Yields: about 26 - 30 nuggets Prep Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
A far cry from fast food chicken nuggets, these tasty morsels boast zinc and magnesium from pumpkin seeds as well as copper and calcium from sesame seeds. Whole wheat bread gives a little extra fiber to the protein filled chicken. Crispy, with just the right amount of flavor from these nuggets are great with your favorite dip or just plain.
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
2 slices whole wheat or whole grain bread, toasted (can be gluten free bread)
2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds, ground*
2 tablespoons chia seeds, ground*
1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds, ground*
1 generous tablespoon green onions, chopped
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
*seeds can be ground in a coffee or seed grinder
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon olive oil
(optional - 1 tablespoon olive oil for drizzling over nuggets)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bread in toaster, and toast until well done.
2. Grind seeds in coffee grinder and set aside.
3. Tear toasted bread and place in food processor with seeds, green onions, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and salt. Process until finely ground and combined, about 1 minute. Transfer breading mixture to shallow plate or dish for breading chicken.
3. Prep the chicken by trimming excess fat and cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Try to keep the pieces similar in size so they cook evenly.
4. Beat egg with olive oil in separate bowl and place chicken pieces in egg bowl.
5. Dip chicken into egg wash and then into breading mixture. Cover completely and place on a parchment paper or silicone lined baking pan. Continue until chicken is all breaded and on pan. I like to drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over all the nuggets.
6. Place nuggets in 400 degree oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until thoroughly cooked through. (Discard any remaining breading and egg wash.)
These chicken nuggets don’t last, so I should probably start doubling the recipe. I’ve noticed that a lot lately with many of our dishes. Our family of small children is now growing into bigger children – who like good food!
This is an easy dish to make that has an extra boost of nutrition with the addition of pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and sesame seeds. The seeds are not only a great source of fiber, but they also are filled with healthy fats and important minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium. They also replace a little over 1/4 cup of what would be bread in a traditional recipe, making these lower in simple carbohydrates. The seeds with the bit of cheese also add just the right amount of crunch and crispy outside texture.
The whole wheat or whole grain, or even sprouted bread is great as well, ensuring fiber and other vitamins and minerals that simple white flour is lacking. If necessary, gluten free bread can be substituted. When I first made these a few years ago, there weren’t as many whole grain options for gluten free bread. Now, there is such a variety, with really good texture and flavor.
We traditionally enjoy them with a batch of Matchstick Sweet Potato Fries and a salad from the garden, or if you’re really ambitious, some Roasted Parmesan Asparagus. Or if it’s one of those days you can prep ahead in the morning, you can always reheat in the oven at dinner time and pop in some (healthy-ish) store-bought frozen French fries!
I have recently been experimenting with different dipping sauces, and this is a great recipe to test. My ketchup lover is loyal to her condiment, but we have a few daring other testers that have branched out to a homemade honey mustard sauce as well as a sour cream and chive dip. Dip or no dip, these are delicious and nutritious chicken nuggets that pack a punch of nutrients!
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**Original post was published June 2015. Post has been updated and republished January 2017.