Paleo Chicken Nuggets (copycat chick-fil-a!)

Paleo Chicken Nuggets: The one meal I could eat absolutely any time, any place: Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets. I mean who doesn’t love chicken nuggets?! When we’re in Europe for those 8-10 months out of the year, those nuggets are my number one food craving! So I had to get creative and come up with something similar to make due.

These paleo chicken tenders are next level because of one key ingredient: pickle juice. It may sound odd, but marinating your chicken in pickle juice creates the juiciest, most flavorful chicken nuggets ever! And bonus, they resemble the flavor of chick-fil-a!

paleo chicken nuggets

ingredient list:

Chicken Tenderloins: Dicing your chicken tenderloin up into bite-sized pieces to create chicken nuggets. Also, you can use chicken breasts, but I find chicken tenderloins are easier to manage!

Pickle Juice: The secret ingredient to making these paleo chicken nuggets! The acidity of the pickle juice brine breaks down the chicken leaving them tender, flavorful, and with a hint of pickle flavor!

Almond Flour: The almond flour is used to create a breading for the chicken nuggets, and in the air fryer it becomes crispy and golden brown!

Eggs: Used to bind the chicken to the almond flour.

Seasonings: Paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

what makes these paleo chicken nuggets similar to chick-fil-a?

Well, rumor has it that Chick-Fil-A marinates their chicken nuggets in pickle juice as well, making them juicy and tender! Although I can’t 100% confirm their recipe, these paleo chicken nuggets have a delicious flavor, texture, and crispiness! Especially if you love pickles like me!

i don’t have an air-fryer, can I use the oven?

Yes, you can definitely oven-bake these paleo chicken nuggets! Although, I find the air fryer is much easier to clean up, cooks a lot quicker, and makes the nuggets crisper than a traditional oven. But if you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the nuggets at 400 degrees F for about 15 -20 minutes or until nuggets are fully cooked through.

If you like this recipe, check out my paleo chicken tenders here!

paleo chicken nuggets
paleo chicken nuggets

Paleo Chicken Nuggets

Lexi Finke
These paleo chicken nuggets are so delicious and made with only a few ingredients. The secret ingredient is pickle juice- which leaves the nuggets tender, flavorful, and juicy!
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 167 kcal


  • Air-Fryer


  • 14 oz chicken tenderloin diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup pickle juice
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Dice chicken tenderloins into 1" bite-sized pieces. Add the diced chicken nuggets to a ziplock bag with pickle juice. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or longer if possible! the longer they sit, the better).
  • Grab two bowls: one for eggs and one for the breading. Beat 2 eggs in one bowl. In the other, mix almond flour and seasonings.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the marinade. Drain and discard all excess pickle juice. Blot with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid from the chicken. Dip each piece in the egg wash, followed by the almond flour breading. Ensure that each piece is fully coated.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Air fry the nuggets for about 10 minutes or until the inside is fully cooked. They should be golden brown and tender!
  • Dip in your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!


See above for oven instructions.


Serving: 9nuggetsCalories: 167kcalFat: 5.9gProtein: 26.7gCarbohydrates: 3.2g
Keyword air fryer chicken nuggets, air fryer chicken tenders, copycat chick-fil-a, paleo chicken nuggets, paleo chicken tenders, pickle brined chicken nuggets, pickle chicken nuggets, pickle chicken tenders
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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