Fuss free, fast prep, freeze-able, and {oh so!} kid friendly in taste sheet pan gluten free chicken nuggets!

Glimpses of spring…

We can almost taste it! It really is melting! We are seeing consistent SUN, and sweet friends, spring is so close we can hardly stand it. Our beautiful frozen Lake Michigan beach is thawing out, and we can hardly wait to get our feet into it’s powdery sand.

Spring BUSY

As we started coming out of winter hibernation mode, and spring activities started blooming (<– see what I did there! πŸ™‚ ), I had a panic moment looking at the rest of March, April, and May and had to take a minute! While those toddler and baby years were…a LOT…it really has nothing on tween years with a couple of school aged kids on the side. I know I’m totally in for it when they are all in their teens, but I’m loving that I get to ease into that one kid at a time!

Prep ahead goals

I will be the first one to admit that I literally live for standing stove side to cook. I know that isn’t everyone. It is therapy for me. I do make a point to get my “therapy” cooking into my schedule at least once a week, but a little #RealLife for you…I can’t do that every day. I decided to play around with a little idea I had for nuggets that I could make ahead for the freezer for busier school activity evenings, and make it as fuss free as possible. Bonus if they were simple enough to batch up and throw into lunchboxes too!

Fuss free kitchen time

The first day that I had planned to make these nuggets my day completely fell apart. It happens right?! I originally was going to do the typical “breading” for these nuggets, “dredging” them in something grain free, and decided to scrap that whole step all together because I was short on time. Big time bonus – they turned out even better with out that time consuming step, so this prep truly is fuss free.

No skimping on nourishment here!

Even though my goal was to make something that could be easily prepped for the freezer, for dinner, or lunchbox add-ins, I didn’t want to create something with empty calories. These busier months before summer break at school require big time fuel for growing and active kids. They need real food that packs a punch. I bulked up these chicken nuggets with a load of sweet potato for slow burning energy to fuel those growing kids. It also helps the meat budget when you can pack in some veggies and make the meat stretch.

The perfect texture!

Oh that texture you guys! It was one of the first things the girls mentioned when I started trying this recipe out – and I don’t have “picky” eaters. Nugget texture matters – these are not dry, have the perfect chew, and the flavor is out of this world. There is a slight sweetness from the sweet potato without adding any sugar or even honey, and they don’t taste like sweet potato. The secret is adding a bit of fat (coconut oil) to make up for the leaner chicken or turkey, and soaking up the moisture from the sweet potatoes with a little coconut flour. The result is a great chicken nugget texture that even the pickiest toddler nugget connoisseur will enjoy.

Freezer Tips

There are 2 ways you could freeze the chicken nuggets – choose which works best for you!

  • Your first option is mixing the meat mixture, form it into nuggets, and freeze flat on a baking sheet. When the nuggets are frozen, pop them into a freezer bag to store in the freezer. You can bake them off from the frozen state for dinner adding an extra 5-10 minutes.
  • OR you can mix and bake the nuggets fully, and then freeze them already baked off. I can see myself doing this for easy lunchbox add-ins. They are already cooked and you can toss them in to lunchboxes frozen – they will thaw by lunchtime.

Sheet Pan Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets :: Egg Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Grain Free & EASY Prep (NO Breading or Dredging!)

Renee Kohley – Raising Generation Nourished
5 from 18 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken I pick up organic ground turkey at Costco
  • 2 tbsp room temp coconut oil
  • 2 cups finely shredded sweet potato I just use my box grater. This ends up being 1-2 sweet potatoes depending on the size
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ΒΌ tsp pepper

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Everything into a medium mixing bowl and combine well.
  • Scoop small portions of the meat mixture (size of ping pong ball), roll into a ball, and then flatten onto a Silpat lined or parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can make the nuggets any size (and shape) you want. The nuggets do not spread out or puff up, so make them the size/shape/thickness you want.
  • Bake the nuggets for 12-13 minutes, flip them over using tongs, and then bake another 11-13 minutes depending on the size of your nuggets. Let them cool a few minutes before serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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47 Comments

  1. Would ground up oats work instead of coconut flour? We are not gluten free and so I don’t have the specialty flours in hand.

    1. Hi Rebecca! I think the oats would be fine – there is a different absorbency in oats versus coconut flour so you would have to play around with the amount. I do think regular flour would be fine too if you have that.

  2. Made these tonight. So, so good! Thank you for this recipe. I love things I can stash away in the freezer!

  3. 5 stars
    I know your recipe was created with kids in mind but as a 32-year old I was obsessed with these!! My husband and I are big kids who love chicken nuggets πŸ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    With a preschooler and infant, I can see myself making up these chicken nuggets and freezing them precooked for quick dinners and lunchbox meals. The addition of sweet potato is genius!

  5. These are a hit with my 6 kids ages 20-4! I made a double batch and they loved them! I used almond flour instead and it mixed in perfectly. Great flavor!

  6. Yummy! I made a double batch for the freezer πŸ™‚ next time I will probably use butter because they taste a bit coconutty to me. Can you speak to any taste or texture difference using turkey vs. chicken? My family is not fond of turkey but it’s much easier to find than ground chicken where I live. Thanks Renee!

  7. Hi Renee! Love your blog! I have a little less than a pound of ground turkey. Do you think I could add ground up chicken liver to make it a full pound? Not sure if that would ruin the consistency or flavor of the nuggets.

    1. Hi Becky! I don’t have an air fryer, but my guess is that they should work in there too! It makes as many as is on that sheet pan in the picture πŸ™‚

  8. Hi do you think you could sneak in a green vege in there like finely chopped kale or spinach? Or will it make it too soggy thanks