Chick-en Nuggets Recipe

  Expert tip for getting your kids to eat beans: Turn beans into something familiar, like chicken nuggets.

Did you happen to see the Jamie Oliver episode where he put a nasty chicken carcass into a blender and shaped it into chicken nuggets?  The kids, knowing what was in it, still ate it!  They ate it because it looked like chicken nuggets!  Our falafel had the same idea, except with CHICK-peas, instead of a chicken carcass.  Get it??  My kids didn’t know what was in it, but they loved these! I started with a basic falafel recipe, and made a few modifications.  Chick-en Nuggets Recipe. #1 tip for getting kids to eat more beans- make this recipe!

Falafel is basically mashed up chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans), formed into patties and deep fried or baked.   While it’s typically eaten out of a pita or bread, it’s also delicious alone or with a dip.  Chickpeas are a fabulous food to include in your family’s diet.

  • Chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans)  are a great source of maganese.
  • Chickpeas are full of protein
  • Chickpeas and other beans are rich in fiber- essential for digestion.
  • Chickpeas contain folate, essential for young kids and pregnant mothers.
  • Chickpeas are a natural source of iron.

You can shape these into chicken nuggets shapes and either bake or fry.  I “grilled” in a cast iron pan with a small amount of olive oil.  Then I made that Origami Fry bag. WE LOVED THESE!!  Just so you know!

Still need Ideas to get your kids to eat their beans? Our other popular chickpea recipes are:


Chick-en Nuggets

Chick-en Nuggets Recipe
Serves: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 m
Cook Time: 10 m


  • 15 ounce – chickpeas (garbanzo beans), canned
  • 1/2 medium – onion
  • 1/4 cup – parsley, fresh
  • 1 clove – garlic
  • 1 large – egg
  • 1 teaspoon – cumin, ground
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, ground
  • 1 teaspoon – lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon – baking powder
  • 2 tablespoon – olive oil
  • 1 cup – bread crumbs, plain
Serve With:
  • 2 cup – edamame, shelled
  • 4 medium – apple


  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas; mash with a pastry blender or fork. Slice onion.
  2. Place the onion, parsley, and garlic into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and well blended.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice, baking powder, and 1 tablespoon oil.
  4. Add onion mixture and egg mixture to the beans; stir to combine.
  5. Stir in bread crumbs little by little until dough is dry enough to shape easily; shape into nuggets.
  6. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. Cook nuggets until heated through and golden brown on both sides, adding more oil as needed.
  7. While nuggets cook, heat edamame according to package instructions, and slice apples.
  8. Serve immediately.
For a more in-depth tutorial with photos, click here

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 470 24%
  • Fat: 15 g 23%
  • Carb: 68 g 23%
  • Fiber: 14 g 56%
  • Protein: 18 g 36%
  • Sugar: 22 g
written by
Amy Roskelley

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Erin says:

My 2 year old ate these right up. Thanks for an easy, healthy recipe that the whole family enjoys!

Stephanie says:

Can you freeze these ?

Agnes says:

What size is the can?

15 ounce can of beans.

Marina says:

Instad of Parsley you can use Spearmint ( Nana)..

Maty says:

Could I add chicken to these?

Jamie says:

Are they good baked??

If you drizzle some oil on them Jamie, I think they’d be ok. We really like the crispiness of pan frying them.

Amanda P says:

Made these 3 ways tonight for my toddlers: baked, in a skillet with EVOO, and in a skillet with veggie oil. The flavor was great for all, but the preferred option was the EVOO one. For some fun, I also gave the kids 4 different sauces to try dipping them in (my kids love to dip stuff). Honestly, they were pretty tasty, the texture was good, and we will definitely be making them again.

Kina says:

Just made them for lunch and they were a HIT with the kids!!! I know we just met but can I tell you I love you lol

Rachel says:

these sound delicious. How much parsley did you put in? It’s the only ingredient without a measurement…???

Thanks Rachel- It’s variable, but I’d say 1/4 cup. I’ll go add it!

Amy says:

Yes- that’s what I said in the beginning 🙂 It’s falafel!

Sherri says:

This is not a new recipe. It’s Falafel, a middle eastern staple.

Jessy says:

these sound super yummy! i feel like my son is going to turn into a chicken with his love for chicken nuggets! hopefully he will like these and i won’t have to keep buying the processed frozen ones! I am curious to know, how would you bake these? as far as the temperature setting and the amount of time that is.

