Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers that come out perfectly crispy with sweet coconut flavor. Ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
These easy Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers are a great alternative to traditional chicken tenders with the addition of flaked coconut for a sweet and crunchy coating. Serve them with some Baked Sweet Potato Fries or Cucumber Salad for a healthy weeknight meal.
My kids are obsessed with these chicken fingers and would happily eat them every night of the week. We make them in the air fryer, coated with pretzels, baked with buffalo and ranch, or coated in almond meal.
While I enjoy breaded chicken just as much as my kiddos, sometimes I want something a little more sophisticated and that's where these coconut chicken fingers come in! They have all the great crunch my kids are craving plus something a little more adventurous for me.
Dipping sauce ideas: When it comes to the dipping sauce, the possibilities are endless. I love to use a sweet Thai chili sauce since it adds a nice touch of spice. Honey mustard works surprisingly well as does a quick pineapple salsa or mango chutney.
Tips for Making Coconut Chicken Fingers
- Cook on a wire rack: To ensure the chicken tenders turn out crispy and crunchy on both sides, cook them on a wire rack over a baking sheet. You can use a traditional wire rack or use something like a cookie rack, anything to raise them up off the baking sheet.
- Make them low-carb or paleo: If you need a lower-carb option, eliminate the Panko breadcrumbs and just bread the chicken in coconut or a combination of shredded coconut and almond flour. They won’t get quite as crisp but will still taste delicious.
- Sugar-free option: If you are trying to eliminate added sugars, opt for unsweetened shredded coconut instead of products with added sugars.
What is the best coconut to use for chicken fingers?
When it comes to buying shredded coconut for these chicken fingers, there are some different options out there. The most popular are sweetened and unsweetened shredded coconut.
To keep things light, I recommend using unsweetened coconut since it doesn't have added sugar. If you opt for sweetened, skip the brown sugar.
Size matters. I find that the smaller the shredded coconut, the better it sticks to the chicken. If possible, choose a more finely shredded coconut. You can also quickly pulse coconut in a food processor if needed.
How to make paleo coconut chicken fingers? Low carb?
If you are looking for a paleo, low-carb, or gluten-free version of these chicken fingers, you can make a few quick substitutions to the ingredients and directions.
- Start by dipping the chicken fingers in coconut flour or almond flour until they are coated.
- Now dip the chicken in the eggs.
- Next up comes the shredded coconut. Mix it with the spices (leaving out the Panko) and dredge the chicken into the coconut. Press the coconut into the chicken as needed.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes on a wire rack, flipping after 12 minutes.
Side Dish Ideas
There are so many tasty options for side dishes. Here are some favorites.
- French Fries: Make some baked fries to pair with these chicken tenders for a classic option. Try these Baked Skinny Fries, Carrot Fries, or Sweet Potato Fries.
- Vegetables: Add some vegetables to your plate with these 10 Minute Garlic Green Beans, Roasted Crispy Cabbage, or some crispy Baked Broccoli.
- Salads and slaws: I love adding some creamy slaw or crispy greens as a side dish. Try this Cabbage Corn Slaw, Watermelon Salad, or Corn Salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making these coconut chicken fingers.
Homemade chicken tenders take around 18-20 minutes when cooked at 400 degrees. Flip them after about 12 minutes so they get crispy on both sides.
This recipe works great with thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken cutlets. Simply follow the same directions to bread the larger pieces of chicken.
Adjust the cooking time as needed, depending on how thick the chicken is cut. Thinner chicken cutlets will cook in about 17-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers
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- 1.33 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 16 strips)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 eggs, beaten
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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