Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce

Crispy, flavorful, and simple coconut chicken using convenient pantry ingredients to make one memorable meal everyone will love!

Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce recipe on

Here’s a simple dinner recipe that turned out to be even tastier than I planned. Sure, I had high hopes for this mid-week meal but I never expected it to be THIS GOOD. I think the chicken’s crispiness is what makes it.

And that spicy sweet orange sauce is like icing on the chicken cake. That sounds so weird but you know what I mean. I hope?

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

Here’s the deal. The chicken’s crust:

√ Has allllllll the coconut.

√ Is all sorts of tropical tasting. Hello perfect warm weather recipe.

√ Has Panko for added crunch and texture. Done and done.

√ Is flash-fried in a little coconut oil on the stove before going into the oven.

√ Is crispy and crusty and sweet and savory and flavorful.

The chicken is coated in the coconut crust in three steps. First, a coating of whole wheat (or regular) flour. The flour helps the egg to stick. Next, a dip into beaten eggs. Coating the chicken in beaten egg helps the coconut to stick. And finally? A generous dunk into coconut/Panko creadcrumbs. Here’s why Panko is preferred: Panko is made from crustless bread and is coarsely ground into airy, large flakes. Panko tends to stay crispier longer than regular breadcrumbs because they don’t absorb as much grease and liquid.

It’s important to chop up/pulse the shredded coconut before using it as a coating. Smaller pieces of coconut adhere to the chicken much easier.

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

About that “flash fry” step. It’s not crucial, but both Kevin and I liked the pieces of chicken that were briefly pan fried in coconut oil before being baked through. As an alternative, you can simply bake the chicken instead of adding the pan frying step. But that little pan fry in coconut oil adds another wonderful layer of flavor and gives the chicken the golden brown crispy crust we all love.

For the best taste and texture, I don’t recommend skipping this step. 

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

Now, about that sauce. Talk about F-L-A-V-O-R! I remember having a spicy orange sauce with coconut shrimp at a restaurant before and I knew it would be equally as tasty on crispy coconut chicken. All you need is honey, orange marmalade/jam/preserves, dijon mustard, and red pepper flakes. If spicy isn’t your style, leave out the red pepper flakes. There is still so much lovely flavor in this sauce!

Double dipping is encouraged. Scratch that. It’s required.

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

This chicken is finger-lickin’ good. I don’t like that term though. Maybe it’s the word “lick”? Or just the licking your fingers part? I don’t know, but it certainly describes this coconut chicken. Sticky and sweet, can’t be beat.

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

This is truly such a simple dish that uses convenient pantry ingredients and boasts huge coconut flavor. All in such little prep time, too. Everyone will go COCO-nuts for this chicken! I’m a nerd.


Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: American


Crispy, flavorful, and simple coconut chicken using convenient pantry ingredients to make one memorable meal everyone will love.


  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut*
  • 3/4 cup Panko*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • optional for garnish: chopped cilantro or parsley

Spicy Honey Orange Sauce

  • 1/2 cup orange preserves (or marmalade)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste


  1. If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts – they can also be purchased separately.) – cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  3. Pulse the shredded coconut in a food processor or blender to break it down into smaller pieces. Alternatively, you can chop it up. Mix it with the Panko in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a second medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and pepper together. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs together.
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Coat each chicken strip in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the coconut mixture, shaking off any excess. Add more Panko to the dish if you are running low.
  6. Fry 4-6 chicken strips at a time in the coconut oil– only about 2 minutes per side until the crust is golden brown. Once each is done, place strips onto prepared baking pan.
  7. Bake for 6-10 minutes or until chicken is completely baked through.
  8. Make the sauce: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together except for the salt. Taste. Add salt as needed.
  9. Serve chicken warm with the dipping sauce. Add an optional garnish like a little chopped cilantro or parsley. Store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.


  1. Freezing Instructions: After the chicken is coated in the coconut in step 5, place chicken on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 2-3 hours or until frozen solid. Then transfer them to a large freezer-friendly bag. Freeze for up to 3-4 months. When ready to eat, place frozen chicken on a parchment paper or silicone baking mat lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (177°C)  for 30 minutes or until cooked through. You can also freeze the cooked chicken strips for up to 3-4 months. Thaw on the counter or in the refrigerator then reheat to your liking.
  2. Coconut: I prefer sweetened coconut for a slightly sweet crust. You can use unsweetened coconut if you’d prefer it, though we didn’t like the unsweetened crust as much compared to sweetened coconut. I also find that the sweetened coconut browns easier and was a little crispier.
  3. Panko: A Japanese-style breadcrumb traditionally used as a coating for fried or baked foods. It’s available in major grocery stores near the stuffing. Panko is heavily preferred opposed to regular bread crumbs because they tend to stay crispier longer. You may buy seasoned or unseasoned and then add more/less seasonings to your breading if preferred. I use unseasoned.
  4. Non-Frying Option: Instead of flash frying in coconut oil in steps 4 and 6, you can simply bake the coconut chicken for around 20 minutes (flipping halfway through) and skip those two steps. However, we much preferred the taste of the chicken after being pan fried in coconut oil for that brief amount of time. It adds another layer of coconut flavor as well as ensures a crispy golden brown crust.
  5. Sauce adapted from All Recipes.

Keywords: crispy coconut chicken

We’re obsessed.

Recipe for Crispy Coconut Chicken with Spicy Honey Orange Sauce for dipping!

Little prep time, convenient ingredients, juicy, crispy, and the BEST dipping sauce! Coconut Chicken is so good.


