“Have your steak and get your nuggets too! This classic comfort food staple is keto, gluten free, and extra crispy and delicious!”
The foodie in me has always been drawn to the classic comforts of down home Southern cooking. I wanted to take a lower carb approach to the classic Chicken Fried Steak. This recipe is fairly easy to make, can be made as both a main dish (full sized steak), or into the mini bite sized nuggets pictured (because who doesn’t love a good keto friendly nugget).
Dip it in the simple pepper gravy (keto and gluten) and pair it with my Apple Cider Whiskey Smash or a Prosecco Mint Julep for the perfect meal or appetizer! Full recipe and a few tips and tricks are below.
- Knife & Cutting Board
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- Baking sheet
- Frying Pan
- Small Pot
Chicken Fried Steak is typically made with cube steak. Cube steak is tenderized from round steak (if you cannot find cube steak at your local grocery store purchase the round steak and tenderize it yourself). The “chicken fried” component comes from a flour mixture, which is delicious, yet its not gluten free or keto friendly.
My goal here was to create and easy recipe that yielded a crispy coating that was also low carb and keto friendly dish. I love using crushed pork rinds, aka pork “panko” in place of bread crumbs. It makes the perfect zero carb coating (but still high calorie so keep that in mind).
How To Make Your Nuggets:
To make the steak nuggets, cut the round steaks into roughly 2×2 inch pieces, as equal in size as possible. I like to season both the steak itself and the outer coating as well.
For the outside breading, I wanted to achieve a crispy, golden brown outer coating. What’s more Southern than Keto Chicken Fried Steak Nuggets with Gravy coated in pork rinds??? If pork rinds aren’t your thing, use regular bread crumbs or almond flour (if looking for a different low carb/gluten free option).
Start by patting the steaks dry (helps the coating stick better) and season both sides in salt and pepper. Next, dip each nugget in an egg wash and the crushed pork rinds, then set it aside. To cook your keto friendly nuggs, preheat a little oil in a frying pan. I like to do a quick shallow pan fry for each keto nugget. Avocado oil is my go to frying oil of choice because it has a higher smoke point, preventing a stinky “fried food” smell and limits any smoke in the kitchen.
How To Make Southern Pepper Gravy:
The pepper gravy makes a great topping or dipping sauce. To keep this lower carb, I have opted to use a mixture of butter, xanthan gum (aka keto cornstarch), and heavy cream (again, not low fat just low carb). Season the mixture with a generous amount of pepper and a little salt. Let it cook on medium low till bubbling slightly and thickened (this happens fairly quickly).
Serve the nuggets on a plate or platter with the pepper gravy on the side. Enjoy! Looking for other keto chicken nugget recipes? Check out me keto and gluten free Chicken Fajita Nuggets and pair them with my Grilled Jicama Fries for the perfect glow up to an old school (not so healthy) classic.
- For the Chicken Fried Steak:
- 3 lbs Cube Steak, cut into 2x2" pieces
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- 4 oz. Bag, Pork Rinds, crushed
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 Eggs
- Splash of Milk
- Oil for Shallow Frying
- For the Gravy:
- 1 1/2 cups Half & Half
- 1 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 2 tbsp. Butter
1. Begin by cutting the cube steak into 2x2" sized pieces. Season the pieces with salt and pepper.
2. Crush the pork rinds into crumbs in a plastic bag (or in a food processor) and season them with salt and pepper. Mix in 1 tsp of xanthan gum (helps the pork rinds stick but isn't crucial for the recipe to work). Place the mixture into a shallow dish and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add a splash of milk. Dredge each piece of cube steak in the egg wash and then in the pork rind mixture.
4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add a shallow amount of oil (about 1/4" thick) into the pan so it coats the bottom. I always like to test one piece out first to assess the temperature and make adjustments to the oil. Cook the chicken fried steak nuggets in about 3-4 batches. Continue to adjust the oil temperature as needed (or change the oil out if needed). I cooked the nuggets for about 3 minutes per side and placed the cooked nuggets onto a paper towel lined plate.
5. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the xanthan gum (almost like you would a roux). Slowly whisk in the half and half until everything is combined. The gravy will thicken fairly quickly, stir continuously to prevent scorching.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I prefer 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp of pepper personally). Place the gravy in a small dish for dipping alongside a plate of keto chicken fried steak nuggets.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 75 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 51mg Sodium: 41mg Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Protein: 13g