These Veggie-Loaded Chicken Bites aren’t just easy to make, but they are super delicious and a healthy addition to dinner! Done in about 30 minutes, they are family-friendly, gluten free, Paleo and Whole30.
Return to routine
I think we are all getting back into the swing of life. Summer is coming to an end and the season of fall not only brings the return of school, but the return of routine and schedules to many!
My husband said it best last week, as our entire family flopped onto the couch on Friday evening, whipped from the week.
“We have a return-to-routine hangover,” he said, sprawled out next to me (and the dog). Our daughter had pretty much face planted into the pillows at the far end of the couch and I was sandwiched between everyone…wondering if I truly had to get up and make dinner.
We had just finished our first week back-to-school (for my husband and daughter) and we were feeling the hustle and bustle…hard. As tempting as it was in our exhaustion to order a pizza or make PB sandwiches for dinner (which, both by the way, have their time and their place), I peeled myself off the couch, determined to make an easy, veggie-loaded dinner for us.
Upon opening my fridge, I saw the makings for these veggie-loaded chicken bites staring back at me. I had made the earlier in the week and they were a hit. Such a hit, in fact, that the leftovers had doubled as lunchbox fillings for them the next day!
And since these veggie-loaded chicken bites are full of vegetables, I felt good that a healthy dinner could come together without me having to fill my sink with dishes (that I didn’t want to do) or stressing myself out.
These puppies were thrown together in a few minutes and cooked to perfection while I got some fruit and a quick salad together to finish off the meal. Easy peasy, super healthy, and family-approved…just how I like it!
Suggested adaptions for making veggie-loaded chicken bites
- Make them with ground turkey instead! Both are very interchangeable with one another in recipes!
- Use more of one veggie and less (or none) of another! Modify this recipe to fit your family’s personal taste preferences or to use what you have on hand! If your crew doesn’t like spinach, skip it and add a little more zucchini or carrot.
- Bake them instead. Pop them into a 400℉ oven for 20ish minutes (or until cooked through).
- Make them into burgers!
Other veggie-loaded recipes you will love…
- Glorious Green Veggie Chicken Burgers
- Healthy & Easy Turkey Burgers
- Instant Pot Salsa & Spinach Shredded Chicken
- Chicken & Cauliflower Meatballs
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Veggie-Loaded Chicken Bites
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped spinach, loosely packed
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- oil for cooking
- Take shredded zucchini and put it in the middle of a clean dish towel or large piece of paper towel. Wrap up the zucchini with towel squeeze a few times to help drain out some of the zucchini’s moisture.
- In a large bowl, combine drained zucchini and remaining ingredients except oil. Using clean hands or a spoon, mix until well combined.
- Form into bites and set aside
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook bites until a golden-brown crust starts to form and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side
- Enjoy warm and with your favorite dipping sauce. Allow leftovers to cool completely and store in an air-tight container in fridge for 4-5 days
- No chicken? Make them with ground turkey instead!
- Use more of one veggie and less (or none) of another!
- You can bake these chicken bites
- Or turn them into burgers – so good!
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
Made these for dinner tonight and I don’t know who loved them more…my partner or my toddler!
Yes!!! That is always a win!
So happy with this recipe! My 1 year old doesn’t love eating plain veggies yet, so trying to add them into recipes as much as I can. I even used frozen chopped spinach and frozen zucchini noodles (chopped further after thawing) that I rung all the excess water with a cheese cloth. It cut down so much time for prep. I also rolled half of them in plain breadcrumbs to get even more of a chicken nugget feel. Baked them all in the oven as per your adaptations part of your post and they turned out so delicious!
I’m so happy to har that, Valerie! Love that you added breading! I bet that was a delicious touch
This was a hit with the kids and adults! I will definitely be batch cooking these for the freezer. Thank you as always!
Yay! I’m so glad they were a hit and I love the idea of batch cooking them!
Just made a double batch for our lunches for the week! Was wondering what kind of dipping sauce you serve with them?
