Turkey Veggie Nuggets Recipe

Avatar for TNI Editorial Team
Written by Stefanie Hamami
SHARE

This post contains links through which we may earn a small commission should you make a purchase from a brand. This in no way affects our ability to objectively critique the products and brands we review.

Cambria Glosz

Cambria Glosz
Nutritional Reviewer

Evidence Based Research To fulfill our commitment to bringing our audience accurate and insightful content, our expert writers and medical reviewers rely on carefully curated research.
Read Our Editorial Policy

There’s something about eating with your hands that just makes everything taste better. Don’t believe us? Try these vegetable-packed turkey nuggets and find out! These veggie nuggets are loaded with carrots and zucchini, but you’d never know by tasting them. 

Have a kid (or adult) that won’t eat their veggies? This recipe for veggie nuggets has got to make it into your weekly meal prep, as they are loved by the whole family. They come together in no time and can be batched in advance for easy weeknight dinners.

These turkey nuggets are perfect for meal prep, picky eaters, and a protein-packed grab-and-go snack. They can be enjoyed for up to 4 days after prepping so long as they are stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container—perfect for meal prepping! They are also freezer-friendly, making them perfect to store for a day when you aren’t sure what to pack in your kid’s lunch boxes.

Are veggie nuggets healthy?

Based on the name “veggie nugget,” you would assume that this is a healthy food. We consider our recipe to be a healthy one because it is baked and uses spices for flavor. 

The veggie nuggets that you find in the frozen food aisle at the market may not have the same nutritional value. Many of these are made with unhealthy oils and loaded with sodium. This really isn’t ideal for anyone. 

If you’re a parent looking for a healthy but fun alternative, we’ve got you. These homemade veggie nuggets are kid-friendly, and you get to control the spice, oil, and cooking method that works for you!

This is all the fun of a fast-food finger food with ingredients that will make you feel good and stay on track with your nutrient goals.

What are veggie nuggets made of?

Our veggie nuggets are made from zucchini, carrots, ground turkey, eggs, breadcrumbs, and spices. You could also tweak these by adding in different vegetables. 

We found that using shreddable veggies (like carrots and zucchini) kept the texture pretty consistent, but you could totally experiment with other veggies, like corn, finely chopped spinach, or riced broccoli or cauliflower. Changing the ingredients will alter the nutritional value we provide and may also change the needed cooking time.

Turkey Veggie Nuggets Ingredients

Here’s what goes into our turkey veggie nuggets:

Ground turkey

We chose turkey for its nutritional value. Ground chicken is also another great option, which would make this a recipe for veggie chicken nuggets.

Egg

This is what binds the nugget together. Without this step, you will have less of a nugget and more of a general mess. We don’t recommend skipping this step! We haven’t tried using flax eggs, but you could experiment with it if you can’t have eggs.

Zucchini

This pretty green veggie is super low in calories (around 30 for a medium-sized zucchini) and adds some fiber and moisture to these nuggets. We also think the flecks of green throughout an otherwise beige food make these look more appetizing—we don’t always want to fully hide veggies! If you have a shredding attachment on your food processor, that will make shredding the zucchini easier.

Carrot

Just like zucchini, carrots are low in calories (25 for a medium carrot) and add color, fiber, and nutrients like vitamins A, K, and C. You can also shred the carrots in your food processor if you have the right attachment.

Breadcrumbs also help with binding the nuggets together and absorbing excess moisture—plus, they provide that golden brown color that everyone loves in chicken nuggets. We like to use a low-salt, flavorless breadcrumb blend and add our own spices, but if you prefer a ready-to-go breadcrumb mix, you could go this route and skip out on adding your own flavoring. 

Panko breadcrumbs should also work here. We haven’t tried it with cracker crumbs, but that could also be an option. 

If you want to make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.

Spices

We use garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper to keep this pretty simple but still flavorful. Feel free to make these your own. You could add Mediterranean spices and dip them in a yogurt-based tzatziki or add your favorite barbeque rub spices and serve them with a side of BBQ sauce or honey mustard.

Turkey Veggie Nuggets Recipe

Turkey Veggie Nuggets Recipe

We reimagined chicken nuggets and have put a healthy spin on them that tastes amazing.

5 from 1 vote

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes

Course dinner
Cuisine American

Servings 4 nuggets
Calories 257 kcal

Ingredients

  

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium size zucchini
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 egg
  • cup breadcrumbs

Spices of choice

  • we use paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper

Instructions

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and line a large baking dish with parchment paper. You may want to spray the parchment paper with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
  • Shred the zucchini and carrots and set aside.
  • Combine all of the ingredients (turkey, egg, shredded zucchini, carrot, breadcrumbs, and spices in a large bowl and mix well).
  • Form your nuggets using an ice cream scooper or large spoon to ensure equal sizing, and place them on the prepared baking sheet with parchment paper. The mixture is quite sticky, so consider using food-safe gloves to shape them.
  • Place the formed veggie nuggets in the preheated oven.
  • After 8 minutes, flip them over and place them back in the oven for an additional 8 minutes or until cooked through. The internal temperature of turkey is 165°F.
  • Remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving warm with your favorite dipping sauce! (Delicious choices include BBQ sauce, honey mustard, dijon mustard, ketchup, or ranch dressing).

Nutrition

Serving: 1 servingCalories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 27gFat: 10gSugar: 5g

Keyword nuggets, turkey, vegetables
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Homemade Veggie Nuggets FAQs

Are turkey nuggets healthy?

Turkey breast is just about the leanest meat you can find. It often gets a bad reputation for being dry and rightfully so. However, we found that adding vegetables like zucchini and carrots that have high water content gives these turkey nuggets some much-needed moisture. Plus, anything dipped in ketchup (we love Primal Kitchen) is pretty delicious. 

These turkey veggie nuggets are filling and packed with good-for-you ingredients. In just 4 ounces of turkey, there are 22 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and 167 calories! That leaves a lot of room for fun sides and dipping sauces when enjoying these nuggets.

What goes in a turkey nuggets recipe?

Our veggie nuggets are made from zucchini, carrots, turkey, eggs, bread crumbs, and spices. You could also tweak these by adding in different vegetables or using ground chicken instead of turkey (which would make delicious chicken nuggets). We found that using shreddable veggies (like carrots and zucchini) kept the texture pretty consistent, but you could totally experiment with corn, finely chopped spinach, or riced broccoli or cauliflower.

Can you make homemade chicken nuggets in the air fryer?

While we haven’t tried making veggie chicken nuggets (or these turkey nuggets) in the air fryer, we are guessing it would work great and come out delicious! 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating