Gluten Free Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets that are perfectly crispy and much healthier than fast food. These nuggets are baked, not fried, made without much oil, and full of buffalo ranch flavor!
Perfectly Crispy Gluten Free Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets
Ever since I made my healthy homemade chicken nuggets I’ve been loving making my own crispy chicken nuggets at home. Homemade chicken nuggets are so much healthier than the take out version because they are baked, not fried, and use a fraction of the oil that is found in traditional nuggets.
While regular chicken nuggets are good all on their own, buffalo ranch chicken nuggets are even better. These crispy nuggets are made with flavorful ranch seasoning and soaked in a tangy buffalo sauce that adds even more delicious flavor.
These nuggets are gluten free, dairy free, and so easy to make! You can bake them in the oven or, if you have an air fryer, whip them up there. I know you, and the whole family, will love this delicious recipe!
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Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets Ingredients
Making your own chicken nuggets at home really could not be more easy. You may be surprised to find that you have most of the ingredients you need to make them already on hand! For full ingredient measurements, be sure to reference the recipe card below.
Chicken Breast: Lean, quick cooking, and make the best chicken nuggets. I would not recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for these nuggets.
Gluten Free Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style breadcrumb. Using them for this recipe gives you perfectly crispy chicken nuggets every single time. You will likely find these in the spice or baking aisle of your local grocery store. You might also find them in the international aisle. If you are particularly concerned about making this recipe gluten free, be sure to double check the label and grab the gluten free version.
Eggs: These act as a binder in the egg, almond milk, and buffalo sauce mixture and help the breadcrumbs stick. If you have an egg allergy, some people have found success in leaving out the eggs and using only almond milk and buffalo sauce instead.
Buffalo Sauce: This recipe uses buffalo sauce in the actual dredge as well as drizzled on at the end for maximum buffalo flavor.
Ranch Seasoning: Just breadcrumbs on their own will get the chicken nuggets crispy but they won’t be very flavorful. Along with salt and pepper, these chicken nuggets get a good dose of flavor from a ranch seasoning that is made up of garlic powder, onion powder, dried dill, parsley, and chives.
How to Make Crispy Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets in the Oven
Alright, now it’s time to make the chicken nuggets! For detailed instructions, be sure to reference the recipe card below.
Step One: Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
Step Two: Place the eggs, almond milk, and buffalo sauce to a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Next, add the chicken pieces to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Step Three: Next, it’s time to make the breadcrumb coating for your chicken nuggets. First add the panko breadcrumbs to a food processor and pulse a few two or three times until fine.
Next, pour the breadcrumbs into a mound on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to the breadcrumb mound and stir until the oil is well incorporated.
Spread the breadcrumbs into a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the breadcrumbs start to become golden brown before removing them from the oven.
Step Four: Transfer the toasted breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl, add in the seasoning and spices. Use a fork to stir the mixture until well the seasonings and breadcrumbs are well combined.
Step Five: Now, it is time to make the chicken nuggets! First, grease a wire baking rack and place it over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Next, remove a few of the chicken pieces from the egg mixture, around six to eight pieces at a time, and transfer to the breadcrumb mixture. Use your fingers to toss the chicken in the breadcrumbs until well coated, pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken to help them stick.
Step Six: Once the chicken pieces are coated, place them on the wire baking rack. Repeat this process until all of the chicken has been coated.
Step Seven: Bake the chicken nuggets at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Drizzle the nuggets with more buffalo sauce, garnish with dried chives, and serve with ranch!
Can I Make Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer?
Yes! I tested these chicken nuggets in both the conventional oven and my air fryer. My favorite way to prepare them has become making them in the air fryer! They cooked in just a few minutes, got really crispy, and clean up was a breeze. If you have an air fryer, I highly recommend using it to make these nuggets.
How to Make Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer
To make these chicken nuggets in the air fryer, instead of placing them on the wire baking rack, add them to your air fryer basket. Use a kitchen brush to lightly grease the air fryer basket grate with a little avocado oil before adding the nuggets to the basket.
Cook the nuggets at 400 degrees for six to eight minutes until golden brown, crispy, and a thermometer reads 165 degrees. For best results make sure your air fryer is completely preheated to 400 degrees before adding the chicken nuggets.
You can also check the nuggets halfway through to see how they are cooking and give the basket a little shake to ensure that everything is cooking evenly.
Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Buffalo Ranch Chicken Nuggets
By now you probably realize just how easy these chicken nuggets are to make, but here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks to help you get perfectly crispy buffalo ranch chicken nuggets every single time.
- To ensure the chicken cooks evenly, cut the nuggets into roughly the same size. This will ensure that all of the chicken takes the same time to cook. This helps to prevent any dry chicken nuggets.
- If you are baking the nuggets, do not skip baking them on a wire rack to ensure that the nuggets are crispy. Baking them on a rack helps to keep the bottom of the nuggets nice and crispy.
- Gluten free Panko breadcrumbs can be a little big and when I tested this recipe, I repeatedly found that it was almost impossible to get them to stick without first pulsing them in the food processor. This helps to break the breadcrumbs down into a finer texture so that they actually stick to the chicken. If you do not want to pull out your food processor, you can also use a potato masher to grind up the breadcrumbs into a finer texture.
- Toast the breadcrumbs before breading the chicken! This will ensure you get golden brown nuggets that are perfectly crispy.
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- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup buffalo sauce (plus more for drizzling at the end)
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups gluten free panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried chives
- 2 teaspoons dried dill
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the chicken breast into nugget sized pieces.
- Add the eggs, almond milk, and buffalo sauce to a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Add the chicken pieces to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add the panko breadcrumbs to a food processor and pulse until fine, two or three times.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into a mound on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil to the breadcrumb mound and stir until the oil is well incorporated.
- Spread the breadcrumbs into a single layer on the baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer the toasted breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl, then add in the seasoning and spices. Stir until well the seasonings and breadcrumbs are well combined.
- Grease a wire baking rack and place it over a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Remove a few of the chicken pieces from the egg mixture, around six to eight pieces at a time, and transfer to the breadcrumb mixture. Use your fingers to toss the chicken in the breadcrumbs until well coated, pressing the breadcrumbs into the chicken to help them stick.
- Transfer the coated chicken to the wire rack. Bake the chicken nuggets at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
- Drizzle with extra buffalo sauce and serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing!
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