I like them with ranch or a sugar-free ketchup! I bet a honey mustard dip would go really well with these as well!
10out of 10!
Yay! I’m so glad you loved them!
Have you tried these in the oven instead of frying? (I’m less concerned over cook time, more looking to reduce my cook efforts)
Yes! I actually included how to in the suggested adaptations part of the post
I see it now! Thanks! New to your site – tried your pumpkin soufflé this week and it is excellent!
Do you think these would freeze well? Looking to make them for when I’m away so husband has an easy dinner to thaw out.
Yes, but I would cook them first and then freeze.
that’s that I was thinking. Thanks!
Do you think these would work with tofu? They look so tasty!
Hmmmm. I haven’t cooked with tofu in so long that I am not sure. Though I am wondering about maybe smashed chickpeas! Now you have me dreaming up a vegetarian version!
Late for the game, but I think I won it. Made these nuggets today, and they are easy to make and super tasty. My toddler who loves chicken had stopped self hand eating it for a while now, and that’s the main reason I tried this recipe. She loved it and she ate chicken again and most importantly veggie loaded. Love it! Thanks for all your recipes.
I am so glad to hear they were a hit, Carla!
What do you think about making these in the air-fryer? I’ve made them for my 11 month old twice (she loves them!) once on the stove and once in the oven. But my husband just got my an air fryer for my birthday. Would they work in there? Do you have any idea about cooking time/temp? Thank you!
An interesting idea! I haven’t tried them in an air fryer and truthfully don’t have an air fryer, so I am not helpful in guiding you in how adapt this recipe for one. If you give it a go, let us know how it goes.
these were great. made with ground turkey and added some leftover quinoa, because i realized i had way too many veggies (and was too lazy to store the extras). really tasty and flexible. will make again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed these! Love the addition of quinoa!
These were delixiouaI want to try baking them, would you add oil to the mixed ingredients if baking? If so which oil and how much?
I wouldn’t, but I would line the baking sheet with parchment paper or grease it with a little oil to prevent them from sticking! So glad you enjoyed them!
Every dinner needs a starter like this. Delicious, healthy and easily a hit at any table – perfect if you ask me!
Deliciousss!!!both my kids eat this without complain!!thanks for the great recipe. Definitely will make thiz again and again
I am so glad you enjoyed these! And finding a veggie-loaded recipe that is kid-approved always feels like such a success!
These were a hit with my 1 year old and husband both. Thus is a recipe I will be making again and again. Thank you so much!
I am so glad!!
So excited to try making these for my littles! Ive always been so nervous when it come to frying with oil. Any tips? Also, what type of oil do you recommend? 🙂
Hi Allason! You only use a little oil to cook these in, so its pretty simple! Just a thin layer on the bottom of the pan and let it heat up before adding the nuggets! I like avocado oil, since it has a great flavor and high smoke point.
Made these & they were a hit! My 3 year old LOVED them! But if I did want to freeze, how long do you think they’d be good in the freezer for?
I’d say they would be good for a month or two in the freezer after being cooked.
These were AMAZING! Both kids and husband loved them. I baked them and added to a simple marinara sauce for Sunday dinner and I just made a double batch to freeze and keep on hand for kids lunches. Simple, healthy, delicious! Thank you!
I am so glad you enjoyed these, Nicole!
10 out of 10! So juicy and easy. I baked them, toddler and mom approved 🙂
Wooohooo! So glad to hear that, Natalie! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!
Fabulous! Most definitely will be making again. I added some mushrooms as well. 😘
Yum! Good call! I love mushrooms with ground meat. And so glad you enjoyed them!
Can you freeze them after you cook them?
Sure! I’d freeze them on a cookie sheet after cooking. This will help them from freezing together. Once frozen, place them in a container and reheat as needed!
