Chicken nuggets aren’t just kid food. With a Primal spin, they’re great for game day, after school, or a midweek lunch!
Typically, chicken nuggets are breaded, and if you’re leaning more toward a Primal, paleo, or keto way of eating, that doesn’t jibe with your program. Still, nuggets are the ultimate comfort food, and there’s no reason you can’t have them. With a simple ingredient swap, you’ll have crunchy grain-free chicken nuggets that the whole family can’t get enough of.
Here’s how to make them.
Keto, Primal, and Paleo Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe
For the chicken nuggets
1 lb. ground chicken (we used ground chicken breast)
1 tbsp. avocado oil
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground pork rinds
2 tbsp. coconut flour
For the fries
1 head cauliflower or 2-3 Japanese sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. Primal Kitchen Olive or Avocado Oil
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
In a bowl, combine the ground chicken, oil, paprika, garlic, onion, pepper, and salt.
Blend the pork rinds in a blender and measure out ¼ cup of ground pork rinds. In a small bowl, combine the ground pork rinds, almond flour and coconut flour.
Form the ground chicken into small balls and into an egg/nugget shape. Coat the chicken in the almond flour mixture and place the nugget in the air fryer basket. Repeat with the remaining chicken until you have 14-16 nuggets. If the chicken begins to stick to your fingers as you’re forming them into nuggets, you can rub a little oil on your hands and then form the nuggets.
Place the basket into the air fryer and set it to air fryer to 375 for 12 minutes.
Watch the nuggets periodically starting at 8 or 9 minutes to make sure the outsides do not burn. Once the time is up, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut your cauliflower into small florets or peel and slice your sweet potatoes into fries.
Combine the oil, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss the veggies in the mixture until they’re well coated. Place them in your air fryer basket and cook the fries at 375 for 7-10 minutes, and the cauliflower florets at 375 for around 12 minutes, depending on how big you’ve cut the florets or fries.
Place a serving of your fries or cauliflower and 4-5 nuggets in a bowl or container with a lid. Top with your favorite condiments, dressings or sauces and then toss or shake the container to combine. We like a combo of Ranch and Buffalo Sauce, and Mayo and Spicy Ketchup, Sriracha, or hot sauce.
- Serve these nuggets with your favorite side. Fries and nuggets pair so well together. We use japanese sweet potatoes but you can use orange sweet potatoes or regular potatoes. If you want to keep the recipe lower in carbs, use cauliflower florets instead of fries.
- Different air fryers can retain heat and cook differently than others and also have different capacities. We used an air fryer that has a steel basket that’s fairly large. Depending on how hot your air fryer gets and its size, you may need to adjust cooking time slightly and/or cook in batches.
- The Primal Kitchen dressings and condiments are great on their own, and we also provide some additional flavor pairings at the end of the recipe for even more combinations.
Some Additional Options for Condiments
- Honey Mustard: 2 parts Dijon Mustard to 1 part honey
- Spicy Mayo: 4 parts Mayo to 1 part Sriracha or hot sauce
- French dressing: 2 parts Mayo to 1 part Ketchup or Spicy Ketchup