Recipe: Chickpea Nuggets

These chickpea nuggets are an awesome alternative to fast food! Click here to get the recipe.

My kids love finger food, especially finger food with dip!  The freezer section at most supermarkets are full of fried finger foods, many of which are designed to attract children in particular. Most of these foods are anything but good for you, however! We’ve all seen the disturbing list of ingredients in a chicken nugget, and the boxes that line the freezer shelves next to the nuggets are not much better. Chickpea nuggets…otherwise known as falafel…are a great alternative to traditional finger foods, and you can make a large batch of them and freeze some for later!  The ingredients in this recipe are very simple, without many of the traditional spices that you’d usually find in falafel. This makes them very kid-friendly, ready to dip in a creamy cucumber-yogurt sauce for dinner, pop in a lunch box, or reheat for an after school snack.
A healthy alternative to chicken nuggets! Falafel made with chickpeas, served with cucumber yogurt sauce.

Start by soaking some dry, organic chickpeas overnight. Boil them until they are soft, then toss them in your food processor with a little organic extra-virgin olive oil, some free-range eggs, a clove or two of garlic, sea salt and a touch of apple cider vinegar. Process this mixture until you have a thick paste, like this:

A healthy alternative to chicken nuggets! Falafel made with chickpeas, served with cucumber yogurt sauce.

And then add a little gluten free flour and some baking powder (I used chickpea flour, but you can use almond, coconut, rice, or wheat flour if you’d like). Mix well, and then form the mixture into bite-sized nuggets.

A healthy alternative to chicken nuggets! Falafel made with chickpeas, served with cucumber yogurt sauce.

Fry the nuggets in organic coconut oil (just enough to cover 1/2 of the nuggets), and allow to cool a little before serving. They turn a nice golden-brown, puff up a bit, and are so light and crispy! These go great with cucumber-yogurt dip, which you can make as your  nuggets cook. Just blend cucumber, yogurt (I used homemade), garlic, dill and some sea salt together and serve on the side, or make a delicious sandwich using gluten free pita bread or naan and some fresh vegetables. This recipe will make around 25-30 nuggets, depending on the size…so you can freeze some, or double the recipe and freeze a lot! Just put them on a tray and freeze them, then transfer to a freezer bag for fast dinners and snacks.



Chickpea Nuggets

Chickpea Nuggets

There is something magical about chicken nuggets that kids (and even adults) love. Now you can have a healthy version with these chickpea nuggets!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


Chickpea Nuggets:

Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:



    1. Place cooked chickpeas into a food processor. Pulse until beans are finely ground.
    2. Add the olive oil, eggs, vinegar, sea salt, garlic and baking powder and blend until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a little water, the mixture should be the consistency of hummus.
    3. Transfer the chickpea mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add a little flour at a time until you have a dough that you can work with your hands.
    4. Form the dough into nugget-sized pieces, about 1/2 thick and 1 1/2-2 inches long.
    5. Fry nuggets in organic coconut oil, you need just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan (a cast iron skillet works well) and come about 1/2 way up the thickness of the nuggets, about 1/3 in deep. Fry them on one side for about 5 minutes until golden-brown, then flip the nuggets and fry for another 3-5 minutes. Remove the cooked nuggets and allow them to cool for a bit on a plate lined with a paper towel or two.
    6. Place extra nuggets on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag for later!

    Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:

    1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve with the nuggets for dipping, or serve over gluten free pita bread or naan and vegetables. Store remaining sauce in the fridge.


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