Gluten-Free “Chick Fil-A” Style Chicken Nuggets

July 28, 2013

Want me to let you in on a little secret?

Word on the street is that Chick-Fil-A nuggets are injected with pickle juice!  I know – crazy, huh?!

I can not confirm nor deny that Chick-Fil-A injects or marinates their nuggets in pickle juice – but I decided to see if it worked!!  So I made up my own version of pickle-juice marinated chicken nuggets at home…and of course, they had to be gluten-free and boosted with superfoods too!!

They were a hit!  So I thought I would share the recipe…

Chick-Fil-A Style Gluten Free Nuggets

Serves 3-4


  • 2 boneless skinless organic chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of dill pickle juice* – such as Bubbies brand or homemade
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup of gluten free flour blend (I used Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • Optional – 1-2 Tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joes) – or your choice of seasonings
  • Approx. 1/2 cup of coconut oil or 1/2 cup organic Grapeseed oil for sauteing (both good options for higher heat cooking).

*Avoid using any kind of pickle juice that contains artificial colors – I like Bubbies or other natural brind/fermented pickles.  If you don’t have time for this step, you can skip it – just season the chicken or egg wash with a sprinkle of Himalayan salt.


  1. Cut the chicken into approx. 2 inch bite sized pieces, then put them in a large Ziplock bag or dish with 1/2 cup of pickle juice and the paprika.  Marinate them for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Then drain out the pickle juice. (If you do not have time for this, skip it – just lightly season it with salt before moving on).
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Whip up the egg in one bowl, add in about 1 Tablespoon of water to thin.
  4. In the other bowl combine the gluten free flour, ground chia seeds, almond flour, salt, pepper, seasonings, and parmesan cheese (if using).
  5. Dredge the chicken in the egg, then roll it into the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Set them on a plate until you are ready to saute them.
  6. Heat oil in pan over medium high heat – the oil should completely cover the bottom of the pan.
  7. Put the chicken into the pan, it should sizzle right away if it is hot enough (do not overlap, might need to do them in batches).
  8. Cook for about 3 minutes a side (or until lightly browned).
  9. Have a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet pan nearby, put the sauteed chicken pieces onto the pan, once all of them have been sauteed, put them into the 400 degree oven to cook for about 10 minutes (or until no longer pink inside).

Enjoy with some organic ketchup, BBQ sauce, or this:

Quick n’ Easy Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons grainy dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Vegenaise mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey (or to taste)

Stir all together, taste & adjust. Serve with chicken nuggets.

Wanting a yummy superfood boosted mac n cheese to go along with this recipe?  This free Cooking with Superfoods eBook has a gluten-free mac n’ cheese recipe that is loaded with butternut squash and boosted with nutritional yeast!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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