Chicken Nuggets 2.0

This is a slightly modified version of my chicken nugget recipe in the “Keto Cookbook”.  My goal was to modify the recipe so it could be made in a large batch and baked in the oven.  The recipe has an ENORMOUS amount of fat to hold onto, but it does work.  The advantage is; they are essentially “oven fried” while they are baking since they are completely surrounded by all the fat.  The same crunchy exterior is obtained even though they are not pan or deep-fried. Of course, these are going to be on the greasy side, but my kids don’t seem to mind and compared to McDonald’s, they don’t seem that different at all!   If you prefer, you can reduce some of the fat in the nuggets and serve it on the side in a syringe, or even as a dipping sauce. I think the nuggets are best served cold or room temperature, this allows some of the fat to re-solidify.

I used organic vegetable shortening because it is safe to heat up to 450 degrees, the temperature needed to cook these.  Also, when the nuggets are cold, the fat will be more of a solid than a liquid.  I chose not to use coconut oil because I did not want the flavor.  Butter would be a good choice as well.

If you have a kid who is concerned about their lunches “looking different”, I think this meal would be a great option. Chicken nuggets are a common food served in school cafeterias, and aside from all the fat required to make it a ketogenic meal, they are a good source of protein AND you actually know what is in them!

284 Calories

3.53:1 Ratio


17g cooked chicken, dark meat, shredded small in a food processor

3g coconut flour

20g vegetable shortening, Spectrum Organic

6g olive oil

0.5g baking powder

16g egg whites, whipped into stiff peaks

salt/pepper/garlic powder


Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Combine the chicken meat, coconut four, baking powder and seasonings together in a small bowl.  Stir very well to evenly coat the chicken with the dry ingredients.  The mixture should look very dry and crumbly.  Fold in the shortening and olive oil.  Mix about 1/3 of the egg whites into the chicken mixture to loosen it back up a little.  Fold in the remaining egg whites, being careful to not deflate too much but still evenly combining the ingredients.  Bake each serving in silicone cupcake liners or cookie molds ( I know this sounds crazy, but lightly grease the bottom of the molds to prevent sticking!)

Do not fill them more than half way full in the cookie molds, the fat will bubble over while cooking.  They should take about 15 minutes to crisp up.  You will see a LOT of bubbling, you may not even be able to see the nuggets under all the bubbles.  To check doneness, pull them out of the oven and wait for the fat to absorb into the nuggets.  They should have pulled away from the sides and be completely golden brown on top.   Let them cool in the molds, the fat will soak back into the nuggets.  Store them in individual containers in the refrigerator.


It will be impossible to scrape all of the fat out of the silicone molds.  I took a paper towel and weighed it, wiped the molds as clean as possible and weighed the towel again.  I only wiped up less than 1 gram of oil.  If you are concerned about the remaining fat in the molds, you can add a 1 gram of extra fat to the recipe before or after cooking.

For weighing meal portions, you can weigh each serving prior to cooking and place it in one row of the cookie mold (each row is a serving).

Don’t get too fancy with the shapes of the silicone molds, you do not want pieces of the nuggets sticking or breaking off  (the heart shape pan worked very well!)

Bake a pack of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the oven until cooked through.  After they have cooled, put them in a food processor and grind them until they are finely shredded.  Store extra in the freezer for the next batch!

You can still pan fry these if you want to. Scrape any remaining fat from the pan onto the nuggets so they can absorb it.


  1. I tried to freeze my batch and when thawed tasted terrible. The butter came out of the nuggets and solidified inside the bags in which I freezes them in. My son loves these but they are a little time consuming on the run. Any suggestions or has anyone had luck freezing them?

    • Hi Maria,
      If you bake these in a silicone mold, put the entire mold into freezer after cooking them. When they are completely frozen, you can pop the nuggets and all of their fat out of the mold. Transfer them to plastic baggies. Reheating will always bring some fat back out, no matter what you do. Try adding a pinch of xanthan gum to the recipe to help hold the fat better.

  2. hi dawn, just wondering how you think the recipe would taste with whole egg and white meat chicken as substitutes. i always end up wasting the yolks when i make recipes with egg whites and i don’t happen to have dark meat on hand.

  3. Dawn, you read my mind. My son loves the ones from the cookbook, but I love anything that will save time even more. Thanks so much for this recipe! A huge hit in our house!

  4. Thank you so much for this one! My son is such McNugget lover. Week 3 of MAD, so he was really starting to miss them. He loves them 🙂

    • I tend to stick with the organic versions because it will be a better quality fat. If the regular is all you get, it would work fine in the recipe. Just make sure the specific brand is in the keto calculator so the recipe is calculated correctly. there could be minor differences in the fat/carb content.

  5. So happy to hear she likes the recipes! Please send her picture in so I can add her to the keto hero section. If she has any specific requests for recipes, I’m all ears!

  6. Dawn I don’t know if you’ll actually see this email. My name is Carrin…. my 10 yr. old daughter has been on the ketogenic diet since mid July (this year).� At the advice of Jim Abrahams,� I purchased your wonderful cookbook.� This was the beginning of hope in our kitchen …. Now your wonderful posts are coming to my home and I am rejoicing that I do not have to serve my daughter cream and a stick of butter on the plate. (ha!)� She loves every recipe that I have tried from your book. Tomorrow will be her first day of 4th grade.� She will be taking Fruit Pizza to lunch.

    I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing these recipes.� They are the reason that Mallory remains compliant with the diet.�

    So far so good.� We continue to fight the good fight.

    Gratefully yours,


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