How many ingredients are in chicken nuggets at a popular fast food restaurant? 20 ingredients! And most of these the average person can’t pronounce or identify. Your standard chicken nugget falls into the category of ultra-processed-food. Not only do foods in this category lack nutrients, they’re disease-promoting.
Make a swap to this whole-food, plant-based alternative. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, they’re a great finger food for kids. Enjoy fresh out of the oven, as leftovers, or pre-make and freeze these for a quick and easy freezer meal.
While the sweet and sour sauce compliments these nuggets well, we’ve also enjoyed these dipped in peanut sauce, sweet & spicy BBQ sauce, white sauce or whatever we happen to have on-hand. If you opt for a store-bought sauce be sure to steer clear of those with oil and/or lots of added sugar.
After cooking and cooling, these nuggets can be frozen in a single layer on a plate or tray. Transfer to a freezer bag once frozen. Frozen nuggets can be heated up in minutes for a quick meal or snack.
Plant-Based Lentil Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 T tamari (or soy sauce)
- 10 pitted Deglet dates
- 1 garlic clove
- 1-2 T water (optional)
- Place the rinsed lentils and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes or until lentils have soaked up the water.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the oats in a food processor and pulse 3-4 times to break into small pieces (but avoid turning it into flour). Pour into a large bowl.
- Add bell pepper and all remaining ingredients to food processor and blend until no large chunks remain. Add cooked lentils to food processor and blend until ingredients are combined.
- Add lentil mixture to oats and stir to combine.
- Form mixture into golf ball sized balls, place on parchment lined baking sheet and press flat to form nuggets.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flip and then bake for an additional 10 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (they will firm as they cool).
Sweet & Sour Sauce
- Add all ingredients except water to a food processor. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. If sauce is too thick, add water, 1 T at a time.