These Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa are a great way to make guilt-free homemade food your children will love. Crispy and packed with protein, these nuggets will be a hit in your house.
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Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa Recipe Details
This recipe for Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa is incredibly delicious, freezer-friendly, and jam-packed with nutrients. They also taste amazing!
- TASTE: These chicken nuggets are packed with flavorful veggies, cheeses, and seasonings. They’re healthy and taste amazing!
- TEXTURE: Crispy outside and juicy inside, these Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa are scrumptious.
- TIME: This recipe will take a total of 50 minutes, but you can prep ahead to save time.
- EASE: This simple recipe is so easy to make. And you can freeze extra batches to reheat on busy nights.
What You’ll Need
- For the nuggets- Ground chicken breast, Quinoa, Onion, Carrot, Celery, Parmesan cheese, Mozzarella, Garlic, Salt, and Pepper
- For frying- Olive oil
How to Make Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa
- Dice the vegetables. Dice the onion, carrot, and celery into fine pieces.
- Saute them. Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and sauté the diced vegetables until the onion becomes translucent. Set aside and let them cool to room temperature.
- Cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa really well, then cook according to the package instructions. Set aside until cooled.
- Puree the sauteed vegetables. In a food processor, blend the sautéed vegetables until they turn into a paste.
- Combine the chicken nugget mixture. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, cooked quinoa, garlic, pureed vegetables, parmesan, mozzarella, salt, and black pepper.
- Form the nuggets. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture and form it into a round nugget.
- Dredge them. Dredge each nugget in the flour and then dip them in the whisked eggs.
- Bread the chicken nuggets. Coat both sides with panko bread crumbs and set them aside on a baking sheet.
- Fry them. Heat 2 inches of olive oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan and cook each healthy chicken nugget for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Pro Tip: After you coat the nuggets in panko, you can keep them frozen in an airtight container for later if you want to prepare in large batches and cook only when needed.
- Grind your own chicken if possible- If you have the ability to do this, then go for it. You will not believe how much better it tastes and your nuggets will be even better with freshly ground meat.
- Chop the vegetables finely– This will help them cook faster and also ensure there are no larger pieces remaining after they are sauteed and pureed. Your nuggets will hold together better, too.
- Let the quinoa and vegetables cool– Because we don’t want the chicken or eggs cooking before we start frying, let these ingredients cool first. This will also make them easier to handle and mold.
- Dredge all the nuggets before you start frying– This is helpful for timing, so you are not going back and forth between dredging and turning your nuggets in the oil, possibly burning them.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Substitute turkey- If you don’t have any ground chicken on hand, you can also use ground turkey in this recipe. The flavors are very similar.
- Add other vegetables- You can use other vegetables in these Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa, like zucchini, peas, or spinach. This is great for adding more veggies to your family meals.
- Make them gluten-free- Using a gluten-free flour and Panko is all you need to change for these to be ready to serve to anyone avoiding gluten.
- Add some heat- If you and your kids love spicy foods, add some cayenne pepper, Sriracha, or your favorite hot sauce to the chicken nugget mixture before dredging and frying.
Yes, these Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa can be made in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet and cook them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.
If you want an even healthier dish, then cook these chicken nuggets in an air fryer. You’ll get all the crispiness you love while using almost no oil. You can also lower-fat cheese.
These Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa can be added to your family’s favorite meals. They’re so versatile, they go well with almost everything. .
- Vegetables: Serve these Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa with Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli, Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, or Roasted Air Fryer Vegetables.
- Fries: Crispy Air Fryer French Fries are a classic side with chicken nuggets, or for an even healthier option, serve The BEST Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries or Healthy Air fryer Zucchini Fries.
- Salad: Add some nuggets on top or serve them on the side of this Spinach Pomegranate Salad or Best Broccoli Cranberry Salad.
- Sauces: What would nuggets be without dipping sauces? Try this Homemade BBQ Sauce, Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce, or Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.
Make These Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa in Advance
Make ahead: You can prepare all the components ahead of time and then combine and cook. Or you can freeze extra batches of them after dredging and breading, so you only cook what you need.
Storing: Store these Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Freeze: Once cooled, place the chicken nuggets in a ziplock bag or airtight container in the freezer. They will last for about 1 month. Reheat them in the oven or an air fryer to keep them crispy.
More Tasty Chicken Dishes!
- Cast Iron Chicken Breast with Potatoes
- Chipotle Chicken Bowl
- Chicken Pesto Pizza
- Chicken Meatball Soup
- Chicken Fritters with Zucchini
Full Recipe Instructions
Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Quinoa
- 1/2 small onion diced finely
- 1 small carrot diced finely
- 1 stalk celery diced finely
- olive oil for frying
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 lb ground chicken breast
- 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 clove garlic pressed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 4 eggs wisked together
- Panko bread crumbs
- Dice the onion, carrot, and celery into fine pieces.
- Heat about 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium and sauté the diced vegetables until the onion becomes translucent. Set aside and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Rinse the quinoa really well, then cook according to the package instructions and set aside until cooled.
- In a food processor, blend the sautéed vegetables until they turn into a paste.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, cooked quinoa, garlic, pureed vegetables, parmesan, mozzarella, salt, and black pepper.
- Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of the ground chicken mixture and form it into a round nugget.
- Dredge each nugget into the flour, then dip into the whisked eggs.
- Coat both sides with panko bread crumbs and set aside on a baking sheet.
- Heat 2 inches of olive oil in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed pan and cook each nugget for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Before frying: Once the chicken nuggets are dredged in the panko breadcrumbs, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer and freeze for about 2-3 hours. Then transfer into a gallon-sized zip-lock bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
- After frying: Once they are fried, let them cool completely. Then transfer to a gallon-sized zip-lock bag and keep frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally posted on June 3, 2015, but we’ve tweaked it a bit since then.