healthier nuggets

ever since i saw an episode of jamie oliver’s Food Revolution about how chicken nuggets are made, i have not been able to eat nuggets. but i do miss them … so this recipe sounds healthy and young snacking fun!

this crust is a mixture of oat, quinoa and flaxseed, all high in fiber, protein and iron. to make these nuggets spicy, i added some leftover Emeril’s Essence into the crust mixture. it added an awesome kick to these nuggets!

give these healthy nuggets a try!


  • 12 ounce organic free range ground chicken or turkey
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes**
  • 1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup oat flour**
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Essence, optional***
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot* – or –
    1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided – or –
    1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Place chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Using a 1-oz. melon baller, scoop out 26 portions of chicken, transferring them to prepared baking sheet as you go. Chill chicken on sheet for 20 minutes.

Combine quinoa flakes, flaxseed meal, and flour (and essence, for a spicy kick) in a small bowl. Place arrowroot in another small bowl. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Gently press chicken portions to flatten slightly.

Keeping dry ingredients with right hand and wet ingredients with left hand, coat chicken portions one at a time:

  1. use left hand to pick up chicken portion and put into the arrowroot bowl
  2. use right hand to coat the chicken with arrowroot and move into the egg whites bowl
  3. use left hand to remove chicken from egg whites and move to the flaxseed mixture
  4. use right hand to dredge in flaxseed mixture and then put coated chicken back to the baking sheet

Repeat this process all of the chicken portions are coated

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chicken nuggets and cook, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Transfer nuggets back to baking sheet and cook in oven for 6 minutes. Serve immediately.

original recipe on Yahoo! Shine by Tricia Williams for bon appétit magazine: Junk Food Makeover: Healthier Chicken Nuggets

* Arrowroot, a thickening agent, is available in the spice section of many supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Asian markets.
** Quinoa flakes can be hard to find so I substituted quinoa flakes with quinoa flour – and – oat flour with oat bran. With this substitution, I used 1/3 cup quinoa flour and 1/4 cup of oat bran.
*** For a spicy kick, add Emeril’s Essence Creole Seasoning to the flaxseed mixture.

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