Gone are the times when chicken nuggets were for picky kids only. They have long surpassed the age boundaries and have become a favorite of children and adults alike. Crisp on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside, light on the stomach, convenient, and readily available, chicken nuggets make a delicious appetizer and a perfect solution for those untimely hunger pangs and midnight cravings.
With the rise of veganism, everyone’s favorite chicken treat has also transformed and is now widely available in plant-based versions. But, with so many meatless chicken nuggets options available, one may wonder where to start.
To save you from any bad experience and from getting scarred by plant-based chicken nuggets for life, I have picked the best vegan chicken nuggets brands out there. Choose any from these, pair them up with your favorite vegan dipping sauce, and enjoy a comforting snack without compromising on your dietary restrictions and ethical commitments.
The Best Vegan Chicken Nuggets Brands
1. MorningStar Farms
A division of the renowned American multinational food company Kellogg’s, MorningStar Farms is one of the oldest plant-based food companies. It was founded in 1975 and had been producing plant-based variations of various traditional meat products ever since.
Transitioning from vegetarian to become a fully vegan food brand by the end of 2021, MorningStar Farms offers some great-tasting vegan chicken nuggets options. Made from soy protein, the nuggets are available in four varieties – classic, BBQ, Veggie Sweet Mustard, and Veggie Zesty Ranch. These plant-based chik’n nuggets are also crisp, tender, and lightly seasoned.
In addition to their delicious flavor, these vegan chicken nuggets offer 12 grams of plant-based protein per serving and contain 42% less fat than the classic chicken nuggets, making them a comparatively healthier option as well.
Do give MorningStar farms Chik’n Nuggets a try if you’re craving some good meatless nuggets.
SIMULATE is a new food technology company based in SoHo, Manhattan. It was established in 2018 by a young Australian technology entrepreneur, Pen Pasternak, to encourage and speed up the transition to sustainable nutrition by simulating traditional meat products with plant ingredients.
Guess what this cutting-edge startup’s signature product is? You guessed it right: meatless chicken nuggets!
Named NUGGS, the plant-based nuggets were launched in July 2019 only and have already gained a cult following. They are also often referred to as the “Tesla of Chicken Nuggets” and the company producing them is known as known as one of the
NUGGS are made with a proprietary mix of wheat and soy protein and have been perfected over a year, with the help of consumer feedback, to bring them as close to the classic chicken nuggets in appearance, texture, and taste.
While they look and taste almost the same as meat-based nuggets, NUGGS have more protein and significantly less fat. The company also claims it is 100% cholesterol-free. Available in two varieties–original and spicy–these plant-based chicken nuggets will give you the closest texture and flavor to the authentic chicken nuggets.
An added advantage of buying NUGGS meatless chicken nuggets is that they can be delivered to your doorstep without any extra charges since the company offers free express shipping.
No more rushing to the grocery store when you run out of vegan nuggets. Place an order online at the company’s website and have the delicious vegan snacks shipped to your home!
Gardein is a certified vegan food brand owned by Pinnacle Foods Inc. The company offers a plant-based substitute for a range of meat products, including chicken nuggets.
Gardein has two varieties of meatless nuggets: Ultimate Plant-Based Chick’n Nuggets and Crispy Golden Chick’n Nuggets, which are made with protein and wheat flour. With just 0.5 g of saturated fat and less than 1 g of sugars, the plant-based nuggets are healthier than the original chicken nuggets but taste exactly the same.
In fact, according to user reviews, if not informed, many people cannot identify that they are eating vegan nuggets. That’s how similar they taste to chicken nuggets.
4. Alpha Foods
Alpha Foods is also a newer food company established to simplify plant-based eating. The company aims to make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle easier by making plant-based versions of the foods people are used to eating every day, so you don’t have to make any significant changes in your food choices.
As the brand attests, Alpha Foods’ Chik’n Nuggets are meatless and mouthwatering. They are also non-GMO, cholesterol-free, and Halal-certified, making them a viable option for health-conscious and Muslim vegans.
These meat-free nuggets are made with soy and wheat protein and come cooked in frozen form, making them a great option for your midnight cravings or when you need a quick, filling snack.
All you have to do is heat these Alpha Foods vegan chicken nuggets in the oven or microwave, pair them with your favorite dipping sauces, and enjoy.
BOCA has been producing low-fat, meatless, frozen products since the late 1970s. Kraft Foods acquired the company in 2000, and BOCA now operates as Kraft’s subsidiary.
BOCA’s Original Chik’n Veggie Nuggets are made with soy protein and offer 14 grams of proteins per serving. Each serving of these meatless nuggets provides 10% of the daily recommended amount of iron, giving them a higher nutritional value than original nuggets.
Do give these a try if you’re looking for a more nutritional and healthier vegan alternative to chicken nuggets.
6. 365 Everyday Value
If you’re a health enthusiast living in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K., you can’t not be aware of Whole Foods. The supermarket chain has long been working to bring organic foods within everyone’s reach. Its 365 Everyday Value line, introduced in 1997, was a major step in that direction. It covers an extensive range of healthy, organic, non-GMO foods across multiple categories, including vegan.
