Paleo Italian Chicken Nuggets

Here’s a fun little paleo recipe for you – easy “shake and fry” Italian chicken nuggets served hot and ready to dip into your favorite marinara sauce! 

This one is so simple it’s ridiculous. Just cut up some chicken breasts, mix the Italian seasonings and flours together, coat the chicken with whisked egg, and then throw everything into a plastic bag – and shake! Then you just fry them up in a pan, and you’re done!

This is a fun little finger food recipe for the kids (they’ll no doubt want ketchup with their nuggets!) But it also makes for a great adult meal with a little Italian flair – especially when served with your favorite marinara dipping sauce!

These chicken nuggets won’t be ready quite as fast as a drive-thru window, but this recipe does give you a tasty meal pretty quick. Plus you’ll know you’re enjoying wholesome chicken (I bought organic for this recipe), fried the nuggets in a healthy oil (coconut or avocado, your choice) and gave them a crispy, gluten-free coating (these are coated in a mixture of almond flour, coconut flour, and a few herbs).

Just a few helpful cooking tips before you jump in:

• Cut the chicken nuggets all about the same size so they can come out of the frying pan at the same time.

• After you’ve shaken the nuggets in the seasoning mix and removed them from the plastic bag, gently tap each nugget to remove any excess flour and seasonings.

• And remember to cook these in batches…don’t throw all your nuggets in the frying pan at the same time. Overcrowding the pan will get you in trouble. It took me three batches to cook the entire 1.25 lbs of chicken nuggets.

I now have a multipurpose marinara sauce recipe on the site you’d like to whip that up sometime – it’s really good!

Or for this little recipe, you can always use your favorite, paleo-approved, marinara sauce in a jar – just heat some up and serve on the side.

Hope you enjoy this easy paleo and gluten-free chicken nugget recipe!


easy paleo and gluten-free recipe for "shake and fry" Italian chicken nuggets

Easy Paleo “Shake & Fry” Italian Chicken Nuggets Recipe

by Trina
Simple paleo and gluten-free recipe for healthy "shake & fry" chicken nuggets – ideal for marinara sauce dipping. The kids will love this one!
Course Entree
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people



  • 1 1/4 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces

Seasoning/Coating Mixture

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne powder depending on how spicy you like it


  • 2 eggs whisked – place in a shallow dish

Frying Oil

  • Coconut oil or avocado oil about a 1/4″ layer in frying pan

Dipping Sauce

  • Serve with your favorite heated marinara sauce


  • Cut chicken breasts into bite-size pieces, all about the same size
  • Mix together the herbs, spices and flours in the Seasonings/Coatings Mixture and transfer to a small plastic bag
  • Whisk the two eggs in a separate shallow dish
  • Dip each chicken nugget in the whisked eggs, and place in bag with coating mix
  • Gently shake bag to distribute mixture evenly over the chicken nuggets
  • Remove the coated nuggets from bag and tap each once to remove any excess seasoning mix
  • Pour about 1/4-inch of melted coconut oil into a frying pan and heat to medium
  • Carefully place about one-third of the chicken nuggets in the hot oil and fry about 2-3 minutes per side – or until cooked through and a light golden-brown color.
  • IMPORTANT: Fry nuggets in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan – repeat until all nuggets are cooked
  • Place nuggets on paper towels to drain
  • Plate with a warm marinara sauce for dipping (optional)
Keyword nuggets, chicken nuggets, Italian, marinara sauce, paleo, gluten-free

Join the Conversation

  1. RMFrancis says:

    Im allergic to eggs any suggestions on what else to use as a binder? Thanks they sound delicious

    1. I don’t off-hand have a good alternative for you — sorry!

  2. Shannon says:

    Would love to know if anybody has tried baking these, and if so, how they turned out. Frying just gets to be labor intensive at times and costly (all the oil). These look really good!

  3. Seriously some of the best tasting chicken I have ever had. I brined the chicken first and it came out so tender using your directions. Delish!

    1. Jen, what a great idea! What did you use to brine the chicken? I’m sure some people would like to know! :)

  4. Jessica Rigsby says:

    Any suggestions on frying with coconut oil? Mine did not turn out as pretty and turned more of a black color than golden brown. They still tasted yummy though!

    1. Jessica it’s probably that the heat was a little too high or maybe that they were cooked a little too long? They cook up pretty fast. Glad they were still yummy! :)

  5. Hi! If I’m allergic to almonds and macadamia nuts, what could I use as a substitute?

    1. Try another kind of nut or even seed and ground them up.

  6. Is the chicken already precooked or will it cook in the frying pan when frying them in the oil?

    1. Alexis, It will cook in the frying pan. Use raw chicken. :)

  7. I had a go at these – they came out really well! Definitely worth attempting, they’re my new favourite snack. Great recipe :)!

  8. I miss chicken nuggets so much! They look awesome! I’m definitely going to give these a go, I don’t think I’ll be able to get the flour to coat the chicken pieces so evenly though! Great job!

    1. Hi Mark! This recipe is super easy and I’m sure yours will turn out awesome! :)

      1. Thanks Trina! I’m going to have an attempt tomorrow, it could end badly. If they come out really perfect I’ll have to show them off hehe!

  9. Drooling right now!

  10. Edna Gabriela Mendez Elena Mendez

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Paleo Newbie 2013-2020