REVIEW: Simulate Nuggs (Vegan Chicken Nuggets)

Products Tried: Nuggs v2.0

Price: $4.99 per box (varies by location)

Nutrition for 5 Nuggs: 200 Calories, 10g Fat, 13g Carbs, 11g Protein

Simulate Nuggs

Vegan meat alternatives have absolutely exploded over the past few years, and I am here for it. I am not vegan, but I appreciate any vegan alternative that can truly resemble the real thing.

Since I am not vegan, I feel I can offer an interesting and fair perspective. I have tried most of the vegan meat alternatives out there, so I know what to expect, but I can also closely compare them to real meat to see how they stack up.

When it comes to vegan nuggets, I’ve tried them all: Impossible, Beyond, Quorn, etc, but it took me a very long time to hunt down these Simulate’s Nuggs. A grocery store near me recently started carrying them, so it’s time for me to finally give them a try.

Nuggs nutrition facts

You’re not going to be blown away by the nutrition facts, but you have to remember that these are replicating regular chicken nuggets, which are not known for being a super high-protein treat.

These Nuggs contain 200 calories and 11 grams of protein, which is respectable.

For some perspective, the same serving size of Tyson chicken nuggets contains 270 calories and 14 grams of protein, so these Nuggs are not far off at all.

Simulate makes regular Nuggs, which I tried for this review, but they also offer Spicy Nuggs, Dino Nuggs, Tenders, and even a grilled chicken alternative. It’s exciting to see the world of plant-based eating evolve to offer so many different options, but are they worth it?

Simulate Vegan Nuggs vs Chicken Nuggets

Simulate Vegan Nuggs Review

I followed the package instructions for air frying these Nuggs, and I was delighted to find the coating had become incredibly crispy. The one downside is that these Nuggs were noticeably greasier than regular chicken nuggets, but the grease seemed to absorb once the Nuggs cooled.

Now, if you’ve never had vegan “chicken” before, I’ll do my best to explain the flavor & texture to you, because it’s definitely different than regular chicken.

But, before I dive into that, I’ll preface it by saying that these Nuggs are very close to actual chicken nuggets.

Interior of Simulate NUGGS

First up, let’s talk about the texture.

From the photo above, I’m not sure you’d be able to tell that these weren’t made from actual chicken. The crispy breading is exactly what you want in a nugget, and the interior very much resembles chicken.

But, being plant-based, it’s a bit more airy & fluffy than regular chicken. When you bite into Nuggs, they’re definitely softer than chicken nuggets.

If I gave these to someone and didn’t tell them that they were vegan, I’m not sure they would question it. When you have them side-by-side, you can notice a bit of a difference, though.

Nuggs comparison
Nuggs on the left, Tyson chicken nugget on the right

When you view them side by side, it quickly becomes clear where the real white-meat chicken is, and you can also tell that it’s a bit more compact than the plant-based alternative.

All of that said, the texture is similar enough that I have no issues at all. So, what about the taste?

Nuggs dipped in ketchup

I had someone describe these Nuggs to me as “a close replica of those cheap chicken nuggets you ate in Elementary School,” and honestly, I think that’s pretty spot-on.

That may sound like a negative, but it’s not meant to. If you buy (or make) fancier chicken nuggets, you’ll notice a difference. But when you compare these to the basic chicken nuggets we all grew up on, you’d have a tough time spotting a difference.

Now, since these are soy-based, you definitely get a slight soy flavor coming through. It’s not nearly as potent as other meat alternatives I’ve tried, but it’s definitely present. If you know you hate the taste of soy, you may want to avoid these, although I do think the flavor is pretty subtle.

Once you pair these with some kind of dip, it completely masked the small amount of soy flavor.

I found myself wishing that these Nuggs had a bit more flavor on their own, but once I dipped them into spicy ketchup, I thought they were excellent. I’ve heard the spicy version of Nuggs is the tastier option, and I can completely see the spice bringing these over the top.

But as it, I think they’re a very close alternative to chicken nuggets.

Are Nuggs the best plant-based chicken alternative?

Having tried most of the vegan chicken alternatives out there, I’d say that Nuggs are easily one of the best.

I say one of the best because I really like Impossible nuggets as well, and when I compared the ingredients, it looks like they are extremely similar products.

In my mind, Nuggs more closely resemble McDonald’s McNuggets, and Impossible Nuggets more closely resemble Wendy’s chicken nuggets. So, take that however you’d like!

I still think that Quorn makes the best vegetarian chicken alternative, and I find it to be the closest to the real thing. However, they use egg whites and milk proteins, so their products aren’t suitable for vegan diets.

As far as vegan nuggets are concerned, I’d say that Simulate Nuggs are easily one of the best, if not THE best, options out there.

Simulate Vegan Nuggs Review
REVIEW: Simulate Nuggs (Vegan Chicken Nuggets)
Nuggs are definitely the best vegan "chicken" nugget I have tried, and I have tried most of them. While I think Quorn has better flavor overall, those are not fully vegan, so these take the crown for now resembling real chicken nuggets the most.
Tastes like Chicken Nuggets
Overall Taste
The Good
Flavor resembles actual chicken nuggets
Texture is very similar to chicken, but a tiny bit softer
Great crispy coating
The Bad
Pretty greasy once prepared
Has a slight soy taste that might be unpleasant to some
Not crazy high in protein, but most chicken nuggets are not, so it's not a disadvantage
Give 'Em A Try
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