These Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets are easy to make, super delicious, and are a veggie-loaded twist on a classic finger food! Done in under 30 minutes, they are perfect for lunch, dinner, or for stocking up your freezer!

Cauliflower chicken nuggets on a parchment paper lined tray with a bowl of ketchup. One nugget is turned on its side with a bite taken out of it.

I love a good veggie-loaded nugget. They are the perfect kid-friendly vessel for vegetables and protein. Plus, finger food is just stinking fun to eat! These particular Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets come to you thanks to the request of a reader. And they might be my new favorite nugget!

The reader was dazzled to find a company making frozen chicken nuggets with cauliflower baked right into them. Her kids loved them and she loved how they gobbled them up. Yay for veggie-loaded convenience foods (gosh, we all need them)! Yay for kids eating veggies and protein! But, maybe there was a way to make something just as enticing at home? She asked if I was up for the task of making a homemade version with less additives that would still dazzle her kids and could be used to stock up her freezer.

Challenge accepted! And accomplished!

These Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets are totally fun, delicious and come together in about 30 minutes (start to finish!). They are totally perfect to make as a fun dinner, lunch, or to stock your freezer with for the days when you just can’t think about what to cook your family or yourself. These nuggets are rocking a whole cup of veggies, so even if no other plants make it onto the dinner plate…veggies will be eaten!

Bonus: They are naturally dairy-free, but can easily be made gluten free with gluten free bread crumbs! Easy peasy.

Ingredients for cauliflower chicken nuggets on a table in bowls before being mixed together.
Ingredients: riced cauliflower, ground chicken, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, egg, Panko breadcrumbs.

How to make these veggie-loaded chicken nuggets: step-by-step-visual guide

Ingredients (except breadcrumbs) for cauliflower chicken nuggets in a food processor before being mixed.
Combine riced cauliflower, ground chicken/turkey, salt, and spices your food processor. Pulse until well combined. You can absolutely do this in a bowl instead of your food processor, but I find that blending the cauliflower and chicken together helps the veggies to melt into the nuggets more and have the texture of a typical chicken nugget.
Mixture for cauliflower chicken nuggets blended in a food processor with a scoop. A hand is holding a formed nugget over a plate with other formed nuggets.
Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, portion out the mixture and use your hands to form each portion into a nugget shape. I find that having slightly wet hands helps the mixture from sticking to me.
Cauliflower chicken nuggets on a plate. One nugget is in a covered in the whisked egg and being rolled in bread crumbs. There are coated nuggest lined up on a baking pan next to the plate.
After washing your hands, crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them. Pour the breadcrumbs into another small bowl. Dip formed nuggets into the eggs first and then into the breadcrumbs to coat all over. The eggs help the breadcrumbs to stick to the nugget.
Breaded nuggets on a baking sheet before baking.
Place the breaded nuggets on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until cooked through, flipping nuggets at the 10 minute mark.

Suggested Adaptations

  • Make them gluten free by using gluten free bread crumbs.
  • Give them a little extra crisp by pan frying them before baking. Heat a little oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, place the nuggets in the pan. Cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side and then place them on a baking sheet. Bake as instructed.
  • Cook them ahead and freeze for an easy grab-and-go dinner or lunch.
  • No food processor? Mix these in a bowl. I find that blending the cauliflower and chicken together helps the veggies to melt into the nuggets and give them the texture of “traditional” nuggets. But mixing this up in a bowl will totally work.
  • Make them egg-free. The eggs in this cauliflower chicken nugget recipe help the breadcrumbs to stick to the outside of the nugget, so I wouldn’t skip them but would rather use an egg substitute, such as Just Egg to replace the whisked eggs.

Dip ideas

I feel like what one dips their chicken nuggets into is a very personal thing. So, you might not need any help in this department. But if you are looking for ideas for dunking, here are some sauces to dip these Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets in that will not disappoint…

  • ketchup….is very popular and maybe obvious one, but I had say it, because they do go great with it!
  • ranch dressing
  • honey mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • a drizzle of honey
  • aioli
Baked cauliflower nuggets on a parchment paper lined tray with a bowl of ketchup. A hand is dunking one of the nuggets in the ketchup.

How to freeze these nuggets

You can freeze these chicken nuggets before or after baking, depending on how long you want to spend cooking them after being frozen (you’ll have to bake the uncooked chicken all the way thought from the freezer so that will take longer). Either way, it’s important to freeze the nuggets on a sheet pan until solid and then transfer them to a storage bag or container. Freezing them separately will ensure they don’t stick together in one solid mass in the freezer. To bake from frozen, add 3 to 5 more minutes of bake time.

How to reheat these Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets

If you are making these Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets ahead of time, thawed nuggets can easily be reheated by popping them in a 400℉ degree oven or toaster oven until warmed through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

You can also reheat them in your air fryer at 350℉ for 3-4 minutes or until warmed through.

Another reheating option is the microwave, but nuggets will not be as crispy.

Cauliflower chicken nuggets on a tray with ketchup. One nugget is on its side with a bite taken out of it.

Other veggie-loaded recipes you will love…

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Cauliflower chicken nuggets one two gray plates. One plate has a dollop of ketchup on it and a nugget with a bite taken out of it.
5 from 12 votes

Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
These Cauliflower Chicken Nuggets are easy to make, super delicious and a veggie-loaded twist on a classic finger food! Done in under 30 minutes, they are perfect for lunch, dinner, or for stocking up your freezer.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup riced cauliflower, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 pound ground chicken (I used dark meat), or ground turkey
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Panko breadcrumbs, use gluten free breadcrumbs if needed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400℉ degrees and lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  • Combine riced cauliflower, ground chicken/turkey, salt, and spices your food processor. Pulse until well combined.
    You can absolutely do this in a bowl instead of your food processor, but I find that blending the cauliflower and chicken together helps the veggies to melt into the nuggets more and have the texture of a typical chicken nugget.
  • Using a small cookie scoop or a heaping tablespoon, portion out the mixture and use your hands to form each portion into a nugget shape. I find that having slightly wet hands helps the mixture from sticking to me.
    Place the nuggets on a plate until you work through the batch.
  • After washing your hands, crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them. Pour the breadcrumbs into another small bowl.
  • Dip formed nuggets into the eggs first and then into the breadcrumbs to coat all over. The eggs help the breadcrumbs to stick to the nugget.
  • Place the breaded nuggets on a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15-16 minutes or until cooked through, flipping nuggets at the 10 minute mark.
  • Enjoy warm with your favorite dipping sauce or let cool completely before storing in an air tight container in your fridge for 3 days or in your freezer for up to a month.
Serving: 3nuggets, Calories: 141kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.04g, Cholesterol: 72mg, Sodium: 349mg, Potassium: 390mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 39IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg