These buffalo chicken nuggets are the best easy and healthy weeknight dinner or meal prep idea. They’re Whole30, Paleo, grain and gluten-free, low carb and perfect for lunch, dinner, appetizers and even chopped up to make a buffalo chicken salad! It’s a simple Whole30 ground chicken recipe that only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes in the oven!
Chicken nuggets are the perfect finger food, right up there with chicken wings and chicken tenders. These Whole30 buffalo chicken nuggets are no exception. They’re easy to make, fun to eat and dunk in your favorite sauces, and pack a little bit of a punch from the buffalo sauce. These are also awesome reheated and thrown over a salad!
Ingredients for Whole30 Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
It doesn’t take much more than a few common pantry items to make these Whole30 chicken nuggets. You’ll need a pound of ground chicken, and then some buffalo or hot sauce (I use Frank’s Original). The nugget mixture calls for an egg, some almond flour and a few simple spices like garlic powder and salt.
The “breading” you’ll make is an easy combination of coconut flour and salt. If you want to jazz things up, and you’re not strictly dairy-free, add about 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan to the chicken nugget mixture, it’s a great cheesy addition!
How to Make These Buffalo Chicken Nuggets
First you’ll start by just quickly mixing all of the chicken nugget ingredients together in a large bowl. You want to incorporate everything together, but you do not want to over mix the ground chicken. Because ground chicken is super sticky and can be a pain to deal with, you should refrigerate the mixture for about 30 minutes before forming it into nuggets to make it easier to work with.
While it’s refrigerating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and mix the “breading” ingredients together. Place parchment paper onto a large sheet pan, or spray with cooking oil spray to prevent sticking. Pull the chicken mixture out and lightly grease your hands. You’ll then form nuggets that are about 1/4 inch thick and two inches long, in the shape of a flat egg (wider rounded bottom with slightly rounded pointed top).
Place each nugget directly onto the baking sheet and repeat until the chicken mixture is gone. Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and then use tongs to dip each nugget in the buffalo mixture you’ve made and place back on the baking sheet. Then you’ll bake for another 10 minutes. If you want them crispier, bake for 15 instead, or use the broiler function for the last few minutes of baking.
Other Ground Chicken Recipes: Sweet Potato Chicken Nuggets, Chipotle Chicken Skillet, Instant Pot Chicken Meatballs, Chicken Apple Sausages
Alternative Nut Flours
This Whole30 recipe uses both almond flour and coconut flour. The almond flour is used in the binding, and the coconut flour is used in the “breading”. Almond flour is a bit thicker and more “bulky” which works best for the binding, while coconut flour is very fine and makes a great thin breading.
If you want to use almond flour for the breading, you can. It will be thicker and a bit more grainy than coconut flour. Alternatively, you could use cassava flour as another paleo and Whole30 option, and it would be a 1:1 swap for both the binding and breading.
Cooking in the Air Fryer
These buffalo chicken nuggets can be cooked in the air fryer. You’ll want to place in a single layer, and cook for 12 minutes on 400 degrees, and flipping halfway through. Depending on the type of air fryer you have, and how big (or small) you make your Whole30 nuggets, you may need to add more time or take them out a few minutes early. Once they’re done, you can brush on a bit more buffalo sauce.
Using Cubed Chicken Breast
If you want to use chicken breast instead of ground chicken, you can, but they will not have the same type of chicken nugget texture inside. To swap ground chicken for chicken breast, you’ll need about 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed into bite size pieces.
You’ll leave out the egg, buffalo sauce and almond flour and instead just toss the cubed chicken with the spices and salt. You will need to beat an egg to use to coat each piece being the chicken won’t be wet enough for the flour to stick to it. Then, follow the rest of the instructions to coat each piece coconut flour mixture, but coat in the beaten egg first before dredging with the flour.
Buffalo Sauce Recommendations
I almost always just use Frank’s original, and mix it with a bit of ghee to make a buffalo sauce. However, there are some other options available that are Whole30 compliant, and don’t contain any junk ingredients. If you use an actual buffalo sauce, you wouldn’t need to add ghee to the mixture, so you could skip that step in the instructions when making these chicken nuggets.
- The New Primal Medium Buffalo Sauce (or available in mild and hot as well)
- Tessemae’s Mild Buffalo Sauce (or available in hot)
These are all available to be purchased online individually for a better price on Thrive Market (new members receive a $20 shopping credit). You can also find all of the nut flour, ghee, and spices used in this recipe on Thrive.
Other Whole30 Recipes Using Buffalo You’ll Love:Print
For the Chicken:
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/3 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 tbsp Frank’s Original (or preferred hot sauce/buffalo sauce)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 egg
For the Breading:
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Buffalo Sauce:
- 1/4 cup Frank’s
- 1/4 cup melted ghee
- Combine all of the chicken ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, combine them together. Mix them well, but do not over mix. Place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up the chicken mixture and make it easier to work with
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with oven-safe parchment paper, or spray with a light coat of cooking oil spray
- Mix the salt and coconut flour for the breading in a small bowl. Remove the chicken mixture from the fridge. Lightly grease your hands so the chicken doesn’t stick as much. Begin forming the chicken nuggets. They should be about 1/4 inch thick and about 2 inches long and formed into a flattened “egg shape”
- Place each nugget into the small bowl with the coconut flour and flip to coat. The coating should be thin, you can let any excess fall off back into the bowl. Then, place it directly onto the baking sheet
- Repeat this process until all of the chicken nuggets have been formed and breaded
- Bake for 20 minutes. While it’s baking, combine the Frank’s and melted ghee into a small bowl. After the 20 minutes is up, remove the sheet pan from the oven and use a tongs to dip each nugget into the buffalo sauce and coat completely on both sides. Place each one back onto the baking sheet
- Repeat this until all of the nuggets are coated in buffalo. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. If you want them to be a bit more crispy, bake instead for 15 minutes, or, use the broiler function for the last few minutes, watching closely so they do not burn
- Remove them from the oven and brush on additional buffalo sauce if you want them to be saucy, or leave them as is
Keywords: Whole30 Ground Chicken, Whole30 Chicken Recipes, Whole30, Chicken Nuggets, Buffalo, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free
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