Clean Chickpea Nashville Hot Chicken

4.5 from 2 votes

Juicy and savory fried chicken made with clean ingredients!

Our juicy fried chicken is the perfect comfort food dinner option!

Imagine the satisfying, savory aromas of comforting fried chicken meandering its way through your kitchen. When a meal smells that good while it’s cooking, think about how incredible it’s going to taste when you finally get to eat it! While fried chicken isn’t typically the healthiest option, we did find a way to slim the recipe down by using healthier, more nutritious ingredients. Our clean chickpea Nashville hot chicken is a mouth-watering dream come true for clean-eaters everywhere!

Healthy Ingredient Swaps for Lower-Calorie Comfort Food

This clean chickpea nashville hot chicken is the perfect balance f savory and spicy!

The very first thing that we did to slash calories from this recipe was to use skinless chicken thighs. Removing the skin can cut hundreds of calories and fat from your meal.

Next, traditional fried chicken recipes use all-purpose flour, but we decided to go with chickpea flour. Not only is chickpea flour a gluten-free option, but it also has a higher nutritional value compared to all-purpose flour. It offers more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein while containing fewer carbohydrates and calories! 

A wonderful thing about spices is that they add a whole bunch of flavor to a recipe without tacking on a bunch of calories. The blend of spices used in this chickpea Nashville hot chicken enhances the flavor profile with a savory, spicy kick!

Finally, classic fried chicken is usually cooked in canola oil, which tends to be highly processed. We swapped in avocado oil for this recipe. Avocado oil is unrefined, meaning it contains more nutrients and healthy fats. It also has a high smoke point and very little taste, making it great for frying perfectly-seasoned chicken!

Making this Crave-Worthy Homemade Fried Chicken

Our chickpea nashville hot chicken is made with healthier ingredients that still taste amazing!

In less than a half-hour, this clean-eating comfort food can be on the table and ready to enjoy! There are several steps involved, but they’re all pretty simple!

First, add the almond milk and apple cider vinegar to a small bowl and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. This will give the mixture time to curdle. I know it sounds weird, but this actually creates a dairy-free alternative to buttermilk!

In the meantime, add the chickpea flour, sweet paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix well until everything is evenly combined. Note that you can reduce the amount of cayenne pepper if you’d like to make the chicken less spicy. In another medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, hot sauce, and almond milk mixture.

Pour the avocado oil into a deep pot and heat the oil to 325°F. Pat the chicken dry and dredge each piece in the dry chickpea seasoning mix before dipping it into the egg mixture. Then, dip it back into the dry mix. Be sure to shake off any excess flour each time to keep the outer coating intact while frying.

Finally, place the dredged thighs into the oil and cook them for about 10 to 12 minutes. You should be able to cook three to four chicken thighs at a time. Flip the chicken every few minutes to cook evenly. When finished, the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh should read 165°F, and the coating should be crispy and a beautiful golden brown color!

Remove the chicken and let it cool over a drying rack. If you don’t have a rack, you can lay it on some paper towels. While the chicken is cooling, mix together the spicy oil seasonings in a medium heat-proof bowl. Carefully remove a half-cup of avocado oil from the pot and stir it into the seasoning. Allow the oil to cool and then brush a little bit of it over each fried chicken thigh. This will add another wonderful, juicy flavor layer to your chickpea Nashville hot chicken!

The Leftovers Taste Just as Yummy!

Take a big, juicy bite out of our clean-eating fried chicken.

Did you end up with leftovers? Lucky you! This recipe is just as good the next day. In fact, it will last in the refrigerator for two to three days. You could shred it and eat it cold, but our favorite way to enjoy the leftovers is nice and hot like the night before! We recommend reheating the leftover fried chicken in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 20 minutes to recreate the original crispy coating. Be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn! 

What to Serve with Clean Chickpea Nashville Hot Chicken

This healthy fried chicken is savory and delicious!

Whether you’re making this meal for a few people or for a large group, you’re going to need some delicious sides to go along with it. We have some incredibly flavorful (but still healthy) options for you to choose from.

If you’re in the mood for a healthier Southern dinner, consider pairing our hot chicken with these tasty sides:

Throwing a party in the backyard? These sides are perfect to go along with this fried chicken:

4.5 from 2 votes

Clean Chickpea Nashville Hot Chicken

Get your Southern chicken fix with this gluten-free and dairy-free recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 8 people
Serving Size 1 chicken thigh
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southern
Author Kelsey Butler, MS, RDN

Ingredients

  • 8 chicken thighs skinless
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs large
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 4 cups avocado oil

Spicy Oil

  • 1/2 cup frying oil
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk with apple cider vinegar and let sit, allowing the mixture to curdle, about 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine chickpea flour with seasonings in a medium bowl
  • In another bowl, whisk together eggs, hot sauce, and the almond milk mixture
  • In a deep pot, heat oil to 325°F
  • Pat chicken dry and dredge in the dry mix, then dredge in the egg mixture, and then back into the dry mix again, shaking off excess each time
  • Place the chicken (3-4 pieces at a time) into the oil until golden and crispy, about 10-12 minutes
  • Remove chicken and let cool over a paper towel or drying rack
  • In a medium heat proof bowl, mix together spicy oil seasoning
  • Carefully remove ½ cup of oil from the pot and mix with the seasoning, let cool, and brush over fried chicken

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1chicken thigh | Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 1473mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1596IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 22
Keywords dairy-free, Gluten-Free

Have you made this recipe?
Tag @skinnyms on Instagram or hashtag it #skinnyms

Are you going to give this clean chickpea Nashville hot chicken a try? If you do, remember to come back and let us know what you thought in the comments section!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Pinterest too, so that you never miss out on our yummy recipes!

This post may include affiliate links.

SAVE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPES
Create a FREE account for quick & easy access

Kelsey Butler, MS, RDN

Kelsey Butler is a Registered Dietitian and recipe developer. From a young age, Kelsey found a love for creating delicious recipes. Now, with a Master's in Nutritional Sciences, Kelsey uses her culinary skills to create healthy and unique recipes for many different diets. She is passionate about creating a healthy relationship with all foods and recipes that everyone can enjoy. Kelsey has a passion for cooking, but she also enjoys the outdoors, staying active, and traveling. She is currently living with her partner in New Zealand.

More by Kelsey

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating