Keto Chicken Nuggets Recipe: Crispy & Guilt-Free Indulgence

Savor Every Bite with Our Irresistible Keto Chicken Nuggets!

Can You Eat Chicken Nuggets on Keto?

YES! You can still relish chicken nuggets while following a keto diet. Homemade keto chicken nuggets satisfy your cravings while keeping you on track with your low-carb diet. Simply swap traditional breadcrumbs with almond flour or coconut flour for a low-carb coating. Choose a high-quality, lean chicken breast and use keto-friendly cooking oils to fry them.

Discover the secrets to guilt-free indulgence where flavor meets fitness. Are you ready for savory satisfaction without compromising your low-carb lifestyle? Look no further than our keto chicken nuggets! 

Firstly, note that chicken nuggets bought from stores are not considered keto-friendly. This is because the wheat flour and breadcrumb coating in most commercially produced nuggets have a high carb content. Also, the coating often contains non-keto additives like sugar or vegetable oils.

Fortunately, you can make low-carb chicken nuggets at home. These easy keto chicken nuggets are made at home with real ingredients and contain only 3 grams of net carbs per serving. Plus, this keto nugget recipe offers an oven-fried option. 

Continue reading to discover how you can enjoy guilt-free, crispy keto chicken nuggets! Prepare to relish every delicious bite while staying committed to your keto lifestyle. 

Homemade chicken nuggets with white sauce for dipping
Homemade chicken nuggets with white sauce for dipping

Table of Contents

Is Chicken Keto-Friendly?

Chicken breasts on a wooden board with herbs
Chicken breasts on a wooden board with herbs

Chicken is a keto-friendly protein powerhouse that aligns seamlessly with a low-carb lifestyle. Not only is it rich in essential nutrients, but it’s also versatile enough to feature in various keto-friendly dishes. Grilled, baked, or fried, chicken remains a staple in the keto repertoire.

When it comes to keto-friendly dining, chicken nuggets can be a delightful addition to your menu. However, it’s crucial to distinguish between store-bought varieties, often laden with carb-heavy coatings, and homemade versions. Opting for a DIY approach allows you to control the ingredients, ensuring a low-carb coating using alternatives like almond flour or crushed pork rinds.

Keto enthusiasts can enjoy dishes such as grilled chicken breasts, lemon garlic roasted chicken, or creamy chicken Alfredo. These options are both low-carb and delicious, helping you meet your protein needs while enjoying keto-compliant flavorful meals. Whether you prefer a crispy chicken nugget or succulent grilled leg, chicken is a valuable ingredient for crafting tasty, keto-friendly meals.

Homemade Keto Chicken Nuggets Recipe

There are many online recipes for keto chicken nuggets with different coatings like ground pork rinds, coconut flour, or almond flour. One excellent method for cooking up crispy and juicy, easy-to-make keto nuggets is using almond flour with a touch of parmesan (or mozzarella cheese). 

The best part is, that you can easily make your own batch of keto chicken nuggets in your kitchen!

Keto Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

To make almond flour chicken nuggets, you just need a few simple kitchen staples. Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to get started:

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is the best part of the chicken to make juicy and tender chicken nuggets. 

Almond Flour

Almond flour or almond meal is a great low-carb option that crisps well when fried or oven-fried. It can be used as a replacement for high-carb wheat, bread crumbs, or starch in keto recipes.

Check out other options for making keto bread crumbs of your choosing.

Grated Parmesan Cheese

This is the best part of making delicious keto cheesy chicken nuggets. For a dairy-free option, simply add more almond flour to the recipe. Just keep in mind that doing so will slightly increase the carbs per serving.

Egg and Heavy Cream

To make an egg wash, you’ll need a mixture of egg and heavy cream. You may also opt to use mayonnaise for a slight tang. If you follow a dairy-free diet, you can use coconut cream instead.

