Hi friends!

I have a great new recipe for you all: crispy chicken nuggets are here and they are all the rage. They are super easy to make, 100% plant-based, gluten-free optional, oil-free optional, soy-free, and SO freaking yummy. If you love chicken nuggets but need a healthier, unprocessed vegan version, these are for you.

How do you make chickpea chicken nuggets?

First, drain and rinse your chickpeas, but make sure to drain them over a bowl to save the chickpea liquid.

Next, if you don’t have oat flour, you can make your own in the blender. Just blend 1/2 cup oats until it forms flour. Use your food processor if you don’t have a blender. Add the chickpeas into your food processor with onion, garlic, smoked paprika and salt. Pulse to combine. Now add the oat flour and 2 tbsp of the chickpea liquid. Pulse until combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Make sure that you leave some texture, do not blend until smooth, blend until it’s well combined but there is some texture left.

Make sure you have clean hands because now it’s time to make the nuggets themselves.

Form the Nuggets

Make a preparation station with a bowl of breadcrumbs, bowl of the chickpea liquid and a plate.

Once combined, form the chickpea mixture into nuggets.

Dip each nugget into the chickpea liquid, then roll in the breadcrumbs, and place on the plate.

After that, roll them into breadcrumbs.

Spray them with olive oil or if you’re oil-free don’t spray them. They are great either way.

Make in the air-fryer or oven – details for each cooking method in the instructions below.

I made mine in the air-fryer! They turned out incredible – I can’t believe they are actually healthy.

Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

Will my non-vegan friends and family like them?

The short answer is, YES! These are enjoyed by both vegans and meat-eaters. I dipped mine in ketchup and they seriously brought me back to my childhood. These are so nostalgic. If you are looking for a healthier version of chicken nuggets these are IT. Crispy chicken nuggets are going to be your new favorite vegan lunch or dinner. Make these for your guests – they will love these and be so impressed.

Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

A few important tips:

  • Feel free to make them, then put them in the fridge or freezer to make later on. If you keep them in the freezer, the cooking time just might take a bit longer!
  • Use any bread crumbs you like whether they’re whole wheat, gluten-free, panko or almond.
  • Serve warm and fresh! Don’t wait to eat them after cooking, they are best when eaten fresh,
  • Best served with a mustard dip, ketchup, BBQ sauce or vegan aioli.

Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

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Crispy Chickpea Nuggets


Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

Crispy Chickpea Nuggets (oil-free)

100% plant-based chickpea chicken nuggets that are oil-free optional, gluten-free optional and vegan. Delicious, easy and fun to make.
Course gluten-free lunch, gluten-free vegan dinner, gluten-free vegan lunch, kids dinner, kids lunch, oil-free dinner, vegan dinner, vegan meal, wfpb dinner, WFPB lunch
Cuisine Gluten-free Vegan, Healthy Vegan, Oil-free, Plant-based, Vegan, WFPB
Keyword chickpea chicken nuggets, chickpea nuggets, crispy chickpea nuggets, oil-free nuggets, vegan chicken nuggets, vegan nuggets, vegetarian nuggets
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • aquafaba save the chickpea liquid from the can
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs of choice if you are gluten-free, use GF breadcrumbs


  • Drain chickpeas with a bowl under it to save the chickpea liquid or "aquafaba". Add chickpeas into the food processor with spices.
  • Pulse the chickpeas, tofu, and spices together then add in the oat flour and 2 tbsp of chickpea liquid. Pulse until combined. Do not over blender - it should have texture.
  • Make a prep station with a bowl of the breadcrumbs, a bowl with the remaining chickpea liquid and then a plate.
  • Form the mixture into nugget shapes, dipping each one in the chickpea liquid first then the breadcrumbs. Place them all on the plate. You should get about 10-12 nuggets.
  • Air-fryer method: bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees flipping halfway through or until completely golden brown (this is what I did).
  • Oven method: Bake on a baking sheet with parchment paper for about 30 minutes at 450 flipping halfway through or until golden brown.
  • Serve fresh with ketchup or BBQ sauce and enjoy!

In good health,


30 replies
  1. Peter says:

    Hi Danielle, thanks for this recipe. I am a coeliac and have to adhere to a strict gluten free diet. I would like to try the crispy chickpea nuggets but what is the best substitute for the oat flour ingredient as oats contain the gluten protein and I cannot tolerate them without serious illness.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Danielle Keith says:

      Get gluten-free oats! They have certified gluten-free oats. If you can’t find that, use chickpea flour.

    • Laurie says:

      My daughter has severe celiac disease & there are gluten free oats available. Our favorite is bobs red mill. Just toss in your blender or food processor.4 stars

  2. Ash.irvine says:

    So incredibly easy! I’ll need a double batch for my brood in future but these are amazing! Thanks! I’m loving your recipes!5 stars

  3. Lori B says:

    These were terrific! Super easy to make too. I baked in the oven because I’m the last person on the planet who doesn’t have an air fryer. Next time I think I’ll toss them in buffalo sauce for a real treat. We love plant-based eating, there are so many wonderful recipes! Thank you!5 stars

  4. Mariana Ferreira da Silva e Sousa says:

    I can say that I have tried at least 2 recipes of plant-based nuggets and none were so good and so easy to do like this one.
    I made them in the oven and I was a bit afraid of them to be too dry, but no! They were crispy and very tasty! I will definitely do this one more frequent!
    Thank you so much!5 stars

  5. C. says:

    This was really good! Thanks for the recipe. I used Special K cereal for the breading…whizzed in the food processor. It was very crispy! I have a convection oven. I did 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turned them and did 10 more. I baked them on a rack with a cookie pan underneath. That way I did not have to turn them.5 stars

  6. C. says:

    This was really good! Thanks for the recipe. I used Special K cereal for the breading…whizzed in the food processor. It was very crispy! I have a convection oven. I did 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turned them and did 10 more. I baked them on a rack with a cookie pan underneath. That way I did not have to turn them. I hope people give these a try!5 stars

  7. Julie says:

    Oh! These are so good! I made them with 1 3/4 c chickpeas I soaked and cooked myself (in case anyone is wondering about the 15oz can equivalent), and breaded them with tortilla chips (bc I had a stupid number of partial tortilla chip bags in my pantry that I ground in the food processor and use for breading now). So delicious and stupid easy to make. A go to recipe for me now.5 stars

  8. Eli G says:

    literally so delicious! i was so skeptical of them but when i tasted them I was in awe. I did add other spices like paprika and chili powder. i also just sprayed them slightly with olive oil. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!! I ended up forming 16 nuggets. AMAZING RECIPE! *chefs kiss* *muah*5 stars


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  1. […] Chickpea nuggets are plant-based, gluten-free, and vegan recipes served with any sauce or green chutney. Easy to make with few simple ingredients, get delicious and flavorful snacks or side dish recipes for your whole family. Get the recipe here. […]

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