Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Grain-Free Chili Ranch Chicken Bites

Note: This post is sponsored by Naturally Fresh® and The Motherhood, and I was compensated for my time and recipe development. All opinions, pictures, and experiences are my own, and I hope you enjoy them. As always, money earned through sponsored posts will be donated, and I thank you greatly for giving me that ability! 

Party food. It’s basically the best, right? I am positive I could live on dips, maybe with a stuffed jalapeno and chicken wing thrown in there. And there is no time for party food like the Super Bowl.

I have zero interest in football. This morning I had a Trivia Crack question about who played in the 2014 Super Bowl, and I had no idea. I went to a party on campus. I swear! I cooked amazing chicken chili, which won a cook-off. But I had no idea who played in the game.

Naturally Fresh and The Motherhood asked if I would develop a Super Bowl snack recipe using one of their dressings. When I read that their dressings and dips have no preservatives or artificial colors or flavorings, I was sold! I hopped down to Publix and found a jar in the refrigerated section, near salads. Imagine that – the Ranch dressing is made with actual buttermilk that needs to be refrigerated.

I was impressed with the ingredients list, especially how low sugar is on the list; and I recognized all the ingredients on the label. I’ve been experimenting with making my own Paleo mayonnaise, mostly so I can make Ranch dressing. But so far that has been a disaster. And I am not eating dairy-free, so I’d much rather grab a nice jar of Ranch that I know tastes good than do battle with my immersion blender and have a kitchen splattered with olive oil again.

Ranch chicken bites


Since I am trying to eat grain-free right now, I decided to make a little chicken nugget that fits my diet. The chicken is marinated in Ranch dressing and spices, a technique I’ve used for years to make great pork chops. These are then breaded with almond meal and fried in palm oil shortening (or whatever you want to use for deep frying – it’s an oil I feel comfortable using).

I thought these were delicious, but I wasn’t sure if I could sell my kids on the gluten-free breading. Libbie happened to come by when I was trying them, though, and was ecstatic to be a taste-tester. And she LOVED them. Woohoo! These may be a good lunchbox staple, too.

Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

Yield: about 40 chicken bites

Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

Delicious fried chicken nuggets take on a new flavor profile after being marinated in Ranch dressing and coated with almond meal.


  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. Naturally Fresh® Classic Ranch dressing, plus more for dipping
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • oil for deep frying - I used palm oil shortening
  • salt for sprinkling


Toss cubed chicken with the Ranch dressing, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate at least half an hour.

Set up three bowls for coating chicken. In the first, put coconut flour. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, mix almond meal, salt, and pepper.

Heat shortening or oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Your oil should be about 1 inch deep. Test to see if oil is ready by using the end of a wooden spoon. If bubbles form around it, it is hot enough. Watch your oil and keep it fairly low. If too hot, the almond meal will easily burn.

Coat chicken pieces in coconut flour, then egg, then almond meal. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until chicken feels firm, flipping in the oil once. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate, and immediately sprinkle lightly with salt. Fry in batches, being careful not to overcrowd chicken.

Serve with extra Ranch dressing for dipping.


Cutting chicken while it is partially frozen will make it easier to get even cubes. For a spicier nugget, you can add some cayenne to the marinade or to the almond coating.

Want some more gluten-free party food for your Super Bowl shindig? Try one of these!

Do you have a favorite Super Bowl party food? Anyone who leaves me a relevant comment will be entered to win a coupon for a free bottle of Naturally Ranch dressing. Woo! 

4 thoughts on “Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

  1. Those look really delicious. I too could live off of dips alone. And Naturally Fresh is without a doubt the best store bought dressing. I discovered that when working at Chuck E. Cheese’s in high school-that is (or at least was) what they put on their salad bar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *