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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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25 Thoughts to “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.
  2. Love this :) YES sometimes in the house of a toddler running the show you gotta pull some kid food out of your sleeve! These look fantastic! My older girls like bringing nuggets or fish sticks like these to school in their lunches - I'll try these next batch!
    1. Awesome! Hope they're a hit with your girls!
  3. These look REALLY GOOD. Saving this one for sure!
  4. What this looks awesome! My mom is on AIP so I'll need to make this for her.
  5. I've always had such a weakness for chicken nuggets, but I've never tried making them before - these look fantastic!
  6. Yum! These hit the craving spot. Perfect for little fingers and big fingers. Love this recipe and the tips for keeping to AIP with a toddler. It can be tricky, but it CAN be done.
  7. I've made these before for my kids and they worked out really well. They loved them! Great recipe, keeping it pinned so I can make them again :)
    1. Awww thanks Jo! that makes me happy!
  8. Oh i Love chicken nuggets ! I bet these are super uber delicious !!
  9. Cool, this looks like a great recipe to turn to when I feel like we are overdoing it with the nuts, which seems to be often these days! I tried that whole blending the chicken thighs before making nuggets a few weeks ago and it sure does make a difference, doesn't it?
    1. I hear ya. I have to lay off the nuts too (sniff sniff). I have been meaning to do an AIP reset and just cant bring myself to do it!
  10. AIP friendly is a win for me. I bet these would be great to make ahead and reheat as needed for a quick snack!
  11. Oh wow! These look awesome! I'm going to have to make these soon. I know my youngest would devour these, the hubby and I will too ;)
    1. Yes!! Don't husbands and toddlers often eat alike?? haha :)
  12. These look amazing!!! I bet frying then freezing would be a great way to batch cook these (and help prevent me from buying frozen gluten-free chicken nuggets....)
    1. Yes! That's a great idea!
  13. My kids would be ALL over these! And I love that you've been thoughtful enough to make them nut free too <3
  14. The combo of flavors in here sounds amazing!!
  15. What a masterpiece! Love this idea, looks delicious!
  16. These pan-fried nuggets look so scrumptious. Love the little pops of green inside!

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