The 5 Best Vegan, Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets in 2022

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  • The plant-based chicken nugget section at your local grocery store has likely experienced a recent boom.
  • With so many new vegan nuggets out there, we decided to try 11 popular brands to find the best one.
  • MorningStar Farms’ Chik’n Nuggets won, thanks to their delicious seasoning and convincing texture.

Whether you follow a

vegan diet

or are a self-identifying carnivore who just likes to try new things, there are myriad plant-based chicken nugget options on the market. Some are practically perfect replicas of the real version in appearance and flavor. Others are chicken-adjacent at best but offer something radically different from a nutritional perspective. The worst of the bunch are bland and high in sugar and sodium. In other words, it can be hard to tell what you’re getting based on packaging alone. That’s why I spent a day indulging in vegan chicken nuggets to find the best options for you.

“Plant based nuggets are a great healthy alternative to meat-based nuggets,” Certified Holistic Nutritionist Whitney Miner explains. “For example, Impossible Foods nuggets contain 40% less saturated fat and 25% less sodium. They are also exponentially more eco-friendly, since they’re using less land and water and have lower emissions than meat-based nuggets.”

Besides being generally healthier and more environmentally sound, plant-based nuggets are usually formulated with a protein-rich base like soy isolate, pea protein, or vital wheat gluten. Breading, oils, and seasoning bring them home in terms of flavor.

All of that being said, vegan chicken nuggets are still not considered a “health” food. Miner recommends avoiding high fructose corn syrup and any other ingredients that are hard to pronounce. Checking sugar, sodium, and saturated fat levels can also be helpful depending on your dietary needs.

While I assumed gluten-heavy nuggets were a nutritional no-go, Miner said that’s not the case. “Gluten is not bad for everyone. It’s most harmful for those who suffer from gluten-intolerance related conditions such as celiac disease,” she clarified. “Additionally, research has shown that gluten may be harmful for people with autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid conditions,

type 1 diabetes

Graves disease, etc) and bowel diseases (IBS, chrons).

With all of that in mind, I recruited a friend to help me taste-test an ungodly amount of vegan chicken nuggets from 11 different brands. Below are my top picks and honorable mentions.

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