In the world of finger food, you can't go wrong with chicken nuggets. It's especially popular with kids, but if we're being honest, us adults love them, too. However, they're not exactly the healthiest. So why not make a homemade version with vegetables instead? With ingredients like broccoli and garlic, veggie nuggets offer tons of flavor and nutrients. Plus, unlike traditional chicken nuggets, homemade veggie nuggets don't have to be deep fried; you can pan fry or bake them. Here's how to make this tasty (and easy!) vegetarian recipe.
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Things You'll Need
2 cups cauliflower rice (about 1/2 medium cauliflower head)
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup diced onion (optional)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup and 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (divided)
For even more flavor, add a dash of paprika, cumin, or turmeric.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you haven't already, make 2 cups of cauliflower rice.
To do so, chop 1/2 medium cauliflower head into florets. Place in a food processor and pulse until "riced" and crumbly. Measure 2 cups of cauliflower rice for the recipe. If you end up with more, set aside the extra for another recipe (or more veggie nuggets).
Using a small pot and steamer basket, steam the broccoli for 5 to 6 minutes.
You can also steam the broccoli in the microwave. To do so, place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover with a microwave-safe plate. Heat on high for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and tender. The steam will be very hot, so be careful when removing the lid.
Combine the vegetables, cheese, minced garlic, and spices in the food processor. Pulse until combined.
In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
Add the eggs and 1 cup breadcrumbs to the food processor. As the ingredients combine, the mixture will form clumps.
Every now and then, pause the food processor to scrape down the sides and bottom. This will make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs on a plate or shallow bowl.
Scoop the mixture into heaping tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten into nuggets and coat both sides with breadcrumbs.
Place breaded nuggets on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crispy.
To fry the veggie nuggets, heat oil in a large skillet. Cook the nuggets for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping once halfway. The nuggets are ready once they're crispy and golden brown.
Serve with your favorite sauce. Ketchup and honey mustard are classic dips, but these veggie nuggets taste great with barbecue sauce, Ranch dressing, or even guacamole. For a lighter option, mix herbs with plain Greek yogurt.