Sunday, July 21, 2019

Turkey and Zucchini Nuggets

Turkey and Zucchini Nuggets

     In the photo above I hadn't asked my son to pose for the picture, he was grabbing for these nuggets beacause he loves them so much! That's right, I found something that has protein and veggies in it that my 3 year old loves! If you have a surplus of zucchini this time of year this is the perfect recipe for you.

     When my husband Brian and I were first married I decided it would be fun to start a small garden in our backyard. I jumped in like I do with most things. Without a plan, and without reading too much  about how to plant a garden. In our small space I planted two zucchini plants, four tomato plants, a bell pepper plant, and a jalepeno plant. I was so excited to see the fruit of our labor once the plants started blooming! We had way too many plants for our tiny garden but I didn't care, I had grown these vegetables myself. Very soon after, our garden was overflowing with more zucchini than I knew what to do with. I did what every backyard farmer does and made tons of zucchini bread. 
     These days we can't have as much traditional zucchini bread in our house so I have been looking for new ways to use it. The key to these little nuggets is to put them under the broiler the last few minutes so they turn a little brown on the outside. If you have an air fryer they get really crispy on the outside, so much so that my three year old ate five of these in one sitting! He had no idea I was feeding him turkey and vegetables! This recipe can also be changed depending on what spices you have on hand or what you are craving! Just keep the zucchini, meat, egg, and salt the same and switch up your spices! 

 The picture below is what the nuggets look like out of the oven without the air fryer, still really yummy but not as crispy as in the air fryer! 

Turkey and Zucchini Nuggets
Makes 20

-1pound ground turkey or chicken
-1 egg
-2 cups shredded zucchini ( I leave the peel on and use my food processor but a box grater works)
-1 tsp salt
-olive oil spray or olive oil to brush onto the nuggets

Here is the fun part! You can switch up the seasonings based on the rest of your meal!
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder

Savory Zucchini Nuggets
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

My son prefers them with just basil and parsley!

Preheat oven to 400

1) In a large bowl crack the egg and beat with a fork until the white is mixed with the yolk. Stir in the ground turkey or chicken, zucchini, salt, and spices of your choice. Mix well until the zucchini and chicken are well incorporated.

2) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spay a sheet tray with olive oil spray.

3)Using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon drop the mixture onto the sheet pan and flatten with the back of a fork to make a little patty. Spray the nuggets with olive oil spray or brush lightly with olive oil. This will help them to crisp up.

4) Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and bake for another 7 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165.

5) Remove the sheet pan from the oven and turn the oven on broil. Remove the parchment paper ( so it doesn't burn) and return the nuggets to the pan. Broil for 1 min per side or until slightly browned, watching closely so they do not burn. I like to sprinkle a little salt on them when they come out to add a little more flavor.

Serve with ketchup, mustard, guacamole, or marina sauce depending on which spices you chose!


These nuggets got very crispy in the air fryer and also reheat really well. For the air fryer cook at 350 for 15 minutes turning over once during cooking time. To reheat in the air fryer place in a single layer and cook on 350 for 5 minutes.

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