6 Vegan Chicken Nuggets that Give the Drive-Thru a Run for Its Money

We go through so many vegan chicken nuggets in my house. We can’t seem to buy enough of them. Since I keep a predominantly plant-based diet and my girlfriend can’t cook at all (sorry, Kendahl), frozen meatless chicken nuggets are perfect to have on hand for a quick and easy meal.

Isabelle Roy, designer for Mythical, joined the Sporked team to help us figure out which meat-free chicken nuggets on the market are perfect to crush your fast food cravings vs. which ones taste like tofu gone wrong. We were looking for nuggets that are juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside and have a savory flavor. These nuggets knocked it out of the park:

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Best of the Best

Impossible Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets

It is wild how good and chickeny the Impossible Nuggets are. The texture and flavor are so incredible, and we all agreed that these felt the closest to a real chicken nugget. Danny Palumbo, Sporked staff writer, pointed out that they are “noticeably juicier” than the other nuggets we tried. They’re the only plant-based chicken product I’ve ever tasted that has the flavor of actual dark meat chicken. And now you can get them for cheap at Trader Joe’s? Absolute win.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best for Kids

Yummy Meatless Plant-Based Dino Buddies

The nostalgia factor is off the charts with these Yummy Meatless Dino Nuggets. As someone who grew up not eating meat, I was always jealous when other kids got dino chicken nuggets. They looked so good! Imagine my delight when I found out that they now make a meat-free version of the crunchy creatures I coveted in my youth. I still keep a mostly plant-based diet at home, so I will definitely be adding these into my vegan junk food rotation. They taste exactly like the regular dino nuggets.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Budget

365 Frozen Chicken-Style Plant-Based Nuggets

365 (Whole Foods’ house brand) is super affordable compared to everything else sold in their store and certainly worth checking out. If you want meatless nuggets without paying the typically high plant-based price tag, toss these into your shopping cart. They cook up quickly in the air fryer and have a great crunchy texture. The breading is seasoned but doesn’t overpower the taste of the chickenless chicken.

Credit: Merc / Whole Foods

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Natural

Jack & Annie’s Crispy Jackfruit Nuggets

Jack & Annie’s Jackfruit Nuggets taste like delicious, processed chicken nuggets, which is shocking because they have the fewest ingredients. We haven’t been into some of their other products, so we were pleasantly surprised by these tasty nuggs. They’re flavorful and crunchy. Like a fast-food nugget, they are a little bit bland, but in a good way! They aren’t punching you in the face with flavor and would make a great vehicle for dipping. If you’re someone that’s more into the sauce than the nugget itself (me), these are for you.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Most Nostalgic

Alpha Foods Original Chik’n Nuggets

Alpha chik’n is good chik’n. I’m a longtime fan of their chik’n patties because they sell them for cheap at Costco, so I was happy to finally try their nuggets. They have a crumb-forward, crunchy breading that ends up all over your fingers while you’re eating and makes you feel like a little kid. These don’t taste like fast food nuggets, though. They taste like the nuggets someone else’s mom would make you at an after school playdate. The kind you’d eat while wearing a swimsuit and watching Arthur. Nostalgia, unlocked.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Gluten-Free

Like Meat Plant-Based Nuggets

These Like Meat Nuggets had a lighter coating than some of the others we tried which, to me, made them feel a little more grown-up. It felt like the breading was meant to accent the filling rather than cover it up. These also packed far more flavor than most of the nuggets we tried. They have almost a chicken bouillon flavor, like a packet of instant ramen, which made my mouth salivate. You could absolutely dip these in sauce but, to be honest, you don’t have to. That’s how flavorful they are!

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • I do like the morning star ones but that’s just my opinion

    Reply
    • i completely agree.

      Reply
  • I am very excited to see that plant based dino nuggets exist! I’ve been making my own out of tofu, panko, and cookie cutters. I’m definitely going to try these.

    Reply
  • Missing my personal fave Quorn Chicken nuggets, and also would like to know how good Nuggs are, always see them in East Coast, but have never tried.

    Reply
    • Hi Surry! Quorn nuggets are vegetarian and not vegan so that’s why they aren’t on the list. But I agree, they are good! We tried Nuggs and they did not make the list.

      Reply