These vegan chicken nuggets (chickpea nuggets) made with tofu are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfect for a snack with a dip of your choice. They are easy to make, gluten-free, and oil-free too!

Vegan chicken nuggets chickpea nuggets

I have a confession: I never personally liked chicken nuggets. Once, when I was 5 or 6 years old, a family member brought me chicken nuggets as a little treat and it tasted so bad, I just never quite got over it. But vegan nuggets? That’s a different story. After going vegan, I decided to give nuggets a second chance, brought a plant based alternative from the store and loved it.

Vegan nuggets made from chickpeas

Since then, I consistently make nuggets at home. There are countless ways you can make them. You can use tofu, seitan, TVP, etc. For this recipe, we’re using chickpeas. Chickpeas, after all, are a great accessible ingredient that’s versatile, cheap and easy to flavour. 

If you want to try a healthier, vegan version of a popular recipe, I would recommend this version for sure!

Vegan chicken nuggets made from chickpeas

Vegan chicken nuggets made from tofu and chickpeas

Now, I have to say that these won’t taste exactly like chicken. As my blog is gluten-free, I can’t use seitan for a more realistic version. However, they still make a great alternative that is good as they are! If you’re new to vegan cooking, it’s a great idea to recreate your old favourites yourself, even if it seems unconventional, because you may end up absolutely loving it! 

Vegan nuggets and avocado sauce

A combination of chickpeas and tofu is used for an even better texture, with just the right amount of firmness and crispiness. If you want to, you can even skip the breadcrumbs as this mixture is delicious as it is! But I would recommend it for that extra bit of crunch.

How to make vegan chicken nuggets

You can serve them as a side dish or as a snack that’s also gluten-free, as long as you use gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour. You’ll probably wish that you’d made extra!

Ingredients you’ll need

The ingredient list is surprisingly short and simple. You will need …

Ingredients for vegan chicken nuggets
  • Chickpeas. You can either cook your own from scratch, or use canned chickpeas.
  • Tomato paste. 
  • Fresh garlic.
  • Cumin. 
  • Turmeric.
  • Salt. You can adjust the amount depending on your own preference.
  • Tahini.
  • Gluten-free all purpose flour. You can also use oat flour or chickpea flour.
  • Extra firm tofu. If necessary, press it for at least 30 minutes before starting to cook. 
  • Gluten-free breadcrumbs. You can use ordinary breadcrumbs if not avoiding gluten.
  • Plant based milk of your choice.

How to make chickpea nuggets from scratch

Firstly, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

Now add the chickpeas, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt, tahini, and flour to a blender or food processor. Blend it slowly until mostly smooth, but some texture from the chickpeas remains. 

Transfer to a mixing bowl and add crumbled tofu. Mix together, using your hands if necessary, to make a dense ‘dough’. 

Shape the dough into equally-sized nugget shapes. Dip each one in the plant based milk, followed by the breadcrumbs, and lay out on the parchment paper.

Bake the nuggets in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until crispy and golden. Make sure not to bake for too long, as they may end up being crumbly. 

How to serve vegan chicken nuggets

I would definitely recommend eating them with your favourite dipping sauce. Some of my favourites from the blog include: 

Chickpea nuggets and avocado sauce

Can you freeze vegan chicken nuggets?

For sure! Store them in freezer-friendly for up to 2 months. Leave to thaw overnight in the fridge, and then microwave on 80% in a microwave-safe dish for 2 ½ minutes to reheat. 

Vegan chickpea nuggets and avocado sauce

You can also store them in the fridge for around 3 days in an airtight container, but I would recommend freezing if you will not eat them immediately.

Other vegan snack ideas

Vegan chicken nuggets chickpea nuggets

Let me know in the comments: what’s your favourite way to use chickpeas? If you give these vegan chicken nuggets a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) so I can see your creations, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Chicken Nuggets (Chickpea Nuggets)

These vegan chicken nuggets (chickpea nuggets) are made with chickpeas, tofu and a few other simple ingredients for a snack or appetizer that’s easy to make, perfectly crispy and flavourful. Gluten-free, ready in under 30 minutes.
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour
  • 5 oz firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

Equipment

  • Conventional oven
  • Blender or food processor
  • Mixing bowl
  • Baking tray

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F) and line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Add the chickpeas, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, turmeric, salt, tahini, and flour to a blender or food processor. Blend it slowly until mostly smooth, but some texture from the chickpeas remains.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and add crumbled tofu. Mix together, using your hands if necessary, to make a dense ‘dough’.
  • Shape the dough into equally-sized nugget shapes. Dip each one in the plant based milk, followed by the breadcrumbs, and lay out on the parchment paper.
  • Bake the nuggets in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until crispy and golden. Make sure not to bake for too long, as they may end up being crumbly.
Calories: 53kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 128mg, Potassium: 34mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 31IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 1mg
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Vegan chicken nuggets chickpea nuggets