Chick-less Nuggets + Sweet ‘n Spicy Mustard Sauce

Nuggets of gold, I tell you.

Who needs Chick-fil-a?!  These tasty vegan treats all the flavor and finger food deliciousness of the fast food treat, but without the MSG, high fructose corn syrup, ammonium sulfate, yellow 5, blue 1, etc.  (I only wish I were kidding about that ingredient list.)

Maybe they missed the memo:

Isn’t this awesome? I ordered this tee from Callie @ Rawxy. Her cookies are good too, IMHO. 😉

Growing up I thought my mom was so mean because we were rarely allowed to stop for fast food.  I wanted a toy with dinner!  Looking back I am grateful – to this day I have never eaten a fast food hamburger!

However, I did enjoy the occasional chicken nugget from a certain Southern chain.  Today I wouldn’t dream of buying them, especially when there are clean alternatives like these:

My chick-less nuggets are TVP-based and are vegetarian/vegan.

After a quick pulse in the blender, mix in some chickpea flour and an egg (a flax egg works here) to bind them.  This creates a nugget-like texture that… well… tastes like chicken.

You can make the bites any flavor you’d like, but I went for the classic blend of paprika, red pepper, onion, and garlic.  Lay off the red pepper and these would be ideal for kid meals!  Sorry, toy not included.

Dunked in a healthy, quick sweet ‘n spicy mustard sauce, you’d almost swear these were from a drive-thru… a thought you’ll quickly push aside because these clean bites are better.



Chick-less Nuggets

  • 1 C water
  • 1 no-meat chicken bullion cube
  • 1 C textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 2 T chickpea flour
  • 1 egg (flax egg or the “real” thing)
  • 1 tsp spice blend (I used a mix of paprika, red pepper, onion, garlic)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees, or 475 convection.

Heat water in medium bowl and stir in bouillon until dissolved.  Add TVP, stir, and allow to stand for 5 mins.

Pulse soaked TVP in food processor; you want larger pieces broken up, but not a puree.  Add egg and flour and mix well.  Season with your favorite spice blend.

Form “nuggets” with the TVP mix (heaping 2T per nugget).  Drop balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place in oven and bake for 10 mins, until golden.  Flip nuggets and bake for an additional 5 mins.  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 10 nuggets.

Note: Use a flax egg to make vegan.

Approx Nutritionals (per nugget): 47 calories, 0.8g fat, 20.7g sodium, 3.7g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 1.4g sugar, 5.8g protein


Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 2 T water
  • 2 drops lemon liquid stevia (or sweetener or choice)
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste

Mix together and dip away!


I added a mini “about” section to my side bar with a pic, but am unsure about it… too much?

Do/did you ever like fast food?

What is your favorite dipping sauce?


  1. says

    Yep. Want.

    I have yet to work (out?) with TVP, but perhaps I shall have to try…although I wonder if I could try something similar with seitan….I’ve made nuggety-ness with that before.

    It’s all about the honey mustard. Although I did have a debate with my first graders last year about what was the best dipping sauce for chicken nuggets, and while they were very supportive of my desire to have both ketchup AND BBQ sauce available, they thought I was crazy for used to wanting only honey to dip both nuggets AND fries into.

    Then we started talking about waffle fries and that just spiraled into nothingness.

    [Sigh[ Life in Miss Pember’s class….

    • Laura says

      I can’t believe that! You have to try it. Similar to seitan, but more texture to it.

      I wish you had been my teacher growing up. These are important debates to have! (Though you can keep your BBQ and ketchup – what I want is ranch!)

  2. says

    My mom would never let me have fast food either…but my dad did. I basically stopped eating it after college I think, but I was never a big fast food eater. I did like the grilled chicken sandwiches from certain chains.

  3. says

    Love your t-shirt. The closest I’ll get to fast food is subway… which I don’t even think should be considered fast food. I’m not a huge dipper, with an exception of mustard & ketchup!

  4. Kat says

    OMG. You must make these and cater my next party, or make me a crap load to load into my freezer for emergency chicken needs. They are gluten free too!

  5. says

    omg i’m obsessed with this recipe! it’s going to make me spend money i don’t need to spend on chickpea flour and TVP hahaha BUT i do have all of the ingredients for the mustard dipping sauce and i LOVE mustard so this is amazing to me and i can’t wait to make tonight haha!

