These beetroot nuggets are super crispy, with a tasty sage and onion flavour crumb – and they can be made in an air fryer!
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These sage and onion beetroot nuggets are a bit different to anything I’ve made before, but they’re a real treat! Full of flavour, with a beautifully crunchy coating – perfect for dipping. Plus, they’re cooked in a Tefal Actifry air fryer to make them evenly crispy all over.
Has anyone heard of beetroot nuggets before? I hadn’t, but I found the recipe on the Actifry ActiProgramme app, and was super intrigued.
I’ll admit, I’m not usually the biggest fan of beetroot (that’s beets, to those of you across the pond). I don’t hate it by any means, but I wouldn’t class it as one of my favourite vegetables, especially since it’s usually pickled in vinegar (not really my thing) – so I wasn’t sure how much I would love these beetroot nuggets.
But oh my… they’re amazing. Truly. Different to anything I’ve ever made before, but I think I might just start nuggeting all the vegetables, because if these beetroot nuggets are anything to go by, everything is better in nugget form.
If you’re a slightly lazy cook like me, you’re probably a bit averse to cooking fresh beetroot. It’s not difficult to prepare, but with blood red beetroot peelings flying all round the kitchen, the place can end up looking a bit like a crime scene.
That’s why I love to use vacuum-packed beetroot for this kind of thing – well, most kinds of beetroot things really. I haven’t cooked a fresh one in years. Vacuum-packed beetroot is already peeled, so you don’t need to worry about that, and it’s even pre-cooked, so it’s soft and easy to deal with. All you need to do is slice or dice it to your desired shape, and it’s good to go. Minimal blood loss.
(side note: if you’re a fan of roasted beetroot, you can still cook this vacuum-packed stuff in the oven, it just won’t take quite as long as roasting it from fresh)
Sage and onion breading
The crispy coating of these beetroot nuggets is made from a few main ingredients:
- fresh sage (or dried, if it’s easier!)
- red onion
- toasted cashew nuts
Sage and onion are such a classic combination, and make these nuggets taste beautifully festive (sage and onion always makes me think of stuffing!). Or, if you’re cooking these beetroot nuggets in the summer, you can always choose a fresher-tasting herb like parsley or mint (as is used in the original Actifry recipe).
The toasted cashew nuts give a lovely texture to the breading, and make sure your nuggets are beautifully crunchy.
Crispy breadcrumb coating
The crispy breadcrumb coating for your beetroot nuggets is created in the usual way – flour, egg, breadcrumbs – but with that extra special sage and onion mixture added into the sequence as well.
Just dip your thick slices of beetroot into each ingredient in turn, and they’re ready to cook in the Actifry.
What is a Tefal Actifry?
I’ve posted recipes cooked in the Tefal Actifry quite a few times before (Madagascan bean stew; Tex-Mex cauliflower rice; breaded mushrooms; tofu and spinach samosas), but in case you’ve missed them, I’ll give you a quick overview of what the Actifry actually is.
Essentially, it’s an air fryer, and it cooks food using a blast of hot air. It’s a pretty healthy way to cook, as you only need a small drizzle of oil to make foods perfectly crispy. It’s also great for cooking things like chips (French fries), as there’s a rotating paddle that keeps the food moving as it cooks, making sure it all cooks perfectly evenly.
I actually removed the paddle to cook these beetroot nuggets, as they’re a bit delicate to begin with, and there’s no need for them to be tossed around inside the Actifry – they still end up nice and crispy all over.
As mentioned, these beetroot nuggets are a recipe from the Actifry ActiProgramme app. It’s a ‘level 2’ recipe, meaning it’s really straightforward – just a healthy, fun recipe that you can make with minimal skill.
But despite being nice and simple, I actually think these beetroot nuggets are unusual and interesting enough to be a good dinner party dish – serve them as part of a vegetarian spread and they’ll be a real talking point!
Bright red inside!
One of my favourite things about these beetroot nuggets is how they look when you bite through that golden brown crumb – they’re a vivid red inside!
I’m not sure what else I’d expect to see when biting into a beetroot nugget… but somehow it still takes me by surprise.
How can I serve these beetroot nuggets?
I served my beetroot nuggets really simply with a creamy garlic and herb sauce for dipping (not homemade, sorry!). They made a great snacky lunch just on their own!
I also think they’d be great as part of a big mezze-style spread or buffet – I bet your guests will never have seen a beetroot nugget before!
If you prefer watching videos to follow a recipe, check out this one!
Sage and onion beetroot nuggets
- 450 g (~ 1 lb) cooked beetroot
- 50 g (~ 1/3 cup) cashew nuts
- A few leaves fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried sage)
- 1 small red onion (or 1/2 medium red onion)
- Black pepper
- 125 g (~ 2/3 cup) plain flour
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 130 g (~ 2 cups) breadcrumbs
- Cut the cooked beetroot into thick slices, and set aside.
- Toast the cashew nuts for a few minutes in a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Be careful, as they can catch and burn quickly, so stir them constantly and watch them carefully.
- Add the cashew nuts to a food processor, along with the sage, red onion, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz to form a rough paste, and transfer to a bowl.
- Put the flour in one small dish, the beaten eggs in another, and the breadcrumbs in a third dish.
- One at a time, coat each slice of beetroot in the flour, then the egg, then the sage and onion mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. It can get a bit messy, so I find it easiest to use one hand to coat the beetroot in the flour and then drop it into the egg, and the other hand to coat it in the egg, onion mixture, and breadcrumbs. Place the coated beetroot slices onto a plate.
- Drizzle a little oil into the Actifry pan (with the rotating paddle removed), and add the beetroot nuggets in a single layer – you’ll probably need to cook them in 2 batches. Drizzle a little more oil over the top, and cook for 15 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve immediately.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and depends on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe, assuming there’s a little of each of the breading ingredients left in the dishes.