Quorn Nuggets vs Chicken Nuggets: Which are healthier?

In the past, chicken nuggets were made from various parts of the chicken, including skin and bones. Today, chicken nuggets are normally made from chicken breasts although some brands still use other chicken parts. These parts are first ground before being shaped into a nugget, coated with batter or breaded and then fried.

Some brands use more fattening parts of the chicken than others but nevertheless, chicken nuggets are not considered to be healthy due to quite high fat content and other unhealthy ingredients that may have been added to them. So, this brings us to the question: Are Quorn nuggets a better alternative? Are they less fattening and healthier than chicken nuggets? In this article, we compare the ingredients and nutritional values of both types of nuggets to see which one is better for your health.

Quorn nuggets vs chicken nuggets – Ingredients

Here we compare ingredients found in Quorn nuggets vs ingredients in chicken nuggets from major supermarket brands and McDonalds. To provide a comprehensive perspective, it’s important to note that there are various similar McDonald’s nuggets brands that serve as additional points of comparison against Quorn nuggets.

Quorn nuggets contain 39% of Mycoprotein, a type of protein derived from fungus. This is considered a healthy protein since it’s low in fat and rich in fibre.

The protein found in chicken nuggets comes mainly from chicken and today most supermarkets brands use chicken breast (up to around 58%) and not various parts of the chicken. McDonald’s chicken nuggets also contain only chicken breast and not skin and bones.

In both types of nuggets, you will find some kind of flour. This is normally fortified wheat flour but some brands also use wholegrain and other types of flour.

Both types of nuggets also contain vegetable oils (normally rapeseed), salt and natural flavouring. Brands do not specify what kind of natural flavouring they use in their nuggets.

For additional flavour, various seasoning is used in chicken nuggets such as onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and pepper. Quorn nuggets do not contain any of the mentioned seasonings.

There are raising agents and pea fibre in Quorn nuggets which you will also find in some other brands of chicken nuggets.

Quorn uses rehydrated free range egg white, milk proteins and firming agents in their nuggets which you won’t find in chicken nuggets.

Quorn nuggetsMycoprotein (39%), Water, Rehydrated Free Range Egg White, Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamine), Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Salt, Maize Flour, Wheat Starch, Milk Proteins, Textured Wheat Protein (Wheat Protein, Wheat Flour), Natural Flavouring, Raising Agents: Tetrasodium Diphosphate, Sodium Carbonate; Pea Fibre, Firming Agents: Calcium Chloride, Calcium Acetate; Wheat Gluten, Gelling Agent: Pectin; Dextrose.
BirdsEye Chicken Nuggets with Golden Wholegrain Chicken Breast (51%), Flour (WHEAT, Wholegrain WHEAT, Maize, Rice), Rapeseed Oil, Water, Salt, Starch (WHEAT, Maize), Paprika, Yeast, Natural Flavouring, Turmeric, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin
ASDA Battered Chicken Nuggets Chicken Breast (58%), Fortified Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin (B3), Thiamin (B1)], Water, Rapeseed Oil, Maize Flour, Salt, Tapioca Starch, Pea Fibre, Stabilisers (Diphosphates, Triphosphates), Raising Agents (Diphosphates, Sodium Carbonates), Yeast, Dextrose, Black Pepper Extract
Tesco Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets Chicken (58%), Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin], Water, Rapeseed Oil, Pea Fibre, Wheat Starch, Salt, Yeast, Yeast Extract, Dextrose, Sugar, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Paprika, Sage, White Pepper.
McDonalds Chicken McNuggets® Chicken Breast Meat (45%), Water, Vegetable Oils (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Maize Flour, Allergen Ingredient:WHEAT Flour (contains Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Starch, Allergen Ingredient:WHEAT Semolina, Breadcrumb (Allergen Ingredient:WHEAT Flour (contains Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Salt), Natural Flavourings (contain Allergen Ingredient:CELERY), Allergen Ingredient:WHEAT Gluten, Potassium Chloride, Dried Glucose Syrup, Salt, Raising Agents (Sodium Carbonates), Spices (contain Allergen Ingredient:CELERY), Dextrose.

At first look, the ingredients in Quorn and chicken nuggets don’t seem to be too much of a concern. It’s a good thing brands use chicken breasts and not other parts of the chicken in their nuggets.

You will find a bit of sugar in some of the chicken nuggets which is not exactly healthy. Quorn nuggets also contain some sugar – a type of sugar called dextrose.

Quorn nuggets vs chicken nuggets – Nutrition

Next, we look at the nutritional values of Quorn vs chicken nuggets to determine which one is healthier.

Nutritional information per 100gQuorn nuggetsBirdsEye Chicken Nuggets with Golden WholegrainASDA Battered Chicken NuggetsTesco Breaded Chicken Breast NuggetsMcDonalds Chicken McNuggets®
of which Saturated0.8g1.6g3.4g2.1g2g
of which Sugars1.9g<0.5> g1.1g1.2g1g

Quorn nuggets vs chicken nuggets – Calories

Quorn nuggets are lower in calories containing only 190 calories per 100 g while chicken nuggets contain around 250 calories.

Quorn nuggets vs chicken nuggets – Protein content

Quorn doesn’t contain as much protein as chicken meat so chicken nuggets have much more protein per 100 g than Quorn nuggets. There is 9.4g of protein per 100 g in Quorn nuggets and chicken nuggets contain between 11 g and 15 g of protein in the same weight.

Fat content in Quorn vs chicken nuggets

Quorn nuggets are not that high in fat compared to chicken nuggets. They contain 8.3 g of fat per 100 g while chicken nuggets are much more fattening, containing around 13 – 17 g of fat per 100 g.

There is only 0.8 g of saturated fat per 100 g in Quorn nuggets while chicken nuggets contain around 2-3 g.

Fibre content in Quorn vs chicken nuggets

Quorn nuggets are higher in fibre than chicken nuggets containing 4.5 g of fibre per 100 g. There is only 1 – 1.7 g of fibre per 100 g in chicken nuggets.

Are Quorn nuggets healthier than chicken nuggets?

Quorn nuggets are lower in calories and fat and contain more fibre than chicken nuggets. This makes them healthier and a better option for those trying to lose weight. However, some people are allergic to Quorn and will not be able to eat Quorn nuggets.

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Are Quorn chicken nuggets healthy?