If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain… then you’re going to LOVE these coconut chicken tenders with piña colada dip! Juicy chicken tenders are fried to perfection in sweet shaved coconut and dipped in a delicious pineapple and coconut milk sauce.
Crispy Fried Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe
Summertime is basically here, and I couldn’t be happier about it! Why? Because it’s the perfect season to make coconut chicken tenders with homemade piña colada sauce! The best way to eat these delicious chicken tenders is by the pool with a frozen piña colada in your hand.
Why You’ll Love Coconut Chicken Tenders with Pina Colada Sauce:
- Festive: There’s no better way to kick off summer than with these tropical chicken tenders. The whole family will feel like celebrating the season with this easy dinner recipe!
- Unique: Everyone has a favorite sauce for their chicken tenders – ketchup, barbecue sauce, etc. After trying homemade piña colada dipping sauce for the first time, it’s sure to become a new favorite!
- Easy to make: Chicken tender recipes should always be two things – delicious and hassle free! Coconut chicken tenders are whipped up in just a few easy steps, and in hardly no time at all.
How to make Fried Coconut Chicken Tenders
Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!
- Mix the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl.
- Whisk the eggs together before whisking in the coconut milk in another shallow bowl.
- Combine the breadcrumbs and shredded coconut in another bowl.
- Dredge the chicken in the flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs.
- Fry the chicken tenders 3 at a time.
- Drain the excess oil from the tenders on a paper towel before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Blend the piña colada dip ingredients together.
- Serve the tenders immediately with chopped cilantro and sauce. Enjoy!
Can I make the coconut flavor even more powerful?
Yes, but do so carefully! You can add a few drops of coconut extract to both the dipping sauce and to the egg mixture. Do so sparingly, though, as coconut extract can be very overpowering.
You can also feel free to add more coconut shavings to your breadcrumb mixture!
Can I make these chicken tenders in the air fryer?
While I prefer the traditional frying method for these tenders, you can certainly opt for the air fryer instead.
To use the air fryer, simply preheat it to 400F. Then, cook the strips for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Can I freeze them?
Coconut chicken strips can definitely be frozen! They’ll stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to serve them, put them in a preheated oven at 400F and let them cook for about 20 minutes. Just like the air fryer, flip the strips halfway through for the best results.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- To know for sure that your chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. When the inside of the chicken reaches 165F, it’s fully cooked, safe, and ready to eat!
- Letting the fried chicken sit on a paper towel to drain the grease is a hugely important step in this recipe! No one like biting into a super greasy chicken tender. As long as you let the grease drain off of the tenders for at least 1 minute, you should be good to go.
- As far as garnishes go, I just like to do a light dusting of chopped cilantro for a fresh kick! However, squeezed lemon juice is also quite fresh and tasty on these summery strips.
It’s time to round up the neighbors and have a pool party! When you do, make sure you serve these easy to make coconut chicken tenders, and definitely make a double batch. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they get gobbled up!
More Kid Friendly Chicken recipes we love
- Baked Chicken Tenders
- Instant Pot Chicken Tenders
- Chicken Folded Quesadillas
- Chicken Parmesan Sliders
- Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets
- Chicken Sloppy Joes
If you’ve made this recipe, please be sure to let us know by leaving a star rating or a comment below. Enjoy!
Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe (with Pina Colada Sauce)
For the Coconut Chicken Tenders:
- 1.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken tenders
- 1 cup of sweetened shaved coconut
- ½ cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 cup of coconut oil
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup of coconut milk heated for 30 seconds in the microwave
For the Piña Colada Dip:
- ½ cup of sweetened condensed coconut milk
- ¼ cup of canned pineapple drained from the juice
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- Mix the flour, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder in a shallow bowl.
- In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the eggs together then pour in the coconut milk and whisk again to combine.
- In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and coconut together.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over low-high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dredge a chicken tender in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then press the breadcrumb mixture onto the chicken.
- Fry in the oil for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden in color.
- Repeat the process with the remaining chicken tenders but add no more than 3 tenders to the pan at one time.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and drain off the excess oil on a plate with a paper towel or on a cookie cooling rack.
- While the chicken is frying, blend the sweetened condensed coconut milk, pineapple and salt together and pour it into a small bowl.
- Once all of the chicken has been fried, serve immediately with freshly chopped cilantro and the dipping sauce.
- This chicken is best eaten the day it is made but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
- To reheat, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the chicken for 6-7 minutes, or until crispy.