Grain-Free Copy-Cat Chick Fila Chicken Nuggets


I have a love-hate relationship with Chick-Fil-A– and I want to stay away as much as I can muster. But I came across this recipe on Pinterest and wanted to try it out. I had no idea the secret ingredient to Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets was being marinated in dill juice! I have an amazing, grain free chicken nuggets recipe, that my little family devours any time I make it, but I still sometimes crave Chick-Fil-A. I wanted to see if I could create a recipe that was grain free, but tasted more like Chick-Fil-A.

Below is the recipe I came up with. I tried both frying it in lard and also baking it. It goes without saying that the ones fried in lard tasted much better. But the baked ones were still  yummy and are perfect for being chopped up and added to a big salad for an easy lunch or dinner.

Grain-Free Copy-Cat Chick Fila Chicken Nuggets


  • 2 to 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes (bone in pieces will work too, if going for a more traditional fried chicken option)
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 2 eggs
  • Milk
  • 1 cup almond flour or coconut flour or mix of both
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar (you can omit this for a healthier version, but remember we are trying to compete with Chick-Fil-A here!)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • cooking fat for frying


  1. Marinate the chicken in dill juice for a couple of hours
  2. After it’s done marinating, mix the flour and other dry ingredients in one bowl
  3. Mix eggs and dash of milk in another bowl
  4. Then dump raw chicken into egg mixture
  5. Then dredge chicken in flour mixture
  6. Have a full batch ready to go before you add the first chicken
  7. In a large and deep skillet, heat cooking oil on medium high
  8. Add chicken pieces, cook about 2 minutes on each side
  9. Coconut flour burns quickly, so you gotta work quickly
  10. If the chicken does not cook through, before the crust starts to burn, you can bake them for 10 minutes after frying to finish cooking, and avoid burning the crust

Good luck! Tell me how it turns out!

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  • Jen @JuanitasCocina
    March 29, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    I’m definitely going to pass this grain-free version along to a friend! So glad you liked the pickle juice trick!

  • Elizabeth
    April 12, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Thank you so much for this recipe!!!! I have been searching for something like this!!!!

  • crystal
    April 13, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    would this work with coconut milk?

    • Stephanie
      April 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM


  • Salem
    July 4, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    What if I used some stevia powder instead of powdered sugar? Have you tried that yet? Or what about other sweeteners? I have a really hard time with refined sweeteners. I think I’m going to experiment with this a little, but let me know if you have tried any other sweeteners.

    • Stephanie
      July 5, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      I am not a fan of stevia powder, but if you really wanted to you could. I would just omit the sugar and use honey, but I was trying to get as close to the real deal so I went with regular, organic powdered sugar. Let me know what you end up doing and how it turns out!

  • Delphine
    June 16, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    I came here from your freezer recipe post, how would this be made into a freezer recipe? Cook first? And if so what’s the best way to reheat it to serve? 🙂

    • Stephanie
      June 23, 2016 at 7:39 AM

      Yup, this is a recipe you will want to cook first, let cool, then freeze. Reheat in the oven like normal. 🙂