Vegan Chicken Nuggets

Vegan Chicken Nuggets

vegan chicken nugget recipe

Sometimes you get those cravings for something a bit more ‘meaty’. Now I don’t mean I crave animal flesh but I do like to have a change of protein sources and that’s when these vegan chicken nuggets comes in super handy. 

Vegan chicken say what?

Honestly, I wish there were better words for meat substitutes instead of calling them ’chicken’ or ‘beef’ when really they aren’t anything like the real thing. I’ll leave those creations up to companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible foods who are creating pretty decent replicas for the vegan world.

What’s vegan ‘chicken’ make from?

This vegan chicken nugget in particular is a simple recipe. It’s made from vital wheat gluten, chickpea flour and spices.

What is vital wheat gluten?

Vital wheat gluten is the protein extract from wheat. It’s pure protein but also the part that makes bread stick together. When activated with a liquid the strands bind together.

Vital wheat gluten has been used for decades and was first used by the Monks.

If you have a gluten sensitivity or are Celiac then you should avoid vital wheat gluten. Unfortunately there is no substitute for this recipe as we rely on the gluten to bind the nuggets together and create texture.

While the initial purchase of ingredients seems high, you will be able to make nuggets for 3-4 months using these ingredients if you make them frequently.

How do I make vegan chicken nuggets?

This recipe is easy and yields a decent amount of nuggets. All the ingredients get mixed together with some water, kneaded for 5 minutes to activate the gluten strands and then boiled in a broth. Afterwards you can fry the nuggets as is, bread them, or use them as is in stir fries.

How do I eat vegan chicken nuggets?

These nuggets are great alone with a spicy mayo, chopped up and served in salads, on pizza like I’ve done below and on sandwiches.

Vegan pizza

While the ingredient list might look long it’s mostly spices. The actual main ingredients just vital wheat gluten and chickpea flour.

These vegan chicken nuggets are:

  • High in protein
  • High in B vitamins
  • Low calorie
  • Super tasty
  • Crunchy when fried
  • Diverse
  • Cheap budget protein option as a little goes a long way.
vegan chicken nugget recipe
Breaded and deep fried nuggets
vegan chicken nugget recipe

Vegan Chicken nuggets

These vegan chicken nuggets are extra delicious and can be used in so many ways. They are a great starter with a dipping sauce or served as a protein in main dishes. I love doubling the batch and freezing so I have on hand. With only a few simple ingredients and spices you can be eating chicken nuggets frequently.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 18 nuggets
Calories 145 kcal


  • pot


  • 1 cup Vital wheat gluten (250ml cup)
  • 1/4 cup Chickpea Flour (62.5ml cup)

Seasoning and spices

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp Italian spice blend (or make your own chicken seasoning)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Wet Ingredients

  • 150 ml Room temperature water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 Liter water
  • 1 vegetable stock or 2 tsp bullion


  • Mix all the dry ingredients and seasoning together.
  • In a pot, heat the water with the bullion or vegetable stock.
  • Add the water and oil to the dry mix and knead for 5-10minutes until the 'dough' appears soft and holds together well. Don't skimp on kneading it affects texture. See notes.
    vegan chicken recipe
  • Break into 18 pieces (if making one batch) and roll into balls.
  • Add the nuggets to the boiling water.
    vegan chicken nugget recipe
  • Boil for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
    vegan chicken nugget recipe
  • You can now bread them, fry them as is, deep-fry or cut and use in stirfries.
    vegan chicken nugget recipe


Calories based on recipe making 18 nuggets and 3 nuggets per serving not deep-fried. 
Nuggets can be frozen for 2 months in an airtight container. 
If you don’t knead the mixture for long enough it can be too spongy or on the tough side. 
Break into little pieces. Gluten swells as it cools so your initial pieces will almost double in size. Keep this in mind when sizing your bits if you choose to make less than 18 per recipe. 
Keyword chicken recipe, high protein, plant based chicken, vegan appretizers, vegan chicken, vegan chicken nuggets, vegan chickpea recipes, vegan protein smoothie, vegan recipes, vital-wheat gluten recipes

If you like this recipe why not give this add some chicken to this pineapple fried rice?

This post contains affiliate links. Please note that buying from these links is at no extra cost to you. If you do buy from them, I get a small commission which helps me to cover the costs of running this blog. Thank you for your support.

Let me know if you give these a try by rating them below and sharing on Instagram. Tag me @the_hungry_herbivore

Until next time, happy cooking 

Xoxo Amy

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