Are Applegate chicken nuggets gluten free?

With food allergies and sensitivities on the rise, more and more people are looking for gluten-free options when it comes to buying groceries and eating out. For those avoiding gluten, a common go-to for a quick and easy meal or snack are chicken nuggets. But are all chicken nuggets created equal when it comes to being gluten-free?

Applegate is a popular natural and organic meat company that produces chicken nuggets, among other products. For those wondering if Applegate’s chicken nuggets are gluten-free, the short answer is yes. Applegate states that all of their chicken nugget varieties are gluten-free.

About Applegate Chicken Nuggets

Applegate offers several varieties of chicken nuggets including organic chicken nuggets, buffalo-style chicken nuggets, and chicken nuggets made with organic thigh meat. Some key features of Applegate chicken nuggets include:

– Made with all natural, organic and non-GMO chicken
– Free from antibiotics, added hormones, and artificial ingredients
– Gluten-free
– Products are Certified Humane®
– Made without any fillers like corn or grains

While the nuggets are gluten-free, Applegate does warn that some of their chicken products are processed in facilities that also process wheat and milk products. They advise customers to exercise caution if they have severe allergies to gluten.

Are All Applegate Chicken Nuggets Gluten-Free?

Yes, according to Applegate, all of their chicken nugget varieties are certified gluten-free to meet the FDA’s definition of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This includes:

– Organic Chicken Nuggets
– Organic Chicken Breast Nuggets
– Mild Buffalo Style Organic Chicken Nuggets
– Organic Chicken Nuggets Value Pack
– Organic Poppable Chicken Breast Nuggets
– Organic Chicken Nuggets Made with Thigh Meat

The company states the gluten-free status on the packaging of all their chicken nuggets. They also note that the products are periodically tested by 3rd party labs to ensure they continue meeting the strict gluten-free standards.

Ingredients in Applegate Chicken Nuggets

Applegate emphasizes using simple, natural ingredients in their products. According to the company, the ingredients found in their gluten-free chicken nuggets include:

– Organic chicken
– Water
– Organic rice flour
– Sea salt
– Organic flavoring
– Citric acid
– Rosemary extract

The organic rice flour acts as a binder to help hold the nugget shape together after cooking. Beyond that, there are no gluten-containing ingredients like wheat, barley, rye or malt found in Applegate’s chicken nuggets. They stick to just using whole, clean ingredients.

Are Applegate Chicken Nuggets Safe for Celiac Disease?

For those with celiac disease and high sensitivity to gluten, Applegate’s gluten-free designation on their chicken nuggets makes them a safe option. Since all the varieties contain less than 20ppm of gluten, they fall well below the FDA gluten-free labeling standards.

Some celiacs may still wish to exercise caution, given the facilities the nuggets are processed in. But many can feel comfortable eating Applegate’s chicken nuggets without issue provided they have no additional allergies.

Of course, individuals should check with their healthcare provider if they have any concerns about consuming the nuggets with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Certifications for Gluten-Free Status

In addition to labeling their chicken nuggets gluten-free, Applegate’s products are certified by respected 3rd party gluten-free certification programs, including:

– Certified Gluten-Free by NSF International
– Tested and confirmed gluten-free by Eurofins
– Audited for compliance by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO)

These certifications provide added assurance that Applegate’s facilities and procedures meet strict protocols for minimizing any gluten cross-contact. The chicken nuggets are tested down to trace amounts to be considered gluten-free.

Quality Standards

Aside from being gluten-free, Applegate chicken nuggets adhere to stringent quality standards:

Standard Description
No Antibiotics Ever Chickens are raised without any antibiotics
Vegetarian Fed Chickens are fed a vegetarian diet with no animal by-products
Natural No artificial ingredients, synthetic hormones or chemical nitrites/nitrates
Humanely Raised Chicken raise using humane practices with access to clean housing
No Fillers No fillers like grains or corn added to the chicken meat

Applegate adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices and meets USDA standards. Their chicken nuggets are Non-GMO Project Verified as well.

Taste and Texture

In terms of taste and texture, reviewers praise Applegate’s chicken nuggets for their similarity to traditional nuggets without artificial additives. They have a mild chicken flavor, crisp outer breading, and juicy white meat inside.

The nuggets are pre-cooked so they just require a short baking time to heat through. They become golden brown and crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. Many customers say Applegate’s gluten-free nuggets are one of the best store-bought varieties in terms of taste and flavor. Kids love the flavor too.

Cost and Availability

Applegate chicken nuggets are sold at many major grocery stores including Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Costco, Walmart, and Target. They retail around $8-$9 for an 8oz or 16oz bag.

Compared to some gluten-free specialty brands, Applegate offers an affordable price point. And customers can often find the nuggets at a discount when they go on sale or are in the weekly circulars for stores.

You can also purchase Applegate chicken nuggets online from retailers like Amazon,, Thrive Market, and Direct from Applegate. Delivery prices will vary based on location.


