Low Carb Chicken Nuggets

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Low Carb Chicken Nuggets are made with crunchy pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs, giving you the same look and feel as your favorite nuggets recipe with a lot fewer carbs! Oven baked so there’s no excess oil either, my low carb nuggets come out perfectly crispy every time. Plus, they’re ready in just under 30 minutes!



 

Low Carb Chicken Nuggets

You may have never thought about making low carb chicken nuggets, but boy, oh, boy are they delicious!! 

So, how do I make them low carb, you may be wondering? It’s easy! I “bread” them with crushed pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs.

Don’t knock it ‘til you try it people… they don’t taste like pork and you get the same texture as panko! Pork rinds are the ultimate low carb cooking hack.

You’ll want to try these even if you’re not low carb! They’re generally lighter, thanks to those pork rinds and the fact that I bake these instead of frying them.

The oven will give you a similar crunch, and you don’t have to worry about any excess oil. Woo!

If you’re looking for more nuggets, I’ve got you covered.

Don’t miss my Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Nuggets, Coconut Lime Chicken Nuggets, Homestyle Baked Italian Chicken Nuggets, and this healthier version too!

ingredients for low carb chicken nuggets recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Chicken Breast – I like chicken breast for low carb chicken nuggets for a few different reasons.

    It’s easy to find, easy to work with, and I almost always have a package in my freezer!
  • Pork Rinds – Using pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs is the ultimate low carb hack! You’ll use them to create the breading — they boast a similar texture to panko.
  • Egg – To create the egg wash that helps bind the pork rinds and seasonings mixture to the chicken breast. 
  • Seasonings – I added salt, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seed, mustard powder, and back pepper to the crushed pork rinds.

    I love sneaking extra flavor into the breading — it’s such an easy way to elevate your nuggets.
crushed pork rinds for low carb chicken nuggets in a mixing bowl

Tips and Tricks for Making Crispy Low Carb Nuggets

  • Crush the pork rinds with care.

You want the crushed pork rinds to resemble the texture of breadcrumbs as much as possible for the crispiest texture.

I typically use a rolling pin and a Ziploc bag to make it happen!

Add the pork rinds to the bag, then lay it flat on your countertop, and then go to town with your rolling pin.

Again, they should look like panko breadcrumbs by the time you’re through.

  • Don’t crowd the baking sheet.

Once your low carb nuggets are breaded and ready to bake, arrange them on the baking sheet with an inch or two in between each one. 

You need to make sure there’s enough room for even cooking and crispiness on all sides. Avoid overcrowding as this could result in soggy nuggets!

  • An easy hack for extra crispy results.

If you, like me, love crispy and crunchy chicken nuggets, I have a super simple trick to try!

After the initial 15 minutes of baking, pull them out of the oven and spray with cooking spray.

Place the baking sheet back in the oven, then bake for another 3 minutes or so until golden brown.

  • Use your air fryer for quicker cooking.

You can easily make this low carb chicken nuggets recipe in the air fryer instead of the oven. In fact, it’ll cut your cooking time in half!

Preheat to 380°F and spray the nuggets with cooking spray on all sides. Air fry for 7 minutes, making sure to flip the chicken halfway through.

chicken chunks dipped in eggs

Prep Ahead

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F
  • Crush the pork rinds
  • Line your baking sheet with a wire cooling rack

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

cubed chicken in bowl with breading

Serving Suggestions 

Serve low carb nuggets hot and fresh out of the oven!

I like to pair them with dipping sauces like my Chipotle Lime Mayo, or I’ll add some buffalo to Greek yogurt for a quick, low carb option. 

You can also tweak my zucchini fries recipe to make it low carb. Simply bread with crushed pork rinds instead of flour and panko and you’re in business!

Make it a meal and pair with cauliflower rice and some garlic roasted broccoli, Parmesan zucchini, or green beans with tomatoes.   

baked low carb chicken nuggets

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

These homemade nuggets are so tasty that you probably won’t have any leftovers! But, if you do, place them in an airtight container in the fridge and store for up to 3-4 days. 

I always recommend using an air fryer for reheating breaded food if you have one! Heat at 350°F for 3-5 minutes until crispy. 

Otherwise, use your oven. Set to 350°F and reheat the nuggets on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Don’t use your microwave as they could become mushy!

Low Carb Chicken Nuggets Recipe FAQ

Can you eat chicken nuggets on a low carb diet?

You can, as long as you use a low carb chicken nuggets recipe like mine! Traditional versions are much heavier on the carbs due to the breading. 

I use crushed pork rinds (which have 0 net carbs per serving) instead, and the results are crispy and crunchy without the additional carbs!

Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts?

Sure! As mentioned, I use chicken breasts because I usually have some on hand. That said chicken thighs would work for this low carb chicken nuggets recipe too. 

Just keep in mind that thighs have a higher fat content which means they take longer to cook. That also means that the finished nuggets will have a higher fat content. Something to keep in mind!

Can I freeze low carb chicken nuggets?

Yes, you can freeze low carb nuggets, but I suggest you freeze before baking. Prepare and bread the chicken as instructed on the recipe card, but place on a baking sheet without a wire rack once they’re breaded. 

Flash freeze for about 30 minutes and then place in a freezer-safe bag. You can bake from frozen, just be sure to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.

closeup of a low carb chicken nugget

Enjoy!
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.

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top view of a plate full of low carb chicken nuggets

plate of low carb chicken nuggets

Low Carb Chicken Nuggets

Donna Elick
Satisfy your cravings guilt-free with my Low Carb Chicken Nuggets! Made with chicken breast and zero breadcrumbs, and baked in the oven!
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 5

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, 1 inch cubes approximately
  • 6 cups pork rinds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 /2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 /2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 /2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 /4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 /4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 /4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a ziploc bag crush the pork rinds until desired consistency.
  • To a large bowl add the egg and beat well with a fork.
  • To another large bowl add the crushed pork rinds and seasonings. Mix well.
  • Dredge the cubed chicken in egg wash followed by the pork rind breading.
  • Place on baking sheet lined with cooling rack.
  • Bake for 1 5 minutes.

Donna’s Notes

For a deeper brown color, spray the chicken nuggets with cooking spray and return
to oven for additional 3 minutes.
Cook in an air fryer at 380F for 7 minutes, sprayed with cooking spray on both sides,
flipping halfway through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 307cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1202mg | Sugar: 0.1g | Fiber: 0.3g | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Originally published May 2024

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