Amy says:

Ha ha!! Sorry Jen- Glad it worked out!

jen says:

Thanks Amy –

I was too impatient to wait for an answer, though, so I took the middle ground and toasted a couple of slices of bread and food processored them. They came out fantastic.

Really great recipe!!

Amy says:

Dry breadcrumbs Jen!

jen says:

These look exciting for afternoon snacks!

My kids quite like beans but my husband moans if they make their way into a meal. So if I can serve them up at non-mealtimes everyone will be happy!

Just one question, dry breadcrumbs or fresh?

Amy says:

@Alicia- I actually think it wouldn’t work with flour. The texture from the whole beans helps it to work!
@Stacey- how did it go??

Stacey says:

Im about to make these for one of the pickiest children I have ever come across and that’s my daughter. If she eats these then PRAISE THE LORD… I will let you know the outcome…… (a nice after school snack I think)

Alicia says:

I want to try these – I wonder if the texture would be ruined if I used Garbanzo bean flour instead of the mashed bean?

Amy says:

@Jennifer- 1 can has about 1 1/2 cup beans.
@wee You could use a flax meal and water mixture. Just whisk it well and it will help bind the “dough”

wee says:

Looks good! Can i omit egg? MY son is allergic to eggs..


Jennifer says:

How long do you bake them for? What temp?

Russ says:

I do trust all the ideas you have offered to your post.
They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are
very short for novices. May juszt you please lengthen them a little from subsequent time?

Thanks for the post.

vandana says:

Just FYI, Kidney beans were not so delicious with this recipe. I am going to try the recipe as given. Great recipe!!

Jennifer says:

How many cups of beans do you get out of a can? I am substituting stove-cooked beans for canned.

Amy says:

Meredith- we toast whole wheat bread and then grate it with a cheese grater to get the crumbs.

vandana says:

i am going to try these today with my picky one. i wonder if these would work with kidney beans or lentils? has anyone tried that?

Meredith Foster says:

I just found this website and I am super excited. What would you do for diy bread crumbs?

Nikoah Thornton says:

I lived in Kurdistan where I fell in love with Falafel, and this is a perfect recipe to replicate my favorite kinds. Thank you thank you thank you. My kids love them, and they thank you too.

Amy says:

Yes, Katie- or you could bake them if you like them a little crispier.

Katie says:

How would I store these if I wanted to make a big batch for my three year old? Cook them and then store in the freezer? and then do I just reheat in the microwave?

Amy says:

That’s horrible @marnie! I’m so sorry- I haven’t tried this with other beans unfortunately.

Marnie says:

I would love to make this but my daughter is allergic to chic peas. Any suggestions of what to use in place of?

danielle says:

would love to try daughter is 9 and knows the difference in taste..could anyone else’s children (older) tell the difference?

Amy says:

You could just try to leave it out Eleonor.

eleonor says:

What else I can use instead of egg??? Thanks, the oatmeal sound great

Hope says:

These are really good! To make them gluten free so my husband can eat them, I used almond meal, instant mashed potatoes and ground flaxseed. Thanks for the recipe!

Amy says:

@kristen- yes, we freeze them, and reheat in the oven so they stay crispy.
@tasha- I like them cold just fine! Have eaten them plenty of times this way. But they are delicious warm as well.
@naaz- I haven’t tried it, but other binders like a frothy flax and water mix could work!

naaz says:

Hi. How can I replace eggs?

Tasha says:

Would these be good cold in a lunch kit or are they only good warm?

Kristen says:

Can It be pre made and frozen??

Lucinda says:

What temp would you bake at and for how long?

Alli says:

Those look good! I love all beans, especially chick peas. I’m going t make these tonight! Thanks for sharing the recipe. About to pin it!

Katrin says:

My 26months old and 10months old daughter enjoyed them just as much as we adults did! Thanks for the recipe

Lauren says:

Cant wait to try these on my bean haters – though i can say theyre happily turning, ever so slightly, into bean tolorators. Do you think a white bean like great northern beans would work as well?



Anna says:

My kids loved these and my kids are soooooo picky with food.. Thank you so much

Rebecca says:

Great recipe! Made these for my little nugget connisuer and she loved them. I made enough for lunch and after we ate I came back to cook the rest. I noticed after the “dough” sat for a while the nuggets were crumbly. I had to work in some oil to get them to hold together again. Maybe this could have been the previous poster’s issue as well?

Tracey says:

I just made these now and they tasted great! Thanks for sharing!

Linda says:

This is a wonderful recipe for nuggets that I think the kids will love.

