A few months ago I was eager to find a homemade, soy-free chik’n nugget (that’s a vegetarian “chicken” nugget) recipe to broaden my repertoire of wholesome finger foods for my son (who I refer to as Mister on my Instagram account). The first one I tried was from The Happy Herbivore and to say it was a huge flop would be an understatement. Those nuggets were stringy and flavorless and I KNEW I could find better.
A fellow Instagram mama, Terita, told me about her recipe (find hers here) and I knew I had to try it. Simple, approachable ingredients – game on. I couldn’t wait to try them. These nuggets were a snap to prep and came out of the oven crispy and golden and full of flavor. Better yet, Mister LOVED them. Bingo!
These have been in regular rotation in our household for months, and after baking up dozens of batches, I continued to tweak the recipe over time, finally changing it enough to make it my own.
What’s even more appealing than just making a plain ol’ wholesome nugget recipe (my toddler is quite content being served these as you would a traditional nugget – with ketchup for dipping), is that these are SO adaptable! They can be made into sliders or even crumbled and served in a tortilla taco style. I’ve even added crumbled nuggets to pasta! The seasoning can be switched out to suite your kiddos taste or to simply change it up and different kinds of cheeses work too (think mozzarella, monterrey jack, gouda, etc).
Gluten Free Chickpea Nuggets
These protein packed chickpea nuggets are crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and have great flavor from the addition of fresh garlic and onion and shredded cheddar cheese.
Credit: Mama Makes Food
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 c. cooked chickpeas (either homemade or from 1 15oz. can, drained & rinsed
- 3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 c. quinoa flakes (I use Ancient Harvest brand; although bread crumbs or oat flour work too)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning (or seasoning blend of choice)
- 1 c. roughly chopped baby greens* (spinach, chard, beet greens, kale or a mixture of all) *optional but totally recommended
- Preheat oven to 400 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place garlic clove into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Now, add the onion and pulse again until finely chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients and process on high until incorporated, stopping to scrap down the sides as needed. The texture will be similar to hummus.
- Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls (or larger if you like) onto lined baking sheet about an inch apart. One batch usually yields roughly 20 nuggets for me.
- Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, turn nuggets over and flatten slightly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Return to the oven and bake 10 minutes more.
- Store baked nuggets in the fridge for about 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months (they freeze great!).