Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

Today’s post is written by my husband G who is a Baltimore, Maryland native and die hard Ravens fan. He’ll introduce our new recipe for Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets just in time for Sunday’s Ravens-49ers match-up. The following recipes may come in handy for Super Bowl parties if you are looking for some delicious finger food without all the junk. Take it away G!

Super-Bowl Sunday – It’s an American tradition!

Since the first Super Bowl game was played in January of 1967 between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, the game has morphed into a mega-event that can captivate an entire nation for one Sunday afternoon. If you believe the statistics, nearly 85% of all Americans will be watching this year’s game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Simply put, that’s incredible!

And let’s not forget the drama surrounding Super Bowl XLVII. For starters, the head coaches of each team are brothers! That’s right, brothers! John Harbaugh coaches the Ravens and his younger brother Jim coaches the 49ers. Then there’s the impending retirement of the Raven’s team leader and future Hall-of-Fame linebacker Ray Lewis, as well as the ascension of wonder-boy 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick to genuine NFL superstar. All in all, it looks to be a great game as fans around the country hunker down in front of their televisions to cheer on their team.

And what Super Bowl party would be complete without good food? Unfortunately if you’re eating Paleo, the pickings are often slim…but it doesn’t have to be that way! In the spirit of great tasting, all-American bar-food that goes so well with football and the Super Bowl, we’re happy to present…

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets!

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets: PaleoSpirit.com

These paleo buffalo chicken nuggets are surprisingly tasty! (Our family fights over these every time Lea makes them.)

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets: Paleo Spirit

Now for the recipes…first come the chicken nuggets, then homemade blue cheese dressing, dairy-free ranch dressing and how to make a plain paleo chicken nuggets version.

Ingredients

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

  • 1 pound ground chicken (a little fat makes for a moister nugget)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 teaspoons Frank’s RedHot Original Red Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Paleo Chicken Nugget Coating

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt

Buffalo Chicken Nugget Sauce 

  • 1/3 cup Frank’s RedHot Original Red Hot Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup coconut flour, onion powder, garlic powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl place the ground chicken, one egg, 2 tsp Frank’s hot sauce and the coconut flour mixture.
  4. Mix with hands until well-combined but do not overmix.paleo buffalo chicken nuggets
  5. Scoop out approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture and roll into little meatballs. (You should end up with about 20.)paleo buffalo chicken nugget balls
  6. Shape each meatball into a flatter, “nugget” shape. (I did this assembly-line style)
  7. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup coconut flour, 2 tablespoons flax meal and 1/4 teaspoon salt and dip each nugget gently into the flour mixture until coated on all sides.
  8. Place the coated chicken nuggets onto a baking sheet covered with a Silpat or parchment paper.paleo buffalo chicken nuggets
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. While chicken nuggets are baking, stir together 1/3 cup Frank’s hot sauce and 3 tablespoons ghee or butter and heat until warm and combined.
  11. Once the chicken has baked for about 15 minutes, remove chicken nuggets from the oven and carefully dip each one in the butter mixture until coated on all sides. Place each nugget back on the baking sheet and bake for another 5 minutes.
  12. Serve hot with celery sticks and dip of choice. (See following recipes for Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing and Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing.)

Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

If you can eat dairy you might like to try our homemade blue cheese dressing recipe.

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

  • 4 ounces good blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt to taste

Crumble the blue cheese into the remaining ingredients and stir until well-combined with a creamy texture (or as chunky as you like it) add salt to taste.

If you are dairy-free you could try a paleo ranch dressing.

Dairy-Free Ranch Dressing

  • 1 cup paleo mayonnaise
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Plain Paleo Chicken Nuggets

not a nugget

I’m a “Paleo” Nugget!

If you are making these chicken nuggets for smaller kids or simply do not love the “Buffalo” flavor I suggest the following:

  • Leave out the 2 teaspoons of hot sauce in the meat mixture.
  • Bake the coated nuggets as instructed and simply dip them in melted ghee (or butter) prior to cooking the last 5 minutes. (Without the ghee the nuggets will be too powdery)
  • Alternatively, you could fry the coated nuggets in some ghee for about 3-4 minutes per side and finish in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

We’re curious – What are your favorite Super Bowl party snacks? Will you be trying to stick to a paleo menu?

Thanks for stopping by!

