Need I explain?? Everyone loves a chicken nugget. Crisp, tender, and made for dippin’—these easy keto chicken nuggets are a fun feast for kids of all ages.
Friday Night Nuggets
Pizza has its place. But in my family, Movie Night meant Nuggets! Personal size bites of crispy fried chicken—served with plenty of dips for dunking. Of course, we all had different favorites. My Mom loves a dipping duo of BBQ sauce and mustard (!?!?) I thought it was weird as a kid and I’ve never gotten over it. But you dip for you!
I’m still all about ketchup & ranch. Of course, now it’s my (sugar free!) keto ketchup and keto ranch.
Make these for your next movie night and set out the sauces. Let everyone discover their own ultimate flavor combination. These are best eaten immediately—not that I expect you’ll have any leftover nuggets. I really don’t think that’s a thing. – Linds x
Ingredient Notes (+ 2 Versions?!)
Rarely does this happen, but we couldn’t decide which version we liked best — Doug (husband) slightly preferred the pork rind version, while I chose the fried one. Both are amazing and EASY to make, so I’ll let you decide.
Both low carb chicken nuggets call for my go-to fried chicken spice combo. Feel free to add what you love: onion powder, cajun seasoning, etc.
I also typically use breast, but chicken thighs will also work.
Keto breading (for the baked version):
This is incredibly simple…
- Pork rinds, that’s it! We’ll break these up into panko-sized pieces, OR(!) consider using pork panko, for more consistent grain size and less work.
- Eggs help the breading stick to the chicken.
Keto tempura batter (for the fried version):
- Whey protein isolate. No other protein powder will work here. When whey comes in contact with hot oil it’ll puff up(!) just like traditional flour. Be sure to get unsweetened/unflavored keto protein powder, my favorite brand is ISO Pure.
- Xanthan gum helps to bind the batter together.
- Baking soda
- Soda water
- Frying oil. I typically fry in peanut oil. For alternative options, check out this guide.
As mentioned my favorite dipping sauces are ranch dressing or sugar free ketchup. If using storebought products, check the nutrition label to make sure the dip works with you eating plan. But don’t let me tell you what to use:
Storing + Reheating Tips
As with most fried food, these keto chicken nuggets are best served immediately. If you plan to meal prep these, I suggest making the baked version (the breading will stay crispier in the fridge). I also suggest reheating leftovers in the oven until the surface becomes crispy again.
Keto Chicken Nuggets FAQs:
- Can I make these in the air frier? Yup! For keto chicken nuggets air fryer, opt for the baked coating. Place the nuggets on the air fryer basket and bake for 15 minutes at 380 F — check their internal temp for doneness, should be 165 F.
- Can I add parmesan cheese? Sure can! Make keto chicken nuggets with cheese by replacing half the pork rinds with grated parmesan. When making keto chicken nuggets parmesan, I suggest leaving out the salt.
- Can I use keto flour to fry? No. When almond flour gets wet, it’ll slip right off the chicken, which is why keto chicken nuggets without almond flour will give you the crispiest texture. Coconut flour is very dry and gives keto nuggets an odd texture (and taste!).
- Can I make keto chicken nuggets with ground chicken? Sure! Be sure to mix and shape the ground chicken into small pieces before dipping it into the coating. I don’t recommend using canned chicken here.
More Keto Chicken Recipes
- Keto Chicken Casserole
- Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
- Chicken Crust Pizza
- Avocado Chicken Salad
- Keto Chicken Curry
Low Carb Keto Chicken NuggetsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
Ingredient for Both:
- 2 Pounds Chicken Breast boneless + skinless. Cut into 1" pieces
- 2 Teaspoons Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Oregano
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Fried Popcorn Chicken:
Baked Popcorn Chicken:
- 4 Ounce Pork Rinds crushed into "breadcrumb sized" pieces (note 2)
- 2 Eggs
For the fried chicken:
- Heat veggie oil over high heat in a medium-sized pan. Make sure there's enough oil in the pan for the chicken to submerge.
- In a wide-mouthed bowl, combine the spices, whey protein isolate (1/2 cup), xanthan gum (1 teaspoon), and baking powder (2 teaspoons). Stir in soda water (6 tablespoons), the combination will be wet! Add chicken to the bowl, and toss to coat.
- Place the chicken to the side of your pan. Grab a paper towel-lined plate and place it on the other side of your pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add chicken to the pan. I did this in two batches, making sure each piece of chicken is coated in the whey protein combo before dropping it in. Cook the chicken on both sides for 3-4 minutes, or until you achieve a golden sear. Remove chicken to the prepped paper towel-lined plate using tongs. Repeat these steps until you've fried all the chicken.
For the baked chicken:
- Preheat oven to 400 F, prep two wide-mouthed bowls, and a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Whisk eggs in one bowl. In the second bowl, combine spices and crushed pork rinds.
- Dip the chicken in the whisked eggs, then in the pork rinds, then place them 1" apart on the prepped baking sheet. Continue until you've coated all the chicken.
- Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, the chicken is done once the internal temp reaches 165 F. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Frying Oil should have a high smoke point and mild flavor. Please keep in mind that all oils are low in carbs, but some are considered "healthier" based on polyunsaturated fats. If this is a concern to you, opt for avocado oil, or peanut oil (slightly higher). If not, vegetable or canola are great frying oils. I use peanut oil for frying.
- Pork Rinds: You can buy pork rind crumbs, or place pork rinds in a resealable bag and smash them using a rolling pin.
- Nutritional information for the FRIED version: Calories: 302 | Total Carbs: 5g | Net Carbs: 4g | Fiber: 1g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 18g
- Nutritional information for the BAKED version: