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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 2 votes

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!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 4 -6 servings
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

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Place the flour in another shallow dish. Whisk together the egg and lime juice in another shallow dish.
  • Place your dishes in a line leading up to the prepared baking sheet.
  • 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.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
  • Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray and bake for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Turn on your broiler and broil for an additional minute.
  • TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
  • 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.
  • Either leave as a chunky sauce, or add to a blender/food processor and process until desired consistency.

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