  1. Heather - Butter & Burlap says:

    I haven’t tried it yet, but I already love this recipe! It’s totally finger-licking fun food! What a great and inventive mid-week meal you made, I usually go with the basics like frozen burrito or pasta, but I’m gonna have to add this to my arsenal. I can already tell what my favorite part will be… that SAUCE! If Julia Andrews knew about this sauce, I think she definitely say that it would be one of her “favorite things”. You’re amazing :)! Great recipe

    1. Let me know how you like the recipe Heather!

      1. omaima Eltayeb says:

        Thanks  for  your  delicious  recipe  my family  love it thanks  again  ☺☺☺

  2. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek says:

    I always love a new way to serve chicken. I love coconut shrimp so this just makes sense. Pinned.

  3. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    I always love seeing your savory recipe posts. This chicken looks so delicious! That crunchy sweetness sounds amazing!

  4. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness says:

    I am so down for ALLLLLL the coconut. I am pretty sure I could eat that stuff at any meal.
    And with some healthy protein goodness and that amazing sauce? Count me all over this! Pinned!

  5. Coconut chicken is the best! And that sauce; ahhhh! Yum!!
    Love that wooden honey dipper 🙂

  6. I want me some of this chicken right now! But it’ll have to wait. The dipping sauce is definitely calling my name…

  7. Finally we have some warmer weather and I’m ready to ditch my heavier winter recipies. This looks like a wonderful warm weather dinner that will be great served with grilled veggies and an umbrella drink! I think it would even be awesome cut into smaller bites and served as an appetizer. Thanks for your inspiration Sally! I know what’s for dinner tonight. 🙂

  8. Jessica @ Citrus Blossom Bliss says:

    It’s a little overcast out here today, but this makes me want to sit out on the patio with sunglasses on and soak up some rays while crunching and dipping this fantastic looking chicken!

  9. I know what I’m cooking next week! These look delish, especially with the orange dressing!

  10. Yum! Coconut chicken is so delicious and this is an easy recipe to make it at home. I like to serve it with homemade mango salsa!

    1. The mango salsa pairing sounds SO good!

  11. I love this spicy honey orange dipping sauce!! Sound soooo with the coconut! I’ll definitely have to give this a try!

  12. If you ever making a Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese recipe, my vegetarian ways are going to be tested to the extreme! Your photography is AH-mazing. You do such a good job capturing the finger lickin’ (awkward) goodness!

    I’m such a sucker for any type of mustard so this just sounds so, SO good to me.

  13. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    Wish I had these for lunch today!

  14. Neeli @ Neeli's Unique Creations says:

    Sally, wow, this chicken looks so good. I love the fact that you used coconut in your breading. I love chicken and am always looking for new ideas for dinner.

  15. Ooh, I can’t wait to try this! We eat a lot of chicken and coconut isn’t something I use much of (although I have some on hand since hubby loves it). It should be a unique change of pace.

  16. Sally, are you reading my mind? I had coconut chicken out at lunch today and and really wanted to recreate it, and then I see that you have posted this recipe! Looking forward to making this!

  17. Michelle @ Modern Acupuncture says:

    Yum! I love when you do savory recipes. I feel like there’s nothing you can’t cook! I am just learning to cook and I can’t wait to try this. (Baking, I’ve got it covered. Any kind of dessert – no problem. But cooking real food? Oh man, do I need practice!) Can’t wait to experience all these flavors 🙂

  18. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    Next week I have a coconut-crusted recipe with an orange marmalade dip…great minds 🙂 I love coconut-crusted things and this looks great! Bet your house smelled wonderfully!

  19. Lena | la fille lumineuse says:

    The crust has been my favourite part of fried chicken since I was little and this crust just looks – excuse me – finger-lickin’ good 😀
    Also, I always love a little quality pun at the end.
    I’m still deliberating whether I want to try the Coconut Chicken or the Shrimp recipe first ^.^

    1. You can’t go wrong with either the chicken or shrimp Lena!

  20. azzah aldarees says:

    hiii sally its been awhile since i became addicted to your recipes yes i am i allmost tried more than ten of your bars cakes muffins so far in saudia arabia but i feel that you are living near thanks for adding sweatness to my life

  21. Hi Sally! This looks awesome!
    Do you have any idea on how to make the sauce into a salad dressing? Maybe adding lemon juice or vinegar to thin it out? Or mayo or yogurt for creaminess?

    1. How about subbing half of the orange marmalade with orange juice. This will thin it out without changing the flavor much.

  22. Alyssa @ My Sequined Life says:

    Ohhh my gosh, I’d lick the plate clean! I’m definitely going to try the flash frying step next time. Looks amazing!

  23. I can smell this dish from all the way here in Melbourne, Aus! I am definitely making these this weekend to share with my sister. Yum! Love the idea of a mango salsa too. Shame we are already on our way to winter, looking for winter comfort food these days but I can re-live the summer here with your recipes. x

  24. I made this with Tilapia and it was fab!

  25. OMG Sally this looks AMAZING!!

  26. Trish - Mom On Timeout says:

    This chicken looks totally delish Sally! I love coconut and chicken together! Pinned!

  27. My husband and I are vegetarians, so I subbed out 2 16-oz cartons of pressed, extra firm tofu (cut into thick “tenders”) and it turned out REALLY well! I also added a tiny bit of cayenne pepper to the sauce for some extra heat and some garlic powder as well because I have a garlic obsession, haha. This was super good!

    1. Sounds perfect Mary! Thanks for reporting back about your meat-free version.

  28. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says:

    The crispy crust and sweet and tangy sauce look amazing!

  29. Valentina @Valentina's Corner says:

    Pure Perfection. I’m loving the chicken, until I saw shrimp, come to mammma!!. Pinned!! =)

  30. I made this for dinner yesterday and I’m eating the leftovers right now. This chicken is SO good! I love the flavor and the crunch. It’s perfect!! We didn’t care for the sauce, so I won’t be making that again, but I will make the chicken many, many times!!

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