Great recipe! Made exactly per recipe just with turkey. The meatballs were more delicious than when made with bread and egg. I made tomato based meatball soup with chickpeas and potatoes. The meatballs instead of baking they were poached in boiling water on stovetop. The flavor of these meatballs made all the difference. Thank you so much for posting this. These will be my go to meatballs a la Taesha.
So glad you enjoyed them, AC!
This recipe is so yummy! They are full of flavor and incredibly satisfying. I love that they aren’t full of fillers like some similar recipes, and you can really taste the chicken and vegetables. I highly recommend serving them with your favorite dip! In our house that is ranch.
100% agree. I love how simple and delicious this recipe is. And ranch (or honey mustard) are my go to dips too!
Do you think you can make this with shredded chicken?
Hi Myka! I don’t think these would work with cooked shredded chicken since a lot of the binding into the nugget shape comes from the raw chicken cooking. If you are looking for a veggie-loaded recipe that uses cooked shredded chicken, my family loves this one. https://thenaturalnurturer.com/veggie-loaded-salsa-verde-chicken-enchiladas/
Picky Toddler Mom
Can these be coating in breadcrumbs or something to help hide the colourful veggies inside?
Picky toddler Mom here!
(And if I did use bread crumbs, at what point and how would I cover them?)
Hi! You can totally do that! After the bites are formed, you could dip them in a whisked egg and then roll them in them in breadcrumbs. Check out this recipe that uses cauliflower rice as a veggie and is covered in bread crumbs. https://thenaturalnurturer.com/cauliflower-chicken-nuggets/
Could you use already cooked chicken instead of ground chicken for these?
I don’t think that would work, unfortunately. The meat binds together as it cooks and really helps to hold things together.
No problem I’m definitely going to give these a try. 🙂 I’m always looking for healthy recipes. How would you suggest freezing them?
I’d cook them up first and then freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. This will prevent them from sticking together. Once frozen, you can transfer them to a bag or container.
Delish! What a fun recipe! Was looking for something simple for dinner tonight. A healthy pickin’.
Added a 1/2 cup grated parmesan to the recipe.
Made a simple honey mustard sauce to accompany, equal parts plain greek yogurt, dijon mustard and honey.
Thanks for another healthy recipe Taesha!
Love the addition of the cheese! So glad it was a a hit, Constance!
These chicken bites are the best! I make a triple batch and freeze portions and they hold up beautifully. This recipe is in our regular rotation!
I love to make a double or triple batch of these too! They are so freezer friendly and great thing to grab for a quick meal. I’m glad you enjoy them as much as we do, Jessica!
The whole fam loved these! Toddler approved! Pan cooking took a little longer than I wanted, so will definitely try in the oven next time. Thank you for the recipe!
So glad you enjoyed them, Sara! Do you have an air fryer? I’ve been thinking about making these in mine!
I am so floored and happily surprised by this blog. I’ve made 2 muffin recipes and the above recipe so far and I’m in love.
Thank you so much for sharing. It is one of the few blogs where every recipe turns out just like the photo when I make it.
Being pregnant i found myself craving food with additional nutrition because I feel like I’m always hungry. These recipes leave me fuller longer with all of the veggies packed in every bite.
I had these bites with a side of spring mix and tomatoes but when I eat the other portion I made I will add a mashed sweet potato on the side as well:)
What a wonderful compliment, Kristin! I am so delighted that you are enjoying the recipes! Thank you for taking the time to share.
My daughter made these for my 14 month old granddaughter. I grab the recipe and made them myself this past weekend and they are phenomenal.
I’m so glad they are a hit with the entire family, Darlene! Thanks for taking the time to share.
These are delicious and so easy. I make these once a week for my family!
That is so awesome, Hannah! I’m delighted these have become a family staple and I so appreciate you taking the time to leave a review.
How long and at what temperature should these be baked at if we didn’t want to fry them?
I would do 400℉. Bake for 15-16 minutes or until cooked through, flipping nuggets at the 10 minute mark.
Really tasty recipe and super easy, can be for whole family.
So glad these were enjoyed by all!