Gluten Free Fried Chicken Nuggets #CanolaConnect

canola oilA couple weeks ago, I was invited to an event at the Distinctive Appliances showroom called “Fried Chicken in the Kitchen”, hosted by Canola Oil and one of my favourite Toronto chef personalities, Matt Basile. Fried chicken? SIGN me up! Not only did I learn a whole lot about the right way to fry chicken, but I also left with a deeper appreciation for Canadian farmers. If you’re looking for a gluten free chicken nugget recipe, I’ve got one for you!


Disclosure : This post is in partnership with Canola Oil but, as always, opinions are TOTALLY ours!




I had a chance to meet a fellow mom who is also a farmer and hear her stories about the love that goes into their farm and the goods they produce. Her family’s farm produces a couple items that end up at our dinner table, one of which is Canola oil. Did you know that Canola stands for “Canada’s oil”? I grew up in Dubai, where my family did cook with Canola, but I knew nothing about its benefits. If anything, I always assumed that Olive oil was the healthier of the two!

gluten free chicken nugget

At the event I learned that  Canola oil is not only a great source of vitamins E and K, it’s also packed with omega-3 fats (an anti-inflammatory that can help protect against heart attacks and strokes) and is a source of omega-6 (important for the brain and essential for the growth and development of children). It also has the lowest amount of saturated fats—half that of olive oil!

popcorn oil

Canola oil in Canada goes through rigorous testing procedures and the industry is heavily regulated, which means that what we find on shelf is of the highest quality thanks to 43,000 family farmers in the Canadian Prairies who make it. Many of us use Canola oil on the BBQ because of its ability to handle high temperatures but it’s also great for cooking and frying. Chris uses Canola oil when we make popcorn at home and I’ve been using it for our dinners as well.

My favourite dish at the event? Matt’s Singapore Chicken, and hopefully he’ll share that sauce recipe soon! He recently shared the recipe for my second favourite dish that night, Nashville Hot Fried Chicken. I was surprised when he told us that his restaurant, Lisa Marie, and the food truck, used 17 acres of Canola oil last year! Another surprising tidbit from him that evening was that canola oil is great at absorbing flavours.

best fried chicken canola oil

I picked up a fair number of tricks to make great fried chicken but I decided to switch things up a bit and make a gluten free version for our week night dinner. The kids polished it up really quickly but what I loved was how they asked me to pack the leftovers for lunch the next day. Dinner and lunchbox solved with one meal? Oh yeaaaaa!

I made our fried chicken in our Activfryer with two spoons of Canola oil but you can easily fry these little nuggets in a pan of Canola oil as well. Using cornmeal gave the nuggets a nice crispy texture which the kids loved.

Cooking with canola oil

  • 2 cups of cornmeal
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 spoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 spoon of parsley (optional)
  • 1 lb boneless chicken (I like skinless chicken breasts sliced into 1-inch pieces)
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix the cornmeal with the garlic powder, salt, pepper and parsley. Dip chicken pieces in the beaten eggs, and then press into the cornmeal mix. Once all the pieces have been coated, dust them in the cornmeal mix one more time. Pour enough oil to come to halfway up the sides of the skillet. When it’s about 375 degrees, cook the chicken nuggets until they are no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear (usually takes about 2 to 3 minutes per side). As Matt mentioned at the event, you want the meat thermometer to read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). If you do end up frying the nuggets in a pan, be sure to let the cooked pieces sit on  some kitchen towels so that the oil can be absorbed.
 Gluten free chicken nuggetsgluten free chicken nugget

I know noodles are not what one usually serves with chicken nuggets with but that’s exactly what I did. My kids enjoyed the gluten free buttered pasta with the nuggets and some steamed broccoli while the hubs and I enjoyed a spicier version. I added 2 spoons of hot sauce and a spoon of garlic bbq sauce into each of our plates and it was just perfect!


gluten free chicken nugget