Vegetarian Chickpea Nuggets

By Updated on

Vegetarian chickpea nuggets made with canned chickpeas and oat flour are the perfect vegetarian alternative to chicken nuggets! Baked until crispy, these meatless nuggets are delicious.

273 CAL 41g CARBS 7g FAT 14g PROTEIN

These chickpea vegetarian nuggets are tender on the inside and perfectly crunchy on the outside. I love serving these for a fun dinner or even as a game day appetizer. They’re always a hit in my household!

I love chickpeas. It’s always fun to come up with creative ways to incorporate more chickpeas into my diet. To make these nuggets, the chickpeas get pulsed in a food processor with a bunch of spices. They absorb all those great flavors which results in a really tasty final product.

The combination of textures in these chickpea nuggets is wonderful. They’re soft and chewy on the inside, while the outside delivers crunch. Dunk these into ketchup or a dipping sauce of your choice to make your taste buds sing.

Any recipe that’s healthy, tastes great, and easy to make with only a handful of ingredients is always a winner in my books. Plus, they’re vegetarian! These delightful crispy chickpea nuggets will become a staple in your meal rotation!

Vegetarian nuggets made with chickpeas and oat flour with crispy baked edges.

Key Ingredients for Vegetarian Nuggets

These chickpea nuggets are so delicious and require just a few ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry! Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Chickpeas: Using canned chickpeas is great because it saves you time in the prep and you’ll also be using some of the liquid, known as aquafaba. Don’t toss it away!
  • Oat Flour: The oat flour soaks in some of the moisture in the chickpeas, which helps to give the nuggets some structure.
  • Seasonings: A combination of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and paprika all come together to make these chickpea nuggets taste amazing.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: The crisp factor comes from the breadcrumbs. The chickpea nuggets are coated in panko for that perfectly crunchy texture.
  • Eggs: The eggs allow you to bind the panko breadcrumbs to your chickpea nuggets.

Note: For a full list of ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make this dish, scroll to the bottom!

What To Serve With Crispy Chickpea Nuggets

There are so many delicious healthy sides you can serve with these chickpea nuggets! Crispy baked potato wedges are a classic choice. You could also swap the potatoes for root vegetables by making some crispy turnip fries or baked parsnip fries.

If you need to get your greens in for the day, serve chickpea nuggets with roasted green beans or a leafy green salad.

Recipe Tips And Ideas

These crispy chickpea nuggets are foolproof. Here are some tips to nail this recipe!

  • When you pulse your chickpeas with the remaining ingredients, you want to ensure it still has some texture to it. You don’t want it to turn into a purée so be careful not to overmix. It takes less time that way, anyway!
  • Don’t be afraid to use your hands when forming the nuggets! This is the best way to shape your chickpea mixture.
  • Set up a breading station. Form your chickpeas and set them on a plate. Then, have a bowl with your whisked eggs and another with your breadcrumbs. Set your lined baking sheet right by your breading station so you can place your coated chickpea nuggets right on the pan as you make your way down the assembly line.
  • Flip your chickpea nuggets halfway through for a nice crispy exterior on both sides.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce! I like ketchup, but you can go for mustard, honey mustard, ranch, creamy garlic, or whatever you like!

How to make chickpea nuggets including ingredients, food processor, baking sheet, and crispy baked vegetarian nuggets.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vegetarian Chickpea Nuggets

You’ve probably got a few of these questions on your mind! Here are some answers for you.

Can you make crispy chickpea nuggets in an air fryer?

You can absolutely make crispy chickpea nuggets in an air fryer. If you’ve got one, this is a great opportunity to bust it out. Simply pre-heat your air fryer. Place your crispy chickpea nuggets on the tray or in the basket. Make sure they do not overlap. Air fry them for about 7 minutes. Flip. Air fry for another 7 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!

What could I substitute for the eggs to make this vegan?

If you want to make this recipe vegan, you could use your favorite dairy-free milk mixed with a little olive oil to help get the panko breadcrumbs to stick.

You could also whisk some of the remaining chickpea liquid and use that as a binder for the panko coating.

Can you freeze chickpea liquid or aquafaba?

In this recipe, you’ll only need a couple of tablespoons of the chickpea liquid or aquafaba. You can store the remaining aquafaba in the freezer for future use! A good tip is to pour it into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, you can transfer it to a plastic food bag for easy measurements. It keeps for 4 months!

How long do crispy chickpea nuggets keep in the fridge?

Crispy chickpea nuggets keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. In my household, they’re long gone by then!

What is the best way to reheat crispy chickpea nuggets?

Reheat your crispy chickpea nuggets in the oven. I do not recommend reheating them in the microwave as they tend to get a little soggy. However, you can place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reheat at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until fully warmed through, depending on your oven!

Can I freeze chickpea nuggets?

These chickpea nuggets are very freezer friendly. You can freeze them baked or unbaked! Here are the steps for freezing chickpea nuggets.

  • Lay your chickpea nuggets on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Place it in the freezer.
  • Once the nuggets are frozen, transfer them to a plastic food bag.
  • Keep the nuggets in the freezer for up to 3 months. Label with your expiry date so you don’t forget!
  • To thaw, remove them from the freezer and place them in the fridge to defrost overnight.

Chickpea vegetarian nuggets with oat flour and breadcrumbs with crispy edges.

More Healthy Vegetarian Recipes You’ll Love:

The Recipe
Vegetarian chickpea nuggets in a baking dish with fresh parsley and ketchup.

Vegetarian Chickpea Nuggets

273 CAL 41g CARBS 7g FAT 14g PROTEIN
Leave a comment
  • Print
  • Download
  • Send to your inbox


  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (save liquid)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (whole wheat preferred)

Like this Recipe? Try our Meal Plans!

Slender Kitchen Meal Plans
  • Weekly Meal Plans
  • Easy Shopping List
  • Healthy, Low Carb, & Vegetarian
  • Nutritional Information


(Hide Media)

Switch to prevent your screen from going dark.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Add chickpeas, oat flour, spices, and 2 tbsp of the chickpea canning liquid (aquafaba) into the food processor with spices. Pulse until they are well combined without overmixing. The mixture should still have some texture and shouldn't be a smooth paste.

Chickpea nugget mixture in a food processor.

Set up a breading station with the eaten eggs in a shallow dish and breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Use your hands to form the chickpea mixture into nuggets. Dip in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Vegetarian nuggets on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake the chickpea nuggets for 20 minutes. Carefully flip and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until browned and crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Crispy chickpea nuggets on a baking sheet.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 4-5 nuggets
Amount Per Serving
Calories 273
Calories from Fat 61
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 93mg
Sodium 758mg
Total Carbohydrate 41g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 14g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

user image
About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Vegetarian Chickpea Nuggets
user image
user image
Suzanne M Stephenson
February 18, 2021 - 14:12
Aren't these basically falafel? Or am I missing something?
user image
February 18, 2021 - 14:18
They are definitely similar to falafel since they both have a chickpea base, but there are a few key differences. First, these have a more mild flavor. Falafel usually has lots of fresh herbs, onion, garlic, and lots of Middle eastern spcies.

Secondly, these are breaded with Panko to give them that "nugget" feeling. Falafel usually doesn't have breading and gets crispy when they are fried. Lastly - these are baked not fried, like traditional falafel :) Hope that helps!

Instagram Icon
Did you make this?

Snap a picture and show us what you made on Instagram or Facebook. Tag us using @SlenderKitchen or #slenderkitchen.