Kid-Friendly Vegan Chicken Nuggets

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Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 40 nuggets or 8 servings
Category: Kids, Snack
Cuisine: Vegan

Vegan chicken nuggets of your dreams! Seriously, these are too good to be true. Vegans, nonvegans and even kids will love these, trust us. They are crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, taste just like the real thing AND are cruelty-free.


Seitan Chicken

1/2 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
8 cups vegan chicken broth
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup water
1/2 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups vital wheat gluten
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Vegan Buttermilk

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For Frying

Canola oil (or oil of choice)
Wire rack over a baking sheet or a few paper towel-lined plates


1. In a medium bowl, add the white beans. Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher until broken down. Make sure that all of the beans are broken down but also that the mixture is not too smooth as the beans will help add texture to the nuggets. Add in 1 cup vegan chicken broth along with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon dijon mustard. Mix together until uniform and set aside.

2. In a large pot, add the remaining 7 cups of vegan chicken broth along with the chopped onion, garlic cloves, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.

3. While the broth mixture comes to a boil, continue preparing the nuggets. In a large bowl, add the vital wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, garbanzo bean flour, garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Whisk together until uniform, and then pour in the bean mixture.
4. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, combine until a dough-like consistency is reached. Switch to using your hands to knead the dough until it becomes soft and stretchy.

5. Separate the dough into 40 chicken nugget pieces. You can weigh out the pieces to be sure they are even, but we just eyeballed it. Flatten each piece and stretch them out a bit (refer to video) until each piece is about 2″ x 1.5 ” x 1/2 “.

6. Once the broth has come to a boil, drop in the nugget pieces and mix through with a spoon to evenly disperse the onions and garlic. Low the heat to a simmer and allow the seitan pieces to simmer for 45 minutes. Mix occasionally to be sure the top does not dry out.

7. As that cooks, grab two small mixing bowls. In the first, add in the almond milk and vinegar for the vegan buttermilk and whisk together until uniform. Allow for this to set for 15 minutes to allow the almond milk to curdle into “buttermilk”. In the second bowl, mix together the all-purpose flour, panko breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Whisk together until uniform and set both aside.

8. Once the seitan has finished boiling, strain the broth and discard of the onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Allow the seitan to cool until easy to handle.

9. In a large pot, add canola oil (or oil of choice) until it is 2 inches deep. Heat over medium heat. You will know that the oil is ready when a pinch of flour dropped into the oil foams instantly.

10. It is time to batter the chicken! These are going to be double battered, which means that you will dip the seitan into the “buttermilk” and shake off any excess, and then mix it around in the dry mixture, then dunk it back into the milk, and lastly back into the dry.*

11. Add as many nuggets that fit without overcrowding the pan and fry until golden brown, flipping halfway through. This should take about 4 minutes on each side.

12. Use a strainer to remove the nuggets and place them on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil and cool down. Continue until you have fried all of the nuggets.

13. Allow the nuggets to cool and then add a sprinkle of salt over them if desired. Enjoy!


- Original recipe from Brian Patton of The Sexy Vegan.

- If you do not want to deep fry, you can pan fry the nuggets as well. Just note that you may need to add more oil overtime.

- You can bake these chicken nuggets as well! Lay them on an oiled baking sheet after breading and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until nice and crispy.

- You can make these ahead of time and freeze them in an airtight freezer-safe container until serving. After cooking the nuggets, cool them completely. Warm them through in an oven at 400F for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.

- To make the breading as seamless as possible, we like to wipe our hands with a wet towel/rinse our hands clean between each nugget. This prevents batter build up on our fingers and will help you get a more even coat on the nuggets!

- Try to fry your nuggets soon after breading to prevent them from getting gummy.

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