For Seasoning:

  • Salt
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Pepper

Here is the full list of ingredients you’ll need for this chicken nugget recipe:

  • 1 lb Chicken Breast
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy Cream 
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Pepper

How to Make Keto Chicken Nuggets

Cut the chicken meat into 1” (2.5cm) thick strips. Then, cut 2” (5cm) chunks from each strip. This ensures your keto nuggets cook evenly and the coating doesn’t burn. Smaller nuggets will use more coating, increasing carbs per serving.

As a general rule, aim for nuggets sized at 2.5x5cm (1” x 2”). This recipe should yield approximately 30 nuggets.

Cutting chicken breasts into small chunks
Cutting chicken breasts into small chunks

When you’re ready to make the nuggets, drain the chicken chunks and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Then, set aside the nuggets on a plate.

In a small and shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream. Set it aside for later use.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, grated Parmesan, and your selection of spices.

Seasoning chicken nuggets before coating
Seasoning chicken nuggets before coating

Take one drained chicken piece at a time and dip it in the beaten egg using tongs. Then press the chicken nuggets down on both sides into the almond flour mixture to make them stick.

Dipping chicken nugget into the egg mixture
Dipping a chicken nugget into the egg mixture

Place each coated chicken piece on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, ensuring 0.2″ (0.5cm) of space between each nugget. Repeat these steps until all chicken pieces are fully coated.

Now you have three options for making classic 5-stars fried chicken nuggets: in the pan, oven, or air fryer.

Floured and breaded chicken nuggets on a tray
Floured and breaded chicken nuggets on a tray

Pan-Frying Method

Heat about 1–2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. The ideal oils are those with a high smoke point, such as avocado oil or coconut oil.

Fry the nuggets for 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown and crispy.

Check the center of one nugget with a sharp knife to ensure the meat is white and not pink. If it’s still pink, keep frying until the meat is juicy and white.

Frying chicken nuggets in oil in a pan
Frying chicken nuggets in oil in a pan

Use a slotted spoon to take out the nuggets from the pan and transfer them to a plate with absorbent paper. This will help soak up any excess oil that might cause the coating to come off the meat.

Continue frying until all the nuggets are cooked. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Oven Method

To start, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Place the nuggets on the baking tray and lightly spray with oil on top. 

Layered chicken nuggets on a lined baking tray
Layered chicken nuggets on a lined baking tray

Bake for 10 minutes. Then, flip each nugget to the other side and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, or until they turn golden and crispy, and the meat is no longer pink in the center. Remember to monitor closely as the meat’s dryness increases with longer baking.

Serve with mayonnaise, mustard, or ketchup.

Air Fryer Method

Take out the air fryer basket and cover it with parchment paper. Preheat the air fryer following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Arrange the nuggets in a single layer within the air fryer basket. Cook them in multiple batches for 12 to 15 minutes at 400°F (200°C). Check if the insides are cooked just right, without being overdone. 

Serve chicken nuggets.

Cooked chicken nuggets inside an air fryer
Cooked chicken nuggets inside an air fryer

Nutritional Information

One serving is 120g or about six cooked nuggets, which contain the following:

  • Calories: 310kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 5.5g
  • Fiber: 2.5g
  • Net Carbs: 3g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Fat: 21g

Tips for Making Low-Carb Keto Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets with lettuce in a basket
Chicken nuggets with lettuce in a basket

Creating perfect keto-friendly chicken nuggets requires a thoughtful approach to ingredients and cooking methods. Here are some essential tips to ensure your homemade chicken nuggets are crispy, flavorful, and low in carbs:

Choose lean cuts of chicken like boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs. These cuts are low in fat and serve as a great base for your nuggets without adding any extra unnecessary fat.

Try using a keto-friendly coating by swapping regular breadcrumbs with low-carb alternatives such as almond flour, coconut flour, or crushed pork rinds. These alternatives not only give your chicken a crispy texture but also stick well.

Enhance the flavor of your keto chicken nuggets with a mix of keto-friendly herbs and spices. Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and oregano can add a delicious taste without adding carbs.

When frying your nuggets, choose healthy options like avocado oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. These oils have high smoke points and add a nice flavor to the nuggets.

