The Best Plant-Based “Chicken” Nuggets

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, or just plant-based curious, there are a plethora of “chicken” nuggets out there you can enjoy — and I’m ranking the best ones!

Of all the plant-based meat options available today (sausage, burgers, bacon, etc.), I think plant-based chicken is the most like its animal protein counterpart, in both taste and texture. It’s been several years since I’ve eaten actual meat, so I admit my memory at this point might be hazy. Plant-based chicken is also readily available — I quickly and easily found several options at my local grocery store.

I ranked on crispiness, meatiness, and overall flavor. My goal wasn’t necessarily to find the best chicken replica, rather the best nugget based on flavor and texture.

plant-based chicken nuggets

Plant-based chicken nuggets taste test

Alpha Original Chik’n Nuggets

Visually, these were the most enticing. They looked really meaty and their shape was pleasantly asymmetrical — the most “natural” looking. Unfortunately, that was all they had going for them. I wanted to like these, but they weren’t crispy, like, at all. The “meat” was about as firm as yogurt. Finally, while inoffensive, the flavor was boring at best.

Verdict: 2 out of 5 stars

Rebellyous Plant-Based Nuggets

My initial reaction was, “Wow, are these flat.” They immediately reminded me of Hanukkah gelt — gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins. But if the Alpha nuggets taught me anything, it’s that appearances can be deceiving. These nuggets were crispier than I would’ve guessed — and despite being flat, the “meat” had a nice chewiness to it. The flavor was blandly indescribable, but I think these would do well with a dipping sauce.

Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars

Beyond Chicken® Nuggets

By the time I got to these, I no longer knew what to expect — the first two entries threw me. So, when these came out of the air fryer browned to perfection, I was excited but resistant to falling in love. Fear not — these were great! Their crispiness was on point, the “meat” had excellent texture, and the flavor was by far the most chicken-like. Honestly, almost too real.

Verdict: 4.25 out of 5 stars

MorningStar Farms®  Chik’n Nuggets

“Oh, great, another cookie-cutter shaped nugget — but at least it’s not super flat,” I thought to myself. I did have a little hope they’d be crispy — they certainly felt that way in my hand. But after having the Beyond Chicken® Nuggets, I didn’t think much of these MorningStar Farms® nuggets. Well, I was fooled again — these were perfect! The ideal amount of crisp, flavorful without being overpowering, and the “meat” had just the right amount of give to it.

Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars


For me, it’s MorningStar Farms® Chik’n Nuggets all the way! The Beyond Chicken® Nuggets were a very close second but were just too close to actual chicken for me. I like plant-based chicken nuggets but not if they’re so realistic I’m slightly concerned I might actually be eating chicken.

Give one — or all —of these and try and share you thoughts below!

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About Rich Williams

Rich Williams is a health-conscious writer/comedian living in Chicago, Illinois. Digital marketer by day, cat (and human) dad by night! Rich’s love for food, writing and comedy makes for entertaining and savory reading. Rich may love all people but he is feared by salads worldwide. Follow along with Rich, whole foods and his cats on Instagram @richmwilliams