Amy says:

Maybe your egg wasn’t large enough? Cutting back on the bread crumbs might be a good start. And yes, just a small amount of oil in a shallow pan. these might take a few times of making them to get them just right, so keep trying!

Krista says:

I made these tonight. While I liked the flavour; and my kids did them, the nuggets were crumbly. My husband is usually the cook around here, so I’m not sure what I did wrong. Do you think I added too many bread crumbs and that’s why they ended up crumbly? When you pan fry them; do you basically shallow fry them?

thank you

Amy says:

Trista! You are awesome! thanks for counting! Can’t wait to hear what they thought!!

Trista says:

I just rolled out a triple batch of these for my family tonight (family of 7). With my 1.5 TBSP scoop, I got 33.5 oval nuggets the size you’d find at the local fast food chains. A normal recipe would yield about 11 nuggets. FYI! I’m baking some and frying the rest – I’ll be back to let you know what my “No Bean-ers” think!

Amy says:

Trista- I’m not sure! I’ll measure next time we make them!

Trista says:

How many “nuggets” does this recipe make?

Amy says:

Love it! Thanks for sharing Greta!

Greta says:

I made these last night for dinner. They were sooooooo awesome! My kids have colds, so they weren’t too keen on eating something new. However, my husband and I ate almost all if them. I used a 25 oz can of organic chickpeas. I almost doubled the recipe. Also, made a dipping sauce with Greek yogurt and fresh garlic in my mini chopper. Will definitely make again soon!! Thanks for the great, healthy recipe!

Lauren says:

I have two very picky boys. Will they be fooled if I make these? Or at least will they taste enough like frozen chicken nuggets that they won’t care? LOL!

You don’t have the egg & bread them after shaping?

alex says:

Delicious!! Made them today and my girls devoured them. I have never given them chicken nuggets before, so I wasn’t sure how they would like them, but the whole pile was gone! I substituted the egg for flax and still turned out. Thanks for the awesome recipe, we’ll definitely be making it oftne.

[…] Chick-En Nuggets (made from chickpeas) […]

Karen says:

My kids ages 10, 10 and 13 devour these! I serve them on a bed of lettuce with chopped cucumber, tomatoes and a basic homemade cucumber dip (olive oil, vinegar, garlic, greek yogurt, shredded cucumber and dill) and everyone in the family loves ’em!

[…] and instead of forming into bread loaves, I just made little balls of dough.  We also used the chick-en nugget recipe (vegetarian nuggets), and made hamburger patty shapes.  Chickpea- Patties!  They turned […]

Amy says:

Hi Sarah,
It’s been awhile since we’ve made these, but I’m pretty sure the outside was crispy, and the inside was soft. Maybe a little longer on the skillet browning time?
Even soft, I bet you’ll like them.

Sarah says:

Hi! Thankfully we only don’t do fast food – chicken carcass is pretty gross! I’ve got these baking in the oven right now. Question: first I lightly browned them in oil and then put them in the oven. I just tested them and while I really like the flavor they are really soft, more like a pancake. Are they supposed to be that way or should they be crispy? I just discovered your site and can’t wait to see all your recipes!

Emily G says:

we tried these both ways – pan grilled and in the oven. I put them in at 400 for at least 15 mins and they weren’t done – they were still soft and not at all brown. Obviously they needed more time, but I’m not sure how crispy brown they would’ve gotten anyway. I think I’ll still to the pan grilling method.

Neda says:

What a great idea. I cook twice a week for my grandchildren and I plan to add chick peas into the meatballs… great idea to add beans to as many foods as we can sneak them in. Thank you and all the moms who are taking the time to give their children a great gift of health !! Neda

Amy says:

Hi Serina,
We still haven’t tried baking them. We just cooked them on a hot griddle with a little cooking spray or coconut oil/ or olive oil. If you were to bake them, I would try 400 degrees, and 15 minutes or so, and keep checking them till they get brown.

Good luck! Thanks for reading my blog.

serina says:

I am about to bake CHICK-EN NUGGET FALAFEL and have no idea how long to bake them for.
Thanks for all the great recipes, I love your site.

[…] Parsley is so versatile. It’s used often as a garnish, but is delicious on salads, stir fry’s, chicken, chicken, roasted vegetables, soups, and chickpea nuggets. […]

kim says:

you’re killin’ me with these amazing recipes!

are you creating these on your own? and if so, write a cookbook! 😉

Amy says:

I haven’t tried that Veronica.. But I would start with 400 degrees, for about 15 minutes.

