Sweet ‘n crispy coconut chicken tenders. What’s not to love in a chicken tender that’s sprinkled in chili powder then covered in sweet coconut flakes and panko before being fried (or baked!)? So juicy, so tender, so mouthwateringly delicious!


  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins or chicken breasts, cut into strips 
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons water or milk or milk 
  • 2/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes 
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs 
  • oil for frying see notes for alternate baking method 
  • sea salt flakes for garnish, optional 
  • sweet chili sauce for serving


  1. First, get out four wide, shallow bowls. 
  2. In the first bowl, whisk together the flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and water (or milk). 
  3. Fill a third bowl with coconut flakes, and a fourth bowl with panko bread crumbs. 
  4. Toss chicken tenders first in the flour, then in the egg wash, followed by the coconut flakes, and ending with the bread crumbs. Be sure to coat each chicken tender thoroughly with each step. 
  5. For frying (see notes for baking method) fill a large skillet with 1 inch of oil. Bring to temperature over medium heat. 
  6. Use tongs to transfer chicken tenders into the oil (do not crowd the pan, fry in batches if you need to). Cook for 2-3 minutes, then turn chicken tenders over and cook another 3-4 minutes until golden brown and chicken is cooked through. 
  7. Repeat with remaining chicken tenders as needed. Allow to cool slightly on a wire cooling rack over paper towels. 
  8. Garnish with sea salt flakes if desired and serve warm with sweet chili dipping sauce.


Sweet chili sauce: you can find this sweet and spicy dipping sauce in the Asian section of grocery stores. If you prefer no heat, I recommend sweet and sour sauce as an alternate.

Baking method: Instead of frying, these can be baked at 425 degrees on a parchment-lined baking sheet for about 15 minutes.