Thursday, April 26, 2012

Baked Gluten-free Chicken nuggets

 Here's a recipe that I came up with after watching a video by Sarah Carey of Everyday Foods. It is a great recipe for Baked Chicken Nuggets and I was inspired to make it because my grandson really loves chicken nuggets but gets to have them only on rare occasions since he shouldn't eat wheat.

He was excited when I told him I was making his favorite food. He said, "Are they nuggets I can have?" I was happy to tell him yes.

I started out with 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them into nugget-sized pieces. I then salted and peppered them and drizzled them with olive oil.

I used 3/4 cups of rice flour to coat the chicken pieces. I then put them in an egg mixture of three eggs and one tablespoon of almond milk. The egg gives it that great yellow hue that make the pieces look like true chicken nuggets. You could also dredge them with plain almond milk but they won't have the golden brown appearance.

After that I used crushed Rice Chex cereal. Corn Chex would have worked, too but we were trying to make it a rice day. Those on rotation diets know what I mean. Any gluten-free cereal that is not sweet would work.

I put the Rice Chex in my blender (a food processer will work, too) and whizzed them on a low until they were all crushed up. It takes about one cup of crushed cereal for one chicken breast. Olive oil should be drizzled onto the cereal crumbles and mixed in.

The chicken pieces can be rolled in a bowl, as I did it, or the crushed cereal can be poured into a baggie and you can do a little shaking before the baking.

This step is very important and the reason I just had to try this recipe. I put a cooling rack on top of a baking pan and then put the nuggets on the cooling rack. The nuggets have the hot air all around them and that is why they are so crispy. I was so amazed! I had always used my cooling racks for just--cooling. I didn't know they had other purposes. I think this is the reason this recipe turns out so well. Thanks Sarah Carey for this great tip!!

After the nuggets were on the rack, I baked them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, turned them, changed the oven temperature to 450 degrees and baked them about 8 to 10 minutes longer and checked for doneness. I used a meat thermometer. Mine read about 155 degrees and I knew they were plenty done.

 Serve them with dipping sauce. I made some mustard-agave sauce but a barbeque sauce or ketchup would be great.

My grandson really liked them and said, "They are good, but not as good as Chick-fil-A." I was pleased. Not much is better than Chick-fil-A. My husband said the recipe was a keeper.

For the Mustard sauce I added a tablespoon of agave, 2 tablespoons of mustard a sprinkling of garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise.

Gluten-free "Oven-fried" Chicken Nuggets

2-1/2 to 3 cups of Rice Chex or other gluten-free cereal that is not sweet
Cooking spray
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into nugget-size pieces
Generous amount of salt and pepper for the chicken
Onion powder, optional
2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle on the chicken and the cereal
3/4 cup white rice flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon almond milk

Prepare the Rice Chex by crushing cereal in a blender on low or in a food processor. You will need 2-1/2 to 3 cups of finely crushed cereal for this recipe. Pour crushed cereal into a bowl or gallon-size plastic bag. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in crumbs and mix well.

Prepare the cooking pan by putting a cooling rack inside a large baking pan. Spray the rack with cooking spray.  Preheat oven at 400 degrees.

Cut up 3 chicken breasts into nugget-size pieces. Generously salt and pepper the chicken and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle on optional onion powder.

Put rice cereal into a bowl and break eggs into a separate bowl and beat well.

Dredge chicken in rice flour, then egg mixture, then roll in crushed cereal. Put chicken on top of rack placed on large baking pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees on one side, turn all pieces over, increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is completely done.


  1. These sound and look delicious! LOVE the tip about using the cooling rack to keep the heat/air all around them!

  2. Love this post, Deberah - these look so delicious! Great photos too. That's sweet of you to make them for your grandson, it sounds like he appreciates them. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Joanie