Keto Chicken Nuggets – unflavored whey protein used as flour alternative

Keto Chicken Nuggets – unflavored whey protein used as flour alternative

Keto chicken nuggets are inspired from fried chicken from KFC or Popeye’s that were a guilty pleasure prior to transitioning to the keto lifestyle. The flour in the coating of the deep fried chicken has too many carbs to be accommodated into a good keto meal plan.

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I have tried many recipes to mimic fried chicken. A recipe I have been using is based on using unflavored whey protein powder as a flour substitute. This recipe has many herbs and spices and loosely based on the Colonel’s secret recipe. These keto chicken nuggets taste quite close to KFC’s Original Recipe.

Here is a quick video overview of the recipe and will go into some notes to pay attention to for this recipe.

Keto Chicken Nuggets KFC herbs
Step-by-Step Instructions

Overview

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Marination: 1 hours 
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4 (6 nuggets each serving)
  • Calories: 522.7kcal
  • Net Carbs: 5.4g

Equipment

  • Deep Fryer – I have a small deep fryer and had to cook in multiple batches. If you do not have a deep fryer, you can fry on the stove-top. Just be careful with the temperature control as too high of heat can cause the coating to cook to quickly before the chicken is done. I recommend cooking at low to medium heat. In the deep fryer, do not go over 325° F. You could go down to 300° F if you chicken nuggets are large.

Keto Chicken Nuggets Ingredients

Herbs & Spices Mix – 1/2 to be used in marinade and 1/2 for coating

The herbs & spice mix will be needed for both the marinade and mixing with the unflavored whey protein for the coating.

  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 lbs chicken thighs cubed
  • 1/2 Herbs & Spices Mix

Coating

  • 1 cups whey protein unflavored
  • 1/2 Herbs & Spices Mix

Deep Frying

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 cups used in deep fryer – about 1/4 cup absorbed into chicken nuggets

Keto Chicken Nuggets Instructions

Herbs & Spice Mix – 1/2 to be used in marinade and 1/2 for coating

  • In a bowl whisk paprika, mustard powder, onion powder, ginger powder, thyme leaves, celery salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
Herbs and Spices
  • Then set aside. Half of this will be used in marination and the other half in covering.
Herbs and Spice Mixed

Marination

  • Then in a bowl mix in with cubed chicken pieces, yogurt, vinegar, heavy whipping cream, egg and 1/2 of the herbs and spice mix.
  • Then mix well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Marination

Coating

  • In a flat bowl add the other half of the herb & spice mix to unflavored whey protein powder
  • Then take each piece of chicken and cover with the protein, herb & spice powder
flat bowl
Coating single chicken nugget
Protein covered chicken nuggets

Deep Fry

  • Then put chicken pieces in deep fryer and cook for 5-7 minutes at 325° F
Deep Fryer

Notes

  • Enjoy with a wide variety of keto friendly dipping sauces.
  • If you do not have a deep fryer, you can fry on the stove top.  It will be important that the temperature is set between low and medium.  The protein powder tends to brown up quickly at too high of temperatures.
Keto Chicken nuggets with ranch
Keto Chicken Nuggets

Keto Chicken Nuggets

Chicken nuggets fried using protein powder with the Colonel’s herbs and spices to replace traditional recipe to make it low carb and keto friendly
4.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marination: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, keto, protein powder
Servings: 4
Calories: 522.7kcal
Net Carbs: 5.4g

Equipment

Ingredients

Herbs & Spices Mix – 1/2 to be used in marinade and 1/2 for coating

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg - large
  • 1 lbs chicken thighs - cubed
  • 1/2 Herbs & Spices Mix

Coating

Deep Frying

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil - 2 cups used in deep fryer – about 1/4 cup absorbed into chicken nuggets

Instructions

Herbs & Spice Mix – 1/2 to be used in marinade and 1/2 for coating

  • In a bowl whisk paprika, mustard powder, onion powder, ginger powder, thyme leaves, celery salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper and salt.
  • Set aside. Half of this will be used in marination and the other half in covering.

Marination

  • In a bowl mix in with cubed chicken pieces, yogurt, vinegar, heavy whipping cream, egg and 1/2 of the herbs and spice mix.
  • Mix well and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Coating

  • In a flat bowl add the other half of the herb & spice mix to unflavored whey protein powder
  • Take each piece of chicken and cover with the protein, herb & spice powder

Deep Fry

  • Put chicken pieces in deep fryer and cook for 5-7 minutes at 325° F

Notes

  • Enjoy with a wide variety of keto friendly dipping sauces.
  • If you do not have a deep fryer, you can fry on the stove top.  It will be important that the temperature is set between low and medium.  The protein powder tends to brown up quickly at too high of temperatures.

Nutrition

Serving: 6-pieces | Calories: 522.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.1g | Protein: 43.3g | Fat: 37.4g | Saturated Fat: 18.1g | Cholesterol: 203.5mg | Sodium: 1314mg | Potassium: 376.3mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 2.5g | Vitamin A: 790IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 115.5mg | Iron: 3.2mg | Net Carbs: 5.4g
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Another good option is my Keto Air Fried Chicken that uses crushed pork rinds to replace bread crumbs.

Keto Air Fried Chicken with Pork Rind Crust
A fried chicken recipe that uses pork rinds to replace carb heavy flour for a tasty keto version
Check out this recipe
Keto Air Fried Chicken

Hope you enjoy this keto chicken nuggets recipe as much as I did. Let us know how it turned out for you in the comments below.



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