Zesty Chicken Bites

Zesty Chicken Bites | Lexi's Clean Kitchen

These Zesty Chicken Bites are the perfect healthier version of your favorite chicken nuggets!

They are low carb, flavorful, and completely gluten-free and grain-free. A reader favorite and loved by adults and kids alike!

Zesty Paleo Chicken Nuggets - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

While snowed in last week, I was craving an appetizer-like snack that I could make with the organic chicken breasts I had in the fridge.

I realized that it’s been a while since I’ve had chicken cutlets. My beautiful mom makes killer chicken cutlets.


Zesty Paleo Chicken Nuggets - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

She made them often growing up and then passed the recipe along to me years ago.

You can bet those days were filled with some delicious chicken parm.

Since those breadcrumbs are no longer in my diet, my task was set! Instead of the whole chicken cutlet thing, I went with bites (or nuggets), call it what you’d like.

And I made them spicy. Amazing. The perfect appetizer when entertaining or just for your football Sunday get together

The perfect appetizer when entertaining or just for your typical Football Sunday get together!

Zesty Paleo Chicken Nuggets - Lexi's Clean Kitchen

 These Zesty Chicken Bites are perfectly crispy. Your friends won’t even know they are healthy and gluten-free!

Read through the comments below to see how others have made this recipe their own!

4.8 rating
5 reviews

Paleo Zesty Chicken Bites

Yield 4
Prep Time 8 min
Cook Time 25 min
Total Time 33 minutes

Author: Lexi
Scale This Recipe



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine almond meal/flour and all spices.
  3. In a separate bowl crack 1 egg and add 1/4 tsp water, whisk together well.
  4. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
  5. Dredge the chicken pieces into the egg and toss until fully covered.
  6. Transfer chicken pieces to the spice mixture and coat evenly.
  7. Place on baking sheet; repeat until all are coated.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes then flip chicken bites over and cook for another 10-12 minutes until golden and crispy.
  9. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce!

Recipe Notes

  • *Depending on how many chicken pieces you use, you may need to increase the flour/spice mixture.
  • *Serving size will depends on how small or large you make the bites. Mine make about 20-25 chicken bites.
  • *Leave out parmesan cheese for fully dairy-free.


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January 5, 2014

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Join The Discussion

85 responses to “Zesty Chicken Bites”

  1. Tina Muir says:

    Yummy! Those look wonderful! And they appear to be gluten free….which I am beginning as of tomorrow! Need to keep my protein intake up for my training, so these would be great! Yum!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 Will be needing you a lot over the next few weeks I think!

  2. i’m snowed in and trying these today! Thanks love!

  3. These look unreal!!!! I need them in my life.

  4. Olivia says:

    What can I use instead of almond meal?

  5. Olivia says:

    Okay thanks! I think I might give flax meal a try..

  6. Yum! I think my only problem would be not eating the whole batch myself!

  7. Katie says:

    Olivia- I just made them with cashew meal and they turned out awesome!

  8. Christia says:

    Just made these and it’s literally the best chicken I’ve eve eaten. This recipe will definitely stay in rotation!!

  9. Valerie says:

    Made these for dinner tonight! Sooo good! Loved by my whole family….even my 24 yr old, junk food-junkie son! Will be making these often 🙂

  10. Megan says:

    These look delicious! I will definitely be bringing them to my next friend gathering! The snacks are usually good but not a ton of super healthy options! Great recipe!

  11. Lex says:

    I made these last night and it was a HIT! We dipped them in Frank’s Red Hot for added spicy but the bottom line, they were delicious!

    As I said on my instagram, Guuuurl you know what you’re doing in the kitchen!! I will definitely be making these again and I’ve already passed the link onto two of my friends 🙂 Thank you!

  12. Ellie says:

    These look amazing. One little problem: my little fuel is allergic to eggs (bummer she’s missing out on their amazing nutritional powerhouses and TASTE!). Any suggestions for replacing? Not sure how a flax egg would work here… Thanks!!!

    • Lexi says:

      Hi Ellie!! Aw! Honestly, I haven’t tried a flax egg, but it couldn’t hurt. Also, if your chicken is pretty sticky, I bet you can get by without the egg (or by using a little oil).

    • Shaina says:

      I made this using olive oil instead of an egg. It turned out really well! I also used the flax instead of almond. I will definitely make this again!

