baked coconut chicken strips.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Babyface has a “thing” for sweet foods. He rarely dislikes food I make, but on those rare occasions, his complaint is almost always, “it isn’t sweet enough.” I don’t care if we are talking about cookies or chicken, it all needs to have an element of sweetness to satisfy his tastebuds.

Now contrast that with me. Almost every recipe that crosses my countertop gets it’s sugar content cut dramatically. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but I’d rather my sweet tooth be satisfied in controlled and well-balanced doses. And I also have one heck of a “spicy tooth” that loves foods that are sharp, spicy and savory, without much sugar content at all.

Needless to say, it has taken quite a few years to perfect dishes that happily satisfy both of us. As with anything in a good marriage, we’ve met in the middle. I’ve toned down my use of hot peppers. And he no longer requests that I add more sugar to the pizza dough recipe.

Of all of our culinary compromises, this coconut chicken may be the pièce de résistance. For Babyface, it is breaded in naturally sweet coconut flakes. For me, it is seasoned with pepper and dipped in a slighty-spicy sweet chili sauce.

These chicken strips are kinda like us a couple—contrasting, yet totally complementary.

Also, to satisfy both of us, they are baked, not fried. Finishing off the strips with a spray of olive oil helps them crisp up in the oven just like they would in the frying pan, but without all the fat.

You might be tempted to skip the sweet chili sauce, but I promise you, it is worth it! You can find sweet chili sauce at most major grocery stores in the international food section.

Baked Coconut Chicken Strips

Inspired by Budget Bites

Serves Four


  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • White flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Equal parts unsweetened coconut and panko bread crumbs
  • Olive oil spray (can sub other cooking spray)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a large zip-top bag and pound down to about 1/2″ thickness. Slice into 3/4″ strips.
  3. Mix panko and coconut in one bowl, season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and splash of milk. In a third bowl, add the flour.
  4. Dredge the chicken strips starting in the flour, then the egg mixture and then ending by pressing into the coconut/panko mixture. Lay onto a greased baking sheet. Spritz tops of strips with olive oil spray.
  5. Bake 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time, or until cooked through. Serve with sweet chili sauce to dip.

Are you more of a savory or sweet fan?


  1. says

    Matt would love this recipe. He goes crazy for my Nonna’s breaded chicken breasts so I bet the addition of coconut would make him happy.
    …I literally can’t remember the last time I cooked meat for the poor boy.

    • Cassie says

      I love chicken strips because it seems like you can get a lot more for a small amount of meat. We used just two chicken breasts and we had enough for dinner and the next day’s lunch for both of us. It’s a great way to have meat without eating a ton.

  2. Frizgirl says

    Mmmm I love Mae Ploy sauce. My sister came back from Thailand with some of this about 10 years ago and after searching for the closest thing, it was excellent. It’s also great with homemade spring rolls. I never would have thought about mixing coconut in with the panko crumbs. Yum!

  3. says

    This combination intrigues me… I love both savory and sweet, and I especially love coconut anything! I might have to try this one out.

    And I have to say, you have incredible photog skills! I love these pics.

    • Cassie says

      Aww, thanks! I was actually pretty unhappy with the photos for this post, so it is nice to hear that I am being too hard on myself. :)

  4. Knocked Up and Nursing says

    You can also make your own sweet chili sauce. It’s super easy. The recipe i use goes a little like this:
    Add some organic apricot jelly to a small dish. Add enough Bragg’s Liquid aminos to make it whiskable. Dice some scallions and throw them in the dish. Add one (or more) Adobo roasted chipotle peppers, diced. Or you can throw them in in food processor to give you a chili paste. Mix everything together and adjust ingredients to your flavor likings!

  5. says

    These look and sound delicious and healthy too! I may even be able to convince my fried food loving hubs to give them a shot. I bet the baked coconut gives them a ton of crunch.

  6. says

    Absolutely delicious. Forgive me, but I can not linger here right now have to shoot off into my kitchen to make these.(all for myself, since JO hates chicken!)

  7. says

    Love your website! Stumbled upon it after a search for “the skinny rules” (wanted to share the rules with someone) but I got caught up with all your delicious and inspiring ideas and recipes!! Thanks

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