These veggie nuggets are the perfect kid-friendly addition to any lunch or dinner! Packed with whole ingredients like chickpeas, carrots, and broccoli. They’re easy to make, affordable and a healthy alternative to chicken nuggets. Not to mention, they’re also vegetarian friendly, dairy free, and gluten free!
Veggie Nuggets For Kids and Adults
Nuggets have always been a go-to finger food for children and adults. They’re simple but also fun for kids to pick up and dunk in their favorite sauces. Unfortunately, store-bought chicken nuggets can have a high price tag and some have questionable ingredients in them.
I created this veggie nugget recipe because I wanted a simple, affordable, and healthy version of the childhood favorite nuggets. They’re made with healthy vegetables but they’re still satisfying and easy to make.
These gluten free veggie nuggets are loaded with vegetables and plant protein! They’re also a great way to introduce vegetables into a picky eater’s diet. Trust me, I know toddlers can be hard to cook for. My family loves these nuggets, even my two-year-old!
Looking for more kid-friendly recipes? You're in luck! We have a variety of toddler and big kid approved gluten free recipes on the blog. Try our Healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, Healthy Granola Bars, and Easy Ginger Turkey Meatballs.
Here’s Why You’ll Love These Nuggets
- Kid-Friendly - If you’re like me, you’re always searching for new ways to add more vegetables into your children’s diet. I have a toddler that always changes her mind about which vegetables she’ll eat on a daily basis. But I’m here to tell you that these veggie nuggets have ALWAYS been a hit at my house. Toddler and parent approved.
- Easy To Make - Simply blend the vegetables and a few other ingredients into the blender, form nuggets and bake! These healthy nuggets only take about 20 minutes in the oven. Pair with your favorite dipping sauce and dinner is served!
- Affordable - I know everything at the grocery store is priced high lately but instead of paying for the expensive pre-made chicken nuggets, these ingredients are a cost-effective option. Made mostly with fresh vegetables and pantry staples!
Veggie Nugget Ingredients
One of the best things about this recipe is that it requires only a few ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
- Chickpeas - Instead of chicken, the base of these veggie nuggets is made with chickpeas. They are a great source of plant based protein. Sometimes referred to garbanzo beans and usually found in the canned bean section at the grocery store. Make sure they are cooked and drained before using them. I also like to dab them with a paper towel to dry them off before adding them to the food processor.
- Carrots and Broccoli - These veggie nuggets have both carrots and broccoli in them!
- Nutritional Yeast - The nutritional yeast is optional but it adds a little bit of a cheesy flavor to the nuggets while still remaining dairy free. If you aren’t concerned with keeping the recipe dairy free, you can substitute the nutritional yeast with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese instead.
- Egg - The egg is the glue keeping the nuggets together and also helps the coating stick to the outside. I have not tried substituting the egg with anything else so I can’t recommend it.
- Almond flour - Instead of breadcrumbs, we use gluten free almond flour to coat the veggie nuggets. You could also try oat flour instead of the almond flour that will give a similar result.
- Spices - Garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme and salt are added to the almond flour to give delicious flavor to the nuggets coating.
How To Make Homemade Veggie Nuggets
First, preheat the oven to 400ºF degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Then, add the drained chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, nutritional yeast, and egg to a food processor or blender. Pulse and blend until the mixture is combined and the carrots and broccoli have broken down. Stopping to scrape down the sides and continue to blend.
Next, mix together the almond flour, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme and salt in a small bowl.
Using a spoon or heaping tablespoon, scoop the chickpea mixture into your hands and form the nuggets. Sometimes having slightly wet hands helps the mixture from sticking to you. Depending on preferred nugget size, you’ll have about 12 to 16 nuggets.
Dip the nuggets into the almond flour mixture to coat all over. Place the breaded veggie nuggets onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of each nugget (optional).
Bake for about 18-20 minutes, flipping the nuggets over at 10 minutes. The outside of the nuggets will be slightly golden brown when done.
Watch How To Make These Healthy Veggie Nuggets
Kitchen Tools Needed
- Baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Food processor
How To Serve Veggie Nuggets
Feel free to serve these veggie nuggets with your favorite dipping sauce!
Some ideas for dunking include…
- Ranch dressing
- Chipotle sauce
- Honey mustard
How To Store
You can store the baked nuggets in the fridge for up to 4 days. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months. I like to make a batch of these ahead of time, let them cool, and then store them in the freezer. They are great for reheating on busy weeknights.
More Kid-Friendly Recipes
- Easy Ginger Turkey Meatballs
- Oatmeal Toddler Breakfast Cookies
- Banana Carrot Muffins
- Healthy Granola Bars
- Grain Free Pizza Bites
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- 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas drained and dried off
- ½ cup carrots shredded
- ¼ cup broccoli florets
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast optional, adds a cheesy flavor
- 1 egg
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- olive oil optional, for drizzling on top
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the drained chickpeas, carrots, broccoli, nutritional yeast, and egg to the food processor. Pulse and blend until the mixture is combined and the carrots and broccoli have broken down. Stopping to scrape down the sides and continue to blend.
- Next, mix together the almond flour, garlic powder, oregano, basil, thyme and salt in a small bowl.
- Using a spoon or heaping tablespoon, scoop the chickpea mixture into your hands and form the nuggets. Sometimes having slightly wet hands helps the mixture from sticking to you. Depending on preferred nugget size, you’ll have about 12 to 16 nuggets.
- Dip the nuggets into the almond flour mixture to coat all over. Place the breaded veggie nuggets onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top of each nugget (optional).
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes, flipping the nuggets over at 10 minutes. The outside of the nuggets will be slightly golden brown when done.
- Serve with dipping sauce or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
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