These gluten-free chicken nuggets have that nostalgic childhood taste! They're super easy to prepare and can be cooked by baking, frying, or air frying. They taste great on their own with your favourite sauces, or in a wrap or sandwich.
These Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets are the perfect nostalgic recipe, but lightened up with healthy homemade ingredients. Chicken breast chunks are breaded with gluten-free flour, egg, and gluten-free breadcrumbs with a customizable spice mix.
This recipe also includes 3 cooking methods for best results! Choose to bake, fry, or air fry your chicken nuggets. All are easy and delicious. Then dip them in your favourite sauce, or add them to a wrap or sandwich with crispy chicken!
This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and easily dairy-free. An easy dinner that the whole family will enjoy—even picky eaters. They're great for meal prep too! Keep reading for how to learn how easy it is to make your own gluten-free chicken nuggets.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- A nostalgic taste, but healthier and homemade. No crazy chemicals in these nuggets!
- 3 preparation methods. Baked, fried, and air fried instructions are included.
- Allergy-friendly. This recipe is gluten-free, nut-free, and easily dairy-free. Made with just simple ingredients!
- Customizable. Change up the spices based on your preferences.
Here are the main ingredients you'll need to make these homemade chicken nuggets:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts: This is the only cut of chicken that I recommend for this recipe.
- Gluten-free flour: Any should work, I use a gluten-free all purpose flour blend or rice flour. It's just for drying out the surface of the chicken so the breadcrumbs can adhere.
- Eggs: Eggs are important for binding the breadcrumbs onto the chicken. I don't recommend omitting them.
- Milk of choice: Just a little milk helps thin out the eggs for the breadcrumbs to adhere. Use dairy-free if preferred.
- Gluten-free breadcrumbs: I like the Aurora brand, but any should work.
- Spices: Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika—or use your favourites!
- Oil: If frying use canola, sunflower, or avocado oil. If you are baking or air frying, I like to spray the nuggets with a little oil beforehand so they can crisp up a bit.
There are a few ways you can change up these chicken nuggets based on what you have on hand:
- Chicken—chicken breast is the only cut I recommend for this recipe for even cooking and a true chicken nugget taste.
- Eggs—I do not recommend omitting the eggs.
- Dairy—Use dairy-free milk if you prefer.
- Spices—Make these nuggets spicier or change the flavours if you want. You could even add parmesan cheese.
- Sauce—after cooking the nuggets, toss them in a sauce like buffalo or honey garlic for even more flavour.
This recipe includes cooking options for baking, frying, and air frying.
- To bake—you'll need a large baking sheet and a wire rack ideally, or with parchment paper if you don't have a rack.
- To fry—I recommend a large cast iron or stainless steel frying pan, plus a pair of tongs for flipping the chicken.
- To air fry—you will of course need an air fryer! See the note below about cross contamination.
An air fryer is a small countertop appliance that is basically a mini convection oven. It can cook food quickly and with minimal oil by circulating hot air. It often contains an inner basket with holes to allow for this circulation.
Air fryers are great for making healthier versions of your favourite foods, since less oil is needed to get that "crispiness". Use it to bake, toast, reheat, cook, etc. Basically if you can bake it in the oven, you can air fry it, and probably much faster.
I will say that it's worth it to get a larger size if you have space for it. Multiple batches are often required if you're doing larger quantities in an air fryer.
Note: Be careful with gluten cross-contamination in any small appliance like an air fryer. Air fryers have dozens of tiny holes for the hot air to circulate. That is the perfect place for gluten particles to hide. If you are celiac or have a severe gluten intolerance, use soap and water to clean the basket each time, or look into having your own dedicated gluten-free air fryer.
Be sure to read the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and instructions for how to make gluten-free chicken nuggets.
Prepare the nuggets
Preheat your cooking method per instructions below.
(1) Chop the chicken breasts into 1.5 inch cubes.
(2) Arrange a breading assembly line with 5 dishes:
- A plate with the raw chicken breast chunks
- A plate with gluten-free flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper
- A bowl with the beaten egg and milk
- A plate with the breadcrumbs and spices combined
- And a large plate for the finished nuggets
Bread the chicken pieces:
- (3) Cover it in the flour mixture completely
- (4) Submerge in the egg mixture
- (5) Then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs
- (6) Place on the plate.
- Repeat until all chicken is breaded.
Bake the nuggets
(7) & (8) Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the chicken nuggets in a single layer on a greased wire rack on top of a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.
If you don't have a wire rack, place the nuggets on a parchment lined sheet pan, and flip halfway through cooking.
Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Fry the nuggets
(9) & (10) Heat a neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the nuggets for about 4 minutes per side until golden, then place on a paper towel lined plate.
You may need to do this in batches so the pan is not overcrowded. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Air fry the nuggets
(11) & (12) Spray the bottom of your air fryer with oil, then place the nuggets in the basket and spray the tops of them with oil too. Air fry at 400ºF for 10-15 minutes.
You may need to do this in batches so the air fryer is not overcrowded. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Serve the gluten-free chicken nuggets warm with your favourite sauces or in a sandwich!
What to Serve with Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
There are so many ways to enjoy these gluten-free chicken nuggets. Enjoy on their own with ketchup, bbq sauce, honey mustard, or your favorite dipping sauce, or place in a sandwich or wrap with your favourite fillings like lettuce, buffalo sauce, tomato, onion, and more.
Here are some side dish ideas that go well with gluten-free nuggets:
- Gluten-Free Onion Rings
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Gluten-Free Pasta Salad
- KitchenAid Mashed Potatoes
- Creamy Broccoli Salad
- Kale Crunch Salad
- Roasted Potatoes & Broccoli
Make Ahead & Storage
Make ahead: Bread the chicken nuggets and keep them on a plate covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 8 hours before cooking.
Storage: Leftover nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or in the oven or air fryer at 350ºF for a few minutes.
Freezing: Please note that I have not yet tested freezing this recipe.
Here are some of my top tips and tricks for the best homemade chicken nuggets:
- Cut the chicken into same-size chunks. This ensures they will cook evenly.
- Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. This will help the coating adhere well.
- Use the wet hand, dry hand technique for breading. Use one hand for dipping the chicken in the flour, then switch hands for the egg, and switch back to the dry hand for the breadcrumbs. This prevents sticky fingers.
- Bake or air fry for less oil. Of course these chicken nuggets are delicious when fried, but if you're looking to use less oil, try baking or air frying them—all instructions included!
- Test the internal temperature of the chicken. Use a probe meat thermometer to check that the chicken reaches 165ºF, with all methods of cooking.
- Enjoy with sides like gluten-free onion rings, air fryer potato wedges, mango quinoa salad, or crunchy kale salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Typical chicken nuggets at fast food restaurants or in the grocery store are not gluten-free. They will often contain wheat flour in the coating and the breadcrumbs. These homemade nuggets are made with only gluten-free ingredient so you can feel good about eating them.
Use a probe thermometer to check that the internal temperature at the thickest part of each nugget reaches 165ºF to be safe to consume. If not, cook for a few more minutes and check again.
These gluten-free chicken nuggets are the perfect weeknight dinner you can feel good about. Control the ingredients with this healthy homemade recipe that kids and adults alike will love! Hope you enjoy and leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below!
More Gluten-Free Chicken:
- Gluten-Free Chicken Piccata
- Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Tuscan Chicken Skillet
- Greek Chicken Meatballs
- Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Gluten-Free Fried Chicken
Have you made this gluten-free chicken nuggets recipe? I'd very much appreciate it if you leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review below, and tag me on instagram @fromoliviaskitchen!
Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets
- Air Fryer optional
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 1 lb, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup gluten-free flour any should work, I use an all-purpose blend
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoon milk of choice use dairy-free if preferred
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup oil if frying use canola, sunflower, or avocado oil
Prepare the nuggets
- Preheat your cooking method per instructions below. Arrange a breading assembly line with 5 dishes: 1. A plate with the raw chicken breast chunks2. A plate with gluten-free flour mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper3. A bowl with the eggs and milk whisked together4. A plate with the breadcrumbs and spices combined5. And a plate for the finished nuggets
- Bread each piece of chicken: cover it in flour completely, submerge in the egg mixture, then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs, and place on the plate. Repeat until all chicken is breaded.
Bake the nuggets
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Place the chicken nuggets on a greased wire rack on top of a sheet pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. If you don't have a wire rack, place the nuggets on a parchment lined sheet pan, and flip halfway through cooking. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Fry the nuggets
- Heat a neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the nuggets for about 4 minutes per side until golden, then place on a paper towel lined plate. You may need to do this in batches so the pan is not overcrowded. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
Air fry the nuggets
- Spray the bottom of your air fryer with oil, then place the nuggets in the basket and spray the tops of them with oil too. Air fry at 400ºF for 10-15 minutes. You may need to do this in batches so the air fryer is not overcrowded. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165ºF.
- Serve warm with your favourite sauces or in a sandwich!
- Dairy-free: Use your favourite dairy-free milk.
- Chicken safety: Use a probe thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the nuggets reaches 165ºF.
- Make ahead: Bread the chicken nuggets and keep them on a plate covered in plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 8 hours before cooking.
- Storage: Cooled chicken nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, or in the oven or air fryer at 350ºF for a few minutes.
- Freezing: Please note that I have not yet tested freezing this recipe.