Lentil Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce

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.


Plant-Based Lentil Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce


While the sweet and sour sauce compliments these nuggets well, we’ve also enjoyed these dipped in peanut sauce, sweet & spicy BBQ saucewhite 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

Plant-Based Lentil Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce

A kid-friendly, fiber-packed finger food recipe with a flavorful sweet and sour sauce. These are also great stuffed in a pita or added to a salad. 
4.18 from 17 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lentils, nuggets
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24 nuggets
Calories: 60kcal


Lentil Nuggets

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)


Lentil Nuggets

  • 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. 


Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Sauce can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 


Calories: 60kcal
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4 thoughts on “Lentil Nuggets with Sweet & Sour Sauce”

  • I like the looks of these Lentil Nuggets and I’ve been looking for a recipe to try that had lentils in it. We will try to make this next week and let you know how it works out. The sauce – it looks orange in the photo but I don’t see any ingredients that should make it look orange?

    • Can’t wait to hear how they turn out! The sauce ends up darker than the apple cider vinegar color with the addition of dates and tamari. The color is between an orange and red.

  • 3 stars
    I am eating these as I type. 5 stars for the sweet and sour sauce! The nuggets should not be advertised as a chicken nugget alternative. I think that is throwing me off. Before going WFPB, chicken nuggets were my jam. I was super excited about trying this recipe.

    They are good. As stated, crispy outside (maybe a bit dry though) and somewhat moist inside. The flavor is a bit dull. I followed the recipe exactly as written. I wouldn’t eat these without something to dip them in.

    The recipe did make 24 nuggets. I will eat a few tonight and likely add the remaining to salads over the next few days.

    Definitely nutritious!

    Thank you for the creative recipe.

    • Thanks so much for your thorough comment, Tammy!
      We like to go back and improve recipes, so any and all feedback is very much appreciated and helpful to us! ?

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