  13. What a wonderful idea – did the almond meal crisp up in the oven?

  14. Erika says:

    These were delicious! I visit many blogs for Paleo recipes and this is the first time I felt the need to leave a comment! I didn’t have the 1 tsp Italian Seasoning.. so I substituted with 1/2 tsp Basil and 1/2 tsp Oregano. I will definitely use this recipe again. Great job!

  15. Debra says:

    Is almond meal the same as almond flour?

  16. Erin says:

    These were excellent! Thank you, Lexi! Do you have a good paleo marinara recipe you’d recommend?

  17. Whoa, these look beyond amazing. I can’t believe they are clean!

    — Alex at Brainy Girls Beauty

  18. Kristin says:

    Hi Lexi! This may be a weird question, but I’d love to try these…the problem is I’m not sure what almond meal is or where to find it

  19. I am loving these. So happening soon!

  20. Tom Musumeci says:

    I found almond meal/flour in the baking specialty section of Shop Rite. I doubled the recipe and found I needed more than double the spice and almond flour mix. But this is really delicious, and I’m sure you could customize it with whatever spices you like. Next time I am planning to try coconut flour because my son is both celiac and allergic to nuts. Thank you Lexi!

  21. Lisa Haney says:

    Made these yesterday…. were good, but struggled with chicken being over cooked and dry. Second batch I reduced, but still somewhat dry. Today I made the same “breading” but added 2 tsp brown sugar. I breaded pork chop cutlets. They were out of this world! Sooooo Good!

    • Lexi says:

      I’m surprised to hear that Lisa, I haven’t experienced (or heard anyone experience) that at all with these. But I am glad the pork chop cutlets were a hit! Sounds deeee-lish 🙂

  22. Shira says:

    Made this Wednesday night for dinner using flax seed meal (couldn’t find almond meal at the supermarket) and the husband ate it like it was gold. We don’t even keep a paleo diet and he couldn’t get enough of them! Super easy to put together and bake- a definite add to the week night dinner routine. Thanks!

  23. Rachel says:

    Made these tonight they are the bomb.com I see above people were asking about the egg. I didn’t have one on hand but if you lightly coat the chicken with olive oil that works too, I read it online somewhere and it worked for me just fine. For my dipping sauce I mixed plain greek yogurt with siracha. Sauce is so good it tastes like a cheat! Not sure if greek yogurt is paleo friedly, but worked for me. Thanks Lexi for this recipe, definitely making it for Super Bowl Sunday!

  24. Saw these on instagram tonight, so excited to try them tomorrow! (And happy I found your blog!)

  25. These look absolutely delicious….and healthy, too! Thanks so much for sharing at Saturday Night Fever – can’t wait to try!!

  26. Maryn says:

    Hi there! Have you ever frozen these to use later? I have twin seven year olds, and these would be awesome to have on hand in the freezer. Would you freeze them after cooking or before? I’m thinking before.

  27. Maddie says:

    These are soooooo good. I even use the breading to coat huge chicken breasts as opposed to cutting them into bites and I’m in love with this combination, especially with some sauce! Amazing

  28. Melissa says:

    These were delicious!! I left out the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes for my pre-schooler, but we didn’t miss the heat at all. This is a great recipe that I will definitely be making again soon!!

  29. Chelle says:

    These are awesome!! My 4 and 5 year old enjoyed them so much that they have requested that I make them again “tomorrow” lol

  30. Amazing recipe, Lexi. Thank you for being ORIGINAL.

  31. Lauren says:

    Oh my goodness! I need to make this…and dip it with organic ketchup!

  32. Bryden Trapp says:

    These are awesome!! thanks for putting this recipe up 🙂

  33. Judy says:

    Hi- this looks great!! Any ideas on prepping ahead of time? With two kids and picking up after school, I wouldn’t have time for full prep :/

  34. Judy says:

    Can’t wait to try these!!

  35. Debra says:

    Loved this recipe….my nuggets were moist and flavorful.
    Thank you!!!

  36. Jordan says:

    Is Flaxeed meal worth buying JUST for this recipe? Any other ideas or things you can do with it? Thanks!

  37. Tanya K says:

    These look so delish! Any idea if they would be good cold the next day or do they really need to be enjoyed fresh? Thanks in advance!

  38. Hi! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and great style and design.

  39. Kara R says:

    I made this tonight. However, I used chicken breast and cut it into cutlets instead of pieces. My man LOVES chicken parm and he went nuts over this recipe!! I made doluble the dry mix so I would have enough to coat. Right before the cutlets were done in oven, I added motz cheese to his cutlets. I finished the dish with some marinara sauce. I’m not kidding…..he devoured it! Very very good! This is going to be a regular dish in my house!

