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Kalyn's Kitchen

Low-Carb Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal

Make your own Low-Carb and Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggers and they’re South Beach Diet Friendly! Or check out my updated Low-Carb Baked Chicken Nuggets with Mustard, Almond, and Parmesan.

South Beach Diet Friendly Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal found on KalynsKitchen.com

[Edit 2018: I came up with this version of chicken nuggets back in 2014, but nowdays I’d prefer my Low-Carb Baked Chicken Nuggets with Mustard, Almond, and Parmesan. But this version does have some fans so I am leaving it here for those who like it; take your choice!]

I’m not a mom who’s trying to feed kids while sticking to a carb-conscious diet, but if I was, I’m guessing I’d be even more excited about this way of making chicken nuggets with “breading” that doesn’t have any carbs. The inspiration for the recipe came from my lovely friend Bonnie who adapted a recipe that used Bisquick into a South Beach approved version using almond meal or almond flour.  Bonnie’s having great success on South Beach, trying out a new way of cooking and eating that she says she knows she will stick to for the rest of her life, and this chicken recipe is one of her great experiments. (Thanks Bonnie!)

I do think there are lots of other seasonings that might taste good in the coating for these nuggets besides the paprika and poultry seasoning I used in this recipe. If someone comes up with a good variation, we’d love to hear about it in the comments.

I used a pack with just two chicken breasts to test out the recipe, but it can easily be doubled or tripled. Start by cutting each chicken breast into 5 same-size pieces, trimming off any fat or tendons. (I save those scraps you see in the back for making homemade chicken stock.)

Then use a meat mallet or something else heavy to pound the thicker pieces of meat so they’re all about the same thickness.

Mix together almond meal or flour, paprika, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, to make a meal to dip the nuggets in. Coat each nugget piece with this mixture, pressing it on so it sticks.

Brush a baking sheet liberally with olive oil and preheat the pan in a 400F/205C oven, then lay the coated nuggets on the baking sheet.

After about 8-10 minutes, turn the nugget pieces so they will brown on the second side.

Cook nuggets about 10-12 minutes more on the second side, until they’re lightly browned and cooked through. Serve hot.

Make it a Meal: Some good low-carb side dishes for this would be Stir-Fried Green Beans with Lemon, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts, Spicy Mexican Slaw, or even Val’s Kid-Friendly Broiled Zucchini Rounds with Cheese if you’re making it for kids.

More Tasty Ideas with Baked Chicken:

Chicken Stuffed with Green Chiles and Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baked Chicken Nuggets from Macheesmo
Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Baked Chicken Drumsticks with Dijon Mustard and Ancho Chile Pepper Sauce from Cookin’ Canuck
Parmesan Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Alex’s Favorite Baked Chicken Mediterranean from Gluten-Free Goddess
Easy Recipe for Baked Pesto Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Low-Carb Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal
(Makes two servings, but can easily be doubled or tripled, recipe inspired by Bonnie’s baked chicken with almond meal.)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 T olive oil (enough to generously coat the baking sheet)
1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour
1 tsp. paprika (not smoked or hot)
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


Turn on the oven to 400F/205C. Brush a baking sheet liberally with olive oil and put the pan in the oven to heat as the oven preheats.

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then cut each breast into 5 nugget pieces (or more if you have a very large breast.) Use a meal mallet or something heavy to pound the thicker nugget pieces so they’re all the same thickness.Combine the almond meal, paprika, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in a bowl, mixing together well. Dip each nugget piece into the almond meal mixture, pressing on with your fingers so it coats the chicken. Coat all the nuggets before you remove the baking sheet from the oven.

When all nuggets are coated, lay them on the hot baking sheet and cook 8-10 minutes, or until the side touching the pan is lightly browned. Remove pan from oven, turn nuggets, and bake 10-12 minutes more on the second side, until nuggets are lightly browned and cooked through. (Don’t overcook.) Serve hot, with mustard or ranch dipping sauce if desired.

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Low-Carb Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal is a great dish for low-carb diet plans, and for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
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88 comments on “Low-Carb Chicken Nuggets with Almond Meal”

  1. Hi Janet Miller,
    Sorry, but I can't publish a comment with a link in it (otherwise my comments get over-run with spam comments.) But I did want to answer your questions here. These are crispy, but not in the way that flour-batted deep-fried nuggets are. I'd say try them as nuggets and see what you think as a base for Parmesan Chicken. (Personally I think it would be a winner.)

  2. Thanks Bryana, so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I was hesitant about using almond meal as I never used it before. This recipe just blew my mind and being on Phase 1 I was looking for new ideas. My boyfriend even said this recipe puts fast food to shame and wants this to be made more often! I love them too and I think will be a good football meal as well. Thank you for sharing your ideas! I am sending my family members to your site.

  4. Shirley, glad you enjoyed it. I'm thinking I need to try a version with pork!

  5. Kalyn, I've used this recipe twice. The first time I used it on pork chops and they were outstanding! Last night I used it on chicken tenders and they were delicious, too, but I think I like the breading more on pork. The fact that the pork was cooked at a higher temperature and yielded crustier breading could have been a factor, too. I made the recipe with smoked paprika last night and we thought that was great, too. 🙂 Thanks for such a simple, terrific recipe!


