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Vegan McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce

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One of my Childhood Favorites, VEGAN McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce… YES we’re doing the infamous Szechuan Sauce to boot too!

Vegan McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce

Okay, like a lot of kids who grew up in the 80s and 90s, I definitely ate my fair share of McNuggets! And I gotta say, these are super reminiscent of what I remember, in fact, I think they might be better. They are certainly CRUNCHIER! As my wife said, they are like McNuggets but not as stale haha!

The thing that makes McNuggets unique is their tempura like batter. Usually we coat fried chick’n in a wet batter, then a dry batter, but for these, we are doing that in reverse. The wet batter will cause a lot of noise when it hits the hot oil, but don’t fret, it will calm down! Serve these up with your favorite sauce, or serve it up with…

Szechuan Sauce

Yes this Sauce is pretty good, but it’s honestly just famous (or infamous) because of the ruckus that it caused a few years back on account of some amped up Rick and Morty fans. It really is just a tangier teriyaki (honestly it should’ve just been called Tangy Teriyaki) and this recipe is largely based off the one that Babish formulated from an actual packet of the sauce. His judgement was that the sauce was “just okay, probably better with a nugget” and I agree! Therefore I added a few extra ingredients to get it better than just ok!

He also recommended 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum, which for some reason did not work on my batch as it came out way too thick and slimy. I did a few tests and finally just got rid of the xanthan gum all together and that resulted in a thick, but not goopy sauce that I preferred. But if you want it thicker, I would suggest just adding 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum at a time. Keep in mind it will also thicken considerably once it’s cooled down too. You can always nuke it in the microwave to loosen it up and bring it closer to room temperature too.

Handy dandy video here!


  • Use a heavy bottomed pot (Stainless SteelCast IronCarbon Steel etc)
  • I highly recommend a Deep Fry Thermometer to monitor the oil temp.
  • Use a neutral tasting, high smoke point oil (Canola, Vegetable, Peanut etc.)
  • Make sure to use UNSWEETENED plant milk. I like RIPPLE the best.
  • Add flour as needed to thicken the vegan buttermilk mixture.
  • Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
  • Fry a test nugget to test the seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • Let the chick’n rest on a Wire Rack after frying to prevent soggy chick’n.


  • Don’t leave the pot unattended.
  • Keep children away from the pot.
  • Don’t fill the pot more than halfway with oil. Don’t overcrowd it as well.
  • Turn the handles of the pot away from you to avoid accidental spills.
  • Keep a lid nearby so you can cover the pot if it catches fire.
  • Never use water to put out an oil fire.
  • Get a Fire Extinguisher just to be extra safe. This isn’t just good for deep frying, but for having in the house in general!


If you want to see about alternatives to deep frying, check out my BEST WAYS TO FRY VEGAN CHICKEN post!

I’m using Gardein Scallopini filets in this recipe, but you could just as easily use my recipes for Tofu Fried Chick’n HERE or my recipe for Fried Seitan Chick’n HERE.

If you are interested in recommendations for Kitchen Gear, Spices & Pantry Items, or what I use for my Photos and Videos, please click HERE!

Vegan McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce

Vegan McNuggets with Szechuan Sauce

Thee Burger Dude
4.80 from 5 votes


Szechuan Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp black vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp mushroom seasoning
  • 1 tsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch


  • 2 bags Gardein Chick’n Scallopini thawed

Wet Dredge

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk I used Ripple
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickle brine
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

Dry Dredge

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp MSG
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


Szechuan Sauce

  • Combine everything but the cornstarch in a saucepan. Take out about 1/4 cup of the sauce mixture and combine with the cornstarch, whisk thoroughly then return the slurry to the saucepan. Heat over medium and whisk until thickened. Remember to strain the peppercorns before serving!
  • It will thicken even more when cooled, but you can add 1/8 tsp of xanthan gum to thicken even more. I suggest only adding 1/8 tsp at a time until it's at your desired thickness. Store in the fridge until needed. You can also microwave it for 20-30 seconds to loosen it up and bring it closer to room temperature if desired.


  • Cut your Scallopini into McNugget shapes, I was able to get about 4 or 5 from each filet. Add those to a plate and let them chill out in the fridge.
  • Combine ingredients for the wet and dry dredges in separate bowls.
  • Add some high smoke, neutral oil (like peanut, vegetable or canola) to a pot or high walled skillet, making sure not to fill up more than half-way. Heat to 375° F and then dredge your nuggets first in the dry, then the wet dredge, making sure to coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess flour and letting the excess wet batter drip off. Then carefully add the nuggets to the oil (don't crowd the pot), and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Let them rest on a wire rack.
  • Once cool enough to eat, serve immediately with the Szechuan Sauce (or any sauce of your choosing!)



Szechuan Sauce adapted from this Binging with Babish recipe.
Keyword vegan mcdonalds, vegan mcnuggets, vegan nuggets, vegan szechuan sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. Using the Gardein Scallopini is absolutely genius. These are incredible and I crave them on the daily now after making them

    1. Excellent! I got the idea from Lauren Toyota originally to let them thaw to reshape them, her blog is Hot for Food if you don’t know her!

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