Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets

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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.

Plate with baked chicken nuggets and a dipping bowl with homemade Chick-Fil-A sauce.

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.

Hand placing an almond flour breaded chicken nugget on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

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.

A plate piled with healthy baked chicken nuggets and honey mustard sauce.

More Healthy Chicken Recipes to Try

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4.07 from 110 votes

Baked Chicken Nuggets

These healthy baked chicken nuggets are coated in a crispy almond flour breading and baked instead of fried. And you only need 8 ingredients!
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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

Serving: 1/4 of recipe | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 16g | Sodium: 846mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked chicken nuggets
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

More about Brittany
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90 Comments

    1. Hi Roberta – Yes, I would still recommend flipping them at the 10 minute mark. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  1. 5 stars
    Know I’m a little late to the game, but……
    Made these about a week ago, having frozen leftovers (froze after cooking) tonight,
    To all the folks with breading falling apart, here is the secret: let breaded nuggets sit uncovered in fridge for about half an hour after breading, preferably on a screen, so both sides dry equally. The egg tends to “dry”, and cements the coating to the nugget.
    Also, air fryer works great with this recipe! 385 for about the reco’d time, flipping half way through

    1. Ah thank you so much for sharing your feedback, Cindy! I am so glad these turned out great for you and you’re enjoying them.