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Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken Nuggets

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)

Two large chicken breasts pounded to half-inch thickness on a black cutting board.

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.
Four bowls for dredging: flour with spices, eggs, shredded coconut with Panko breadcrumbs, and raw chicken pieces.

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.

Baked crispy coconut chicken nuggets bites on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.

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.

A top angled view of two bowls of baked crispy coconut chicken nuggets with red sauce on the side.

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?

Baked crispy coconut chicken nuggets in an orange bowl with more chicken bites and red sauce in the background.

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!

Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Baked Crispy Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Crispy bites of deliciousness. These baked coconut chicken nuggets are the perfect dippable snack that’s quick and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Notes

  • *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

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mimi

Monday 22nd of January 2018

I'm making these! I assumed they were deep-fried, so I almost didn't look at the recipe! YUM. And my grand daughter would love them as well.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Monday 22nd of January 2018

Thanks Mimi! I hope you enjoy them!

Thao @ In Good Flavor

Thursday 18th of January 2018

It's been a while since I've had coconut chicken, and I want some right now. These are making me hungry! I l really like that these are baked—a little easier on the waistline. :)

Marie | Yay! For Food

Thursday 18th of January 2018

Definitely! I like that it's still crispy and not oily at all!

Chynna

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

Hmm, I love chicken nuggets and they formed basically most of my childhood. I loved the ones the were different animal shapes as well, haha. Thanks for posting, these look delicious! Will definitely need to make these in the future :D

Marie | Yay! For Food

Wednesday 17th of January 2018

Me too! :) Thanks for stopping by, Chynna!

heather (delicious not gorgeous)

Wednesday 9th of August 2017

i was one of those snooty kids who didn't want chicken nuggets, only chicken tenders. sigh. these sound delicious though, and since i've come to my senses upon becoming a bit older, i'll have to make these (;

Marie | Yay! For Food

Wednesday 9th of August 2017

Ha ha! I was never that picky with chicken growing up! When you make your own, you know what part of the chicken you are eating too! ;)

Marie

Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Looks so yum, Marie. I would totally have this as a meal :) And that dipping sauce could be a recipe all on it's own. What a great idea.

Marie | Yay! For Food

Tuesday 8th of August 2017

Thanks Marie!

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