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. Linda Johnson says:

    I found that when I slid the chicken off the tin foiled, olive oiled baking sheet, that the coating separated from the chicken. It tasted great, but I had to serve naked chicken with the coating added on top or on the side. Any idea why this may have happened? Linda J

  2. This was delicious.! All six kids ( age 7-23) loved it. I used bobs red mill gluten free flour( the one with the garbanzo beans), gluten free bread crumbs, and unsweetened finely shredded coconut. Will try battering, browning, and then freezing because I know it will be on the list regularly. Had a homemade sweet chili sauce on hand already that I used, but look forward to trying out the sauce in the recipe.

    1. Christine V says:

      Thanks! I was going to ask about making it gluten free!

  3. For the sauce could you use freshly squeezed orange juice rather than marmalade? I realise it won’t be as thick/sticky but maybe fresh juice and a touch of sugar possibly reduced in a pan on the stove top to thicken up a bit? 

  4. I made this recipe the other day just by simply frying in the coconut oil. No need to bake since the chicken was thin enough just to cook a few minutes on each side.  The texture and taste were perfect!!! Now the sauce…..That stuff needs to be bottled and put on the market. I made the chicken with some steamed broccoli. I couldn’t waste not one drop of that sauce so I kept dipping the broccoli in as well. Great recipe. Will make sure I make this again soon….

  5. Can you substitute the chicken with tofu? (I want to make this for my very vegetarian mom) If you can, are there any things to change in the recipe if you use tofu?

    Yummy recipe, by the way 🙂

    1. I wouldn’t change anything, but I would make sure you squeeze as much of the moisture out of the tofu that you can– and use extra firm tofu 🙂

  6. This recipe looks very appealing, but I really don’t like the taste of mustard. Is there any other ingredient I can use to replace it?

    1. Hi Pat, you can leave the mustard out and have it be more of a plain honey orange dipping sauce.

  7. Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!  Used corn starch to coat chicken instead of flour.  After I finished coating the chicken with coconut mixture (I used more coconut than recipe called for)  I covered and refrigerated for an hour to help coating stick.  Don’t skip the orange sauce it was awesome!  Will definitely make again.

  8. We just finished this dish, expecting great results, but were sadly disappointed. The chicken was not flavorful at all, and the sauce was way too sweet!
    This was the first time I had used coconut oil to fry and was not impressed with the taste. Next time, I will use my tried and true combo of olive oil and butter.
    Sounded great, though. The pictures and descriptions were really appetizing!

  9. I’ve made this twice now and we love it.  I did, however, microwaved the dipping sauc

  10. Made this the other night and was really pleased with the results. Didn’t have any orange marmalade though so used lemon and lime instead which worked perfectly with the coconut 🙂

    1. Yum! Lemon and lime sounds delish in this!

  11. Hi Sally, where can I get the sweetened shredded coconut? I’m from the Philippines.

    1. You can use unsweetened coconut if that’s all you can find– maybe add a couple teaspoons of sugar when coating for a little sweetness, if desired.

  12. I’ve made this a few times now and we love it! We don’t keep Dijon, so I’ve always used honey mustard and it works great. Delicious!

  13. Diane Gibbons says:

    I’ve made this twice now …. first time with the sauce and last night without (I didn’t remind hubby that there was supposed to be sauce!). Absolutely delicious!  We both love it and I will make it again and again!  I just serve with salad!  Thank you!

  14. Awesome!!! Every instruction followed and worked like a star dish. 

  15. Sally. I just made the coconut chicken with marmalade for dinner tonight. My daughter loves coconut so she got it!
    Absolutely delicious. I didn’t have orange marmalade and used apricot with honey , dijon mustard , red pepper flakes and added some lemon and lime juice .
    I bought chicken tenders – my favorite part of chicken – and 6 min in the oven after frying in coconut oil was PERFECT.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe.
    All the best to you , your beautiful little daughter and your hubby. And to the dogs too!