    • Laura says

      TVP is actually pretty cheap! I find chickpea flour on the cheap at my local market too. Sometimes they have it in bulk at Whole Foods, too. Please let me know how you like it! :)

  6. says

    You know what I think is sad? That actual chicken nuggets are so far removed from real chicken that you can have vegan or vegetarian nuggets and really can’t tell the difference. Scary! (But also good for those of us who still like the taste.) :)

  7. Sarah says

    These look great! I’ve tried a few veggie nugget recipes, but haven’t found “the one” yet. I look forward to trying these!

    I like the side bar, although I’d chose a different picture, but that’s up to you! I like coming to someone’s page for the first time and seeing their face right away. That’s what sets blogging apart from other sites!

  8. says

    I have eaten fast food before, but once I received an education on its GINORMOUS ills I gave it up cold turkey (gave up the turkey too :)!

    These nuggest look delish and I think my kids might get into them.

    As for dipping sauces I’ve always liked BBQ or spicy mustard.

    I need to hit up Whole Foods and pick up supplies for this one.

    As for the “mini” section not too much…you look a bit like a rockstar.

    • Laura says

      I’d be willing to bet kids would love these. You’ll have to let me know though, as I don’t have any kids. :)

  9. says

    Well, you already know how excited I am about these, haha. Made an online food order earlier this week and just so happened to randomly throw some TVP in there–and now I am SO glad! Package arrives Wednesday…these will be eaten Wednesday. And yeah, don’t know if I ever had a FF burger, but road trip “treats” always involved good ol’ McNuggets maybe a few times a year. Why did I think they were so good when I was a kid?? Maybe it’s the toy. Toys throw kids off quite easily. But then again, I also liked Krystal chicken sliders for awhile too, and there was no toy excuse for that one…

  10. says

    Ohh…. girlfriend. You’re speaking my language. This is very similar to the “chickenless tenders” I’ve made several times from Post Punk Kitchen. They are SO GOOD- and I don’t know why I don’t make a huge batch to freeze and re-heat!
    I’ll have to try your recipe out- they so freaking divine. And the mustard too!
    GOOD for you for never having eaten a fast food hamburger! I don’t think I’ve had fast food in about 6 years- EXCEPT one time I was forced to eat Chick-Fil-A (I know!) because it was literally the only restaurant open around our airport after a 4 hour flight delay 3 summers ago. None of us had eaten for like, 8 hours and it was midnight. Ughhhhhhh.

    • Laura says

      I’ve never seen hers… to the Google machine! That girl is a rockstar.

      6 years without is impressive. I think the one indiscretion is forgivable. 😉

  11. says

    Awesome! I don’t really eat any meat replacers but I think it would be cool to try to make my own. They look really yummy too.

    I used to eat fast food about once every week or two. Very proud to say I haven’t had any fast food in over 5 years and don’t miss it at all.

  12. says

    That shirt is adorable! And this recipe looks so awesome!! These look so good and I need to make them asap! I don’t have TVP, so I’ll need to get some. Unfortunately can’t make the mustard sauce, I’m allergic!

    • Laura says

      Thank you!!! I’m posting another sauce tomorrow you may be able to have. :) Or, I bet these would rock with some BBQ sauce.

  13. says

    We don’t have that particular fast food store in Australia, but my Mum also didn’t let us have fast food much yet, when I did, I would get chicken nuggets from McDonalds. I kind of really want these right now.

  14. says

    I had chicken nuggets last night (and today for lunch)! it’s my emergency meal from the freezer, because I haven’t had a chance to go grocery shopping yet. I love that you made these from chickpea flower, I’m going to have to give this one a try!

  15. says

    Yesssssssssssssss! These babies are going down TO-morrow!!!! (Just so you know, I’m totally like singing that right now) 😉 I have some veggie broth I can use instead of the bouillon, but you have to tell me…where did you find a good low sodium bouillon? And why have I never thought to use my liquid stevia for SAVORY dishes? Omg, this mustard sauce sounds right up my alley! You know I like my mustard! Which is so weird because I used to HATE mustard as a kid…I would have much rather face-planted into a bowl of KETCHUP! And then in college, I’m ashamed to admit, that if it weren’t for a “certain Southern chain’s” chicken nuggets and crack-laced sweet & sour dip, I might not be alive today. I swear it’s a wonder I didn’t sprout feathers! Wait…that’s probably because there’s not any actual chicken in those! 😉 Wouldn’t touch ’em with a ten foot pole now!

    I THOUGHT I noticed something different! I like the sidebar…and your pic is awesome! Rock on! …wow, I feel like that made me sound really corny! Lol

    • Laura says

      I totally read that first line in sing-song too. :) You must let me know how you like!!!

      I found the bullion at my massive farmer’s market. I’d be surprised if most healthy grocery stores don’t carry it though.

      Don’t judge me but… I didn’t like mustard or ketchup as a kind… and I STILL don’t like ketchup.

      • says

        Omg…so I have things to tell you! First, I went to the store to pick up some cottage cheese (had to make your zucchini bread batter, but also, I’ve been out for more than 2 days and I was sorta kinda starting to have withdraws ;)) but guess what I found on the clearance rack JUST before I checked out? Low sodium veggie broth! They come in these little packets of concentrate…only 360mg of sodium per packet, which I think is a good amount, because the ones with super low sodium honestly could use a little salt in my opinion! 😉 I picked up two boxes of 12 for only 6 bucks! Woo hoo!

        Now, onto the nuggets….it seems I have trouble reading and I forgot to pulse the soaked tvp before mixing everything together (in my defense, I was in a bit of a rush to get them made and packed for work AND also get myself ready for work). They weren’t holding together at all so I added 2 T more garbanzo bean flour, but they still didn’t seem right. THAT’S when I realized I missed a step. I popped it all in the food processor anyway with my fingers crossed…and well, you saw the pic on Instagram…they came out PERFECT!

        Well, I just finished them up for dinner with some of the sweet mustard sauce (killer btw)…I also made some of the peanut sauce, but my Vegemite didn’t really shine through as much as I would have liked…just tasted like peanut sauce…I’ll have to see what I can tweak in the future. Anyway, enough about the sauce…THE NUGGETS WERE INCREDIBLE! Omg, I’m in love with the texture! I can’t believe I’ve had this tvp for over a year and never tried it before! Now I need more…I think I only have mayyyyyybe 1 cup left! I want to experiment more…have you ever tried making meat loaf with it? I think I’ve seen some recipes around…they’re probably somewhere on one of my many Pinterest boards! 😉

        • Laura says

          Heather… can I hire you as my spokesperson?! Thank you SO much for trying these, and for the feedback. I am so glad you remembered the blender step. 😉 I bet they were good with more chickpea flour, like falafel! Not too dry, right? I used TVP for sausage patties last week… can’t remember if I posed it but it was Allie’s recipe ( only with TVP instead of the vital wheat. Good stuff!!

          I guess that sauce proves that Marmite > Vegemite? 😉

  16. jessica, the_toned_teach says

    YUM! Trying these tomorrow – bought a bunch of TVP tonight in the bulk section of whole foods – thanks to Sarah’s suggestion. Can’t wait to taste these little balls of goodness!

    Do you think TVP is okay during competition prep? The ingredients look clean and there aren’t many grams of carbs. Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts :)

    • Laura says

      Sweet! Please let me know what you think. I think I’ll make these tomorrow too. :)

      I love TVP during compeittion prep. That’s how my TVP oatmeal was born – high protein and low carb!

  17. Amy says

    Can I use or have you tried with any other flours? I have everything but chick pea flour! I have soy, almond, rice…

  18. says

    so I was cleaning out my pantry last night and realized I had TVP I had bought MONTHS ago just to make these. they’re on the dinner menu tonight, so I cant wait to try them out. i’ll probably sub ww flour for chickpea, because I know I wont feel like running into the store after the gym tonight!

    • Laura says

      Oh, thank you so much for letting me know how you liked them! Good to know about the chia too. I’ll try that next.

    • Laura says

      Thank you for letting me know! I’m go glad you liked them! And for the coconut oil tip too. I’ll try that out. :)

  19. Marie says

    I just bought some tvp for the first time yesterday. Your recipe was the first one I tried with it. i made them with flax egg. They were easy and delicious! my husband is wondering if you’ve ever made them as a patty. Thank you for sharing.

    • Laura says

      Thank you for the feedback – I am so glad you enjoyed them! I haven’t done this ad burger patties, but I think it’s a great idea. Please let me know if you try it!


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