These chickpea nuggets are the perfect finger food for the whole family! Pair them with your favorite dip for a tasty combination! These meatless nuggets are great for vegans, vegetarians and omnis alike! Oil-free and gluten-free options included.Jump to Recipe
Why you'll love these chickpea "chicken" nuggets
- These handheld gems are a delicious meatless alternative to traditional chicken nuggets.
- They're perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- They're packed with plant-based protein and good-for-you ingredients.
- Because of their neutral flavor, chickpeas make a great base for pairing with other ingredients and serving as a plant-based meat alternative like in these Buffalo chickpea burgers, this chickpea loaf, this chickpea noodle soup and more!
- They're easy to make and are great for kids and grown-ups alike.
Ingredients you'll need
- Canned chickpeas
- Aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid)
- Oat Flour (use certified gluten-free if needed)
- Nutritional Yast
- Sea Salt
- Garlic Powder
- White Pepper
- Fine Bread Crumbs (use gluten-free if needed)
- Olive Oil Spray (omit for oil-free but note that the nuggets will be less crispy and less browned without using the oil)
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make chickpea nuggets
Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse or process on low speed until the chickpeas are finely chopped and crumbly, but not overprocessed.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add aquafaba, oat flour and seasonings.
Combine until ingredients are well incorporated.
Use your hands to form the chickpea mixture into nugget shapes and place on a plate.
Set up a dipping station by adding aquafaba to a bowl and placing the bread crumbs on a plate next to it.
Dip each nugget into the aquafaba followed by the bread crumbs.
Place the nuggets in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Spray the tops of the nuggets lightly with the olive oil spray.
You can omit this step for an oil-free option but note that they won't brown as well.
Bake the nuggets for 15 minutes and then flip and spray again with the olive oil spray.
Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
Can I make chickpea nuggets in the air fryer?
To make air fryer chickpea nuggets, first lightly grease the inside of the air fryer basket with non-aerosol, propellant free olive or avocado oil spray (If your brand of air fryer comes with an elevated crisper plate/tray, be sure to insert it into the basket first).
Place the nuggets in the air fryer in a single layer and lightly spray the tops with the oil spray.
Note that you may have to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
Air fry at 390° F for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway and spraying again with the oil.
I have not tested making them in the air fryer without using oil.
What to serve with vegan "chicken" nuggets
- Tater Tots in the Air Fryer
- Sweet Potato Fries in the Air Fryer
- Waffle Fries in the Air Fryer
- Vegan Mac & Cheese
- Mashed Potatoes with Almond Milk and Vegan Cream Cheese
- Green Beans in the Air Fryer
- Roasted Broccoli in the Air Fryer
- Baby Carrots in the Air Fryer
Best dips for vegan nuggets
- Buffalo Sauce (check labels for vegan-friendly ingredients if needed)
- BBQ Sauce (check labels for vegan-friendly ingredients if needed)
- Vegan Honey Mustard Dip (or traditional honey mustard if you're not vegan)
- Maple Mustard Dip (vegetarian or vegan version)
- Vegan Ranch Dressing or Oil-Free Vegan Ranch Dip
Equipment you'll need
To make this recipe, you will need a food processor in order to get the chickpeas to the right consistency.
Storing and reheating
Leftover nuggets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Nuggets are best reheated in a 350° F oven or a 350° F air fryer until warmed throughout.
More vegan chickpea recipes
- Chickpea and Potato Curry
- Chickpea Tacos
- Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chickpeas)
- Vegan Casserole with Chickpeas and Butternut Squash
- 2 (15 oz.) cans no salt added chickpeas
- 10 tablespoons aquafaba, divided (canned chickpea liquid)
- ¼ cup oat flour (use certified GF if needed)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ cup fine bread crumbs (use GF if needed)
- olive oil spray (*omit for oil-free)
- Preheat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, reserving the liquid from the can (aquafaba).
- Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse or process on low speed until the chickpeas are finely chopped and crumbly, but not overprocessed.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add 6 tablespoons of the aquafaba and the next 7 ingredients. Combine until ingredients are well incorporated.
- Use your hands to form the chickpea mixture into nugget shapes and place on a plate. The mixture will yield approximately 18-20 nuggets depending on the size.
- Set up a dipping station by adding ¼ cup of the aquafaba to a bowl and placing the bread crumbs on a plate next to it.
- Dip each nugget into the aquafaba followed by the bread crumbs.
- Place the nuggets in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spray the tops of the nuggets lightly with the olive oil spray. You can omit this step for an oil-free option but note that they won't brown as well.
- Bake the nuggets for 15 minutes and then flip and spray again with the olive oil spray. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
(Please refer to the post above for instructional photographs and other helpful information for this recipe)
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