    1. So glad to hear you LOVED this coconut chicken! Thank you for reporting back about it 🙂
      And thank you for the well wishes!

  16. Just made this-it was amazing!
    I used apricot preserves instead of orange marmalade.
    Thank you so much for this. Am trying the chicken soup next!

    1. Apricot is just as good! Let me know how you like the soup!

  17. Made this last night and loved it! I used chicken thighs (that’s what I had in my fridge after all) and boy did it come out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

    QUESTION: For freezing I noticed you left out the pan-frying (step 6). Do you think you could just pan fry it then freeze it? It gave the chicken such a crunch, which was really nice.

    1. You can definitely pan fry then freeze the cooked chicken, yes!

  18. Hi Sally! I have a question- would the sauce pair well with shrimp? I am hosting a Wine Tasting this weekend (Have you ever heard of Traveling Vineyard? You get to sample 5 wines and pair them with food. It is AMAZING!) One of the dishes she wants is shrimp with a fresh citrus sauce and I had this one bookmarked to try. I’m sure it would be just as fabulous but wanted your input if you think the Orange works or if I should try another citrus flavor. I am also making your Pear Tart and your Chocolate Zucchini Cake ( OMG best cake I’ve ever had) as pairings!! 🙂 So you’ll be there in spirit.

    1. Will the shrimp be fried at all? I feel it would be best with breaded shrimp!

  19. I rarely comment on recipes, but this one needs some to be shown some love. It is AMAZING! I have been making it for awhile now and it never gets old. That sauce is to die for! Grateful to have this recipe in our dinner rotation!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Chelby! I’m so happy to hear that it’s a regular in your house too!

  20. Just made this tonight. For me, all I taste is mustard. No orange. Next time I’ll use less mustard and marmalade.

  21. Another winning by Sally. The joke in our house is “what is Sally cooking for dinner tonight”. I made this according to your directions and it was a Great hit!

    Thank you!

  22. Kara Kirkpatrick says:

    Fixed this tonight and omg this was amazing everyone loved it!

  23. Can I use almond flour rather than whole wheat or all purpose flour to coat the chicken?

    1. That should be fine, yes!

  24. I was hesitant to try this because I never have much like frying chicken, but I followed the directions exactly, and my chicken was perfect! The sauce is amazing, you could eat with a spoon. And I did a little.
    Sally never disappoints!

  25. Shagufta Qureshi says:

    Absolutely love this recipe. I make this for our family during our large party gatherings. I triple the recipe and let it sit in the fridge once coated with everything. I fry and bake them the next day and it has always been a huge hit! I have tried both chicken breast and tenderloins and they both work well.

  26. Made this recipe tonight but used coconut flour and dried unsweetened coconut flakes instead to really boost the coconut flavor (we LOVE coconut in our house). I also substituted egg whites with 1 whole egg to lighten it up, too. For a nice final touch I added pineapple tidbits to the sauce…very “Taste of the Islands” greatness in one bite!

  27. Ann L. Hunsicker-Morrissey says:

    Hi Sally:
    Do you think the sauce could be frozen? I’m making this for my son at college.

    1. Yes, see recipe note #1 for freezing instructions!

  28. I LOVE ALL OF YOUR RECIPES! Every time I look up a recipe I always click on your site first. I would just like to say thank you for adding the “Jump to Recipe” feature. Most websites do not have that. It saves me a lot of time and frustration. Thank you for being so thoughtful. <3

  29. Oh Sally… I usually don’t leave comments on recipes just because I never think to after I make the recipe. But this dish was absolutely amazing. Even my husband (who hates coconut) said he really liked it! Usually he only speaks in grunts like a caveman. He even saved the leftover sauce to use on other things! This dish was so easy to make and so so so yummy, thank you!

  30. Loved it! I’m wondering if for a dinner party, I could prepare everything up to just after frying in oil & prior to oven. Put in fridge after I fry pieces so I could just pop in oven while my guests are here, or would that ruin crispy coating?

    1. Hi Linda! That would definitely work– the oven would crisp the coating back up nicely.

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