These easy butternut squash chicken nuggets are a healthy, Whole30 and gluten-free alternative to traditional nuggets. This recipe is a great way to sneak vegetables in, and are totally kid and family friendly, and paleo and low carb, too. With only a few ingredients, they’re also quick to make for a weeknight meal or meal prep!
These nuggets are made with only a few spices, ground chicken, butternut squash and a bit of coconut flour. They’re nut-free, but can be made with almond flour instead. This is also a great freezer friendly recipe and only take a few minutes to reheat from frozen. These are a lower-carb option to my sweet potato chicken nugget recipe, but both are equally as delicious, kid friendly and made for dipping!
Whole30 Butternut Squash Chicken Nugget Ingredients
You’ll need one pound of ground chicken, although ground turkey does work for these too. If you’re substituting ground turkey, keep an eye on them at the end of the baking time, as ground turkey can dry out really easily if overcooked. You’ll also need shredded butternut squash, coconut flour, and a few spices like garlic powder, chili powder, salt, minced onion and paprika.
The coconut flour can be substituted with almond flour in a 1:1 ratio. These flours can be found at almost all major retailers, and I get my flours and bulk spices online from Thrive Market for a discount, and new members receive a $20 shopping credit!
How to Make Butternut Squash Chicken Nuggets
These couldn’t be any more simple to make. You’ll first start by peeling the butternut squash and making one cut to cut the bulb off (the end piece with the seeds in it). Then you’ll need to shred it into a bowl using a flat grater, or, alternatively, you can use a food processor to shred. I tend to find it’s much easier and quicker for me to just quickly grate it directly into the bowl, and it cuts down on dishes and prep time.
Once you have 2 cups of butternut squash grated, combine the ground chicken, flour and spices with it in a large bowl. Use your hands to incorporate everything together. Be careful not to over-mix, as that can dry out the chicken. Once it’s fully combined, form into nugget shapes.
You’ll then place each one on a baking sheet that’s been lightly sprayed with olive or avocado oil. This recipe makes 12-16 nuggets, depending on how large you form them. Then bake them for 25 minutes on 350 degrees, and broiling for 2-3 minutes at the very end!
Serving & Freezing Instructions
These Whole30 chicken nuggets with butternut squash are best enjoyed with some ranch or BBQ sauce, so really I like to say these are just a vessel for your favorite dipping sauce! I prefer Primal Kitchen’s ranch or ketchup, all of which you can get as part of the Whole Kitchen Sink bundle! Or, you can easily make your own Whole30 ranch, southwest ranch or BBQ!
If you want to freeze these nuggets, you can do so prior to baking by setting them out on a baking sheet after they’re formed and placing the entire baking sheet into the freezer. Let them “set” for about an hour until the nuggets are pretty frozen, and then you can transfer them into a bag or freezer-safe storage container and they won’t stick together when you remove them. To cook, just let them thaw and then follow the instructions for baking!
To freeze after they’ve been cooked, let them cool completely first before transferring them into a freezer safe bag or container. I prefer to double the batch and then freeze them in individual servings (about 4 nuggets), so that I can quickly and easily grab them out of the freezer for an easy weeknight meal, lunch or meal prep. To cook from cooked and then frozen, you can either microwave them for 3-4 minutes, or bake them on 350 degrees F. for 15-20 minutes.
Other Healthy Ground Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:Print
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a baking sheet with a little bit of cooking oil, or lay down oven safe parchment/baking paper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until the butternut squash and spices are incorporated well
- Using your hands, form them into the nuggets. They should be about 1/4 inch-1/2 inch thick, in the shape of an oval or a “flat egg shape”
- Place each nugget directly onto the sheet pan, in even rows with space between each, and continue until all of the chicken mixture in the mixing bowl is gone
- Next, put the sheet pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. For a crisper nugget, broil for 2-3 additional minutes
- Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite dipping sauce
- You can substitute ground turkey for the chicken
- You can substitute almond flour for the coconut flour
- You can substitute butternut squash for sweet potato (you can find that recipe here)
- These can be cooked in air fryer by cooking for 12 minutes on 350, flipping halfway through
- Serving Size: 4 nuggets
- Calories: 235
- Fat: 12.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 10 g
- Fiber: 3.5 g
- Protein: 21.7 g
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