Most all kids love chicken nuggets, and my kids are no exception. These Healthy Chicken Nuggets are a meal that you can feel good about serving…even if your preschooler demands nuggets seven nights in a row. Only you have to know that these are Quinoa Chicken Nuggets and that in addition to quinoa they have a boost of nutrition from both almonds and ground flaxseeds. Although this seems like a lot of ingredients, these Healthy Chicken Nuggets are easy to put together. It is a great recipe to get the kids involved in. It am always amazed at how quickly recipes like this one go when you have extra hands! I like to make a double batch of the breading and keep it in the freezer.
She is nothing if not my daughter.
It scares me sometimes how much like me Skye is.
She can go from playing dolls one minute to digging in the dirt with her trucks in the next. (And yes, I mean her trucks. Not her brother’s old toys but ones she insisted on getting for Christmas.)
She adores roller coasters.
Her favorite phrase is
I’ll do it myself.”
She demands her alone/quiet time…because, she needs it. (I love this about her because it makes being her mom so much easier. We are great at being alone together.)
She loves to dress up, but insists on getting into comfy clothes the minute she walks through the front door.
And she is prone to food ruts.
Given that I had the same salad for breakfast every day for two years, I am not one to judge.
What does make me a little cray-cray is that my girl wishes to exist on chicken nuggets and pizza.
I am not above reaching to the fridge for a box from time to time, but doing it every meal is not something that I feel good about.
Plus, I have a teenage boy and a tween who is taller than his big brother. One does not keep their budget intact feeding teenage boys from boxes of organic chicken nuggets.
Enter these Healthy Chicken Nuggets AKA Quinoa Chicken Nuggets.
Not only are they gluten free, but there is a lot of sneaky chef action going on with these babies.
Quinoa, almonds, and flax…oh, my!
I know what you are thinking.
It is awesome that they are healthy, but do they taste like sawdust?
All I can say is that my boys will eat them without complaint.
(And my boys wrote the book on picky eating…which they were kind enough to pass on to baby sister. Yep-er-doodle, I got the trifecta of picky eating kids.)
Given that the kids love them and they are healthy enough I don’t mind serving them on a regular basis, these baked chicken nuggets have become one of my go-to recipes.
I’m not big on making different meals for kids versus adults, and I enjoy these healthy nuggets on a salad.
If you want to spice things up a bit more, onion powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper are all great options. Conversely, if your little ones don’t do spices at all, you can leave the garlic powder and thyme out.
The breading also works well for a Crispy Chicken Sandwich – just pound the chicken so that it cooks evenly and obviously skip the cutting them up into nuggets part. (I probably didn’t need to say that last part, did I?)
I haven’t tried it yet, but I believe that these chicken nuggets would work beautifully in the air fryer. If you want to give Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets a shot, I’d recommend cooking at 370 for about 22 minutes.
If You Like These Healthy Chicken Nuggets You May Also Like:
- Quinoa Crusted Eggplant Parmesan Bites
- Black Bean Quinoa Burger
- Zucchini Quinoa Patties
- Veggie Quinoa Breakfast Bites
If you give these baked quinoa chicken nuggets a try, let me know what you think!
Just about all kids love chicken nuggets, but unfortunately the ones you buy in the store are typically not so healthy. This recipe for healthy chicken nuggets is one that your little ones will enjoy, and you will feel good about giving them! My kids have no clue that they are eating quinoa chicken nuggets. Although it seems like a lot of ingredients, the breading freezes well. I typically make a double recipe of the breading and freeze what I don’t use.
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs gluten free
- 2 tablespoons quinoa flour or flour of choice
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Combine almonds, quinoa, breadcrumbs, quinoa flour, flax seeds, parmesan, salt, garlic powder and thyme in a food processer. Process until you have a fine crumb.
- Combine egg and milk in a shallow dish.
- Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture.
Place nuggets on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
Tips to Make Healthy Chicken Nuggets:
- If you want to make the chicken extra moist, try soaking the raw chicken in buttermilk for a couple hours before breading.
- The chicken can be breaded ahead of time and frozen. To do this, bread the chicken and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet until frozen solid. Transfer to a baggie once frozen. Thaw out on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator. (If you just pull the back out of the fridge the breading will start to mash together as they thaw out.)
- Once you've made these Healthy Chicken Nuggets and know that your family enjoys them, I recommend doubling the breading and storing it in the freezer.
- These are great for adults when you get the craving for a Crispy Chicken Salad. They would be great in this recipe.