I never really intended to be the girl with the big tv.
I mean, I’ve never had cable, I rarely watch live tv or movies all that much, and until recently, I’d never really had space for a good tv. But when I was downsizing and moving downtown about three years ago, I decided it was probably time to replace my old broken tv, and there was a nice spot for a new one in a corner of my loft. So I hopped onto Craigslist with a $100 budget hoping to just find a little one that could suffice for movie nights and maybe the occasional ball game via antenna. But much to my surprise, I stumbled across a suspicious listing for a “brand new”, top-of-the-line, all-the-bells-and-whistles, huge tv for — you guessed it — $100. Seemed way too good to be true. (Especially on Craigslist.)
Still, curiosity killed intrigued the cat, so I emailed the guy to investigate. And lo and behold, it was true. Turns out that this guy had just won the tv at a raffle at work, but already had an even bigger one at home. So he said that he had just popped it on Craigslist looking for someone to come “take it off his hand”. Um, which I was more than happy to do. Which then transformed my place into The Home Amongst Our Friends With The Big TV. Which I then learned…is actually pretty fun!
When there’s a big game on, all of the neighbors come to my house. When there’s a long-awaited season premiere showing, we’ll have a girls night at my place. When my tv-less boyfriend and I feel like continuing our West Wing marathon (on a screen bigger than his laptop), we’ll snuggle up on the couch and watch at my place. Even just last night, I received a text from my neighbor after dinner asking if I was watching the Golden Globes — and even if I wasn’t — could they come over to my place and let themselves in and watch it on the big tv? (The answer to that with my neighbors is always a resounding yes, by the way. Mi tv es su tv.) :)
I never would have guessed when logging onto Craigslist years ago that my $100 would result in so many fun memories of friends coming over to my place, but I’m sure glad they did. Turns out that watch parties are some of my favorite kind of parties. And of course, what’s a big game or a movie night without some good snacks?! And even better, some healthier good snacks?!?
Enter my favorite new recipe for homemade, easy-to-make, baked-not-fried, ridiculously delicious chicken nuggets…
I’ve served up plenty of game day snacks over the years to friends coming over to visit. But I must say, whenever I make a batch of homemade chicken nuggets, I’m shocked at how quickly they disappear…with adults. I mean, it’s a given that kids are usually obsessed with nuggets. But I’m always surprised at how much my adult friends go crazy for a good ol’ nugget, especially when they find out my nuggets are homemade and crusted with an extra flavorful, baked coating.
They’re my guaranteed little entertaining touchdown. ;)
Over the past few years, I’ve experimented with making nuggets with a variety of coatings (like Parmesan, hemp seeds, or pretzels, to name a few). But my hands-down favorite method nowadays is to coat them with crushed up almonds. Basically, homemade almond meal. The almonds are packed with good-for-you extra protein, they toast up well in the oven, and they add delicious flavor to your nuggets. Win-win-win!
For this recipe, I decided to go with Blue Diamond Whole Natural Almonds — which are my staple almonds that I always now keep on hand for cooking, baking, and (of course) snacking — and just season them myself. But if you want a wildly delicious shortcut, I also 500% recommend instead just using one of Blue Diamond’s different varieties of already-seasoned almonds to coat the nuggets. Some of their bold flavors — like Wasabi & Soy Sauce (I’m obsessed), Salt & Vinegar, Honey Dijon, or Sriracha almonds — would be absolutely magnificent.
Whichever almonds you choose, here’s the method. :)
Simply ground your almonds up in the food processor until they reach the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then mix them with some seasoning (if you’re starting with the natural almonds — otherwise you can just rely on the seasoning of the bold flavors).
Then set up your little assembly line for the nuggets. You’ll need a bowl of:
flour (you can use all-purpose, whole-wheat, gluten-free flour, or even just even more finely-ground almonds)
egg (just whisk together an egg and some water or milk)
your ground almond mixture
Dip a bite-sized piece of raw chicken into the flour mixture, then the egg, then the almond mixture, and place it on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Then repeat with the remaining chicken.
And then bake them up until they reach delicious, golden, chicken nugget perfection. I like my nuggets a little crispy, so I usually underbake them a little bit and then turn on the broiler to finish them off for the last minute or two. And then the dipping sauces are up to you. ;)
But let me just assure you — “kids” of all ages will go crazy for these little guys. They’re perfect for game night, movie night, or even just any weeknight dinner when you’re craving some tasty nuggets you can feel good about. So grab your favorite flavor of almonds and start the search to figure out your favorite flavor of chicken nuggets today!