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68 thoughts on “Paleo Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

    • Hi Esha,
      Ghee is lactose and casein-free so it is an option for many folks who cannot otherwise tolerate “dairy” products. It tastes great too!
      Thanks for your comment.
      Lea

  1. I tried to make these tonight but completely messed up the recipe – don’t talk on the phone and try to make a new recipe… Anyways, I made the nugget mix, and then combined everything…. for the rest. After realizing what a mess I made I just threw it all together and combined it. Even though it was not how you suggested it.. It tasted very good! Thank you and next time I try this I will do it right… :-)

    • Jill,
      I think there are several different ways you could go about making this so it sounds like you accidentally found one! I hope this doesn’t mean the instructions were too confusing! I might go back and separate the ingredients for the breading from the sauce mixture – that may have made it confusing. Thanks for the feedback.
      Lea

  2. We couldn’t wait, so we tried these w/things we had on hand as I’m in the process of changing over my kitchen to paleo! My substitutes: Ground turkey instead of Chicken, rolled oat flour instead of Coconut flour, hawiian marinade & herb marinade instead of the hot sauce. (we had 2 sauces as I had a Costco size ground turkey package! Both were very good!)

    Definitely cannot wait to make them again using the correct ingredients! The kids enjoyed dinner tonight! :)

    • Lisa, I know a lot about giant Costco bags of food that need to be used! I can imagine turkey works well in this dish. I chose chicken mainly because of the whole “chicken nugget” thing. :-) its great when we find things the kids will like. Thanks for letting me know your alterations.

    • Mary, I’m not familiar with Tiger sauce. I would guess any spicy, cajun-style (or similar) sauce would work. Frank’s is mostly vinegar and cayenne pepper. I hope it turns out good. Lea

  3. Do you think it would be ok to freeze half of the batch? I made them today and they are delicious! But it’s just me and I can’t eat them all over the next couple days.

    • I don’t see why not. Although I haven’t tried because every time I’ve made the nuggets we’ve finished them off. Let me know if it works!

    • Hi Brittany,
      I’m glad you like the recipe. Linking is great but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t repost the recipe in its entirety. Thanks!
      Lea

  4. Yesterday my boy asked for those terrible frozen nuggets, I told him no and I would cook him nice ones. So tonight I made these ones. “They are real nice” was the comment from the very hard to please 14yr old. Even hubby down them but he would like it with spice so I will have to try some spicy sauce for him.

    I will have this recipe on hand from now on, thanks Lea!!!!

  5. Hi Lea,
    First time commenting – love your blog. Thank you for all of the recipes – I made your Coconut Cream Pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I can’t wait to make these for my kids (the plain ones at least). Nuggets used to be an easy school lunch and boy do I miss easy school lunch making! Thanks again!

    Erin

  6. I haven’t tried the nuggets yet (making them tonight), but I used that same coating to fry some tenderized veal cutlets in bacon fat just now and it was great!

  7. These were the best nuggets ever!! My husband loved these and so did my 2yr old. I think daddy loved them more :)) thanks for the great recipes! Keep them coming!

  8. These were sooooo good! Made them tonight for dinner and my girls, age 9 and 11, loved them. They helped me make them which was fun for them, and they will definitely be in our rotation of favorites. We are going to use the leftovers tomorrow for a buffalo chicken salad.

  9. Made these and they were great! I didn’t have hot sauce so I used half a tsp of chili powder and a tsp of mustard instead in the chicken mix and in the dipping butter I added a tsp of smoked paprika and a half tsp of chilli powder.

  10. Made these for the Super Bowl and they were a great hit! Since I was feeding grown men, I doubled the recipe and made them slightly bigger. All were impressed by the flavor and how filling they were. Now I’m gonna try using some thai ingredients to give them a different kick! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. I’ve made these again and again. But today I I made a double batch, cooked them in ghee and now I am going to freeze them so when my son comes home from school all he has to do is finish cooking them in the oven. Whoa, a healthy after school snack. I have frozen them in a snap lock bag so he can SEE them and can get the amount he needs.

    • Meant to ask, he would like a sauce like sweet and sour. Any ideas?? He does not like mayo at all. At the moment he uses BBQ sauce but he says it needs something different.

    • Coconut flour is very different from what you can create at home. The store bought version is very dry and absorbs a lot of liquid. You could try leaving it out entirely and using less egg. I believe I’ve gotten a comment or two saying it worked out that way.

