Coconut and Cashew Crusted Chicken Tenders

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders… this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

Who doesn’t love a great crusted chicken tender?  Why not switch flavors up and try these coconut and cashew crusted chicken tenders with a smoky chipotle pineapple BBQ dipping sauce!

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

love chicken tenders.  Um, a lot!  And I really love baking them… I think you can get them super crispy, without the added calories, not to mention hassle, of frying them!  The secret to a super crispy crust is the panko breadcrumbs… they’re like SUPER breadcrumbs!

Lately, I’m all about the tropical flavors… and incidentally, these chicken tenders pair perfectly with this tropical coconut pineapple rice 🙂

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Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

I like to sprinkle mine with some chopped fresh cilantro 🙂

Now for me, I have to have some dipping sauce for my chicken tenders… it’s not an option lol.  I love making my own sauces, so this time, I decided to go for a sweet/smoky/hot combo.  Chipotle pineapple barbecue sauce!

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

It’s not much to look at while it’s cooking, but oh man, is it GOOD!  And relatively easy to make… just saute some garlic and onions in a little vegetable or coconut oil.  Once they’re soft, add in the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring every once in a while.  You can leave it chunky if you’d like, or give it a zip in your food processor/blender until it’s at the consistency you’d like 🙂

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

It has just the right amount of sweetness from the pineapple, smokiness from the molasses, and spiciness from the chipotles.  I’ve also had some on a burger, topped with a grilled pineapple, and it was heaven!  Gotta love a versatile sauce!

Okay let’s get to the star of the show here today, the chicken.

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

The breading starts by lightly toasting some coconut flakes and cashews, then pulsing them in a food processor until they’re about the same size as the panko pieces.  Combine the coconut mixture with the panko and spices.  Now just bread your chicken as usual (instructions in the recipe below), and place them on a baking sheet that’s been lined with foil with a cooling rack on top that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spray the tops of the chicken lightly with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes.

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

I like mine extra crispy, so I turned on my broiler for a minute or so at the end of cooking to get a deeper golden color.

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

These also make awesome chicken nuggets!

Now just grab some of that dipping sauce and dig in!

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

I’ve also wanted to serve these chicken tenders over a nice salad… I think the crunch would be awesome.

Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

I got this amazing chicken recipe from Carlsbad Cravings, adapted it slightly, then just made my own dipping sauce 🙂  To see her version or to see her delicious mango dipping sauce, go HERE!
Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!

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Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!
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5 from 1 vote
Coconut and Cashew Crusted Chicken Tenders
4 -6 servings
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Not your run of the mill baked chicken tenders... this chicken is crusted in a delicious coconut and cashew breading and baked to golden brown perfection!
Author: The Chunky Chef
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders or chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup cashews
  • cup ½ sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ½ garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • tsp ½ pepper
  • tsp ¼ cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ancho chipotle chile powder
  • SWEET AND SMOKY CHIPOTLE PINEAPPLE BBQ SAUCE:
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or vegetable
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or finely minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp molasses
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 in chipotle peppers adobo sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread out cashews and coconut flakes in a single layer. Toast in the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until very lightly golden brown.
  3. Add cashews and coconut flakes to food processor (or blender), and process until cashews and coconut flakes are roughly the size of the panko crumbs.
  4. Wipe off the aluminum foil on the same baking sheet and place a cooling rack on top of the foil. Spray the cooling rack with cooking spray and set aside.
  5. To a shallow dish, add cashew and coconut mixture, panko crumbs, brown sugar, garlic powder, dried minced onion, ground cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and ancho chipotle chile powder, and stir with a fork until evenly combined.
  6. Place the flour in another shallow dish. Whisk together the egg and lime juice in another shallow dish.
  7. Place your dishes in a line leading up to the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Carefully dredge one chicken tender in flour and then coat in the egg, and then finally toss in the panko mixture, coating it thoroughly by pressing it into the mixture.
  9. Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
  10. Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray and bake for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Turn on your broiler and broil for an additional minute.
  12. TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
  13. Heat the oil in a saucepan over MED heat, and saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until soft and tender. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine thoroughly, and simmer (uncovered) for 15 minutes.
  14. Either leave as a chunky sauce, or add to a blender/food processor and process until desired consistency.
Recipe Notes

** For an almost mess-free breading process, designate one hand to be your "dry" hand, and one hand to be your "wet" hand. Use your dry hand to dredge chicken in the flour and place into the egg mixture. Use your wet hand to coat the chicken in the egg and place it into the breadcrumb mixture. Use your dry hand again to coat the chicken with the breadcrumbs and place onto baking sheet. This helps to prevent breading your fingers 🙂

** Recipe adapted from CARLSBAD CRAVINGS

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26 comments on “Coconut and Cashew Crusted Chicken Tenders”

  1. Pingback: 16 Favorite From Scratch Condiments - Served From Scratch

  2. This looks amazing!! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! This post has been pinned on the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! I love having you and can’t wait to see you next week!

  3. Your Coconut and Cashew Crusted Chicken Tenders look amazing, we will just love this recipe. I appreciate you sharing this awesome post with Full Plate Thursday and have a great day.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. I’m loving this! Pinned and tweeted! I always love your creations, thanks for sharing this with us! I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm. Lou Lou Girls

  5. Thanks for linking up this week! I needed a Paleo chicken recipe that made me feel like I was cheating a bit! Hope to see you next week on #SaucySaturdays!

  6. This is my kind of dinner and that dipping sauce sounds amazing! Thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  7. Ooooooh my goodness. Those sound freaking incredible! And THAT BBQ SAUCE! I might have to make that just for me!

  8. This is just gorgeous and I love the ingredients! I love that you used a spicy sauce to pair with the sweetness. Brilliant!!!

  9. Coconut and cashew! Two of my favourite things!! These look and sound amazing 🙂

  10. I could eat chicken everyday of the week. These tenders look so good! Can’t wait to try them.

  11. I’m with you, I definitely need a dipping sauce for my tenders! These sound awesome!

  12. Amanda, these look soooo perfectly crispy and delicious! But I am kind of rooting for that sauce! That looks like major yums!

  13. Holy moly, that sauce though! These sound perfect!!!

  14. YUM! The chicken looks so good and the sauce looks heavenly as well. Can you bathe in that stuff?!!!!