Gluten Free

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets {Better Than Chick Fil A Recipe!}

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Chicken nuggets are one of those things that just about everyone loves, and they can easily be made gluten free!  This recipe goes a step further because these are Chick Fil A style gluten free chicken nuggets!  This recipe is super simple, fast, and can be made in your air fryer or oven easily!

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gluten free chicken nuggets

I like to call myself a bit of a chicken nugget connoisseur, because chicken nuggets have been one of my go to favorite foods for as long as I can remember.  When I went gluten free, they were the first thing I had to figure out how to make!

Are Chicken Nuggets Gluten Free?

By nature, chicken nuggets are not usually gluten free.  This is for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is their coating.  Chicken nuggets are coated in either flour or breadcrumbs, which have gluten and need special substitutions to make them gluten free.

You can’t just pick up any old chicken nuggets if you are gluten free!  Also, some chicken nuggets are made with ground chicken, which my also have flour added to them.

I get around that by cutting chicken breasts into nugget size pieces.

Now, let’s talk about how I make gluten free chicken nuggets that are even better than the ones you get at Chick Fil A.

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets (Chick Fil A Style)

When I was growing up, there was a Chick Fil A at the food court at the mall.  This was way, way before Chick Fil A got super popular!  I loved two things off the menu: the chicken skewers, and the chicken nuggets.  They were literally the best things ever.

gluten free chicken nugget recipe

However, that changed as I got older for two main reasons, first and foremost, I developed a peanut allergy.  Next up on the list was going gluten free.  This meant Chick Fil A was off the menu as I knew it.

I started with figuring out how to make the classic Chick Fil A sandwich with some friends one day, but really, I prefer nuggets, so I decided to go for that next.

These chicken nuggets are so simple to make, you’ll be hooked!

How to Make Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets (Like Chick Fil A)

The secret to gluten free chicken nuggets, is getting the breading right.  I’ve done a ton of experimenting with this ones, and most gluten free flour blends work just fine.

how to make gluten free chicken nuggets

Personally, my go to is King Arthur Gluten Free Flour, but you can use anything you have on hand.  If you use a stronger tasting gluten free flour, you will definitely notice it with the nuggets, so keep that in mind when picking your gluten free flour!

King Arthur Flour, Measure for Measure Flour, Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Kosher, 3 Pounds (Packaging May Vary)

Now, when we talk about this gluten free Chick Fil A recipe clone, there is a secret ingredient: pickle juice.  Yes, you read that right, pickle juice.

The secret is to let your chicken marinate in pickle juice before you bread and cook it.  I like to let it marinate for 30 to 45 minutes.

The next secret is to get that crispy, crunchy coating.  To do this, you bread them twice.  First, coat in the wet mixture, then toss in the dry mixture, and repeat the process again!

Then, your chicken nuggets are ready to be cooked in either your oven or air fryer.  

air fryer chicken nuggets gluten free

Sure, you could deep fry them too, but that tends to get messy and quite honestly can be a bit of a pain for setup and cleanup.

Are there any healthy chicken nuggets?

Healthy is one of those subjective terms, and it really depends on what you are looking for.  This recipe uses just a few simple ingredients, white meat chicken, and just a spray of oil.  That’s much healthier than their deep fried counter parts!

You can make this recipe healthier by changing up some of the other components of the recipe if you wish.  To reduce calories, you can remove the powdered sugar, but you’ll lose some of that classic Chick Fil A flavor.

gluten free chicken nuggets

You can also swap out the egg and milk for lower calorie options.  Sometimes I just use coconut milk beverage as a base when I’m breading, which is only XX calories per cup.

This is a quick and easy basic recipe that can be customized to suit your needs.  Feel free to experiment with the dry mixture by adding things like cayenne pepper and chili powder to give things a bit of a kick!  You can also add garlic and onion powder if you wish.

The best part of these nuggets?  They are great by themselves, and don’t require any sauces!

What to serve with gluten free chicken nuggets?

These gluten free chicken nuggets make a great main dish for meal time.  Wondering what to serve them with?  We have some great suggestions!

Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets {Better Than Chick Fil A}

gluten free chicken nuggets chick fil a

These gluten free chicken nuggets are even better than Chick Fil A! They just have a few simple ingredients, and couldn't be easier to make.

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup pickle juice
  • 2 Chicken breasts, cut into nugget sized cubes
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Milk (Dairy or non dairy works too!)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 1/2 Cup Gluten Free Flour (We Like King Arthur)
  • Oil for spraying (we like Olive or Canola)

Instructions

    1. Cut chicken into nugget sized cubes. Keep in mind the smaller the chicken cubes, the faster they will cook!
    2. Place chicken into ziplock bag and pour in pickle juice, shaking well. Allow to marinate in refrigerator for 30-45 minutes.
    3. Mix together milk and egg in a bowl.
    4. Mix Flour, powedered sugar, salt, paprika, and pepper in a bowl or dish. Feel free to get creative and add some cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!
    5. Drain nuggets and coat with flour mixture, before dipping in milk and egg mixture.
    6. Take nuggets out of milk and egg mixture, and coat them with foour once more.
    7. Place chicken nuggets in air fryer basket or a parchment lined baking sheet, and spray with your favorite cooking oil.
    8. If using an air fryer, cook for 10 minutes at 400F. Check and shake basket after 6 minutes. Cook a few extra minutes at a time if desired level of brownness is not met.
    9. If using an oven, cook for 20 minutes at 400F. Cook a few extra minutes at a time if desired level of browness is not met.

Notes

We love these gluten free chicken nuggets, and can't get enough of them! If you want to double the batch, be sure to add another half cup of flour.

Want to spice it up? Add some cayenne pepper to the dry mixture or your favorite chili powder. You can also add hot sauce to the milk and egg mixture.

Spraying on the oil is one way to keep these chicken nuggets extra healthy! Consider getting a mister bottle to make your own oil spray!

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chick fil a gluten free chicken nugget recipe

About the author

Melissa Wright