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Have you tried chickpea nuggets? No?! Then it's about time you do! They are super delicious and very easy to make! The chicken meat is replaced with a dough made of chickpea flour, spices and water, which is then cut into small pieces and formed into nuggets.
The nuggets are then dipped in a batter of flour, spices and water and finally coated in a mixture of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds. The nuggets are then fried in hot oil (or in an air fryer) until golden brown. As a result, you get super crispy and delicious chickpea nuggets that everyone will love!
Plus, this recipe is super handy because it only takes a handful of ingredients and about 25 minutes of time! And if anyone is interested, I've included instructions on how to make them gluten-free.
Before you jump into the kitchen to whip up these nuggets, be sure to read this blog post carefully. Although the recipe is simple, there are a few steps you'll need to follow.
To make these delicious chickpea nuggets all you need are the following ingredients:
- chickpea flour
- all-purpose flour (optional if you want to make gluten-free nuggets)
- soy milk
- breadcrumbs (optional if you want to make gluten-free nuggets)
- sesame seeds (optional)
- garlic powder
- dried thyme
- salt & pepper
The main ingredient in our nuggets is chickpea flour. This flour is used in many vegan recipes because it's rich in protein (20 grams of protein per 100 grams of product) and fiber. In addition, it has a low glycemic index, which makes it a flour that can be eaten by people with diabetes.
For all these reasons, I recommend using chickpea flour in the kitchen, because it is delicious and, above all, healthy!
How to make chickpea flour
Chickpea flour is nothing but finely ground dry chickpeas. If you want to make it yourself, you'll need a powerful blender because dry chickpeas are extremely hard and difficult to grind. I use a Vitamix and it grinds them in a few seconds with no problem.
Chickpea flour substitute
I have only ever made this recipe with chickpea flour. However, I think you can also use red lentil flour.
Step 1: Making the chickpea dough
To make the nuggets, we start by making the chickpea dough.
Start by putting the chickpea flour, all-purpose flour, cornstarch and spices in a large bowl. Add the water and mix everything with a fork until a dough starts to form. Then knead the dough with one hand until it's smooth and lumps-free, as in the photo below.
When the dough is smooth and compact, as in the picture below, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Rolling out the dough and shaping the nuggets
When the chickpea mixture is ready, form the nuggets. Dust a clean working surface with flour and roll out the chickpea mixture using a rolling pin until you have a rectangle about 1 cm (0.4'') thick.
Then cut the dough into strips about 4 cm (1.5'') wide using a sharp knife. Then cut the strips into 4 cm (1.5'') squares. Et voila, the nuggets are (almost) ready!
Then gently press the corners of the chickpea nuggets to give them a shape similar to traditional chicken nuggets (see photos below).
Step 3: Making the breading and coating the nuggets
Once the nuggets are formed, we can bread them. To do this, put the flour, spices and soy milk in a bowl and mix until a lump-free dough is formed.
In another bowl, add the breadcrumbs and the sesame seeds.
To bread the nuggets, first dip them in the batter, then take them out and let the excess batter drip off. Then place the nuggets in the breadcrumb mixture, flipping them a few times so they are nicely coated.
Then transfer the nuggets to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes.
Step 4: Deep frying
The last step before you can finally taste the nuggets is to cook them. You can either deep fry them in a pan or cook/bake them in an air-fryer or even in the oven.
- Pan: Heat plenty of vegetable oil. Then add in the nuggets and deep fry them for 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown. Take them out of the oil and place them on a piece of kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
- Air-fryer: Place the nuggets in the air-fryer so that they are not touching. Brush them with vegetable oil and bake them at 200 °C for 15 minutes.
- Oven: Preheat the oven to 200 °C. Place the nuggets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle them with vegetable oil and bake them in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy.
Which sauce goes best with the nuggets?
That's hard to answer because it's a matter of taste.
I like to serve them with vegan mayonnaise and ketchup or with tartar sauce. But they also taste great with green sauce, cocktail sauce, curry sauce and so on.
Can I make the nuggets ahead of time?
Definitely! You can make the nuggets up to 2-3 days in advance.
After you bread them, put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. You can then fry/bake them as described above.
Can I freeze the nuggets?
If you want to store the nuggets for longer, you can also freeze them. Once they are breaded, put them in an airtight container and freeze them.
Once you want to cook them, you can fry them directly from the freezer, you don't have to thaw them.
How to store & reheat the nuggets
If you have some nuggets left over, don't throw them away. Put them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To reheat, put them in the oven at 180 °C (360 °F) for 10 minutes.
How to make gluten-free nuggets
These nuggets can also be prepared gluten-free. Just replace all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs with the same amount of chickpea flour. The result will be similar and absolutely delicious!
More recipes that you may like
- Vegan gnocchi with creamy tomato sauce
- Vegan lemon ricotta ravioli with brown butter, sage and walnuts
- Delicious vegan oat schnitzel
- Vegan butter chicken (Murgh Makhani)
If you try this recipe….
Have you made these vegan chickpea nuggets? Then let me know! Leave a comment, rate the recipe and don't forget to tag a photo with #carlocao or #vegaliciously on Instagram or Tiktok.
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