The chicken nugget is a delicious and crispy, bite-sized mystery that Americans have had a love/hate relationship with for decades. On the one hand, they are the embodiment of fast-food culture. Great to eat on the go, the nugget has been enjoyed by kids and adults alike—although some adults might hide in the shadows when they eat them. Why? The nugget has been stigmatized thanks to the fast food industry. Many people view them as a little treasure of mystery minced meat and indecipherable ingredients that can generate a little bit of guilt during consumption.

BUT it is possible to make shameless chicken nuggets in your home kitchen. It takes very little time, and this particular nugget recipe us paleo friendly, which means that everyone can find something to love. Make a double batch and pack lunches with these little guys throughout the week.

These chicken nuggets can be prepared using two different methods. They can be oven “fried” in a skillet or baking sheet for a bit of a healthier nugget, or they can be deep fried on the stove top for absolute maximum flavor that’s a bit closer to the nuggets we have known and loved for so many years.

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

2lbs ground chicken

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t smoked paprika

1/2 t granulated onion

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1/2 t granulated garlic

1 egg

3/4 C almond flour or tapioca flour


1 T water

1 egg beaten

1 C lard


2 T coconut oil


Mix the ground chicken with the dry spices and one egg. Make small chicken patties using your hands, or an ice cream scoop, or some spoons. Roll the little patties into the almond or tapioca flour and set aside.

If deep frying—heat the lard in a pot on the stove top on medium heat. Add the water and the beaten egg to the remaining almond or tapioca flour and coat the nuggets in the batter, then fry immediately in the hot lard. Cook until the nugget reaches 165 degrees internally.

If pan frying—set the oven to 425 degrees and heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet or baking sheet. Place the remaining almond or tapioca flour in a bowl or plastic zippered bag and add the nuggets a few at a time and shake them around to coat them in the flour. Add the nuggets to the skillet and gently toss them around to coat them evenly in the oil.

Bake for 8 minutes on one side and then flip over and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked to 165 degrees internally.

Two pounds of chicken will make a lot of nuggets, but they keep well and travel to school and work very easily, so its okay to have leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.