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.
Add almonds to a food processor. Pulse repeatedly until the almonds are finely ground.
Add the ground almonds into a small bowl, along with the salt, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Whisk to combine. Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper or seasonings if desired. (This will be the main flavoring for your nuggets, so make sure it tastes like you want it to!)
In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and water (or milk) until combined.
In a third bowl, add the flour.
Now set up your assembly line for coating the chicken nuggets — (1st) chicken, (2nd) flour, (3rd) egg, (4th) almonds, (5th) baking sheet.
Dip a piece of the chicken completely in the flour until it is completely coated, shaking off the excess flour. Then dip the chicken in the egg until completely coated, then dip it in the almond mixture, then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside, flipping the nuggets once halfway through cooking. (If you want a crispier coating, you can bake the chicken for 6-8 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes to crisp up the crust. Just watch the chicken carefully so that the almond crust does not burn, and be sure that the chicken is cooked through on the inside.)
Remove and serve immediately with your desired dipping sauce.
*If you choose to make this recipe with one of Blue Diamond’s other bold flavors of bold almonds, just ground them up in the food processor and leave out the salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. The seasonings on the almonds will be plenty flavorful on their own.
This recipe is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. I am partnering with them to bring you some tasty new almond recipes with their Game Changing Flavors this football season, and all opinions are my own as always. Thanks for continuing to support the brands who make this site possible. Also, for some extra fun this football season, feel free to enter for a chance to win the Ultimate Football Party Prize Pack, get great savings and ideas for delicious snack hacks at GameChangingFlavors.com.
I’m always looking for ways to lighten up recipes. Great spin on a classic!
Thanks Kari, we hope you enjoy! :)
Love Bluediamond almonds! These almond crusted nuggets sound really great for healthy snacking!! Thanks for sharing, Ali!
Thanks Savita, we hope you enjoy these as much as we do! :D
Do you think you freeze these? I will definitely give em a go, but it would be great to have some on hand for when I don’t feel like cooking ;)
Ooh I love this idea! And the flavored almonds would be fantastic! Makes me feel a little bit healthier about chicken nuggets for dinner :)
Such a good idea to add almond!!
These look soooo good! Who knew chicken nuggets could look so amazing? Definitely trying these!
Thanks Odessa, we hope you enjoy these as much as we do! :)
OMG, YES! These look amazing, Ali!
Thanks Tori, we hope you enjoy these! :)
I can just use almond meal, right? And do you know how much I would use? Would I just weigh out 6 oz of meal?
Hi Marci! We suppose that would work (the texture won’t be as crunchy though, because almond meal/flour tends to be softer and finer). But yes, if you try almond meal, we would say weighing out about 6oz of meal would be the way to go.
I’m so going to try this with some flavored almonds (I’m thinking Salt & Vinegar or Honey Dijon). Yum!!
Love this idea! What’s your recommendation for cooking time if I wanted to do this with a whole breast vs. bite-size pieces?
I’m going to try this one in my new air fryer. Sounds like it would be perfect!
Awesome Mary, we hope you enjoy these! :)
These look great- perfect for Super Bowl Sunday! Think I’ll give them a try :)
Wonderful — enjoy!!
This looks delicious along with many other recipes on this site & on your Instagram. Appreciate the work you have done & offered to all! Can’t wait to try :)
Thanks Chrisanne, we’re hope you enjoy! :D
We made these the other night, they were a big hit with everyone.
Yay, we’re so glad to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try! :)
These look so so good – would you happen to have the calorie breakdown on these?
Thanks Samantha, we hope you like them! Unfortunately though, we aren’t sure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
I love a good, crispy chicken nugget and this looks great – and like a healthier option. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks, we hope you enjoy these as much as we do! :D
Such an awesome idea to use almonds in place of some flour! Im sure they are super crispy and delish!
Thanks Bethany, we hope you enjoy these! :D
We received umpteen bags of various flavored almonds from the kids for Christmas. I wasn’t sure what to do with them all until I saw your recipe–after checking out your Enchilda sauce recipe because I forgot to buy some and I need it tonight. So…making the sauce tonight and the chicken tomorrow. New subscriber…I can’t wait to see what you have next. Thanks!