Veronica says:

This looks really interesting! If you were going to bake them, what temperature would you use and for how long?

Beth says:

I am beyond thrilled to find this! Thank you for sharing it! I can’t wait to try it!

Amy says:

Thanks Mary, I’ve been trying to think of something to dip!!

Mary says:

My kids loved these – ate them all up. They were easy to make too. I scooped up the “dough” with a cooking scoop and then flattened them out a little. They reminded me of small patties and so I may make little veggie burgers next time by putting them on a small bun. We dipped the nuggets in the Panda Express Spicy Orange Sauce you can buy at COSTCO. Delicious.

Tricia Kuchler says:

I made this and it was AWESOME! It’s only me and my boyfriend in my apartment, so it also gave us leftovers. I think the next time I make it, I will add chopped broccoli to it. We were also thinking this would be a great appetizer to bring to a party. I’m trying to think of a good dip for it. I ate mine with spicy mustard the other day. So good!

[…] Posted on June 9, 2010 by allergyfree I came across this post the other day from Super Healthy Kids and knew I had to try it! My daughter loves chicken nuggets, […]

Amy says:

I have never tried it! But I think they would be just fine!?!?

Abi says:

I made these last night & they were DELICIOUS! Do you think I could make a big batch & freeze them, and reheat them in the microwave as needed?

Amy says:

I’m so glad Shauna! I always get anxious about putting ideas out there and having every other child in American hate it! So thanks for easing my mind!

Shauna S. says:

I made these for supper tonight. My kids LOVED them…I managed to save a few for their dad when he gets home from work. (I didn’t tell the kids what it was made from though – I have one sworn bean hater when she knows what is in it. She was my most vocal lover of these.) I didn’t have bread crumbs so I used blended oatmeal instead and they still worked great.

Love this idea…I’m gonna have to see if I can get them past Alex and Soph!

Amy says:

It really was shocking to me (and to Jamie if you remember)

Amy says:

I remember that about you Cathy! That is why I posted it, because i knew even bean haters, sometimes like falafel.

Amy says:

lol.. let me know Christy. 🙂

Amy says:

thanks Mom 🙂

Amy says:

Cauliflower would be a yummy!

Amy says:

Glad you came Abi and Darlene

Amy says:

Great Idea Lisa. I also saw a recipe that used mashed potatoes instead of bread crumbs.

Lisa says:

This sounds great! I’m going to switch it up with some gluten-free breadcrumbs and feed it to my vegetarian/celiac sister. It sounds better than the frozen stuff we buy!

Abi says:

Oh my goodness those look great. Can’t wait to try them out!!

Darlene says:

I’m new here and I think I love you. I’ll be stopping by often to try out your recipes on my kids. Thanks!!

Bibi says:

Great idea. I do the same thing with slightly cooked cauliflower. Sometimes I add little bit of cheese into the mix.

This is great! I did see that episode of Food Revolution when he put the carcass in the food processor and the kids preferred that over an actual piece of chicken. This is so clever!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Simple Kids, Healthykids. Healthykids said: Chick-en Nuggets: Tip #3 for getting your kids to eat beans: Turn beans into something familiar, like chicken nugg… […]

Susan says:

Another great Amy creation! I haven’t been a big fan of falafel because it’s always deep fried greasy. I will love to try this version. Thanks!

Sarah says:

This is such a great idea! Definitely giving them a try.

Kathleen says:

My kids are in nugget withdrawal now that we are eating better. It’s the perfect time to try these!

mama says:

my kids will love these! chickpeas are their favorite! can’t wait to try this recipe.

Kendra says:

Okay, I can’t wait to get home from our vacation to try all these. Those look so yummy!

Tricia says:

I will absolutely be trying this ASAP!

Christy says:

If my kids eat these, I will kiss you.

cathy says:

This is kind of like falafel. I looooooove falafel! Mine has a lot more cilantro and parsley in it, and the kids don’t particularly like it. I’m going to try making it your way for the kiddos!

Genius! I’m so trying this with my kiddos 🙂

And, yes, I saw that on the Food Revolution and it made me feel a little helpless at the time, like how can a parent compete with a chicken nugget when the kids don’t even care it is full of garbage …. -But this idea you have with the chickpeas in the nugget shape? That is great! 🙂

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Join over 100k + subscribers and get family-friendly recipes, picky-eater strategies, lunch-packing tips and more, delivered each week to your inbox.