Here are some of the key benefits of choosing Applegate brand gluten-free chicken nuggets:

– Stringently tested and confirmed gluten-free
– Trusted brand with rigorous quality standards
– No artificial additives or preservatives
– Delicious, kid-friendly flavor
– Moist white meat chicken
– Crispy and crunchy breaded coating
– Non-GMO, organic and humanely raised chicken
– Better price point than other gluten-free nuggets
– Easy to prepare by just baking


There are not a lot of downsides to Applegate’s gluten-free chicken nuggets, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

– Processed in facilities that also process wheat and milk so risk of crossover for serious allergies
– Each nugget only contains around 8-13% meat so not as hearty as whole breast or thigh pieces
– Higher price tag than traditional frozen chicken nuggets
– Must be kept frozen or will spoil if thawed and left at room temperature

Nutrition Facts

Applegate chicken nuggets are higher in protein and lower in carbs compared to other gluten-free varieties. Here is the nutrition breakdown per serving (4 nuggets or 56g):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 180
Fat 8g
Protein 14g
Carbohydrates 10g
Sodium 270mg

The nuggets contain 2g of sugar per serving and have a solid protein content to help you feel full. They make for a balanced gluten-free meal or snack.

Cooking Instructions

Applegate gluten-free chicken nuggets couldn’t be easier to prepare. The instructions are:

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F
2. Place nuggets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through
4. Nuggets are fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F
5. Serve warm right out of the oven

The nuggets can also be heated in the microwave or air fryer. Just be sure they are piping hot all the way through before serving.

You can eat Applegate’s chicken nuggets on their own or pair them with gluten-free dipping sauces, veggies, rice, or potatoes. Get creative with your preferred seasonings and accompaniments.

Should You Refrigerate or Freeze?

Since Applegate’s chicken nuggets are pre-cooked, they can be stored either in the refrigerator or freezer.

To refrigerate, keep nuggets in their original packaging and place in the fridge for up to 10 days. For freezing, rewrap portions in air-tight containers or bags. Properly frozen, the nuggets will keep for 8-12 months in the freezer before needing used.

Thaw frozen nuggets overnight in the fridge or for a few minutes in the microwave before cooking. You can also bake them direct from frozen by adding a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Are There Any Recalls?

Applegate has not issued any recent recalls specifically on their chicken nuggets or for issues related to gluten contamination.

They did voluntarily recall a few products in 2019 due to concerns over foreign material like plastic and rubber. But no gluten issues were noted.

Overall, Applegate maintains rigorous safety testing and standards, so the risk of recalls on their gluten-free chicken nuggets appears very low.

Allergy Warning

While Applegate’s chicken nuggets contain no gluten ingredients, the company does advise that they are processed in facilities that also handle wheat and milk products.

Individuals with celiac disease or severe gluten and dairy allergies are advised to exercise caution. There is a possibility of cross-contact even though strict protocols are followed.

Anyone who experiences adverse reactions after consuming the nuggets should avoid eating them in the future and speak to their healthcare provider.

Customer Reviews

Reviews of Applegate’s gluten-free chicken nuggets are overwhelmingly positive. On average, they rate around 4.5 out of 5 stars on various retailer websites.

Here are some examples of customer feedback:

“These are the best gluten-free nuggets I’ve found yet. The coating gets so crispy and the chicken is moist. My kids gobble them up and can’t tell the difference from regular nuggets.”

“I am so thrilled to finally have a healthy, gluten-free nugget option that actually tastes good! Applegate is superior to other brands. The breading stays on and they are crunchy after baking.”

“I’m gluten intolerant and these give me no digestive issues. They taste delicious and are my go-to for my nugget cravings. Much better texture and crunch than other gluten free kinds.”

Based on most reviews, Applegate earns high marks for providing an authentic, restaurant-quality gluten-free chicken nugget option. Most negative comments seem to focus on mild complaints about size or price rather than issues with quality or taste.

Chicken Nugget Alternatives

If you are looking for additional gluten-free brands of chicken nuggets, here are a few top options:

Brand Details
Tyson Naturals Gluten-free nuggets made with all natural ingredients
Perdue Gluten Free Breaded gluten-free nuggets processed in a dedicated facility
Ian’s Natural Foods Gluten-free chicken nuggets with whole grain coating
Bell & Evans Gluten-free baked chicken nuggets with no breading

However, customer reviews indicate none come quite as close to regular nuggets as Applegate in terms of taste and texture. Applegate remains a top choice for high quality gluten-free chicken nuggets.

The Bottom Line

Based on Applegate’s clear labeling, certification, and independent lab testing, customers who need to avoid gluten can confidently eat their chicken nuggets without issue. Applegate offers some of the best tasting and highest quality gluten-free nuggets on the market while sticking to clean, natural ingredients. Their nuggets make for a nutritious and delicious gluten-free meal that both kids and adults love. Applegate provides peace of mind for those with celiac disease or on a gluten-free diet so they don’t have to miss out on a classic comfort food.

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