These hidden veggie chicken nuggets are designed with your veggie hater in mind. Quick and easy to make, they are delicious and you wouldn't know they contain 3 different veggies! Easy to make with the help of your food processor, they are freezer friendly too, either cooked or uncooked. A great way to smuggle veggies! Chicken nuggets with vegetables are a game changer.
Why you're going to love this recipe
These nuggets came about as I wanted to see how well I could hide veggies. I have to say, I have succeeded. It's the panko. It hides anything. And in the case of these, it makes them crunchy and anything crunchy always works better than anything not crunchy.
- chicken nugget texture thanks to the cauliflower
- hiding three veggies- broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
- crunchy exterior
- great for eating with your favourite dipping sauce- mayonnaise, ranch, tomato sauce (ketchup) or even bbq sauce work well and they help to hide the veggies!
- serve them with veggies, because then they won't expect that you are hiding veggies, you can fuss about getting them to eat the other veggies on the plate and they will just eat the nuggets!
- freezer friendly
- great with best ever sweet potato fries or even zucchini chippies.
What goes into the recipe
- chicken mince- go free range where you can! This is just breast mince, and it works perfectly.
- cauliflower- you're only using half of a head in this recipe, so use the other half in something like this Chorizo and Chicken Spanish Rice
- eggs one for binding and one for the coating
- panko crumbs- you could use normal bread crumbs, but with panko breadcrumbs readily available in most supermarkets, they are the best ones to use! If you can't find them in the normal bread crumb area, try the "asian" section of the supermarket.
- salt and pepper- you can add these to taste, but as this recipe is deisgned for toddlers there is non added in the recipe.
How to make this recipe
- First, grate the carrots, floret the broccoli and cauliflower. (Images 1,2,3)
- Combine the chicken mince, grated carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and egg in the bowl of a food processor. (Image 4)
- Process until smooth (Image 5)
- Combine the egg and water in a jug and whisk to combine (Images 6,7)
- Grab tablespoonfuls of the mixture and form into nugget shapes with wet hands. (Image 8)
- Coat in the flour (Image 9)
- Then dip in the egg mix (Image 10)
- Finally coat in the panko crumbs and place on a lined baking tray (Images 11 and 12)
- Drizzle with a little olive oil (or cooking spray) and bake at 180º celsius (355F) for 40 minutes. Turn after 20 minutes and drizzle with a little extra olive oil if needed, then return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. (Image 13 and 14)
- Serve with the sauce of your choice (Image 15)
Air fryer cooking
Want to make these in the air fryer? It's super simple, they take about 20 minutes, and will need to be turned at the halfway point. The cooking time will depend on your air fryer. I set mine at 200 degrees celsius.
Expert Tips and FAQs
By definition, I don't spend much time hiding veggies, my kids are used to eating them and don't refuse them. So I originally made these just for my readers, but in all honesty, we do have them too, and we might as well, because any veggies that get eaten are good veggies! If you're smuggling veggies because your kids won't eat them, one way to try encouraging them is to grow your own veggies!
Yes! They can be frozen before cooking, and then can go straight into the oven or airfryer for cooking. They can also be frozen after cooking and can be defrosted to serve cold, or warmed up for eating. Freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet then transfer to an airtight container.
I never have, because they all add something to it. The carrots help maintain the chicken colour, the cauliflower helps with texture and the broccoli is a must have in everything! If you are going to swap the veggies, it's going to take some trial and error, but give it a go and let me know!
Onion powder or garlic powder will boost the flavour.
Yes! They would work the same with ground turkey as a substitute for ground chicken.
More nugget ideas
Why don't you subscribe to my newsletter, or follow along on Facebook and Instagram? If you make something from the blog please tag @kidgredients on instagram- it really makes my day to see what you've been making!
Hidden Veggie Chicken Nuggets
- 500 grams chicken mince
- 1 egg
- ½ head caulifower chopped into florets
- ½ head broccoli
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 egg lightly whisked with ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup plain flour
- 1.5 cups panko crumbs
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. (355F)
- Combine the mince, egg, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots into a food processor.
- Process until smooth and like a dough.
- With wet hands, form tablespoonfuls into nugget shapes.
- Coat in flour, then dip into the egg water then coat in the panko crumbs.
- Space them out on a lined baking tray and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, then flip and bake for a further 20 minutes. (355F)
Originally published in 2016, this post has been fully republished with new photos, process shots, FAQs and video in 2021.