Chicken tenders are super popular in my house – and when you bake them up like this, you’ll have a truly craveable kid-pleaser on your hands! Crispy, well-seasoned, and coated with delicate coconut flakes, these Coconut Chicken Breast Tenders are just mouthwatering!
Crispy Coconut Chicken Breast Tenders
Fried chicken is so delicious, but I don’t often have the time to deal with deep-frying and all of the work involved. Plus, it’s not exactly the healthiest way to cook chicken.
But, these wonderful Coconut Chicken Tenders have that super-satisfying, crispy crunch in a fraction of the time, with a healthy addition of coconut flakes for the “breading.” I like to add a punch of flavor with some spicy Sriracha mayonnaise. It’s a phenomenal, Asian-fusion inspired entree, also perfect when served as an appetizer.
For the Chicken Tenders
- Egg: You’ll need one egg, lightly beaten.
- Olive Oil: I like to use a lighter olive oil in this recipe, but you can definitely use extra-virgin if that’s what you have on hand!
- Salt and Pepper
- Smoked Paprika: You can substitute sweet or hot paprika depending on your tastes. I like the subtly smoky flavor of smoked paprika for this dish.
- Garlic Powder
- Shredded Coconut: You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups.
- Chicken Breast Tenderloins: 1 pound of chicken tenderloins.
For the Sauce
- Mayonnaise: You can use your favorite mayo here, from homemade to keto-friendly!
- Sriracha Sauce: If you’d like to avoid the heat, you can try substituting sweet chili sauce for both the honey AND the Sriracha.
- White Wine Vinegar: Rice vinegar also works here!
How to Make Coconut Chicken Breast Tenders
- Prep the Oven and Baking Sheet. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Prep the Chicken Tenders. In a bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. In a separate, shallow dish, spread out the coconut flakes. Dip each chicken tender first in the egg mixture, and then coat with coconut.
- Bake the Chicken Tenders. Transfer chicken tenders to the previously prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken registers at 165˚F.
- Make the Sauce. While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce by mixing together the mayo, honey, sriracha, and white vinegar.
- Enjoy! Serve the baked chicken tenders with the spicy Sriracha mayonnaise sauce!
Tips for Perfectly Cooked Chicken Tenders
- Be Careful Not to Overcook. White meat chicken is very easy to overcook! When the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°F, it’s done, and should be removed from the oven right away. Use an Instant Read Thermometer to check for doneness.
- Rest After Cooking. Chicken tenders are small and don’t have to rest after cooking as long as, say, a full pan-seared chicken breast. But it’s still a good idea to let them rest for 5 minutes, preferably on a rack or on paper towels. This will help keep the coconut breading crispy and also avoid burned mouths when everyone digs in!
- Use the Broiler: Speaking of crispy, if you’re concerned that the coating isn’t crispy enough, try removing the cooked chicken from the oven and then turning the oven to a high broil setting. Give the oven a few minutes to adjust, and then slide the tenders under the hot broiler for about one minute per side. The high heat of the broiler should crisp up the outside fast!
Tasty Dipping Sauce Ideas
If a spicy mayo isn’t really your cup of tea, fear not! These delicious chicken tenders go with just about everything. I like them with barbecue sauce, honey mustard, sweet chili sauce right out of the jar, and even plain old ketchup!
What to Serve With Coconut Chicken Breast Tenders
- Classic Sides: To make a substantial meal, I recommend serving these tenders with a hearty side like Crispy Garlic Parmesan Baked Potato Wedges, Macaroni Salad, or Maple Bacon Baked Beans.
- Comforting Soup: Chicken tenders also make a surprisingly perfect accompaniment to a hearty soup! Try the combination on a cold night with these chicken tenders and a bowl of my Quick and Easy Instant Pot Corn Chowder. So creamy and delicious!
- Light Lunch: You can also turn these Coconut Chicken Tenders into a delicious, light, yet filling lunch by plating them with a helping of Avocado Tomato Salad. This bright and colorful salad works super-well with savory chicken!
How to Store and Reheat Chicken Tenders
- To refrigerate, place leftover strips in food storage bags or airtight containers. The cooked tenders will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
- To freeze, wrap leftover tenders well in two layers of plastic wrap, or place in freezer bags, pushing out as much air as possible before sealing. The tenders will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- To reheat, first thaw the tenders completely in the refrigerator (if frozen). Then arrange on a baking sheet and bake at 400˚F until just heated through, about 10 minutes.
Coconut Chicken Breast Tenders
For the Chicken:
For the Sauce (Optional):
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together egg, oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder.
- In a separate, shallow bowl, spread out the coconut flakes.
- Dip each chicken tender in egg mixture; allow excess to drip off.
- Then, coat with coconut.
- Transfer chicken tenders to previously prepared baking sheet.
- Spray chicken tenders with cooking spray.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of chicken registers at 165˚F.
- In the meantime prepare the sauce by mixing together the mayo, honey, sriracha, and white vinegar.
- Remove chicken tenders from oven.
- Serve chicken tenders with the mayo-sriracha sauce.