Crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside – this low carb chicken nuggets recipe is easier than you might think and with just 2 net carbs per serving you can have it anytime you get a craving for fast food!
For this keto chicken recipe you’ll need skinless chicken breast, buttermilk, hot sauce, ancho chili powder, garlic, lemon, salt, an egg, and ground pecans.If you are in a hurry, you can Jump to Recipe
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Can you eat chicken nuggets on low carb diet?
Every single Sunday on the way home from church, my family stops at Chicken Express for chicken nuggets, fries, fried okra, and sweet tea.
And every Sunday I pull all the good stuff off that darn chicken and eat two pieces while I watch my family literally inhale the rest of it.
That was no fun. At all.
Guess what? I’m not doing that anymore.
These homemade chicken nuggets are really good and extremely low carb enough to be a perfect keto recipe if you are on a keto diet. You can use them for keto induction if you like. They do contain pecans, and yeah, I know that you’re not supposed to have nuts in induction but I went back to Atkins to read exactly what was said about that.
“Even though most nuts and seeds are low in Net Carbs, most people have trouble controlling portions, which can easily lead to overconsumption. Until you gain control of your appetite, steer clear of nuts. They’re usually the first new food you add when you move to OWL.”Atkins
You aren’t going to over consume these because you aren’t snacking on them.
The chicken is tender and juicy with lots of flavor and the outside is crispy and light. I like to enjoy a chicken nugget in a lettuce wrap with a slice of a jalapeno, a little onion with red pepper flakes, and a sour cream and salsa dip. It is good enough that I would eat them even if I wasn’t on a low carb or keto diet.
Can you eat chicken nuggets on a keto diet?
Regular chicken nuggets aren’t the best for a low carb or keto diet. 10 chicken nuggets from McDonalds have 25 grams of carbs. 10 chicken nuggets are roughly what half of this recipe makes which has 2 servings of chicken tenders. When I started to make a keto chicken nuggets recipe, the big thing to make it keto friendly was the breading that regular chicken tenders have. To make a keto chicken nugget, this recipe uses ground pecans. I thought about using crushed pork rinds which I may try in a future keto recipe. Maybe with a keto fried chicken recipe? My air fryer died when I was working on this otherwise I would have tried to air fry them.
Low carb chicken nuggets recipe tips
Here are some tips for this low carb recipe.
You use chicken breast cut into small, nugget sized pieces and soaked in a spicy buttermilk brine. The buttermilk tenderizes the chicken meat but doesn’t add carbs. The chicken meat doesn’t soak up that much (if any) of the brine. If I am wrong, please leave a comment and correct me with a link to where you got the information because I have looked everywhere!
Once the chicken breast meat is brined for an hour or so, heat up your deep fryer. I’d suggest that you get an electric one just because it makes frying and cleanup so much easier. The chicken breast is drained, patted dry, then dipped in the egg mixture, and then coated in finely ground pecans.
I wouldn’t recommend canned chicken as it’s way too soft and full of moisture. I opened a can to see if I could use it and just looking at it I could tell the chicken nuggets wouldn’t hold their shape. I wondered if I could shape ground chicken into nuggets shapes and I’d have to add a binder and other things which would likely up the carb count.
To make this recipe into keto chicken tenders, you can use the chicken tenderloin which is a little more tender than the chicken breast. I looked at a package of chicken thighs which are much more tender than the breast meat, but the chicken thigh is much smaller, and that chicken piece doesn’t hold their shape as well as the breast meat.
I tried adding some onion powder and even garlic powder to the wet ingredient mixture but it didn’t seem to make a difference, they have tons of flavor already.
If you are using an electric fryer the cooking time won’t be more than five or ten minutes, though. You could also put the coating on each keto nugget over the egg wash, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to a day to make cooking more convenient. Some people say they freeze and store them in the refrigerator well but they never last long enough around here for me to find out!
Give this low carb chicken nuggets recipe a try and see if it holds up to any high carb chicken nuggets recipe. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
This low carb chicken nuggets recipe is set to make 2 generous servings. You can make enough for the whole family if you’d like. If you put your cursor (or finger) over the number “2” next to the “Servings” heading in the recipe below, a slider will appear. You can move the slider to the number of servings you want to make. The low carb chicken nuggets recipe will automatically change the amount of each ingredient for you.
Low Carb Chicken Nuggets Recipe
- 1/2 pound skinless chicken breast boneless
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce A couple of drops to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 clove garlic chopped,
- 1 slice lemon
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg beaten
- 2/3 cup finely ground pecans
- Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
- Mix the buttermilk, hot sauce, ancho, garlic, lemon, and salt together in a bowl.
- Add the chicken to the buttermilk mixture.
- Cover and refrigerate one hour or no more than three hours.
- Heat the oil in an electric fryer up to 375F
- Drain the chicken and pat dry.
- Beat the egg in a bowl.
- Pour the pecans into another bowl.
- Dip the chicken in the egg and then roll in the pecans.
- Drop carefully into the deep fryer and fry for about 3 – 4 minutes or until cooked through.
- Preheat the oven to 375F, place chicken on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until cooked through.