These Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets taste so good, you’d never guess they’re actually good for you! This delicious recipe is low-carb, grain-free, and only requires six ingredients to make.
What if I told you that you could recreate the classic flavor of chicken nuggets in the convenience of your own kitchen with just a few easy-to-find ingredients?
And that these healthy homemade chicken nuggets would be low in carbs but full of flavor?
My friends, that’s exactly what we have with this recipe! I know it sounds a bit too good to be true, but it’s not. These nuggets are so tasty, I find myself making them at least once a week.
Why you should make this recipe
These homemade chicken nuggets contain only six ingredients: chicken breasts, almond flour, Italian seasoning, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper—wholesome ingredients without any fillers, additives, or artificial flavorings.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the ingredient list for some of the famous chicken nuggets, but they’re scary! The chicken nuggets from a popular fast food restaurant contain a whopping 40 (that’s not a typo!) ingredients – that’s way too many ingredients for a meal that should be so simple.
These chicken nuggets, on the other hand, have very healthy ingredients that you can pronounce. And they are gluten-free thanks to the almond flour that serves as the breading instead of breadcrumbs.
While the nuggets are baking in the oven, you can use that time to make a delicious dip to go with them. They’re an excellent option for a healthy dinner that tastes good and brings a little fun to your dinner plate!
This recipe comes together with just 5 simple ingredients and a little baking action in the oven.
- Chicken breasts: boneless and skinless chicken breasts are best for chicken nuggets
- Extra virgin olive oil: this will help the breading to adhere to the chicken pieces
- Almond flour: this will be the base of the breaded coating
- Italian seasoning: just a tablespoon of this will give great flavor to the breading
- Salt and pepper
These chicken nuggets require only 15 minutes of prep time, which might be even faster than going through the drive-thru if you include travel time!
After that, they bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then spend a few minutes under the broiler to make them nice and crispy. Just like chicken nuggets should be!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2: In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
Step 3: Pat dry chicken breasts with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Trim off any fat from the chicken breasts and discard. Cut chicken into 1-inch thick pieces.
Step 4: Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the chicken and toss to coat.
Step 5: Place each piece of chicken in the bowl of flour and toss until fully coated, then transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet, spreading them evenly across the pan.
Step 6: Bake chicken pieces for 20 minutes.
Step 7: Turn on the broiler and place the chicken nuggets under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before digging in. That’s it!
Just wait until you taste them. You may find yourself craving this healthy version more than you ever craved its fast-food counterpart… and you can enjoy them totally guilt-free!
Check out these tips and tricks to make the best, most flavorful, dippable chicken nuggets.
- Start with dry chicken. If there is any moisture on the chicken breasts, the olive oil will just glide off and not stick making the breading step nearly impossible. The easiest way to ensure dry chicken is pat dry with a paper towel.
- For extra crispy chicken nuggets, consider using a wire rack so the underside is just as evenly crispy. But in the interest of easy clean-up, you can just line a baking sheet and call it a day!
- If meal prepping nuggets, make sure you skip the broiling step until just before serving. This will ensure properly crispy and not soggy chicken nuggets.
If you have a nut allergy and are looking for an alternative to almond flour, you can also try this recipe with coconut flour instead.
Coconut flour is denser than almond flour, so you may want to reduce the amount you use. You’ll also want to be sure that you really coat the chicken in olive oil so the coconut flour has more liquid to absorb.
To add variety to these chicken nuggets, consider these flavor combinations:
- Spicy: add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper or chili pepper to the breading mixture.
- Herbal: add a teaspoon of dried parsley, dill, and basil for more herb flavor
- Garlic Parmesan: swap out the Italian seasoning for 2 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of garlic powder (keep in mind this will increase the overall calories and fat content but still be low-carb).
Chicken nuggets are a fantastic finger food for dipping into your favorite condiments.
Serve chicken nuggets with mustard or hot sauce, which are excellent low-carb condiment choices. Avocado oil mayonnaise is another great low-carb option. You can flavor the mayo by drizzling a little sriracha for some spicy mayonnaise.
Homemade low-carb ranch dressing is another excellent option.
There are a lot of great sugar-free sauces with clean ingredients on the market, so feel free to find one that’s right for you. Thankfully, you likely have low-carb ketchup and barbecue sauce in your local grocery store, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of dipping sauces.
I like serving chicken nuggets with some greens on the side. For a quick and light salad dressing, whisk together a little mustard and olive oil to dress the greens for a complimentary flavor.
Chicken nuggets are best when served right out of the oven. The chicken will be juicy, the breading will be crunchy, and your meal will be delicious!
However, leftover chicken nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
When stored, the crust will lose its crispiness and the nuggets may become a bit soggy. You also run the risk of drying out the chicken when you reheat it.
To meal prep these nuggets and refrigerate or freeze them for later, you can follow the recipe through the baking step but do not broil. Once cooled completely, transfer to an airtight container. To freeze, stack them in layers in a sealed container separated with parchment paper.
When you’re ready to enjoy them, let them come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes. This will help keep the outside crispy without drying out the chicken.
One of the best parts about this easy recipe is that you’re baking the nuggets in the oven not frying them in oil. This already makes these a much healthier option.
Most of the fat in these healthy chicken nuggets comes from the almond flour breading. Each serving contains 547 calories and packs in 54 grams of protein and only 4 grams of net carbs, making it an excellent choice for those with diabetes or who follow a low-carb diet.
With such an admirable nutrient profile, you can be sure that you’ll stay nourished and satiated well until the next meal.
Frequently asked questions
Chicken breasts cook fairly quickly and only need about 20 minutes to bake at 400˚F (200˚C).
Making chicken nuggets at home gives you full control over the ingredients that are going into this family-friendly food. This nugget recipe is keto, gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in sodium. It’s a great alternative to store-bought or fast-food chicken nuggets that come with a long list of ingredients.
The best way to ensure chicken nuggets are crispy is to avoid overcrowding the sheet pan to allow heat to circulate between the pieces. Additionally, broiling them for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking time helps to develop golden brown and crispy exterior. Broil them just before serving for the best results.
More low-carb chicken recipes
Are you always looking for new tasty and healthy chicken recipes? Then look no further. We have plenty of healthy low-carb chicken recipes here on Diabetes Strong that I know you will love. Here are a few of my favorites:
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out my roundup of the best healthy diabetic chicken recipes!
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Healthy Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- 2 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400˚F(200˚C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Pat dry chicken breasts with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Trim any fat off the chicken breasts and discard. Cut chicken breasts into 1-inch thick pieces.2 chicken breasts
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the chicken and toss to combine.2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.½ cup almond flour, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place each piece of chicken in the bowl of flour and toss until fully coated, then transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake chicken pieces for 20 minutes.
- Turn on the broiler and place the chicken nuggets under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until crispy and golden brown.
How many pieces are in a serving? Looks sooooo good!
Christel Oerum says
They are really good. One serving is 1 chicken breast so it will depend on how small pieces you cut them in. I like to make ~5-6 pieces per serving
These healthy nuggets look delicious! However, I have a sensitivity to almonds, almond flour, etc. What about using coconut flour or rice flour?
Christel Oerum says
I’m not sure… I often substitute almond flour for coconut flour but I can’t guarantee that it will work with this recipe. I do find that coconut flour has a slightly dryer consistency so you might have to add a little more fat. If you do try it out, please let us know how it works out
Kasey Tucker says
I am allergic to almond flour and it’s tough when u can’t find an alternative to it
Christel Oerum says
You could use coconut flour instead
Just found this site & I am a Type II diabetic & will be looking at other recipes.
Can these nuggets be frozen & reheated? Would it be better to freeze before cooking or could they be cooked & frozen for reheating later? Our granddaughter loves chicken nuggets & sometimes they will be from a fast food place with those 40 ingredients or from a bag of frozen nuggets from the grocery.
Would like to make ahead & have available when that is one of her choices.
Christel Oerum says
Glad you found a recipe you (and hopefully your granddaughter) likes. I haven’t tried freezing them so honestly, I’m not sure. I think I’d cook them before freezing. But I would not cook them all the way through so that when you reheat them they won’t be super dry.
Cooked these today with homemade Italian seasoning.
Everyone whooped them down. Great recipe. Thank you for sharing