Wondering how Nuggs from Simulate Chicken stack up? We tried Nuggs and share our honest review.
We tried Nuggs.
When I placed that big GTFO It's Vegan order for the vegan salmon, I loaded up my cart with lots of other goodness that we will be talking about on upcoming episodes. One item that I was excited to see in their store -- and on sale! -- was Nuggs, which are vegan chicken nuggets.
The brand is called Simulate, and they have also started producing breaded vegan chicken patties.
If you're on Instagram, chances are you've seen ads for these vegan chicken nuggets. I see them often, and so does Dave! So we were excited to try these.
How to cook them
I cooked them in the air fryer, because of course I did. We did our usual 10 minutes at 400° F, which was perfect.
In the oven, you bake them at 425° F for 13 minutes.
What do they taste like?
When I shared a pic to my Insta stories, a lot of people wanted to know how Nuggs stacked up versus other vegan nuggets out there, so Dave and I ranked them along with: Morningstar Farms nuggets, Gardein nuggets (not the tenders, the nuggets), and Quorn nuggets.
I can't stress enough that we are comparing Nuggs to the Gardein nuggets here. Gardein tenders are fantastic, but we wanted to compare Nuggs to nuggets. It also isn't Gardein Ultimate Plant Based Chicken Nuggets, because those didn't exist when we recorded this episode.
Dave thought that the Nuggs were a good balance between the thickness of the breading and the protein inside. He also felt like the protein part of the Nuggs were "airier", which he enjoyed.
He says they remind him of a Chicken McNugget from McDonald's, which I agree with.
For me, these were too bready. I agree with Dave -- the protein was good. I wanted more of it.
I just feel like Morningstar really hits the mark when it comes to vegan chicken nuggets. They have a generous amount of protein, then a thin breading with chunky breadcrumbs for crunch.
This is my ideal breading situation. The breading adds texture but doesn't take away from the flavor and texture of the main event.
The protein itself in the Nuggs was great, though. It definitely had the taste and texture we remember from animal chicken. At the end of the day, it really comes down to your breading preference.
Dave is a real Freddy Bready, so the Nuggs were higher on his list. I prefer my nuggets to be more protein-forward, so these weren't my fave.
At the end of the day, we felt like these were fine but nothing to write home about.
What are they made from?
With any vegan meat, it's natural to wonder how the company made it. Nuggs get their texture from a mixture of oil, seitan, and soy protein.
Here's the full ingredients list:
Water, Soybean Oil, Textured Wheat Protein, Soy Protein Concentrate, Breadcrumbs (Enriched Wheat Flour [Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Sugar, Rice Flour, Yeast, Salt, Extractives Of Paprika) Enriched Wheat Flour, Corn Flour, Wheat Protein Isolate, Yeast Extract, Contains 2% Or Less Of: Modified Food Starch, Corn Starch, Tapioca Dextrin, Sunflower Oil, Potato Starch, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Sea Salt, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Vinegar, Sugar, Baking Soda, Ancho Chili Pepper, Black Pepper, Red Pepper, Dehydrated Red Bell Pepper, Paprika, Dextrose, Spices (Including Celery Seed), Citric Acid, Natural Flavors.
Since doing this review, it has come out that Nuggs doesn't always treat content creators very well. In 2021, Instagrammer Derrick Downey Jr. shared how the company mistreated him in a partnership.
As a black creator who brings laughter to all, I feel compelled to share my story. This isn't funny, this is my livelihood. I feel exploited, worthless and voiceless because before now I feared speaking my truth publicly would ruin current and future brand partnerships. I'm now at peace speaking my truth about how nuggs/Simulate made me feel.
All I want is to be compensated for using my content in ways I didn't agree to. Why is that so hard?
As a content creator myself, I find this very troubling. Staging photos, shooting videos, and writing captions all take time and resources. I hope you'll click the link above to read about his experience and consider that when considering whether to buy Nuggs.
Where to listen
Thank you so much for listening (or reading!). We record these episodes for you, and we'd love to hear from you.
Got a favorite vegan treat that you think we should cover on the podcast? Send your suggestions to [email protected]!
You can find Talkin' Tofu on: