Veggie Nuggets

Veggie NuggetsAs a mom, I hold these truths to be self-evident:

  1. Kids love finger food.
  2. Kids love dipping.
  3. Kids love nuggets.

Well, at least my kids do.

These Veggie Nuggets hit that trifeca of kid-friendliness. Because sometimes veggies can be a hard sell with the younger set. I’m not a fan of “hiding” veggies in other foods as the sole way of serving them–I think fresh veggies should be fixtures on the table too. But I AM a fan of trying all kinds of spins on preparing them.

Veggie NuggetsThese Veggie Nuggets would be fun for snacks or meals or tucked into lunch boxes. You can serve them either warm or cold, with some ketchup or honey-mustard sauce on the side for dipping. The recipe is adapted from the blog Red Round or Green. You can see the original version here and get all of Bri’s recipes here.

Veggie NuggetsI’ll be honest: These nuggets were a bit polarizing in my household. I could eat them all the day long (and I prefer them cold). My younger son says they’re too spicy (leave out the black pepper if your kids are spice-averse too). His friend, who was over to play when I was making them, loved them so much I sent some home with him.

Moral of the story: You won’t know until you try. If you make a batch of these, I hope you’ll let me know how YOUR kids like them!

Veggie Nuggets

4.8 from 6 reviews
Veggie Nuggets
Serves: Makes 25 nuggets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ seasoned breadcrumbs, divided
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  1. Shred carrots (I use my food processor's shredding attachment).
  2. Steam broccoli in the microwave for two minutes or until tender.
  3. Place shredded carrots, steamed broccoli, garlic, eggs, 1 cup of the breadcrumbs, cheese, onion powder, and black pepper in food processor and pulse for 15 seconds or until well combined. Mixture should form easily into a ball. If it's too crumbly, add water one teaspoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Form mixture into balls, about a tablespoon each (I use a cookie scoop). You should get about 25 nuggets. Flatten slightly into round discs about ½-inch thick.
  5. Place remaining ¼ cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Coat each veggie nuggets with breadcrumbs.
  6. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat until it sizzles when sprinkled with water droplets.
  7. Arrange nuggets in skillet and cook about 4 minutes each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  8. Serve with honey-mustard sauce, ketchup, or other favorite dip.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 nuggets Calories: 140 Fat: 5g Carbohydrates: 17g Sugar: 2g Sodium: 281mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 7g Cholesterol: 44mg

Veggie Nuggets Pinterest Collage

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  1. Molly says

    They sound delicious but, of course, anything deep fried is delicious. But weren’t you one of the moms who complained when Texas schools decided to end the ban on deep fryers in cafeteria kitchens? Just because there are veggies inside doesn’t change the fact they are boiled in fat. Please explain your reasoning. Thanks!

    • says

      Molly–these aren’t deep fried. You use one tablespoon of oil for 25 nuggets. That works out to about 1.1 gram of fat per serving. Deep frying is when you submerge something in oil.

      • Julie says

        Great, thanks!

        I’m also interested to hear your thoughts on various cooking and baking oils. We switched to canola oil years ago after reading somewhere that it’s the better option, but I’ve also recently seen articles decrying it. I don’t have time to do all the proper research myself, and so many articles are biased or polarized or extreme (as I find to be the case with many things related to nutrition, parenting, and politics…) so I’m curious what your opinions are, as an informed expert. Thanks in advance!

        • says

          Julie–In terms of health, canola oil has a nice fat profile because it’s rich in monounsaturated fats. It also has a pretty neutral flavor and can withstand high heat, so it’s pretty versatile for cooking. The concern some people have with canola oil is that most of the crop is genetically modified. I’m guessing that what you’ve heard in terms of negative press. I use several different kinds of oil, but olive and canola are my two favorite. If you want to use canola oil but don’t want GMOs, you can look for canola oil that is non-GMO verified.

