These Grown-Up Coconut Crusted Chicken Nuggets are an easy, 15 minute dinner that will transport you back to your childhood. They’re amped up with spices, coconut and a tangy roasted red pepper dip!
So when I was a kid, my family would get the 20 piece Mickey D’s nuggets for my cousins and I to share. I used to eat the crust only and leave the “chicken” part in the box. Needless to say when my grandma saw this, she was less than amused by my food waste.
Maybe I was just a weird kid or maybe my palate was so elevated that I could sense something was off? I’m guessing it’s the first one but let’s go with the elevated palate for the sake of this story… I was definitely being picky with my nuggets or as Tim would say “chicken nugs”, but something about the texture of the ground mystery meat was off putting, even as a kid. When I got older and they rolled out chicken tenders, I was all over those! I think it’s because there’s a sense of peace in being able to tell what your food is made of.
As you guys know, I like to focus on healthy swaps and these grown-up chicken nuggets are definitely that. My relationship with chicken nuggets is obviously odd, but there is a lot of nostalgia tied up in picturing that big red box of nuggets and fries. I think about the delicious fried food smell wafting into the air and then the awesome slow motion dunk into a heap of ketchup.
If you’re a parent, hungry college kid, tired office worker or anything in between, I know buying a bag of frozen nuggets and heating them up sounds like a quick and easy option. But what if I told you that you can make even better nuggets, with real chicken breast tenders in the same amount of time? You’ll be surprised how simple these chicken nuggets are to make.
Why should you make chicken nuggets from scratch?
- They cook in less than 20 minutes
- There’s no mystery about what’s in them
- You can personalize the flavors to your liking
- They’re got a great texture
- Super deliciousness of course!
To make these chicken nuggets all grown-up, I went with an crunchy toasted coconut and almond crust. Tip: If you’re on a paleo or gluten free diet, these nuggets are a great option! And if the a grown-up crust isn’t enough, I made a roasted red pepper dip to dunk these little nuggets in. When I was in college there was a crepe place I used to go to that served their savory crepes with roasted red pepper dip. I’ve never been able to find anything like it since. This roasted red pepper dip will definitely give your ketchup a run for it’s money.
Ditch the ketchup!
- Traditional ketchup is usually really high in sugar and other additives
- There are plenty of healthier ketchup options
- Since these chicken nuggets have a sweet coating, a tangy dip like this roasted red pepper dip, gives the meal a nice balance
- Added bonus, there’s ZERO sugar in this dip
To make these chicken nuggets, I recommend getting some of these products below, so that they come out perfect every time:
- Parchment paper to prevent sticking
- Tongs to pick up the nuggets
- High quality olive oil to help the coating stick
Ready to be all grown-up with your nostalgic dinner? Give these a try and let me know what you think!
Coconut Crusted Chicken Nuggets
- 7-8 chicken breast tenders
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup almond flour or finely chopped almonds
- 2 tbs dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 2 medium sized roasted red peppers, jarred
- 5 sun dried tomatoes Dry in a bag, not packed in oil
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 4 sprigs chives You can use the green tops of scallions instead
- 1 tbs coconut aminos You can use soy sauce and a dash of honey/maple syrup instead
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place coconut flakes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 2-3 minutes until lightly brown. Tip: Do not leave the kitchen, they burn easily so you need to watch them closely
- Cut chicken into nugget sized chunks and coat with olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. On a large plate mix together toasted coconut flakes with almond flour/crushed almonds. Press chicken pieces into coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake about 7 minutes until cooked through. Enjoy!
- Roasted Red Pepper Dip: Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend 30 seconds until uniformly combined; should be a relish consistency. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: If you purchase any of the linked products above, I will receive a commission. I do however stand by how awesome they are!