Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips are a fun homemade appetizer or dinnertime entrée!

These coconut chicken tenders make the perfect party appetizer, especially served with a creamy dipping sauce. Oven-baked and served on their own or on skewers, coconut crusted chicken is the healthy alternative to deep-fried options. Plus, it can be made in the air fryer or the oven, and it’s so simple to make.

a plate of Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips with sauce

Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips


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Coconut Chicken Tenders

  • An easy recipe that takes ordinary chicken tenders and gives them restaurant quality tenderness on the inside and crunch on the outside.
  • Chicken breast recipes are versatile and easy to cook in the oven or the air fryer! Chicken tenders baked in the oven come out juicy and tender every time.
  • Serve alone, with creamy onion dip for an appetizer, or have it as an entrée. Coconut chicken tenders and rice is a light and filling dinner any day of the week, that kids (and adults!) love.

The Best Coconut Crusted Chicken

It’s a super easy recipe that is quick enough to make last-minute, but fancy enough to display on a buffet table. For an extra elegant presentation, thread marinated chicken onto skewers before breading and cooking.

the steps to coat Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips

Ingredients & Variations

CHICKEN: Chicken tenders come from the bottom half of the chicken breast and are sometimes called chicken fingers. They are especially tender and stay moist and juicy when they are cooked. Boneless chicken thighs can be used in place of tenders, if desired, and will be shaped more like large nuggets.

MARINADE: Buttermilk and sriracha are a great combination of tangy and spicy and make a great marinade for mild-flavored proteins like chicken. No buttermilk? Whisk a combination of 1 tablespoon lemon juice to 1 cup of milk or cream and then let it sit 10 minutes before using it.

COATING: Flour, breadcrumbs, and sweetened coconut are added to a handful of seasonings. Experiment with different seasonings, like pre-made Creole, Tex-Mex, or anything that complements the sweetness of the coconut.

DIPPING SAUCE: Whisk together some yogurt, honey, and sriracha, or try a quick honey mustard sauce recipe. Or try this tasty copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce that goes with everything. 

Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips on parchment paper with dipping sauce

How to Make Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders

Homemade, crispy-crunchy chicken tenders are surprisingly easy to make with just a few simple steps:

  1. Marinate chicken tenders (per recipe below).
  2. Whisk together flour mixture with seasonings, beat eggs, and make breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Drain marinated chicken & dredge in flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs.
  4. Bake according to recipe, flipping once.

In the Air Fryer:

  1. Place tenders (prepared as per recipe below) in a preheated air fryer and cook for 6 minutes.
  2. Flip, and cook another 6 minutes or until the tenders are golden brown and cooked through.

Simple Time Savers

  • Buy pre-packaged fresh chicken tenders that are already cut into uniform sizes.
  • Use store-bought salad dressing (Italian, French) as a marinade.
  • Use a pre-packaged breading mix.

Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips on a wire baking rack with dipping sauce

Other Easy Chicken Recipes!

a plate of Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips with sauce
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Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips

Coconut chicken tenders are easy and delicious served as an entree or a starter.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Marinate 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 36 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Sriracha
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Dipping sauce (optional)


  • Combine buttermilk and Sriracha, then add chicken tenders. Toss and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and top with a cooling rack.
  • In a shallow dish mix all-purpose flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish whisk together eggs. In a third shallow dish combine panko bread crumbs and coconut.
  • Remove chicken tender from buttermilk marinade. Shake off excess liquid and dip into flour mixture to coat. Shake excess flour then dip into egg mixture. Shake excess egg, then dip into panko mixture to coat evenly.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders.
  • Bake for 8 minutes, carefully flip each tender, then bake 8-10 minutes more until golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately.

Dipping Sauce (optional)

  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.


To air fry, follow steps 1-5. Place tenders in an even layer in your air fryer (you may need to cook in multiple batches) Air fry at 400*F for 8 minutes, flip, then cook 8 minutes more until crispy.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 966mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American

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Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips plates with dipping sauce and text

a plate of Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips with dipping sauce and text
top image - Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips plated with sauce. bottom image - Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips on a baking rack with text


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