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Easy Air Fryer Keto Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
All of your retro dreams come true with these Easy Air Fryer Keto Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets that will take you back to your childhood!
Of course there are frozen ones from the grocery store and fast food chicken nuggets, but THESE Easy Air Fryer Keto Gluten-Free Nuggets do not have fillers and are made with simple ingredients!
They fit into a low carb, keto AND gluten free lifestyle as they are made with a can of chicken so no need to work with raw chicken!
Chicken nuggets have been a staple in our diets since childhood, and they continue to hold a special place in our hearts.
Even my picky eaters do not leave a single crumb on their plate when I serve up these healthy chicken nuggets as an easy dinner or lunch.
Traditionally, deep-fried chicken nuggets are made with all purpose flour or gluten-free flour, but I will show you how easy recipes, like these homemade air fryer chicken nuggets, can be made easy and delicious without these flours.
This air fryer chicken nuggets recipe still delivers the crunchy outside you are looking for without needing any starchy flours like rice flour or tapioca flour.
Get ready to indulge in a gluten free version of this beloved classic with a crunchy coating that stands up to your favorite dipping sauce!
Keep reading for tips, substitutions, and frequently asked questions as well as a video showing you how I make these homemade nuggets!
What you will need to make these gluten free homemade chicken nuggets.
- Canned chicken breast, drained (all white meat chicken)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Almond flour
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Crushed pork rinds (any flavor)
Let’s make this Gluten-Free Chicken Air Fryer Nuggets Recipe!
Begin by preheating your airfryer to 400°F (200°C) for a few minutes.
Drain the canned chicken thoroughly to remove any excess liquid.
Set aside while you make the pork rind crumbs.
Pour pork rinds into a food processor to crush to fine crumbs.
Alternately you can smash in the original bag with a mallet or rolling pin, just make sure you let the excess air out of the bag first.
Now add the crumbs to a shallow bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of your food processor you just made your pork rind crumbs in, place your drained chicken, large egg, shredded mozzarella cheese, almond flour, onion powder, and garlic powder.
These ingredients will bind the chicken mixture together and add delicious flavor.
Pulse the ingredients together until well combined.
Or if mixing by hand, swish up with your hands to mix or use a sturdy wooden spoon.
Take a small amount of the chicken mixture and shape it into a nugget shape.
I prefer using a cookie scoop to portion out the healthy nuggets, but it is approximately 2 tablespoons worth.
If you want to make them larger, keep this in mind as the cook time will need to be increased.
Repeat this process until all the mixture has been used.
Now get your shallow dish with processed pork rinds and coat each chicken nugget with the crushed pork rinds, ensuring that all sides are covered evenly.
This should give you at least 10-13 breaded chicken nuggets.
The pork rinds will give the nuggets a delightful crunch when air fried.
Spray the airfryer basket with cooking spray, preferably avocado oil, to prevent the nuggets from sticking.
I do not recommend using parchment paper as it will hinder the browning from underneath.
Then place the coated chicken nuggets in the airfryer basket in a single layer, making sure they are not touching each other.
Now spray the tops of the nuggets with the cooking spray.
This gives them a nice golden brown color and extra crispiness.
Carefully place the air fryer basket in the preheated airfryer and cook the chicken nuggets at 400°F (200°C) for about 10-12 minutes.
Flip the nuggets halfway through the cooking process and spray the other side to ensure even browning.
Check the chicken nuggets for doneness by touching the middle.
If it feels soft and not crispy, then put them back in the air fryer for a few minutes more.
The internal temperature with a meat thermometer should reach 165°F (74°C), and the nuggets should be golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Once the chicken nuggets are cooked to perfection, remove them from the airfryer and allow them to cool slightly on a paper towel lined wire rack.
This ensures that any extra oil will be absorbed, and the rack helps them from getting soggy by releasing extra steam versus absorbing it.
By using an airfryer instead of deep frying, you significantly reduce the amount of oil and fat in the chicken nuggets.
Since this recipe uses almond flour and crushed pork rinds, it makes it suitable for those following a ketogenic or gluten-free diet.
The combination of shredded mozzarella cheese and flavorful seasonings adds a burst of taste to every bite.
Crushed pork rinds give the nuggets a satisfying crunch without the need for excessive frying or adding gluten free flours.
Airfrying also cuts down on cooking time and clean up, allowing you to enjoy your favorite chicken nuggets in a matter of minutes.
This makes it an ideal option for busy weeknights when you need something quick the whole family will love!
If you have any leftover chicken nuggets, keep them in the fridge in an airtight container up to 5 days or freeze them flat on a baking sheet for 1 hour, then transfer to a large freezer bag up to 3 months.
Reheat frozen chicken nuggets in the airfryer at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes.
For best results, make sure to spray them with some additional cooking oil so the frozen nuggets brown up like you want.
If your leftover nuggets are thawed, then 7 minutes.
Tips, Substitutions and FAQs
- Choose your own flavor of pork rinds as this will ultimately be the flavor that shines the most in these! I love bbq flavor as well as any spicy flavors of pork rinds!
- Make it fun when you have different dipping sauces available to go with your Air Fryer Keto Chicken Nuggets! Try my Low Carb Honey Mustard recipe but leave out the additional milk it calls for to make it a dip!
- You can also make these Air Fryer Keto Chicken Nuggets ahead of time for meal prep and freeze them! Just reheat in the oven or airfryer for 7 minutes!
- These Air Fryer Keto Chicken nuggets can be made in the oven too! The best way to get the crunchy texture is to bake them on a wire rack that is placed on a sheet pan. Follow all of the other instructions, including a 400F baking temperature. Check the nuggets at 5 minutes and flip for even baking.
- Add another layer of flavor when you substitute the sea salt with some pickle juice. It will add some salty flavor plus additional flavor from the pickles too.
- Can I use fresh ground chicken instead of cooked canned chicken? Yes, you can! You will follow the recipe as written, but the cook time will need to be increased by at least 10 minutes. You will need to check the internal temperature to make sure it is cooked completely. I would not recommend putting the raw chicken in the food proceesor. I would only use a spoon or my hands to mix so it doesn’t get too gummy.
- What about using whole chicken chunks to make chicken bites instead? Yes, you can make chicken bites! You will have to adjust they way that you put the ingredients together though. Instead of mixing the egg and cheese together, leave out the shredded cheese and dip the chicken pieces into the egg mixture. Combine the eggs with the spices in a small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken first into the egg wash, then coat in the pork rind crumbs. Bake them in the air fryer or oven just as you would the nuggets. In order to check doneness, use a meat thermomter or simply cut one in half.
- Can I use this gluten-free chicken nuggets recipe to make air fryer chicken tenders? Yes you can! It is very similar to my recipe for Extra Crispy Chicken Strips. You can go check out that recipe where I give you tips on breading to make the best gluten-free chicken tenders. When you increase the surface area being cooked, in this case a chicken strip or tender, it requires some extra steps, including additional heating time, to make sure they cook completely without burning or drying out.
- Are there other options for breading other than pork rinds? Yes, you can certainly use crushed up chips, or any other gluten free options that you have available like crackers or toasted bread crumbs. Make sure that what you are using is harder and will not absorb the moisture too much. You want it to stay crisp and be able to be crushed fine enough to coat the nuggets.
Easy Air Fryer Keto Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
- 12.5 ounce canned chicken drained
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup crushed pork rinds any flavor
- cooking spray avocado oil recommended
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the canned chicken, almond flour, mozzarella cheese, egg, onion powder, and garlic powder until well incorporated.
- Alternately, and recommended, put all in a food processor and process until combined.
- Scoop out in 2 tbsp amounts, pat into a nugget shape.
- Dip each chicken nugget into the crushed pork rinds, coating all sides, lightly pressing the crumbs into the nugget.
- Place the nugget on a cookie sheet, or air fryer basket lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
- Spritz a light coating of cooking spray on top of the nuggets.
- Bake or Air fry at 400 for 7 minutes, flip, and bake or air fry 7-8 minutes more, until crispy.
- Store leftovers in the freezer up to 2 months, or fridge for 5 days.
- Reheat in oven or airfryer for 7 minutes.
With this simple and wholesome recipe, you can indulge in crispy and delicious airfryer chicken nuggets without any guilt.
The combination of canned chicken, mozzarella cheese, and a flavorful coating will turn this easy meal into a family favorite in no time!
By airfrying instead of deep-frying, you can enjoy a healthier version of this classic dish without compromising on taste or texture.
Don’t forget to PIN the printable recipe card to your Pinterest board or print out the complete recipe card.
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