        • Dorota | says

          Sally, canola oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids too. It has more this healthy fatty acids than olive oil. But when you use it for cooking or baking, most of them are destroyed. Of course it’s not dangerous for health, but maybe that’s why some people don’t recommend canola oil for cooking. It’s worth trying unrefined canola oil raw, with salad or something. However, remember that for cooking you need to use refined oil.

        • DJ says

          Can oil really be fattening? I heard someone say olive oil and cooking oil have calories and if you put oil on your salad it is like pouring sugar on it. That’s not true is it? I love oil and I eat a lot of it on everything and I cook everything with oil and I do have trouble controlling my weight. I wonder if I am using the wrong oil or what.

  2. says

    These look so good! When I was little, we used to go to this old steak restaurant downtown which made these “veggie sticks”– we used to eat so many of them! They were deep fried though, so this version seems better 🙂

  3. Michele says

    Sally, this recipe looks great. Because I am trying to follow a vegan diet (and am trying to get my cholesterol level back to about 138 where it was 3 years ago when I was exercising more!), I’d like to find a way to make these without cheese and eggs. I know this request may be unrealistic, but do you have any suggestions?

    • says

      Hi Michele–I have not tested it with this, but you could substitute a mixture of ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon) and water (3 tablespoons). You could also try non-dairy cheese as a substitute. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

  4. Amy says

    I found the mixture to be somewhat runny and difficult to form. I think there was too much water left in the broccoli after steaming. Next time I will pat the broccoli dry or add more bread crumbs. Both the munchkin and husband liked them a lot.

  5. Suzi says

    I just found this recipe, and will try it with my two (3 &1) but I’m looking for a way to add some protein. Do you think you could add some chickpeas to the food pro as well and have it blend right into the mix?

  6. Nicole says

    I was just wondering if i can use something to replace the egg? my daughter is allergic but i think she would love these

    • says

      Hi Nicole–I have not tested it with this, but you could substitute a mixture of ground flaxseed (1 tablespoon) and water (3 tablespoons) for the egg.

  7. Katie Miller says

    Do these freeze well? I just made them tonight but am afraid my one little one won’t eat them fast enough. Has anyone tried that?

    • says

      Hi Katie–I haven’t tried freezing them but think they would do fine. I would also feel comfortable keeping them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

  8. jaclyn says

    Oh my. My 1 year old has been boycotting all veggies lately (… or really anything other than cheese), so I thought I’d try these. They are delicious! My husband and I kept eating them up as they came out of the pan. Best news – my daughter loved them too! I think they could even make a nice app for our next dinner party. Thanks!

  9. Lucy L. says

    These nuggets are AWESOME! I made them thinking my 18 month old daughter MIGHT try them and although she wasn’t ready to, my husband and I loved them! We topped them with sliced avocado and they were delightful! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  10. Mandi says

    Looking forward to trying this recipe for my 3 little ones! Do you think these would freeze well? I thought about double the recipe and freezing a batch so I have some on hand if they like them. Have you tried this at all?

    • Nat says

      YES!! I made these broccoli nuggets in the pan as the recipe calls for. Then I placed them in ziplock bags and placed the bags in a tupperware. Then I place 4-5 nuggets on a microwave safe plate and heat for 1:30 uncovered. Now you can make an entire bag at the beginning of the month rather than buying frozen nuggets.

      (You could go with just the plastic bags, but I like the tupperware because I can stack thing sin my freezer this way. So long as the bags are strong enough to prevent freeze burn.)

  11. B Stout says

    I made these for my 1.5 year old and she absolutely LOVES them! The only thing I did different was bake them, they turned out great and taste delicious! I alsp lovw the fact that I can freeze these and pop them in the oven for a quick dinner or in todays case – lunch! I cannot wait to try more of ypur recipes. Thank you for making healthy so easy and delicious!

  12. says

    Oh my gosh, these are so good! My husband and I had to hold back so there’d be some for our one year old who also loved them! I used a package of frozen mixed veggies and added about 1/4 cup chic peas. Could I have your permission to share a modified version on my (soon-to-launch) blog? I would certainly include a link back to your original recipe. No worries if you’d rather I didn’t post. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!


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