Did you know that you can make gluten-free vegan “chicken” nuggets right at home, with ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry? Now, you can find other vegan chickpea nuggets recipes, such as the Forks Over Knives recipe and the Kitchn recipe, both of which are great recipes, however our version is easier, faster, very yummy, and doesn’t need any substitutions in order to keep it gluten-free and vegan.
These chickpea nuggets (we call them “chickpen nuggets”… see what we did there?) are easy to make, and are so delicious. They are great paired with barbecue sauce, wing sauce, or ketchup, or used in any way that you would use a regular chicken nugget. And guess what! They are even better the second day!
Our recipe uses crushed Simple Mills’ almond flour crackers for the crust; we like using these because they make a great crust and are gluten-free (and are a great price at Costco). (The Forks Over Knives chickpea nuggets recipe uses bread crumbs, the Kitchn recipe uses panko crumbs, other recipes use crushed cornflakes. Of course, you can get gluten-free bread crumbs, and you can get non-GMO flaked corn cereal, but we just find that the Simple Mills crackers work really well, and we always have them in the house.)
What you need for this recipe is a can of chickpeas, some uncooked oatmeal (quick or regular, although quick is better), the crackers, and either soy or another neutral plant milk (unsweetened almond milk would work well). You will also need a food processor; while we haven’t tried it, we think it highly unlikely that a Vitamix or other blender would cut it here – you really do need a food processor.
Easy and Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Chickpen Nuggets (Chickpea ‘Chicken’ Nuggets)
1 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup uncooked, dry oatmeal (quick or regular, but quick is better)
6 Tablespoons soy or other neutral plant milk, divided into 3 + 3 tablespoons
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast a/k/a “nooch” (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
25 to 30 Simple Mills almond flour crackers
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease it lightly.
Put the crackers in your food processor, fitted with the ‘S’ blade, and process them until they are uniformly coarse crumbs or fine crumbs (your preference).
Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers Processed into Coarse Crumbs
Remove the cracker crumbs from the food processor and set aside in a small bowl.
Next place the oatmeal into the bowl of the food processor, and process it into flour.
Making Oatmeal into Oat Flour
Now put all of the other remaining ingredients except the soy milk into the bowl of the food processor with the oat flour.
Divide the soy milk in half, putting 3 tablespoons of the milk into a small bowl and set it aside. Turn the food processor on, and slowly drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons into the food processor just until the contents form into a ball of dough which will travel around the bowl of the food processor while it’s on. This may not take all of the 3 tablespoons of soy milk, which is why you drizzle it in slowly – it may only take 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoons to achieve that ball of dough.
The Ingredients Will Come Together to Form a Ball of Dough
Pinch off a nugget-sized piece of dough, form it into a nugget shape, and set aside; repeat this with the remaining dough so that all of the dough has been formed into nuggets, trying to keep the nuggets a roughly uniform size and shape so that they bake evenly. If you are using parchment paper on your baking sheet you can line the formed nuggets up on one end of the baking sheet, otherwise put them on a plate.
Now dip each nugget into the soy milk that you have set aside in the bowl, and then roll it in the cracker crumbs, and set it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining nuggets, making sure that you leave some space between each nugget.
When all of the nuggets have been dipped and rolled put them in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and serve. Note that these are even better the next day, when they seem to go from wonderful to stupendous overnight. :~)
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