Awesome Heather, we’re glad you have a way to put them to good use now! We hope you enjoy the recipe — thanks for following! :D
Just made theses and my husband LOVED them. Said they tasted just like regular nuggets. But so much healthier! We’ve been on a New Years resolution diet so he was super excited that we got to have chicken nuggets for dinner! Thanks for the recipe we’ll definitely be making them again.
We’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed these Rachel, thanks for sharing with us! :)
I made these last night for me and my husband and they are amazing!! They were perfectly tender and juicy with a nice crunch, and the flavor from the almonds was really good. Thanks for another great recipe. Will definitely be making these again. :)
Thanks Jen, we’re so glad you both enjoyed them! :)
I can’t wait to try these!! I only use your website for recipes , and I have yet to try something I don’t like. All of your recipes I have made so far are not only amazing, but quick and healthy!
Thank you Mary, we’re so happy you’re a fan of the blog and the recipes, thanks for sharing with us! :)
I love almonds, so I am anxious to give this a try. Do the ground almonds get hard and sharp in the baking process, or do they stay pretty consistent in texture. I have a child with huge issues with food textures. He doesn’t mind crunchy, but doesn’t like sharp.
Hi Patti! We don’t feel like these are sharp, but you can always grind them more if you’re concerned. We hope you and your kiddo enjoy!
These chicken nuggets are not only delicious, but they’re also much healthier than other recipes. Even though almond meal is higher in calories than breadcrumbs, they have a lot more nutrition. The almond meal also has a distinct, nutty crunch.
Thank you Gwen! We’re happy you like these! :)
And it keeps coming….
I am making this now as we speak. I am limited to certain foods because of gerd and a duodenal ulcer. Thank you for my alternative to fried chicken. These are so much healthier. I can’t wait to eat them.
You’re so welcome Christina! We hope you enjoy these! :)
think its ok to make a big batch and freeze them? I’m thinking for kids to have these frozen vs store bought frozen junk. Let me know your thoughts. Thank you.
Yes, completely! We hope they enjoy! :)
How do you grind the almonds without turning it into almond butter?
Hi Lauren! We just quickly pulse them in the food processor so they don’t get too finely ground and turn into almond butter. We hope you enjoy!
I’m really anxious to try these since my husband and I love so many of your other recipes! We have a super small kitchen and oven, so nuggets/tenders tend to take up too much space to bake all at once. Our set-up is more conducive to breasts and cutlets. How would you modify the baking time to make breast cutlets insteaed of nuggets?
Hi Tabitha! Hmmm, we would suggest baking them for about 25 minutes (or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees). We hope you and your husband enjoy!
just made for my sons and myself and we are too full but enjoyed! ty for sharing
Awesome! We’re so glad you all enjoyed them Patti! :)
I made these last night…OMG!!!! Such a hit and gone in minutes. I’d like to apply this same almond crust to a filet of fish.
Thanks for the great recipe :)
Awesome Cathi — we’re so glad you enjoyed them! Also, we think this crust would be amazing on fish — let us know if you try it! :)
Made it for the first time tonight. So easy and yet soooooo delicious!
We’re happy you enjoyed them, Sarah!
OMG these are seriously the BEST chicken nuggets I ever had!!!! All 3 of my grand babies LOVE LOVE them too!!! Thank you!!!
We’re so happy you all love them, Dawn — thanks for sharing with us! :)
I don’t have a food processer. How do I make the almonds small enough?
You can chop them very finely by hand if you’d like. Or add them to a strong freezer bag, and crush them using a rolling pin. Best wishes! :)
Great Idea, I wanna add it my Lunch.
I have made these over a dozen times. These are heavily requested by my 9 and 11yr olds. Thank you for all your delicious recipes. You are my go to blog when I need cooking inspiration and I make A LOT of your recipes which have always turned into family favorites.
I have to eat low carb due to blood sugar issues. I replaced the regular flour with coconut flour. The nuggets tasted great, but I could not get them crispy.
Thanks for the recipes! To be frank I’ve tried quite a few dishes with your other recipes! my girl is allergic to eggs and wheat. I was wondering if I can replace the egg with something else?