Vegan Chicken Nuggets are made from plant-based ingredients that mimic the texture and taste of regular chicken nuggets but without the use of traditional nugget ingredients like meat, panko breadcrumbs, buttermilk or eggs. Vegan Chicken Nuggets are typically made from a variety of plant-based proteins such as soy, pea protein, or wheat gluten, and are often coated in a crispy breadcrumb coating.

While store-bought “chik’n nuggets” are lower in calories than those made with meat, it does not mean that they are healthy. Unfortunately, they are often highly processed, deep-fried and contain a lot of hidden calories and fat!

In this recipe, I made a nugget that is not only vegan but is made with low-calorie, nutritious whole ingredients. But how did I get a crispy, satisfying, oh-so-nuggety result? Instead of pan-frying or deep-frying, I cooked my Vegan Chicken Nuggets in the Air Fryer! Ta-da!

While these are plant-based, this recipe is definitely not just for vegans and vegetarians! (Not to mention if you’re looking for a kid-friendly veggie nugget this is a great option. Serve it with ketchup and vegan Mac for a weeknight winner.)

The next time you’re in the mood for some nuggets, consider trying this low-calorie, low-fat plant-based option instead! Trust me, you won’t miss the original version!

cooked vegan chicken nuggets

Why you should try these WW Vegan Chicken Nuggets?

  • Is there such a thing as healthy nuggets? If you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply looking for some plant-based options, Vegan Chicken Nuggets are a healthy alternative to traditional chicken nuggets. But store-bought Vegan Chicken Nuggets can be loaded with ingredients such as highly-processed oils, methylcellulose, dextrose, and GMO soy. These homemade Vegan Chicken Nuggets contain just clean, wholesome, and plant-based ingredients that you likely already have in your kitchen. They are low in saturated fat and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Nutritional yeast adds a “cheesy”, umami-esque flavor. They are cooked in an Air Fryer with a few drizzles of oil. You’ll have the perfect crunchy nugget without deep frying. Perfect for your WW program!
  • Air-fried Vegan Chicken Nuggets are weight-loss friendly. Lower in calories than deep-fried Vegan Chicken Nuggets or storebought versions, these nuggets have only 181 calories and 38 carbohydrates per serving. Yes…that means limited WW points for one of the traditionally unhealthiest fried fast foods!
  • These Vegan Chicken Nuggets are addicting. The good news is that they are easy and affordable to make regularly! I created these crispy and delicious bites by accident. I had leftover cauliflower, some rolled oats, and a can of beans in tomato sauce. I was just playing around with new flavors and textures, and guess what? I ended up with this great recipe I’ve been making over and over again for several years. In fact, I encourage you to experiment with the recipe and try creating different flavor combinations! (If you’re not vegan, try it, for example, with a little Parmesan cheese sprinkled in the oats for coating!)

vegan chicken nuggets ingredients

Variations and Substitutions

  • Don’t want to use beans? I added a can of beans in tomato sauce, but you can use any other type of canned or cooked beans you have on hand! Chickpeas and lentils also work well in this recipe.
  • Favorite add-ins. These nuggets are endlessly customizable. Try ingredients like mushrooms, sweet corn, green peas, or tofu. Mushrooms are one of my favorite spins on this recipe – I use baby bella and oyster mushrooms; chop your mushrooms super small to mimic the texture of nugget chicken and sauté them for a few minutes until they release their liquid. After they are cooked, salt them to taste and add them to the mixture for your nuggets.
  • Coating: I used unsweetened almond milk to keep ground oats from falling off the nuggets. You can also use aquafaba, the liquid leftover from canned beans or chickpeas.
  • Spice it up! If you like your nuggets spicier, try adding spices like chili flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or a sprinkle of cayenne. A storebought poultry seasoning mix also works well with these healthy, veggie nuggets!
  • Serve it with your favorite dips! Serve these nuggets with traditional dips like BBQ sauce, Ketchup, mustard OR mix it up with whatever you like!

vegan chicken nuggets ingredients mix

Tips and Tricks

  • Oats make this recipe hearty. The oats are a great way to get some starchiness into the recipe. You can also add chia seeds, sesame seeds, or ground flaxseed meal instead of starches heavier in calories, but it is completely optional!
  • Tips for the air fryer: Make sure to preheat your air fryer for about 4 minutes. Spray the inside of the air fryer basket with cooking oil before adding the nuggets. If your nuggets are not crispy enough, cook them for a further 3 to 4 minutes at 380 degrees F; however, remember that they will crisp up as they cool down.
  • Tips for the oven: You can also bake the nuggets in your oven. Arrange the nuggets onto a parchment-lined baking pan. Bake the nuggets at 350 degrees F for approximately 40 minutes, until they are crispy and cooked through.
  • Reheating: You can store Vegan Chicken Nuggets in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 6 days. Simply reheat them in your air fryer at 360 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
  • Freezing: These Vegan Chicken Nuggets freeze in the fridge for up to 2 months. This recipe is perfect for meal prepping so you can freeze them uncooked or cooked. I prefer to make a larger batch of nuggets on weekend and freeze them for later. Then whenever the mood strikes, I pop them in my air fry without thawing. So good!
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The Tastiest Vegan Chicken Nuggets You Can Find

Servings: 4
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 28 minutes
cooked vegan chicken nuggets
If you’re in the mood for some nuggets, consider trying this low-calorie, and low-fat plant-based Vegan Chicken Nuggets instead! The texture is similar but the taste is far better!


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of beans in tomato sauce,, drained
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 small leek,, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves,, peeled
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray


  • Add 1/2 cup of oats to a blender or a food processor; blend the oats for about 1 minute until it resembles all-purpose flour. Add the oat flour to a shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Then, blend the remaining 1/2 of oats with the other ingredients, except for the almond milk; process until the mixture resembles a thick hummus.
  • Scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture out and roll it into a nugget shape. (I ended up with 10 nuggets).
  • Drizzle your nuggets with almond milk; roll them over the ground oats; then, repeat these steps one more time.
  • Add vegan chicken nuggets to the air fryer basket. Brush them with cooking spray. Cook vegan chicken nuggets at 390°F for about 18 minutes, until golden and crispy. Work in batches.
  • The nuggets will get a firmer texture as they cool down. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice. Bon appétit!


Serving: 168gCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 11.4gFat: 2.8gFiber: 9.3gSugar: 3.5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @drizzlemeskinny or tag #drizzlemeskinny!

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About Drizzle Me Skinny

Kate founded DrizzleMeSkinny in 2014. Since then she has shared nearly 1000 weight watchers friendly recipes with DrizzleMeSkinny's over 500,000 social media followers.

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  1. Quick question, is the cauliflower raw or cooked. I’m anxious to try these, I’m intrigued by the possibilities of adding different ingredients I.e., ground seeds, mushrooms etc. sounds like a fun recipe to play around with in the kitchen!