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Nut-Free Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Eating with a toddler on AIP

Often times on my Autoimmune Paleo journey I find that I can’t share meals with my toddler. In a perfect world my kiddo would eat all my protein and veggie packed meals, but that just isn’t the case. Recipes like these make my day. Fun, creative, satisfying & healthy for both of us!

We had just come back from a hike & I wanted little man to get his protein in, but eggs and beef were out since he’s had plenty the last few meals. I think the thought of something quick and easy was so tempting, I almost stopped at Whole Foods for some frozen chicken tenders, when I conceded that we have plenty of food at home and anything I make will be better for him. It worked out, because now we could share these nuggets, as opposed to any store bought variation that would just be for him.

Food Processor Please!

I used whole, boneless skinless chicken thighs and ground them up in the food processor (not my meat grinder). Now, I will say, this step is imperative… if you use ground up chicken (which is usually mostly white meat) the tenders will be dry & the consistency will be off. The process of “pureeing” the meat in the food processor with herbs & garlic, gives it a paste like consistency that makes it ideal for a nuggets. The breading is just a a mix of coconut flour, tapioca flour & herbs, so it’s light. The nuggets get crispy without having the thick layer of breading. So, they’re good. Real good! Here’s how to make them…



Yields 12 nuggets

Nut-Free Paleo Chicken Nuggets

8 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

23 minTotal Time

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  • 4 pastured skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 springs fresh dill (optional)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp Italian Herb blend, dried (herbs only! check labels)
  • 1/4 cup beef tallow, or other cooking fat


  • In large food processor, pulse chicken thighs, herbs, garlic & salt until it makes a paste.
  • Heat cooking fat in skillet on medium-high.
  • Mix flours & herb blend on flat surface.
  • Scoop out a spoonful of chicken paste at a time- shape it in to nugget shape and lightly bread in flour mix.
  • Gently toss between hands to shake off extra flour.
  • Set aside on dry surface.
  • You should have 5-7 nuggets.
  • When cooking fat is hot, carefully arrange nuggets in skillet.
  • Use a tong to handle them.
  • After 4 minutes, when bottom is golden brown, turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  • When golden all over.
  • Set on cooling rack over plate to cool down.
  • In the meantime, make sauce!
  • Now tomato-less ketchup or honey mustard (if you can eat it) would be awesome too... but this sauce was on point and AIP!
  • 1/4 cup fatty party of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • pinch salt
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 inch chuck of fresh ginger, micned
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Mix up with spoon. Done.
  • Enjoy, dip, share.


Phoenix Helix Round Table #113



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2 thoughts on “Nut-Free Paleo Chicken Nuggets

  1. Erin
    Do you think it would work to make a large batch of these and then freeze after you've put the flour on? That way I could just take them out and fry as needed?
    1. They are quite soft before frying, like a paste.... Perhaps fry them and then freeze them, and then bake to heat? Or You could try to freeze the raw nuggets, but I recommend doing this on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, once they are hard then put them in an airtight container.

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