  6. Cynthia, thanks so much for sharing that, love hearing that will work. And way to go on the weight loss. I am in awe!

  7. I made these but substituted garbanzo bean flour for the almond meal. Fabulous!!! Been gluten free, dairy free bad following the Paleo clean eating regimen since May 2013,I've lost 90 bs. I love almond meal, but I usually will save my healthy fats for almond butter or my nut butters with celery and other veggies. Love your recips! Keep it up!

  8. Michelle, love hearing your adaptations, sounds good!

    Kelley, hope you enjoy.

  9. I love these Kalyn! I need to try these- love that they use almond meal instead of flour!

  10. I've made these many times and love them – with the slight addition of marinating the chicken briefly (1/2 hour is enough) in a mixture of mayonnaise, non-fat greek yogurt and Siracha or Louisiana Hot Sauce before breading. The marinade not only adds to the flavor but makes the nuggets SUPER tender.

    I also add parmesan cheese to the breading mixture.

    Thanks for all your fantastic recipes!! – Michelle

  11. Jayme, I haven't frozen them, but I'm guessing it would work. The biggest problem would be reheating them without getting them too dried out. Be sure to thaw thoroughly before you reheat. Love to hear how it works.

  12. Kaylen, I recently found your recipes on Pinterest, and I'm loving them! I made these nuggets tonight, and my 3-year-old loved helping and eating them! We put the coating in a plastic bag and shook them. 😉 My question is, can these be frozen and reheated? I got a little excited and made too many for us to eat in one night…

  13. I've made this recipe many times. Today I tried it with half almond meal and half course flax seed and found the flax seed helped to bring some crunch. For those posting regarding crunch level, try throwing in some flax!

  14. Glad it has been a hit. You could try a higher smoke-point oil (like grapeseed) or just don't heat the pan quite so long.

  15. This has been a big hit in our family – adults AND kids. Last night I added a little Rocky Mountain seasoning (thanks to your Penzeys spice recommendations I added it to an order)…a tasty option. My question though: while preheating the pan in the oven, I always end up smoking up the house. What am I doing wrong? Do I need more olive oil? Should I try a different oil? I've tried lowering the oven temp but it hasn't helped.

  16. using this "bread"ing tonight on my drumsticks! thanks for the idea!

  17. Yes, I think any type of almond meal should work.

  18. I went to Walmart and could only find the Bob's Almond meal/flour. So that will still work? I see the comment above that it is still almond meal, but it seems pretty fine. Thanks.

  19. I made this tonight for dinner for my husband and myself!! Soooooo good! Thanks for the recipe! I've been using your site a lot because I'm eating a bit of a low carb diet right now! Everything is great!

  20. Amanda, fun to hear that it will work with flax seed meal!

  21. made this and they were yummy! my publix grocery didn't carry almond meal, but they did carry flax seed meal, so I used that instead. definitely the feel of chicken nuggets but way healthier! (I was told that whole foods carries almond meal, but I'll finish the flax meal first before I buy new stuff.)

  22. Christina, glad you liked it.

  23. I love love LOVE this recipe. I use it when I'm on SBD and also when I'm not. It's delish, especially with a side of frank's hot sauce to dip the nuggets in. MMM…

  24. Glad you liked it, and good to know it can be cooked in a pan too!

  25. Delicious! I cooked them in a pan with a little oil also, and tried it both ways, bith were great! Thank you. The breaded stayed on! Yippee!

  26. Glad you liked the nuggets. Now I'm wondering if you dipped them in the Spicy Green Goddess dressing? That sounds good!

  27. Making these nuggets didn't take that much longer than it would take to throw some frozen nuggets into the pan and they are so much better for you Bc they are real chicken! Not those chicken lips processed nuggets. We made these tonight and ate them up! I also made your green goddess dressing and threw half a chipotle pepper in for a smokey flavored creamy dip. I highly recommend the dressing as a dip with or without the pepper! Thanks Kayln!

  28. Kim, great idea to cut them into smaller pieces instead of pounding. Glad they were a hit.

  29. These were just delicious! I made them last night, since my little granddaughters were spending the night with us. They kept asking for more!

    I found them to be tender and juicy with a browned crust. They weren't soggy by any means, but the don't get crispy like breading might. Still, they were fabulous, and super easy.

    I happen to have good, sharp knives, so instead of pounding the thick pieces, I just split them horizontally (butterflied) before cutting them into pieces. Worked great!

  30. Amy, did you preheat the pan? If you did that and they still were soggy I would wonder if your oven temperature was off. I'd try increasing it a little. I don't think these will ever get as crisp as fried nuggets, but they should be slightly crisp

  31. My nuggets were more soggy than crispy. I loved the flavoring but couldn't get the coating to "crisp" before the chicken dried out. Any ideas?

  32. Luna, so glad it was a hit!

  33. These are a home run! OMG they are SOOO great. My husband really really loved it too! YAY!

  34. Glad you liked the chicken nuggets, and thanks for sharing how you made your own almond meal. (I had heard you could do it, but haven't tried it myself.)

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