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Vegan Spicy McNuggets

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Let’s make some VEGAN Spicy McNuggets like McDonald’s… and actually SPICY!

I can’t remember that last time I ate at a McDonald’s, but I do remember eating my fair share of McNuggets, and I definitely remember what they were like, and I feel like these are spot on, only totally SPICY!

McDonald’s released their new Spicy McNuggets about a month ago and people seem to love them, although I’ve been reading that a lot of folks are saying they aren’t super spicy, and since I love hot stuff, I figured we might as well make these live up to their name. And if these aren’t spicy enough for ya, we have the Mighty Hot Sauce copycat recipe as well! But you can totally eat these with whatever dipping sauce you like, vegan ranch would work great! Any dip will do!

That being said, if you are afraid of spice feel free to half the amount of cayenne and hot sauce, or leave it out all together and make regular nuggets!

You can also use these in non-traditional ways too! Like adding them to my VEGAN ALFREDO MAC n’ CHEESE! Click HERE for my Alfredo recipe!

I’m using Gardein Scallopini filets in this recipe, but you could just as easily use a block of tofu. You’ll need to freeze and thaw it twice, then press it for about 20 minutes, then cut into nugget type shapes. The freezing and thawing process imparts a meaty texture to the tofu!

You can freeze the Nuggets for later too. And to reheat, Air Fry for about 6 minutes at 380° F, then flip and and repeat the process until they are heated through!

And here’s a handy dandy VIDEO to show you how I make these Nuggets too!


  • 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 or my recipe for Fried Seitan Chick’n or even my recipe for Fried Oyster Mushrooms.

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 Spicy McNuggets

Vegan Spicy McNuggets

Thee Burger Dude
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  • 1 package Gardein Chick’n Scallopini filet thawed or 1 block firm tofu (frozen and thawed twice).
  • 3/4 cup plant milk
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce I used Frank’s
  • 2 Tbsp jalapeño brine from a pickled jalapeño jar
  • 1/4 cup flour + 2 Tbsp divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch + 2 Tbsp divided
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Lawry’s seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp Accent MSG
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne + 2 Tbsp divided

Mighty Hot Sauce (this makes a lot so feel free to half it)

  • 1 cup hot sauce I used Frank’s
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch + 4 tsp water slurry


  • Make the Mighty Hot Sauce first. Add your hot sauce of choice and apricot preserves to a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Stir to combine then add the rest of the ingredients. To make the slurry, simply combine the 2 tsp cornstarch with 4 tsp water in a small ramekin or bowl and stir with a fork. Add the slurry after the other ingredients and whisk in.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and reduce for about 25 minutes. The sauce will thicken when cooled. Add to the fridge while we make our Nuggets!
  • Whether you are using the Gardein Scallopini or Tofu, slice them up into nugget shapes. I got 5 nuggets per Scallopini, so 20 in all. Add them to a plate and keep them in the fridge for now.
  • In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of cornstarch, the white pepper, Lawry's, garlic powder or salt, Accent, and 1 Tbsp of the cayenne.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the unsweetened plant milk, 1/4 cup of hot sauce, the jalapeño brine, 2 Tbsp of flour, 2 Tbsp of cornstarch, and 2 Tbsp of cayenne.
  • Bring a pot of oil to 375° F.
  • Once oil is up to frying temperature, dredge your nuggets first in the flour mixture, then in the wet batter. Making sure to shake off the excess on both. Then carefully add them to the pot and fry until crispy, about 4-5 minutes (perhaps less, just keep an eye on them!)
  • Let them rest on a wire rack. Once they are cool enough to eat, go to town and dip them in whatever sauce you like!
  • ENJOY!
Keyword vegan mcdonalds, vegan spicy mcnuggets, vegan spicy nuggets
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