Not only are these the easiest homemade gluten free chicken nuggets to make, but they are made with just 4 simple ingredients. You can make them in an air fryer, or bake them in the oven. The whole family will go nuts over this easy air-fried chicken nuggets recipe!
I am so excited to share my new recipe with you. I have made this parmesan ranch nuggets recipe for a long time for my family, but I never thought to post it to the blog. I think I thought it was too easy?
Well, I guess the reason doesn't really matter and I am finally sharing it now. If you like simple recipes like this, please let me know because I have a ton of simple recipes that I love to make at home that could go on the blog.
If you love using your air fryer as much as I do, check out all of my Gluten Free Air Fryer Recipes.
Why this recipe is great:
This recipe is one of those keeper recipes that you will make over and over again. The chicken nuggets are crispy on the outside and tender and moist on the inside. They cook in about 11 minutes in your air fryer, or 20 in the oven.
Many ask if Hidden Valley Ranch is gluten free and I am so glad to say it is gluten free. This ranch is why our picky one eats vegetables so adding that flavor to this chicken nuggets recipe is a win-win!
My family loves chicken and I have tons of delicious Gluten Free Chicken Recipes on the blog for you to explore.
- Gluten free chicken breasts - You can use any boneless cut of chicken for this recipe.
- Gluten free bread crumbs or panko - There are several brands including Ian's and Alexia. I find it is a lot cheaper to make my own homemade gluten free bread crumbs.
- Ranch dressing - I love to use the Hidden Valley brand, but LiteHouse and Newman's Own are also gluten free ranch dressing brands I use.
Recipe step by step directions:
Are you ready to give this air-fried chicken nuggets recipe a try? Gather your ingredients. Here is how to make the best gluten free chicken nuggets, according to my kids :-). If you love crispy, you may also want to try my crispy gluten free air fryer mushrooms recipe.
Step 1: Cut your chicken into nugget shaped pieces. Do this on a cutting board that can go into the dishwasher so that it can be sterilized when cleaned.
Step 2: Add the ranch dressing to the chicken chunks.
Step 3: Mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. I like to allow the chicken to sit in the ranch dressing for a minimum of 15 minutes. You will be surprised at how much the ranch flavor in these hidden valley ranch chicken nuggets absorbs into the chicken!
Step 4: Add the gluten free bread crumbs or panko to a bowl and mix in the grated parmesan cheese.
Step 5: Put a few chicken pieces into the bread crumbs and toss to coat.
Step 6: Spray the basket with cooking oil and line raw breaded chicken nuggets into the air fryer basket. Make sure the nuggets are not touching each other so that air can circulate around each piece. Spray cooking oil over the nuggets.
Step 7: Cook in the air fryer at 400º F for 10 minutes. (Actual time may depend on how large you cut your chicken pieces.)
Remove the cooked ranch chicken nuggets and repeat until all of the chicken pieces are cooked. You can verify the chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165º F.
Oven Baking Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375º F. Follow all of the same directions to prep, marinate, and coat the nuggets. Line the bread crumb-coated nuggets up on a parchment paper-lined baking dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how large your chicken nuggets are. Check the internal temperature on a couple of the largest nuggets to ensure they are 165º F.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:
You can use gluten free bread crumbs or panko in this recipe. I find they are a lot cheaper to make from scratch using my gluten free bread crumbs recipe.
Yes, you can definitely add seasonings to the gluten free bread crumbs. Don't forget there is already flavor in the ranch marinade. I add grated parmesan cheese, feel free to add basil, or another herb.
You can make these ahead pretty easily by marinating the chicken pieces in the ranch dressing overnight. You can also cook them ahead and then reheat them in your oven to re-crisp them.
If your gluten free chicken nuggets didn't turn out crispy, it may be because you didn't cook them long enough. Double check the internal temperature reads 165º F.
You can easily freeze these nuggets. I store them in a freezer safe Ziplock style bag.
These ranch nuggets will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
If you are totally crazy about ranch, you can even dip these nuggets into your favorite ranch dressing!
More yummy gluten free chicken recipes:
- Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie
- Crispy Gluten Free Fried Chicken
- Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan
- Roasted Herb Chicken
- Gluten Free Chicken and Waffles
Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets
- Mixing bowl
- 1 pound chicken breasts raw
- ⅓ cup ranch dressing * see note
- ⅓ cup gluten free bread crumbs * see note
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated
- If you are baking these in an oven, preheat your oven to 375º F. See the Notes section for oven directions.
- Cut the chicken breasts into chicken chunks and put into a mixing bowl.
- Pour the ranch dressing over the chicken and mix to coat the chicken evenly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate for at least 15 minutes. You can cover them and put them into the refrigerator overnight if you plan to meal prep these for the next day.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400º F.
- Add the bread crumbs and parmesan to a bowl and mix well.
- Put 4-5 chicken chunks into the bread crumb mixture and toss to coat them evenly with bread crumbs.
- Spray the air fryer basket with cooking oil (do not use olive oil!) and add coated chicken to the basket. Make sure to have space between each nugget so air can circulate around each one. This will help make your nuggets crispier.
- Spray the top of the nuggets with oil and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove the basket when they are done and check the internal temperature of the largest nuggets to ensure they are 165º F.
- Ian's and Alexia both make great gluten free bread crumbs. It is also easy (and cheaper) to make your own gluten free bread crumbs from scratch.
- There are several brands of ranch dressing that are gluten free. I use Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing in this recipe, but LiteHouse and Newman's Own are also delicious.
- You can use boneless chicken thighs if you have those on-hand. And if you want to get creative, chicken wings!
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