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Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Copycat) without addicting chemicals!

Next time you’re tempted into going through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, I hope you remember you have this recipe for homemade Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets in your back pocket! These nuggets have that irresistible taste and crispy coating, without the nasty ingredients that Chick-fil-A uses. They are also baked, instead of fried, which also makes them a healthier option.

Once I saw the ingredients that Chick-fil-A puts in their food, I stopped eating there immediately.

If you’ve ever wondered why Chick-fil-A’s chicken is so addicting, here’s your answer! 

Chick-fil-A knows how to get you hooked!

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a “flavor enhancer” that heightens the flavor of food by exciting neurons in the brain when eaten. This sounds like a good idea for spicing up bland foods, but MSG isn’t as innocent as it seems:

MSG is linked to obesity, no matter how many calories you eat.

A 2008 study from researchers at the University of North Carolina looked at the diets of 752 men and women and found those who ate MSG were more likely to be overweight or obese even with the same amount of physical activity and total calorie intake. So even if you’re not overeating, MSG could be silently packing on pounds. (1)

MSG also entices you to eat more than you should.

MSG makes food taste so good that you help yourself to too much, which further sabotages your weight. (2) Ever wonder why you can remember the difference in taste between a Chick-fil-A’s Chicken and other fast food chains? It’s because of MSG. They engineer their food to make a flavor irresistible and memorable so you eat more.

MSG can be hidden under different names on an ingredient list.

Chick-fil-A (and other food companies) know you don’t want to see MSG on their ingredient lists, so they will often substitute it with the additives “Yeast Extract” or “Autolyzed Yeast”, which contain the main component of MSG and is essentially the same thing. (3) Chick-fil-A does this by adding Yeast Extract to some of their chicken. You’ll find yeast extract added to Chick-fil-A’s “healthier items”: grilled chicken nuggets, grilled chicken sandwich, and grilled chicken salads. 

I figured out how to duplicate Chick-fil-A nuggets at home, so I could enjoy them whenever I want, without subjecting myself to MSG and all those questionable ingredients.

This Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets recipe is so easy anyone can do it, and it only takes a few minutes of your time! 

You’ll want to plan ahead, however, because to get that authentic “Chick-fil-A” taste you will marinate the chicken for at least 6 hours. It’s generally the easiest to prep these at night and let them marinate overnight. 

Marinate your chicken the night before (or in the morning): 

Carefully cut three boneless chicken breasts into 1-inch chunks and set them aside. Pull out a medium bowl and whisk together two eggs and 3/4 cup each of pickle juice and milk (dairy or non-dairy). Add the chicken pieces, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Overnight is best.

Important Note: Choose pickles that are dye-free! 

Most pickles are dyed with artificial colors (yellow 5 or yellow 6) to make them look brighter, but these dyes are linked to hyperactivity in children and other health risks. (4) Simply read the ingredient list on the pickles you buy to ensure they don’t contain artificial colors. 

After the chicken is done marinating: 

Turn on your oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the spelt flour, powdered sugar, paprika, dry mustard, sea salt and pepper.

Drain the marinade from the chicken and dredge the pieces in the flour mixture until fully coated:

Place the chicken on a parchment-lined baking sheet, providing space in between each piece. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. 

Here’s the printable recipe for Homemade Chick-fil-A Nuggets + Homemade dipping sauces (3 options!):

 

Food Babe's Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets (Copycat)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup pickle juice (dye-free)
  • 1½ cups spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place egg, milk and pickle juice in a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the chicken pieces, cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. Overnight is best.
  2. After the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Drain the liquid from the chicken and dredge the pieces in the flour mixture until fully coated.
  5. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, providing space in between each piece. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.
Notes
**Please choose all organic ingredients if possible**

 

Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you hanging without any delicious sauce to dip your nuggets! 

I’ve figured out how to recreate Chick-fil-A’s sauce without the nasty corn syrup, soybean oil, natural flavors… and other unhealthy ingredients.

In case you were wondering… here’s what Chick-fil-A puts in their dipping sauces: 

 

We’re not going to use all those crazy ingredients to make a dipping sauce. You can choose to dip them in Primal Kitchen Unsweetened Ketchup, or you can make one of these delicious dipping sauces:

Food Babe's Chick-fil-A Sauce (Copycat)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup avocado oil mayo or plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Serve as a dipping sauce with the nuggets.
Notes
Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.

For BBQ sauce Primal Kitchen Classic BBQ Sauce is good.

For the mayo, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo or Chosen Foods 100% Avocado Oil Classic Mayo are good options.

You can substitute grass-fed plain yogurt for the mayo, it tastes delicious either way.

 

Food Babe's Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: ⅓ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup avocado oil mayo or plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. Serve as a dipping sauce with the nuggets.
Notes
Please choose all organic ingredients if possible.

For the mayo, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo or Chosen Foods 100% Avocado Oil Classic Mayo are good options.

You can substitute grass-fed plain yogurt for the mayo, it tastes delicious either way.

 

Food Babe's Homemade Ketchup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 5½ ounce jars tomato paste
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until desired thickness is reached, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Take the ketchup off the stove and carefully puree in a blender until smooth.
  3. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Notes
**Please choose organic ingredients if possible.**

 

If you really love to dip your nuggets in ranch, you can make my homemade “Hidden Valley” ranch dip or dressing

I hope this gives you a ton of options! I also hope you try these nuggets soon and you are able to satisfy your craving for Chick-fil-A nuggets without the MSG and controversial ingredients. 

Please share these recipes with all your friends and family who love to eat at Chick-fil-A.

I’ve got you covered with recipes for their Waffle Fries and famous Chicken Sandwich too. There’s really no excuse to hit up the Chick-fil-A drive-thru anymore is there?

Xo, 

Vani

 

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2 responses to “Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe (Copycat) without addicting chemicals!

  1. This is the best food blog ever. I learned this several years back, about how additives are actually causing the diseases and keeping people fat. Conducting my own experiment and followed the cleanest diet that I could have managed for about a month? I lost 40 lb! I wasn’t even trying. I kept thinking, well? I can always buy bigger clothes! It fell off so fast, so easy, it was amazing.

    The only thing I do different than you is I don’t like artificial imitation milks like nut milks and oatmeal and coconut milk and whatever. It needs to be milk. Women need dairy. But it needs to be sore straight. We have dairies around here that I literally buy my milk from. I’m very careful. But you’re right. It’s much harder now. Before they caught on, you could just trade out brands and make it work. Now you have to really watch.

    You inspire me to pick it up again. I gave up for a while just because it got so much harder, but I do homemade. When we have all the things that I always cooked before? I just trade out package for something I make myself that’s exactly like it. Hit pinterest! There’s copycat everything on there! I’m actually working on the Big Mac right now. I’m being craving one and I’m not going to go to McDonald’s.

    Bless you for doing this. I’ll be around!

  2. This Chick-fil-A Chicken Nuggets Recipe seems super delicious and amazing, super excited to try this unique one. Thanks for sharing with us.

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