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Crispy coconut chicken on parchment paper with pineapple sauce drizzled on top.

Crispy Baked Coconut Chicken + Spicy Pineapple Sauce

Sweet, savory, and spicy! Crispy Baked Coconut Chicken is topped with a fingerlickin' pineapple sauce to up your dinner game.
Course Main Course
Keyword Chicken, coconut, panko, pineapple
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Author Dana Sandonato


Coconut Chicken.

  • 1.5 lbs chicken tenders, or tenderized chicken breasts cut into strips
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour or all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish

Spicy Pineapple Sauce.

  • 1 cup pineapple juice or water
  • 1.5 TBSP natural honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple chunks Don't use canned pineapple, the flavor will definitely be lacking.
  • 1 tsp spicy garlic chili sauce, like sambal oelek More if you'd like more heat.
  • 2 TBSP cornstarch


Spicy Pineapple Sauce.

  • In a small to medium saucepan, whisk together the pineapple juice or water, honey, and lime juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking often so the honey dissolves into the liquid and doesn't burn.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the pineapple chunks, and simmer for for about 20 minutes, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened.
  • If you'd like a thicker sauce, mix 2 TBSP or cornstarch into 1/4 cup of cold water. Whisk until the cornstarch has completely dissolved. Slowly and gradually pour this mixture bit by bit into the pineapple sauce while stirring. The sauce will thicken up quickly. Add the cornstarch mixture until you get the consistency you want.
  • When done, set aside to cool. Start the chicken.

Crispy Baked Coconut Chicken.

  • Preheat the oven to 400º F; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Heat a dry pan over high heat to get it hot, then add the shredded coconut and panko bread crumbs. Stir to mix, and reduce the heat to medium. Let the coconut and panko toast, shaking the pan often to prevent burning. Once about 1/2 to 3/4 of the coconut and panko are golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the toasted mixture to a shallow dish.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge each piece into the flour, egg, and finally the coconut panko mixture, placing the breaded strips onto the parchment-covered baking sheet.
  • Once all of the chicken is coated, place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º F.
  • Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or cilantro over the chicken strips; serve with spicy pineapple sauce.