  40. Jessika says:

    Do you have a suggestion as to how to get these extra crispy without making them dry inside?? Thanks!

  41. Valerie says:

    I loved this! I made this for me and my boyfriend tonight and it was a hit. Will definitely make again soon! 🙂

  42. […] that even carries granola bars. So today I packed Larabars, some paleo trail mix, bananas, and chicken nuggets for my boys. Considering that I usually pack money and send them to the concession stand, this was a […]

  43. Vanessa says:

    Would pork rind dust work for these in place of almond meal?

  44. Vanessa says:

    I made them with pork rind dust in place of almond flour (meal) and they were excellent!

  45. Lorry says:

    What is a good egg substitute for this recipe? What about for baking?

  46. Emily O'Connor says:

    These were DELICIOUS!!! The spice mix was perfect, definitely zesty. The chicken stayed so moist too! I ate these with homemade honey mustard sauce made with Greek yogurt 🙂 thanks so much for sharing!

  47. Shii says:

    I made these with chicken thighs instead of breasts and with flaxseed meal instead of almond meal. Delicious! I did increase the amount of all of the spices (save the cayenne) by a factor of 3, and used sweet Hungarian paprika and mild California chili powder. Thanks for the recipe! Dinner tonight was a resounding success (and I had enough breading left over to prep some of my lunch chicken with the breading as well, double score).

  48. Heather says:

    Made these for dinner last night and they were awesome! Absolutely perfect dipped in some Paleo homemade ranch 🙂 They were good leftover for lunch today too, even heated in the microwave! I did double the recipe and had to make 2 1/2 times the coating mixture like an earlier person said.

    Question– does anyone know nutrition info/ how to calculate it for this recipe?

  49. Maya says:

    These look awesome. I live alone…do leftovers reheat well?

  50. Gabby says:

    In all honesty these are still baking so I haven’t tasted them yet, BUT I found that there was not nearly enough almond meal/spice coating for a pound of chicken. I only got through about half a pound before completely running out. And even though I greased my tin foil, half of the spice mix still stuck to it, pulling off the chicken as I turned them. I’m glad I read the comments saying that cooking for the length of time you recommended makes them dry so I can pull them out a bit early. Hoping the taste is worth these little obstacles!

  51. Montana says:

    I am in love with these! We just made these (tripled the recipe for my size family), and they are so incredible. We followed the recipe exactly (-minus the chili flakes), and it turned out SO GOOD. None of my family is on whole 30 except me, and every single chicken piece was GONE. This will stay in our rotation for sure! Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

  52. Sono says:

    I’ve tried these 3 times and they have great flavor, however, I cannot get the breading crispy at all. The breading is moist and very light in color. What am I doing wrong?

  53. Jenni says:

    The zesty chicken bites are aaaahmazing. Can you share the recipe for the dipping sauce you have pictured?

  54. Kim says:

    Have you ever tried this recipe using fish? Thanks.

  55. Anna says:

    can you use coconut flour instead of almond flour?

  56. Lisa says:

    I’ve made these a few times now, they are really good. However no matter what I coat the foil with the almond “breading” sticks to the pan and not to the chicken. Any tips?

  57. Erin says:

    Hi Lexi, Someone asked a while ago about freezing these for later, but there was no response… Do you have any suggestions for making these ahead, freezing, and re-heating? Thanks!

  58. Erin says:

    When you re-heat, what temp & how long? Sorry, I don’t do a lot of make-ahead stuff so I am kind of a newbie! Thank you!

  59. Zachary Krasman says:

    I’ve made this about 20 times now and it’s so delicious!… it’s a perfect go to for weeknight dinners!

    5.0 rating

  60. sharon g says:

    Very good; I used a bit more of the spices. Strips were pretty small; so baked them about 10-12 min. They were not crispy, but were good, nicely tender and juicy. I may try sauteing next time. Simple and quick. I might also try the paleo panko-style crumbs I bought at Natural Grocers to replace almond flour. Thank you for the recipe.

    4.0 rating

  61. I’ve been making these since 2015 and love them every time! They’re really good as strips on salads for lunch (yep, delicious cold, too). Also love them with TJ’s tomato sauce (no sugar), some crispy potatoes, and roasted veggies for dinner. Add these to your list of staples!

    5.0 rating

  62. Kristen says:

    These chicken bites are pretty much the only chicken nuggets (or strips!) that we make at home! The breading is SO scrumptious – just the right amount of spice and flavoring.

    5.0 rating

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