Meatless Chicken Nuggets

In my ongoing quest for meatless meals I decided to try to recreate one of my favorite junk snack foods – the chicken nugget. After seeing the Jamie Oliver special on how they are actually made (though I’m sure I already knew in some part of my brain) I have chosen to no longer eat them. I looked at a few online recipes and ended up with my own take on these tasty, crunchy little babies. I mostly just changed the spices and added salt. I find that not enough people out there visit the endless combinations of wonderful flavour that spices can offer to their dishes. So here they are – get out your dipping sauces!

Meatless Chicken Nuggets

15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained rinsed
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey or agave
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash of thyme
1 dash oregano
1 dash cloves
1 dash paprika
1 teaspoon vegetarian chicken stock powder

1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups unsweetened corn flakes

Preheat oven to 350 F. Whisk non-dairy milk and lemon juice together until foamy with bubbles and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash up the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher until coarse. (I ended up using my food processor and pulsed them a few times. You don’t want them to turn into a paste. Be sure they have a crumbly consistency.) Add in TVP, vital wheat gluten, spices and mix well.

Add mustard, honey, soy sauce and 1/4 cup water and mix with a fork or your hands. The gluten will start to firm up instantly. Knead for about a minute. Mold the mixture into nugget sized balls and set aside.

Pulse the cornflakes in your processor with a dash of paprika and 1/2 teaspoon of salt till they are just a little bit bigger bread crumbs. Re-whisk non-dairy milk and lemon juice. Dip nuggets into the milk mixture then press them into the flakes, coating each side.

Place them on a lightly greased pan or line with parchment paper. Bake nuggets for 10 minutes, flip and bake another 10-18 minutes, until nuggets are firm and crispy.

Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (I went with plumb sauce) and enjoy!



Filed under Meats, Vegan, Vegetarian

18 responses to “Meatless Chicken Nuggets

  1. Those look pretty darn crispy. My mouth is watering. All you need is a vegan caesar and it’s a meal!
    (my favourite meal to be exact).

  2. They were super crispy! And FILLING. I think i’ll make them a tad smaller next time, and maybe skinny them out. A big YES to the Caesar salad. I’m addicted to them right now – it’s my new pregnancy addiction. I actually had one for breakfast today while Z and G ate pancakes. Zol just shakes his head. I’m going to try your dressing soon as I run out of mine. *d

  3. Cool! They look even better than the real thing.

  4. These look amazing! I love the idea of combining chickpeas and TVP. I’ve been making a tofu version where I bread a slab of tofu in a mixture of nutritional yeast, flour, and seasonings, then pan fry in olive oil. It turns out crispy and delicious!

  5. These are similar to falafels (Middle-eastern food). With falafels usually I flavour the chickpeas with garlic, onion, coriander & cumin seeds, tumeric and chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Falafels are fried, not baked.

    Yours look tempting and I will try to make them one day 🙂

  6. Yes, these look falafel-like. Alas, I think I may struggle to acquire a couple of the ingredients in my area. Maybe I can come up with a couple substitutes. Nice that they’re baked instead of fried!

  7. Wow never thought this would be possible as a home made recipe. That looks yummy!

  8. so, i’m super excited to have found your recipe! i can’t wait to try!

  9. Greg Vieira

    Brilliant idea, but mine were a little bland and chewy. I didn’t add the optional “chicken” flavoring and I think it was missed. I should have put in a little salt. I’ll up the spices and spray a little oil on the cookie sheet next time.

  10. awww s@%t! – chewy? Maybe they were a tad too thick? Salt definitely makes a difference (did you not add any? I also add it to the coating) and I did cook mine a bit longer (my oven is a tad off sometimes). And I have to say you need a tasty dipping sauce. The vegetarian chicken flavoring does make a difference as the flavor will trick your brain. Otherwise it will be more like a falafel. And it IS baked. If they were fried, which you could also do, they would taste more authentic. *d

    • Greg Vieira

      Made them again and they turned out quite nicely. This time I added salt and cooked them at 425 degrees and they were tasty and crispy. I also added cayenne.

      • oh good! I was worried. Salt definitely makes pretty much everything taste better. Have you ever tried a veggie based chicken bouillon? I am quite impressed with the flavour it gives. oh and the cayenne? nice addition! I think I’ll try that. Thanks! *d

  11. They look delicious, but I will be able to tell you for sure if my kids eat them. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jess

    It’s not like we go to McDonald’s but holy hell… I’ll never eat one of those again. Sick! Maybe we’ll give yours a go next weekend.

  13. Bob Ski

    They were great, my wife loved them… I will make them again.

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