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.
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.
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.
How to Make Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders
Homemade, crispy-crunchy chicken tenders are surprisingly easy to make with just a few simple steps:
- Marinate chicken tenders (per recipe below).
- Whisk together flour mixture with seasonings, beat eggs, and make breadcrumb mixture.
- Drain marinated chicken & dredge in flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs.
- Bake according to recipe, flipping once.
In the Air Fryer:
- Place tenders (prepared as per recipe below) in a preheated air fryer and cook for 6 minutes.
- 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.
Other Easy Chicken Recipes!
- Melt in Your Mouth Chicken – delicious!
- Spatchcock Chicken Recipe – quick cook time.
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs – an appetizer or entree.
- Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Tenders – fast and easy!
- Honey Lemon Chicken – with just 5 minutes of prep!
Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips
Dipping sauce (optional)
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup Sriracha sauce
- 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.