Juicy and moist on the inside and amazingly crispy on the outside. This gluten free chicken nugget recipe is one you will make again and again.
We love these homemade chicken nuggets because they are easy to make using simple ingredients. And they are baked rather than deep fried making them a healthy alternative. Perfect for game day.
Please read the entire post for tips and tricks to ensure a perfect recipe every time. And don't forget to tag @peelwithzeal on Instagram so we can admire your creation!
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This recipe is fairly simple using basic cuts of chicken and the 3 dip method for breading the chicken. I keep the seasonings to a minimum because it is all about the dipping sauces for me.
- Chicken- You want a boneless skinless cut of chicken (or even turkey!). I usually opt for chicken breast but tenders and thighs work just as well.
- White Rice Flour
- Seasonings- I like to keep it simple with kosher salt, black pepper, and paprika.
- Hot Sauce- Optional but I like a dash in the egg batter.
- Gluten-Free Panko Bread Crumbs
We recommend any of following brands of panko for this recipe. We have experience working with them all. And while we like them all, Ian's is the easiest to find in our neck of the woods and generally works the best for coating the chicken nuggets.
- Ian's Original Panko Bread Crumbs
- Aleias Gluten Free Panko Crumbs, Original
- Schar Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
🍞 Gluten Free Panko Substitutions
Don't have panko on hand? No worries. There are several substitutions for gluten free panko in a pinch.
- Chex Cereal- You can use either the rice or corn varieties. Pulse in a food processor until just broken up, about 15 seconds.
- Rice Krispies- Be sure to grab the gluten free variety. Again, pulse in the food processor until just broken, about 1-2 pulses.
- Gluten Free Cornflakes- While most brands are not gluten free, if you have one on hand they work the same as the corn Chex cereal.
- Make Your Own- Places pieces of torn up gluten free bread in your food processor and pulse until you have crumbs. Spread on a baking sheet and toast in a 325 F degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.
We do not recommend gluten free pretzels or potato chips for this recipe. They are way too salty for the amount of coating on each piece.
Prep the Chicken
We recommend brining chicken breasts in a basic salt water bath for one hour prior to cooking them. Brines help seal in moisture creating the juiciest chicken bites possible.
To prepare the chicken, trim off any excess skin and cut into 1 inch cubes. Try to get the pieces to be similar sized for the most even baking possible.
Gluten Free Coating
We are going to use the 3 dip method for our homemade chicken nuggets. Meaning a flour coating, an egg dip, and then a final coating of bread crumbs. You will need three shallow bowls or plates.
The first bowl will contain rice flour with salt, pepper, and paprika. The second bowl will contain the beaten egg and any hot sauce you are using. The final bowl will contain the panko bread crumbs. If you made your own bread crumbs may want to give them a sprinkle of salt as well.
Using a pair of tongs, drop each piece of chicken into the rice flour coating it well. Then dip into the egg mixture before dropping each piece into the panko bread crumbs. Allow any excess egg mixture to drip off before dipping into the panko. The nuggets should be fully coated with panko. Use your hands to press the bread crumbs in, if needed.
Lightly brush or spray your baking sheet with oil. We used a coconut oil spray for this recipe. Place the breaded chicken on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 425 F degree oven. Turning the nuggets halfway through. The chicken nuggets are done when the internal temperature reaches 165F degrees and they are lightly golden brown.
How to Serve
Homemade chicken nuggets deserve nothing but the best sauces for dipping. I always serve chicken nuggets with our honey mustard dipping sauce. You can make it sweet or spicy.
Buch ranch, BBQ, or spicy mustard are all crowd pleasers too.
🌡️ Storing Leftovers and Reheating
Allow the chicken nuggets to completely cool before placing them in an airtight container. The chicken will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
While you can reheat the nuggets in the microwave, gluten free nuggets are best reheated in the oven. Place them on a baking sheet in a 325 F degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
💭Tips and Tricks
- In case you missed it the first time. We highly recommend you brine your chicken for one hour. Not sure how to do that? Check out our simple tutorial on how to brine chicken.
- Skip the parchment paper or Silpat on the baking sheet. Direct contact will yield the crispiest crust.
- If you live in a high humidity area you can increase the crispiness of the chicken by baking it on a cooling rack set inside the baking sheet.
- Substitute Italian flavored bread crumbs and serve with a marinara dipping sauce for a fun variation.
🥗Chicken Nugget Side Dishes
And don't just stop at the homemade honey mustard. Here are a few of our easy gluten free side dishes that are sure to please the whole family.
Baked Chicken Nuggets (Gluten-Free)
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless & skinless
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs
- olive oil or oil spray for pan
- honey mustard sauce for dipping
- Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Brush or spray baking sheet with oil
- Trim any skin off the chicken and into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
- Prepare three shallow bowls or plates for your breading station. In the first bowl combine rice flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. In the second bowl whisk together the eggs and hot sauce. In the third bowl add the gluten-free panko crumbs (see note for panko alternatives).
- Using a pair of tongs, coat each piece of chicken with the rice flour, dip into the egg mixture, and then into the panko bread crumbs. Be sure to allow all the egg mixture to drip off before dipping into the panko.
- Place the breaded chicken on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through. The chicken nuggets are done when the internal temperature reaches 165F degrees and they are lightly golden brown.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
- See post for gluten free panko suggestions and substitutions.
- Leftover chicken nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- We recommend reheating in q 325F degree oven on a baking sheet until warmed through.
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