For a healthier choice, bake keto chicken nuggets in the oven instead of frying them. Preheat the oven, place the coated nuggets on a baking sheet, and bake until they turn golden brown and are cooked through.

Avoid overcrowding the pan. When frying or baking, make sure to give your chicken pieces enough space on the cooking surface. Overcrowding can cause uneven cooking and result in a less crispy texture.

Monitor cooking time closely. Keep an eye on your chicken nuggets to avoid overcooking. Take them off the heat once they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for juicy, safe enjoyment.

By using these tips, you can create delicious keto chicken nuggets that satisfy your taste buds and your commitment to a low-carb lifestyle.

How to Store Keto Chicken Nuggets

You can freeze your nuggets either baked or unbaked. Here’s the best way to freeze them: lay the nuggets one by one on a plate with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch space between each nugget. 

After an hour, transfer all the slightly frozen nuggets into a zip-lock bag. This two-step freezing method will prevent them from sticking together. 

To reheat your keto chicken nuggets with almond flour, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and bake them for 15-20 minutes. Place the nuggets on a large baking tray with parchment paper or a lightly oiled tray. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping over halfway for even baking. There’s no need to thaw the frozen nuggets before baking.

What to Serve With Keto Chicken Nuggets

A tray filled with crispy fried chicken, nuggets, onion rings, and fries
A tray filled with crispy fried chicken, nuggets, onion rings, and fries

Indulge in the versatility of these keto chicken nuggets, suitable for both kids and adults! Get creative with various dipping sauces to elevate your dining experience. While sugar-free ketchup is a classic option, exploring alternatives like sugar-free honey mustard, keto mayo, ranch dressing, or keto BBQ sauce can be equally delightful.

To accompany this dish, consider serving it with cauliflower potato salad, keto fries, onion rings, or a medley of roasted veggies. If you have family members who aren’t following a low-carb diet, whip up some easy roasted potatoes for them while you enjoy a scrumptious keto side dish.

Complete your keto-friendly meal by pairing the chicken nuggets with a refreshing salad, stuffed peppers, or cauliflower rice, ensuring a satisfying and balanced culinary experience.

A plate of salad with chicken nuggets and sauce
A plate of salad with chicken nuggets and sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have Chick-fil-A nuggets on keto?

Chick-fil-A‘s Grilled Nuggets have just 1g of net carbs in a 5-count serving, as they are made without breading, essentially being pure chicken. Conversely, Chick-fil-A’s classic nuggets have 7g of net carbs per 5-count serving. Therefore, if you’re on a keto diet, the smart choice is Chick-fil-A’s grilled nuggets. And if you prefer the classic breaded nuggets, it’s advisable to steer clear of fast food options.

Are McDonald’s chicken nuggets keto-friendly?

McDonald’s chicken nuggets are not keto-friendly because they are coated in a batter that contains flour and other high-carb ingredients. A 4-piece serving of McDonald’s chicken nuggets has about 10 grams of net carbs, which can greatly affect your daily carb intake on a keto diet. If you follow a ketogenic lifestyle, it’s best to choose homemade chicken nuggets with a keto-friendly coating. 

Final Thoughts

As we come to the end of this exciting journey, keep in mind that your low-carb lifestyle doesn’t have to be a farewell to your favorite comfort foods. With a sprinkle of creativity and these handy tips, get ready to transform a classic dish!

By choosing lean cuts, using keto-friendly coatings, and seasoning your nuggets with a variety of herbs and spices, you’re not just cooking; you’re creating an unforgettable experience. Whether you fry or bake them, both methods have their own charm in delivering that desired crispy bite.

As you embark on this culinary adventure, remember to enjoy the process of experimentation. Enhance your meal by pairing the nuggets with delicious dipping sauces and low-carb sides. Each golden nugget satisfies cravings and promotes a delicious, health-conscious lifestyle.

Enjoy the process of creating and savoring these crispy treats. Cheers to guilt-free indulgence and the pleasure that comes with every bite on your ketogenic journey!