  12. Thanks for the recipe! My gym is doing a 21 day nutrition challenge which is basically a paleo/detox adventure, and these work wonderfully as a protein option! Quite delicious

  13. Oh man, these are the BEST chicken nuggets I have ever had!! Followed the recipe precisely, and they turned out perfectly!!! I have 3 teenage boys, so I tripled the recipe, and frozen them individually on cookie sheets before the baking process. Slammed them all in a giant ziplock bags. These cooked awesomely from the freezer. This is totally a keeper!!! Thanks for posting the recipe!! You rock!! :o)

    • Oh wow Shantel,
      Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m actually really glad to hear that they freeze well before being cooked. I’ll have to try that in the future.
      Lea

      • Heya :) Baked them from the freezer at 400, don’t remember for how long. I checked after about 20 minutes with a thermometer for internal temp to read 165 F. I turned the oven back down to 375 when I removed the nuggets for the final hot sauce process. Then, cooked at 375 for the final 5 minutes as the recipe states. They were just as good as the ‘no-freeze’ ones…

    • Hi Erica,
      I haven’t taken the time to look up the nutrition profile for these ingredients. As long as I know I am using healthful ingredients I don’t really worry about the details and I don’t count calories. But if you really want to know the details I believe there are tools you can find online to plug the ingredients in and get the nutrition info.
      Lea

  14. Just made these, delish. Can’t wait to try other recipes from this website. Thanks so much for sharing

  15. Made these tonight and they were amazing! Trying to eat healthy to keep Rheumatoid Arthritis in check. My big guys are always saying “ohhh boy” when I have something healthy and new. They loved these and couldn’t find a single thing “wrong” with them. :)

    • Jane just wanted to let U know Ilove these & have made them into BBQ & Teriaki to keep things interesting…& they freeze great……….!!!!

  16. I made these today but mine didn’t turn out golden like yours. Still yummy though. Also I used ground turkey instead of chicken.

  17. These were terrific! Everything turned out perfectly and as described. Definitely using ground chicken for nuggets from now on…so much better! I will definitely be trying the plain version of these as well. I appreciated that the ingredients were easy to find and reasonably priced, too.

  18. sooo… they look great, however mine didnt turn out anything like the photos!

    i used ground turkey, and when i measured 2 tablespoons for each ball , i only got about 16 ..

    and after baking them all the flour came off them :S

    any tips?? thanks!

    • Well, the recipe is for ground chicken and you used turkey – similar but probably not completely the same, especially if you used very lean turkey. The chicken will probably be moister than ground turkey, at least that has been my experience and could account for why the flour came off if they were too dry. The #20 is just an estimate but you can see from my photo I did have exactly 20. That is measuring 2 tablespoons (not rounded). So if you try it again I would recommend you use ground chicken, not turkey (which will also have a different color) and maybe add less coconut flour into the mix. Good luck.

  19. Yummy! Thanks for sharing. Mine turned out tasty but a little dry, maybe I’ll use less “flour” in the egg/chicken mix next time.

  20. Pingback: Paleo Super Bowl Recipes

    • Jess,
      I haven’t tried it but some people have even left the coconut flour out of the meat mixture with no problem. I would imagine almond flour could be substituted for that or left out entirely. An almond flour coating would also probably work.

  21. Hello there. These nuggets sound fantastic and I am pumped to try them out. How many nuggets does your recipe make? I am making lunch for the whole week and want to make sure I have enough before I get started. Thanks!

  22. I had a little trouble with the portioning of the chicken. The directions say to use 2 tablespoons of chicken per nugget but they came out huge! I scaled them down so hopefully they will turn out well!!

    • If you are using level tablespoons (not heaping tablespoons) they shouldn’t be huge. However, I use a small cookie scoop with mine to get a uniform size. I thought it was two tablespoons size but it may actually be 1 1/2 tablespoons. I updated the recipe to reflect that. If you can get your hands on one of those scoops it will make the process easier and the nuggets more consistent in size.

    • I’m glad you thought the nuggets were tasty. Unless you are deep frying them they aren’t going to get especially crispy. I haven’t tried deep frying them, by the way, but the baking with these flours is going to be different from regular flour. Even with regular wheat flour I don’t think baking would necessarily give the same crispy result that frying would.

    • I’m glad you thought the nuggets were tasty. Unless you are deep frying them they aren’t going to get especially crispy. I haven’t tried deep frying them, by the way, but baking with these flours is going to be different from regular flour. Even with regular wheat flour I don’t think baking would necessarily give the same crispy result that frying would.

  23. If you’re considering trying this recipe, do it! So good! Like others said, they weren’t crispy at all, but they are delicious with the perfect amount of spicy flavour! I had to nearly double the sauce recipe, and the coating recipe yielded slightly more than necessary, but everything else worked perfectly on this recipe. I’m so glad to find such a great recipe that’s still Paleo! Thank you!

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