Its Breaded Chickenless Nuggets are not only 100% plant-based; they are also free of cholesterol and saturated fats. While they don’t offer as much protein as the other vegan nuggets mentioned above, they offer a powerful punch of flavors and are super affordable.
If you’re looking for vegan nuggets with a hint of spice, 365 Everyday Value’s vegan nuggets make a great option. Seasoned with paprika, rosemary, garlic, onion powder, and a variety of other spices, these meatless nuggets will create an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
7. Yves Veggie Cuisine
Yves doesn’t need any introduction. The Canadian brand has been catering to the needs of plant-based eaters since 1983. The company also offers Veggie Chick’n Nuggets.
Yves’ vegan nuggets are made with wheat and soy protein and fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. They are low in saturated fats, GMO-free, and contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, making them a good option for people who avoid meat for health reasons.
8. Dr. Praeger’s
If you happen to be a vegan with a soy allergy, most vegan nuggets available on the market may not be good for you, as most vegan nuggets options available on the market contain soy protein.
Fortunately, Dr. Praeger’s is a New Jersey-based natural frozen foods company that manufactures plant-based nuggets for its vegan consumers. It blends seven vegetables, including the highly nutritious collard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, and kale. Hence, they make up the brand’s Super Greens Veggie Nuggets.
While the veggies provide a good amount of nutrients, the addition of pea protein and flaxseeds further enhance the nutritional profile of these healthy vegan nuggets. They are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and soy-free. So, if you happen to be a vegan with a soy allergy or gluten intolerance, Dr. Praeger’s vegan nuggets are the perfect snack choice for you!
Dr. Praeger’s is run by cardiac surgeons, so when they say that their vegan nuggets are healthy, you can trust their word. With 14 grams of Pure Plant protein per serving, these vegan nuggets are inarguably the most thoughtfully manufactured ones from the whole lot.
Wegmans’ line of frozen products includes Don’t Be Chicken Meatless Chicken Style Nuggets, another amazing choice for vegans craving chicken nuggets. Made with soy protein, these great-tasting vegan nuggets are free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. They also contain 1 gram of saturated fat and less than 1 gram of total sugars. Wegmans’ vegan nuggets offer 13 grams of protein per serving.
10. Meatless Farm
Meatless Farm Chik’n Nuggets not only look exactly like your classic chicken nuggets; they also taste quite similar and will give you the satisfaction that many other vegan nuggets may fail to provide. They are made with pea protein, cornflakes, and bamboo fiber and provide 11 grams of protein per serving. If you have picky vegan eaters, these meatless nuggets are guaranteed to please them.
What Is the Best Vegan Chicken Nugget Brand?
All the brands discussed above offer great-tasting vegan nuggets. Choose any of them, and you won’t be disappointed with the flavor. However, if you’re also considering other factors aside from the flavor, some of these brands may make better options for you.
For example, if you’re a health freak or have food sensitivities, Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens Veggie Nuggets will be your best option. You may also opt for MorningStar Farms if you prefer variety, as the brand offers vegan nuggets in three different flavors.
Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value brand is the right fit for consumers who only eat organic food or are looking for affordable options. For those looking for Halal-certified vegan nuggets, Alpha Foods is the answer.
Make Your Own Vegan Nuggets
If you’re feeling experimental and in the mood for cooking, you can also make your own vegan nuggets at home. It may seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a new vegan or an amateur cook. However, they are very easy to make. Check out the following video to get a simple vegan chicken nuggets recipe:
· What are meatless chicken nuggets made of?
Vegan nuggets can be made using a variety of plant-based ingredients. The most commonly used ones are pea protein, wheat, and soy protein. Most companies use a combination of plant proteins and various spices to replicate the texture and flavor of authentic chicken nuggets.
· Are vegan chicken nuggets healthier?
Vegan chicken nuggets are often claimed to be a healthier alternative to the classic, meat-based ones. But, it isn’t always the case. Just like meat products, not all plant-based foods are healthy. The calorie count and nutrient profile of various vegan nuggets can vary significantly. Therefore, always check the label to confirm how healthy the vegan nugget you’re considering buying is.
· Are plant-based chicken nuggets good?
Just like any other product, not all plant-based nuggets taste good. However, there are plenty of great-tasting options available, and the ones that we have discussed above are, in fact, some of the best ones.
Having said that, vegan nuggets are certainly good for the environment and the planet. By opting for plant-based nuggets instead of meat ones, you’re also contributing to reducing animal cruelty.
All in all, vegan nuggets, or any other vegan product per se, give you the satisfaction that you’re doing something good for the animals and the planet.
Did you find this article helpful? Interested to learn what brands offer the best vegan options for other popular meat products? Check out my article Best Vegan Pepperoni Brands to find out the best vegan options for everyone’s favorite vegan pepperoni brands.