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Crispy low carb air-fried chicken nuggets are tender and juicy and make the perfect quick protein that will pair well with any sides. They are simply made with only 4 ingredients and they’ll satisfy any craving for fried nuggets!
Making Chicken Nuggets Healthier
Chicken nuggets, seem to be a favorite of most kids and even adults for that matter. But most of the time, the ones you purchase in the store will be made with undesirable ingredients.
Honestly, I love them because they are so delicious. But knowing that they are made with “parts of parts” and they get coated in the high carb batter before being deep-fried in those horrible vegetable oils makes me not even want to think about eating them nowadays.
However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t still eat them here in our home. What it does mean though is that instead of giving up chicken nuggets completely, I just strive to make them at home.
They are so good and so much better for us. My family is completely satisfied with skipping out on the high-carb processed nuggets these days thanks to this recipe.
Air fryer chicken nuggets are my guilt-free alternative to all those store-bought brands. They are so tender, juicy, and packed with protein, but they do lack all the carbs of their processed counterparts.
My low-carb air fryer chicken nuggets are breaded with crushed pork rings, almond flour, and parmesan, and come out of the air fryer with a perfectly crispy crust on the outside while juicy inside.
This nugget recipe makes enough for two servings but can be easily doubled. The nutrition breaks down to only 1.3 net carbs per serving so I say that is pretty awesome for fried chicken, wouldn’t you?
I promise you, that the first time you make this recipe, you’ll wonder why you ever waited so long to make your own chicken nuggets. You’ll never have to think about purchasing those grocery store nuggets for your kids or family again.
How To Make Chicken Nuggets From Chicken Breasts
First, you’ll need to prepare the chicken breast by trimming up the chicken and removing any skin or bones if you need to. You can either use whole chicken breasts or chicken tenders for this recipe.
The tenders will make things go a little faster than whole breasts, but they do tend to be a little more expensive, so I prepare to use whole breasts instead.
I like to remove any visible fat and then remove the tenderloin from the chicken breasts but you can opt o leave some of it on if you would like to.
If you prefer dark meat you can swap out the chicken breasts for boneless and skinless chicken thighs.
They work great as well and the dark meat brings in a much fattier cut of meat than the white meat. My husband is one of those people that prefers thighs to breast, so I use a thighs oven with this recipe.
Can You Cook These Chicken Nuggets In The Oven?
If you do not have access to an air fryer then you can cook these low-carb chicken nuggets in the oven and they will turn out just as delicious. Slightly less crunchy, but still they will have a very nice texture.
To cook these chicken nuggets in the oven simply follow the recipe instruction up to the point where you would put them into the air fryer to fry. But instead, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Next line the nuggets up on the parent paper in a single layer and make sure they are not overlapping or touching. You want them to be able to cook evenly and get golden brown.
To get these nice and crispy in the oven you’ll use some cooking spray to mist the tops of the nuggets before you place them into a 425-degree oven. Bake them for 2o to 25 minutes until they are nicely browned and cooked through.
You can turn them midway through cooking if you want to make sure they are evenly browned on both sides. But that is totally optional and either way, they will taste delicious.
How to Freeze Low Carb Chicken Nuggets
These chicken nuggets freeze well and are easily cooked from their frozen state. In fact, I think they are easier because you just pull them out, place them in your air fryer and cook.
These are great for those days when you a speedy lunch for the kids or when you’ve had a busy day and you need a good dinner idea that the whole family will love.
To do this, you can prepare the low-carb chicken nuggets as you want by getting them all cut up, dipped in egg wash, and breaded. Once they are all breaded up, place them on a tray that is lined with parchment paper.
It is important that you make sure the low-carb chicken nuggets aren’t touching each other on your trays. and are only in a single layer.
This will help each freezer individually so you can pull out as many or as little as you need later without them all being stuck together in one frozen lum.
Next, you’ll want to place the tray in the freezer for several hours to let them freeze solid. Then after they are frozen completely you can put them in a strong freezer bag and label them with the cooking instructions.
Once they are frozen and packed away in the air-tight bags, they will last up to a couple of months in the freezer but they never last that long here in my house.
Cooking The Chicken Nuggets From Frozen
When you’re ready to cook your frozen low-carb air fryer nuggets just take them out of the freezer and preheat your air fryer to 425 degrees. No need to thaw the nuggets, in fact, it is best if you don’t.
Spray your air fryer trays or basket depending on which type you have, with some cooking spray and lay the chicken nuggets in a single layer. Spray the tops with some additional cooking spray and fry for 20 to 25 minutes.
You may want to open the air fryer halfway through and flip the nuggets to brown them evenly on each side, but this isn’t something you have to do if you don’t want to.
What Side Go Well With These Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets?
These easy chicken nuggets go well with just about anything when it comes to side dishes. They can also be served on top of a salad or in a low-carb wrap as a chicken sandwich if you want to go that lighter route.
My family’s favorite way to have these is with some buttery cauliflower mash topped with a good low-carb gravy. There is just something about fried chicken and a creamy side of mash. They are awesome dipped in gravy!
Just in case you aren’t into mashed cauliflower and gravy I’ll add a few more delicious side dishes that would be perfectly paired with these nuggets. I’m pretty sure they will be a hit at your table no matter what you serve them with.
Easy Side Dishes:
- Easy Greek Salad: this salad is loaded with fresh veggies and pairs perfectly with fried chicken. So refreshing and the perfect summer side.
- Instant Pot Loaded Cauliflower: a creamy loaded cauliflower mash that is easily made in the instant pot and ready in a hurry.
- Bacon Ranch Coleslaw: this savory slaw is so creamy and has the perfect crunch. A great side to consider is if it is a hot day when you make the nuggets.
- Slow Cooker Parmesan Green Beans: a tasty green bean dish that is creamy and cheesy. It is cooked in the slow cooker for a great hands-off side dish option.
Juicy chicken breast coated with low carb and gluten-free crispy coating. Cooks in the air fryer in twenty minutes for a quick and easy dinner.
- 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1 1/2 cups of crushed pork rinds
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the two chicken breasts into bite-size chunks and set them aside for later.
- In a large bowl or plastic bag add the crushed pork rinds, parmesan cheese, and the almond flour and mix them well.
- Add the egg to another medium bowl and use a fork to beat it well. Then add all the chicken into the bowl and stir to coat all the chicken with the egg.
- Next, slowly add some of the chicken pieces to the pork rind mixture and stir or shake until the chicken is coated with the mixture. Repeat this step until all the chicken pieces are coated.
- Preheat your air fryer to 425 degrees and lay the chicken pieces on the tray or basket and cook for 10 minutes.
- Halfway through turn the chicken nuggets over if needed so they can brown or crisp up on the other side. You may have to do a couple of batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Once cooked remove the chicken nuggets from the air fryer and serve warm with a salad or loaded mashed cauliflower.
See the blog post on how to make the best sides to go with these low carb Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets.
Amount Per Serving Calories 498Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 229mgSodium 934mgCarbohydrates 2.7gNet Carbohydrates 1.5gFiber 1.5gSugar 1gProtein 62g
I am not a nutritionist. If you have strict dietary needs I always recommend using an online nutrition calculator to calculate your totals using your exact brands you're using in this recipe as values may vary per brand.
I am a southern girl through and through that loves to laugh, cook, read and spend time with family. My passions outside of home schooling my son are ministering to those in need and creating art in the kitchen! Every day is an adventure in our little house and I wouldn’t trade it or the chance to share here with you for anything!