These veggie nuggets with a crunchy exterior and veggie centre are perfect for kids who love nuggets! Great as a dinner side, perfect in the lunchbox, they are quick and easy to make and help ensure that your kids are eating their daily requirements of veggies. Get a batch of these freezer friendly and absolutely delicious nuggets made in under 40 minutes and serve with your favourite dipping sauce.
Why you're going to love this recipe
Are these hidden veggies? Actually, I'm not really a veggie smuggler, so the idea behind these isn't so much to hide the veggies, but more so to make something entirely veggie that has a familiar shape and texture that could go as a dinner side. My kids eat them with servings of veggies and also a serve of protein.
- crumbed without major dredging and crumbing, just with semolina
- packed with vegetables and lentils
- easy to eat and perfect for dipping (even in something like our yummy Tzatziki- kid friendly dip!)
- freezer friendly
- soft interior texture, perfect for toddlers and kids
- yummy cold in the lunchbox
- easy to reheat in the oven so they don't lose their crunch
- no breadcrumbs or fillers
- no need to use a food processor
What goes into the recipe
- red lentils- these are so essential to this recipe as you cook them completely until almost soft and they for the basis for the whole thing working.
- zucchini, carrots- you can swap these for any veggies you like!
- leek-has a sweeter flavour than onion and cooks down better. Don't have a leek? Swap for onion or spring onion! Leek is also nicer for kids due to the way it softens.
- semolina- look for fine semolina when making this- the finer crumb works better with the nuggets and makes a good crumb.
- PLEASE ADD SALT AND PEPPER if you aren't giving these to babies
How to make this recipe
This recipe is simple to make! Let's get started.
- Grate the zucchini and carrots (Image 1)
- Thinly slice the leek (Image 2)
- Add the olive oil to a fry pan over medium heat (Image 3)
- Fry the leek until soft. (Image 4)
- Add the lentils and water (Images 5 and 6)
- Add the oregano (Image 7)
- Cook until all th water has absorbed.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes then add the egg, cheese and flour. (Image 9)
- Mix together until a dough is formed (Image 10)
- Grab teaspoonfuls of the mixture. (Image 11) you could also use a cookie scoop to grab even amounts of the mixture.
- Coat in the semolina (Image 12)
- Cover both sides completely. (Image 13)
- Heat olive oil in a pan an fry the nuggets until golden on each side. (Image 14 and 15).
- Serve with veggies and dipping sauce. (Image 16)
Expert Tips and FAQs
The veggies in these veggie nuggets work really well because they can be grated. You can swap them for other veggies, but they might take a little experimenting.
I pop them in a container in the fridge for immediate use and the kids eat them cold.
They can also be frozen- I freeze the veggie nuggets until solid on a baking sheet or tray and then transfer to a container so I can take them out one at a time! Put them in a container with parchment paper separating the layers.
Sure! These are designed for babies and toddlers! Although my kids still eat them, you can add a teaspoon of onion powder or garlic powder to boost the flavour in them. Parsley also works, and sea salt and pepper added to the mixture can help make them more exciting for the whole family.
I have tried to make these without fillers, and the problem with using breadcrumbs is they are literally just a filler. Instead, I've used lentils to help keep them together as they are much better for nutrition.
More veggie ideas kids love
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- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 leek sliced thinly
- 1 cup red split lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 zucchini grated
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 egg
- ½ cup grated cheddar
- ¾ cup wholemeal self raising flour
- 2 cups fine semolina
- olive oil for frying
- Add the olive oil to a medium frypan over medium heat.
- Cook the leek until soft- 3-4 minutes
- Add the lentils and water and cook for 20 minutes.
- Add the grated zucchini and carrot and oregano.
- Cook 5 minutes more and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- Add the egg, cheese and flour to the mixture, mixing with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Create tablespoon sized nuggets and dip them in the semolina to coat.
- Fry in olive oil for 4 minutes per side or until golden.
This post was originally written on August 18, 2017 and has been completely redone on 2/11/2021 with new images, new faqs and new video.