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(Nice ‘N Crisp!) Keto Chicken Nuggets 🍗 gluten free & paleo

Properly crisp and utterly delicious, these keto chicken nuggets are a real treat with all good-for-you ingredients. Oh, and they just so happen to be ideal for meal prepping!

Keto chicken nuggets with sugar free ketchup and chives
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets

The Best (Baked!) Keto Chicken Nuggets

Nice ‘N Crisp!

Think of these paleo and keto chicken nuggets as bite-sized pieces of heaven. Perfect as a snack, entree, meal… and even fairly terrific in a lovely fresh salad! Oh, and I’m fairly certain even the kiddos will dig them 😉

They’re also baked for a more mess-free and ‘hands-off’ approach. And if that wasn’t enough, they freeze great too!

So feel free to whip up a large batch while meal prepping and keep handy for a rainy day. I like to go ahead and bake the whole batch and store away the leftovers (simply defrost and re-bake until warm).

The paleo and keto chicken nugget breading in a bowl
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets

The Coating

For these keto chicken nuggets, I went for a ‘breading’ for baking rather than a batter (like in our fish tacos or ‘fish ‘n chips’). And I truly do love pork rinds (i.e. chicharrones!) more than anything for it. Plus, they’re the perfect balance between fat and protein with zero carbs (i.e. a keto dream come true!).

So before you freak out, there’s no after taste whatsoever. More like a wonderful crisp texture and amazing flavor. A lot of you ask me for brands, and I’ve loved the new baked variety from Epic (which has 40% less calories btw!). Because they’re not fried in lard, they’re drier and resemble panko crumbs so much.

Other than that, you’ll want to marinate the chicken in sour cream (with a touch of vinegar and spices). Then you’ll do three layers (almond flour, egg and pork rind blend) for the ultimate coating. And if dairy free, full-fat coconut milk actually does an awesome job in lieu of the sour cream.

Three bowls with an egg, almond flour and the paleo and keto breading
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets
Unbaked keto chicken nuggets on a baking tray
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets

Tips ‘N Tricks

Honestly not much to it! Simply cut up your chicken into small pieces, generally breast will slice cleaner but I used deboned thighs for extra juicy (and tasty!) results. Whatever works for you is fine!

Just try and marinade the chicken overnight– it’s a game changer. For any poultry dish really, always aim for an overnight marinade for best-tasting results (or at least 2-3 hours).

Other than that, my one advice for mess-free breading application would be to use one hand for dipping in the dry ingredients (i.e. the almond flour and pork rinds mix bowls) and your other hand for dipping in the egg. This way you won’t end up with battered up fingers!

Freshly baked paleo and Keto chicken nuggets
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets

The Ketchup

I seriously love chicken nuggets with ketchup (i.e. I wasn’t giving it up!), so I came across this unsweetened Primal Kitchen ketchup. And I’m just sorry I hadn’t tried it sooner…!

It’s taste is terrific IMO, ingredients are ace (no maltitol guys!!) and the macros are spot on. It is a little less sweet than the sugar-laden variety (obviously?), but you can always mix in a bit of allulose to taste if need be.

But I honestly love it more than the usual as its not ‘sickly sweet’ (and, per usual, not sponsored just happy to recommend!).

Dipping a keto chicken nugget in sugar free ketchup
Paleo & Keto Chicken Nuggets
Keto chicken nuggets with sugar free ketchup and chives

The Best (Baked!) Keto Chicken Nuggets

Course: Entree, Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free chicken nuggets, keto chicken nuggets, paleo chicken nuggets
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 376 kcal

Properly crisp and utterly delicious, these keto chicken nuggets are a real treat with all good-for-you ingredients. Oh, and they just so happen to be ideal for meal prepping!

Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 500 g chicken breast or debonned thigh (for extra juicy nuggets!), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat coconut cream
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic ran through a press
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • kosher salt to taste

For the 'breading'

Serving suggestions

Instructions

  1. Rinse and pat dry your chicken pieces. Set aside. 

  2. In a large bowl suitable for marinating, mix together the sour cream, vinegar, poultry seasoning, garlic, freshly ground black pepper and season to taste. Add in the chicken, cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours (though preferably overnight!). 

  3. Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C. Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment paper or a baking mat. 

  4. You will need three bowls for the three coatings. In bowl 1, place your almond flour (or more crushed pork rinds). In bowl 2, whisk your egg with sour cream. And in bowl 3, mix thoroughly together the crushed pork rinds, Parmesan cheese, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne and season to taste with salt (will vary quite a bit depending on the saltiness of your pork rinds). 

  5. Dip your chicken pieces one at a time in the almond flour, followed by the egg, followed by the pork rinds mixture. Place in the prepared baking tray. 

  6. Bake your chicken nuggets for 20-15 minutes until fully cooked (i.e. no longer pink and the juices run clear).  Serve right away (though they're also surprisingly good cold too!).

  7. Store in the fridge for 3 days or in the freezer for up to three months (they reheat great!). 

Recipe Notes

*A lot of you ask me for brands on pork rinds, and I've loved the new baked variety from Epic (which has 40% less calories btw!). Because they're not fried in lard, they're drier and resemble panko crumbs so much. 

**I seriously love chicken nuggets with ketchup (i.e. I wasn't giving it up!), so I came across this unsweetened Primal Kitchen ketchup. And I'm just sorry I hadn't tried it sooner...! It's taste is terrific IMO, ingredients are ace (no maltitol guys!!) and the macros are spot on. It is a little less sweet than the sugar-laden variety (obviously?), but you can always mix in a bit of allulose to taste if need be. But I honestly love it more than the usual as its not 'sickly sweet' (and, per usual, not sponsored just happy to recommend!).

Keep in mind that you can decrease the carb count even further by substituting the almond flour with more pork rinds (or even some whey protein). Though taste and texture was optimal with the flour. 

Nutrition Facts
The Best (Baked!) Keto Chicken Nuggets
Amount Per Serving
Calories 376 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 148mg49%
Sodium 677mg28%
Potassium 494mg14%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 535IU11%
Vitamin C 1.5mg2%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Share the yummy-ness! 📷💨

If you made this recipe (or got a question!), be sure to simply comment below!

And do share your photo with your favorite Facebook group or tag @gnomgnom.yum on Instagram (I love seeing them all!!)

14 comments

  1. luvsun says:

    Parmesan cheese isn’t paleo. Neither is sour cream. If your headline is going to say “paleo”, you should at least provide proper substitutes for the items in the ingredients list that AREN’T paleo.

    • Emily says:

      Being rude to someone who supplies free recipes is extremely inappropriate. If you are Paleo I’m sure you’re well aware of the appropriate substitutions.

  2. Halee Wright says:

    These are fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly– and I did a comparison between an air fryer and oven– both gave the same results, but the oven as less messy.
    The only thing I would add is I’d do two tablespoons of sour cream to the 2 eggs– I ran out midway.
    Thank you!

  3. Katy Waugh says:

    Question: When taking them out of the marinade, do you rinse them, or just dip with the sour cream mixture still on them? Really looking forward to making these. But they’ve been marinating over night already! Thanks so much. Katy

  4. Emily McCalib says:

    I made these tonight with chicken breast marinated 24 hours. They were DELICIOUS. I only had shredded parm, which ended up a little chunky, so next time I’d toss it into the food processor with the rinds. I used 4505 chili and sea salt pork rinds, which are my very favorite, but they don’t crush quite as well as the baked ones might. I made a dipping sauce of Chosen Foods harissa mayo, Primal unsweetened ketchup, mustard and some Lakanto golden to try and approximate Chick Fil A sauce and it was delicious. My chunks were fairly small and 15 minutes proved just right. My pork rinds were very salty so I didn’t add extra salt (and I love salt) but if they weren’t I would have also salted the almond flour a bit to layer the salt.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Hi Paola.
    I can’t eat Pork. My tummy does not like since my gall bladder surgery. Is there an alternative you can suggest?
    I love your site. You are helpful and your recipes are delicious.
    You make a difference every day.
    Thank you.
    Cheryl

  6. Lisa says:

    I put ALL the breading mix in a plastic bag, shook it up thoroughly to combine, then dipped around 6 pieces of chicken in the egg/sour cream blend and tossed them in the bag of breading & shook. I opened the bag and used a fork to kind of mash the chicken pieces more firmly into the breading and put them into the pan. Repeat til all the pieces are coated, you can even spoon a bit more on them when they’re in the pan. Only 1 bowl gets dirty, unless of course you want to put the Egg/Sour cream mix in a baggie too and no bowl at all to clean. These were terrific and easy to make.

  7. Patricia says:

    It would be great if folks who haven’t actually made the recipe could refrain from rating it. It doesn’t help the rest of us.

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