Originally posted August 7, 2017: Updated with new photos and additional text.
I have been making coconut chicken off and on for years. It is one of those snacks (okay, sometimes I make extra and eat it as a meal) that I crave randomly.
It might be because I loved chicken nuggets as a child or it might be because coconut is one of my favourite foods and flavours.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken Nuggets!
How do you make coconut chicken nuggets?
(Full ingredient amounts and instructions available in the recipe card down below)
Pound the chicken until it has even thickness. I like 1/2 inch thickness. Then, slice the chicken into bite size pieces.
I like to pound the chicken breasts so that the chicken is uniform and bakes evenly using a kitchen mallet.
If you don’t have a mallet, you can use a heavy pan or the flat bottom of a large whisk or spoon.
- Technically, it is not a required step, but I find that the extra couple minutes spent tenderizing the chicken helps with the overall soft and juicy texture of the chicken.
Prepare the dredge in three separate bowls.
For the breading, I prefer mixing shredded coconut with Panko breadcrumbs because Panko is flakier (it has a coarser texture)than regular breadcrumbs, which results in a bigger crunch.
I also use these breadcrumbs in another baked snack: CRISPY OVEN-FRIED PICKLES WITH CHEDDAR CHEESE DIP.
These chicken bites are lightly spiced with paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper for additional tasty flavour. Feel free to change up the quantity or type of spices to suit your preferences.
After the chicken is dredged, bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway,until cooked through.
I like baking the chicken because it’s healthier than frying and you don’t have to worry about getting the oil to the right temperature or risk hot oil splattering on you.
Overall, you get wonderfully crispy, lightly spiced, coconut-flavoured tender chicken bites!
Serve it with a dipping sauce of your choice!
I like to serve them with a spicy and sweet sauce.Usually, something sweet like chopped pineapple or honey mixed with Sriracha sauce (hot chilli sauce). My husband likes dipping these chicken bites in jalapeño mustard too.
What would you dip this chicken in?
Did you make this easy chicken nugget recipe? Leave me a rating and comment down below or tag me on any of my social media. I’m @yay_for_food on Instagram. Please share your recipe pictures!
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8-10 oz each)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1½ tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Line a cutting board with plastic wrap, place the chicken breasts on top, and then cover the chicken with plastic wrap. Using a mallet (meat tenderizer), gently pound the chicken breasts until uniform in thickness* (see first note). Then, slice the chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- In three wide rim bowls (or plates), place flour, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in one bowl, eggs in the second bowl, and shredded coconut with Panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl.
- Take a chicken piece, coat first with flour mixture, then egg, and finish with the coconut and breadcrumb mixture before transferring to your baking sheet. Repeat for the rest of the chicken pieces.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway, until done**(see second note). Season with additional salt and pepper over the warm chicken nuggets. Serve immediately or warm with a dipping sauce of your choice.
- *The exact thickness of the chicken is not as important as achieving a uniform thickness so they bake evenly. The nuggets I made in this recipe are about ½ inch thick.
- **Using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees F.
- Dipping sauce option: 3 tablespoons of sriracha sauce and a half cup of diced pineapple. Sriracha sauce and honey is also a great quick dip option.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 144mgSodium: 310mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 27g