Crispy Quinoa Chicken Nuggets

These bad boys went so fast at Cody’s party, I couldn’t believe it. I should have made twice the amount I did. You already know I was cooking them well into the party so there is no photographic evidence. They are super yummy and incredibly easy. Promise. I served them with homemade pesto, marinara and BBQ sauce (for my husband).

Active Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders, cut into 2-inch nuggets
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup panko breadrumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • vegetable oil, for frying


Fill a large skillet to about 1/4 inch high with vegetable oil and heat on medium-high. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. I usually throw them all in a bowl and give a few healthy turns of my salt and pepper grinders. Spread your quinoa and panko breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and press the quinoa into the breadcrumbs until they stick together nicely.

Check that the oil is ready by dropping a pinch of the panko/quinoa mixture into the pan. If it starts to sizzle, you’re in business.

Working in batches, lay your breaded chicken nuggets into the pan, careful not to get splattered. You want them to be about 2-3 inches apart from each other. Allow the nuggets to sizzle for 2-3 minutes per side. You’ll know they’re ready to flip when the breading is a nice golden brown.

Transfer cooked nuggets to a large plate lined with paper towels. Wait to add another batch of nuggets until the oil restores its temperature. Do a quick test with another pinch of remaining panko/quinoa. Repeat until you’ve finished all of your nuggets and enjoy!

If you’re freezing these nuggets, I suggest thawing in the refrigerator overnight and then reheating them in the oven to retain crispiness.

*For a non-fried version of this recipe, skip the oil and dredge your chicken pieces in flour followed by one lightly whisked egg and follow with the quinoa/panko mixture. Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes and enjoy!

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