Hi Rachael – I have an Air fryer Chicken Tender recipe on my site that I highly recommend. Hope you enjoy!
If you bake the chicken on a rack do you still need to turn them?
Hi Roberta – Yes, I would still recommend flipping them at the 10 minute mark. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
See More Comments