Chickpea Nuggets

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I wish I could say I made these for my 3 year old, but apparently I have the only 3 year old in the world who won’t eat nuggets in practically any form. No idea why, the only nugget like food he eats is those Dr. Praeger’s spinach dinosaur bites. Granted they are delicious, so I understand why. Maybe that’ll have to go on the list for things to try to replicate at home.

So after much trial and error, I’ve finally got these so they have enough flavor, aren’t crumbly and have a crunch on the outside but softness in the middle. Now, full disclosure, I think any chickpea blend has the potential to be crumbly and making sure you start with the right texture will make a difference. These hold up though, they don’t break apart and I only lost crumbles in ketchup.

Simple process to make them. Drain and rinse 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas, put these in a food processor along with the following ingredients: 2 diced carrots, 1/2 tsp garlic, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp bread crumbs, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast. Blend well. Your texture should be similar to hummus but a little grittier. A small amount of un-chopped carrot or chickpea at the top of the food processor is okay, but you want the majority of it to be well blended. If you’re having trouble getting it to blend well, add 1 tbsp of water at a time and blend again. Add more water as needed to get the desired consistency.

Good example of desired texture. Left side: Hummus like, Right side: a little grittier with some pieces of carrot and chickpea. Once stirred together, it balances out to the right texture.

Take the blade out of your food processor and begin shaping your nuggets. You will want to use about golf ball sized amounts of the blend. Place them on a prepared baking sheet (strongly recommend parchment paper or a silpat mat) and gently press down with your finger tips to form the nugget shape. Depending on the size of each nugget you should end up with 15-20 nuggets.

My baking sheets are clean but well loved/used. Ignore that & enjoy your chickpea nuggets.

Preheat your oven to 425. Place each baking sheet in for 20 minutes, flip, then bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. They should be easy to lift when you flip them after the 20 minutes. There will likely be a light brown layer on the bottom after flipping (as seen below). If they don’t flip easily, give them another couple minutes and try again. After the second round in the oven, the chickpea nuggets are all done and ready to serve!

Chickpea Nuggets

Makes 15-20 nuggets

Ingredients:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2-4 tbsp of water

Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse both cans of chickpeas. Add the chickpeas to a food processor. Add all remaining ingredients except water. The texture should be similar to hummus on the bottom of the food processor. It’s okay if there is a bit of un-chopped chickpea or carrot on top. If you are having trouble getting the food processor to blend well, add 1 tbsp of water and blend again. Continue adding water 1 tbsp at a time until you get the desired consistency (see pic above).
  2. Remove the blade, preheat your oven to 425, and being forming your nuggets. Using golf ball sized handfuls, place these on a prepared baking sheet (parchment paper or silpat mat). Lightly press down with your finger tips to create the shape.
  3. Place baking sheets in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip each nugget and bake for 10-15 more minutes. The bottoms should create a nice crust within the first 20 minutes and should be easy to flip. After the second round in the oven, they are ready to serve!
  4. Note: If you have trouble flipping or they start to break when you try to flip, put it back in the oven for a few minutes so that crust can form and try again.

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