These Whole30, paleo and AIP Chicken Nuggets are quick, easy and so delicious. Made with ground chicken and crispy pork panko, they’re crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
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These AIP chicken nuggets are the real deal. They come together in no time and include only five ingredients besides the ground chicken. They’re paleo and Whole30, crispy on the outside and juicy, tender and so flavorful on the inside. I made these in the air fryer but you can also easily make these on the stovetop with some additional olive oil. See the recipe card for instructions below.
Many have asked and this is the air fryer I have. It’s my first air fryer and I’m happy with it so far. I chose this one because I wanted an Instant Pot and love the 11 in 1 functionality. After speaking with the manufacturers on Instagram they confirmed that the air fryer basket coating was made of ceramic and did not include PTFE or PFOA chemicals.
You can also serve these with an AIP compliant ketchup, guacamole or the suggested (non Whole30) sweet and tangy sauce in the recipe card below.
Here’s what you need for these AIP Chicken Nuggets
- ground chicken
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- olive oil
- pork panko
FAQs for AIP Chicken Nuggets
Can I substitute the pork panko?
The pork panko provides a perfectly light exterior and crunch here. I recommend these as this is what I’ve used here. If you don’t eat pork, you can also crush plantain chips into a very fine powder and coat your chicken in these or use unsweetened shredded coconut.
Can I use ground turkey?
Yes, ground turkey works just as well as chicken in this recipe
Can I make these without an air fryer?
Yes, see the recipe card below for instructions on how to make these on the stovetop. They’re just as good!
Looking for more AIP appetizers? Check out:
- Green Banana Fries
- Balsamic-Glazed Chicken Wings
- Guacamole with Preserved Lemons
- AIP Beef Patties
- Juicy Beef Meatballs
- Stuffed Sweet Potato Cakes
If you try these AIP Chicken Nuggets I would appreciate it if you would give it a rating and short review. Also, be sure to snap a picture of the finished product and share it with me on Instagram by tagging @healmedelicious.Print
AIP Chicken Nuggets (paleo, Whole30)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
These Whole30, paleo and AIP Chicken Nuggets are quick and delicious. They’re made with ground chicken and crispy pork panko rinds and sure to be a family fave.
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup pork panko/ ground pork rinds
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce (not whole30 compliant)
- 3 TBSP coconut aminos
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 3 TBSP pineapple juice (unsweetened)
- 1 TBSP nomato sauce
- 2 TBSP coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 TBSP arrowroot or tapioca starch + 1 TBSP water
- In a large bowl combine ground chicken, olive oil, sea salt, garlic powder and onion powder and mix to combine.
- Use your hands to form small nugget-sized pieces (about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide) and set aside on a plate.
- Add pork panko/ground pork rinds to a large bowl and dip each nugget into the panko, coating it completely on both sides.
- To make these nuggets in an air fryer, place half the nuggets into the air fryer basket and fry on 400F for 10 minutes, flipping over at the 5 minute mark. Repeat with remaining half of nuggets.*
- To make these nuggets on the stovetop, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with 2 TBSP olive oil. Add nuggets in an even layer to pan and cook ~ 3 minutes per side.
- Serve warm on their own or with a sauce of your choice like the sweet and sour sauce below or an AIP ketchup.
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
- To a small saucepan over medium heat add coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, nomato sauce, pineapple juice, coconut sugar and sea salt and bring to a simmer.
- Combine arrowroot or tapioca starch with 1 TBSP of water and make into a slurry.
- Pour the slurry into the simmering sauce and use a whisk to combine. Whisk continuously until sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat immediately.
* If your air fryer is large enough for all the nuggets to sit in an even layer you can make them all at once, you just want to avoid crowding the basket.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
Keywords: aip, paleo, whole30, chicken, chicken nuggets, pork panko, appetizers, chicken poppers
Wow! These are showstoppers! I bookmarked this recipe while I worked to source panko! Happily, I found just the right bag in time for spring break. It felt so celebratory to dip (delicious) nuggets into *perfect* sweet and sour sauce! I served these with sweet potato fries and reheated the leftovers in the oven a few days later. Such a delight! Thank you as always, Nicole!
Hello! These look great…just wondering how many nuggets you get with 1 lb of ground chicken? Thanks!!
I think I got about 20.
So good thanks Nicole !
The family loved these! I didn’t use the garlic or onion powder due to my youngest having some issues with it and used shredded unsweetened coconut instead of pork rinds. I am wanting to make a big batch and freeze some for after when baby 3 gets here in the winter. Do you know if this will work?
Hi Elizabeth, glad you enjoyed. I think so but you’d have to reheat in the oven to re-crisp! Do let me know if you try
Emanda S Gnacinski
Have to cook off first then put on parchment paper in singles layer and freeze then package. So don’t stick together.
WOW ? These are so so good!! My only complaint is that my kids loved them too much and ate almost all of them so I only got to try 2 ? I will definitely double the recipe for my family next time. The texture is amazing & the panko makes such a delicious crunchy coating. They were very easy to make as well. Definitely going on a regular meal rotation. So thankful for you for creating this family friendly recipe!
Thanks so much for leaving a review Kaitlin! So glad you and kiddos enjoyed!
This nuggets are AWESOMMMMMEEEEE!!! Thank you so much for the recipe…. it makes me feel less deprived while being on the AIP Paleo diet and reminds me of the times I indulged with Mc. Donald’s.
Excellent! I’ve never had pork rinds before and when I opened the bag they smelt terrible so I was sure it would be a bust.
Nope! So good! And so was the sauce! I’m going to attempt freezing some to pull out later.
These were delicious! I made some with ground chicken and some with ground shrimp (the shrimp ones were even better than the chicken). For the breading, I used half crushed plantain chips and half finely shredded coconut. Thanks for the recipe!
Love this recipe. I dont have pork grinds so i use the regular jap breadcrumbs. Definitely will make this again soon.
These nuggets are AMAZING! I used ground turkey (because that’s all I had) and was super skeptical of the pork panko, however I am converted! They had the perfect salty, crunchy, fatty coating especially to the dry ground turkey! The seasoning is simple and perfect, no need to jazz it up! These are tasty enough on their own, my family didn’t even use the dipping sauce!
These nuggets were really easy to make and the results were delicious. I didn’t have pork rinds so I used crushed cassava crackers and it worked perfectly. 10/10 would make again!
This recipe is genius! It’s the recipe I didn’t know I needed. These taste delicious, just like “real” chicken nuggets. And it’s super easy, to boot.
These are delicious! I tried them with the green banana fries! Wow, even my husband was fooled. Every recipe I’ve tried of yours so far has been awesome. Thank you!
Wow! Wow! Wow!
These are AMAZING!
I had pork rinds in the house so I made my own pork panko. They are perfect! Flavor and texture are spot on. My (non AIP) husband loved them too. So quick and easy to make. These are already a favorite.