Skip to Content

Coconut Chicken Tenders {Air Fryer Recipe}

Coconut Chicken Tenders {Air Fryer Recipe}

Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders are TENDER and JUICY on the inside and CRISPY on the outside. Coated with Panko and coconut, these tenders are delicious as an APPETIZER or a MAIN DISH.

Serve with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce for even more flavor!

plate of coconut chicken tenders

If you’d rather skip my (very helpful, I think) tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to this delicious recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

Coconut crusted chicken tenders are the perfect snack food! Not only are they a fun appetizer but they make a main course that everyone in the family will love!

I love the crispy coating that the panko provides and the little sweetness that come from the shredded coconut.

If you like coconut shrimp, you are going to love these tender and juicy tenders with the crunch you love!

Serve with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce for the ultimate pairing!

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy here.
ingredients for chicken tenders

Coconut Chicken Ingredients

  • buttermilk
  • sriracha
  • chicken tenders
  • flour
  • eggs
  • panko bread crumbs
  • shredded coconut
  • spices, salt and pepper if desired, red pepper flakes if desired

For the Dipping sauce (optional)

  • Greek yogurt
  • honey
  • Sriracha sauce

For more insider tips & tricks, and a candid behind the scenes look follow me on social media! Check use out on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter (yes, people still use Twitter, LOL!)

How to make coconut chicken tenders

STEP ONE: Mix the marinade by mixing the buttermilk and sriracha. Add the chicken tenders and place in a covered bowl or zip top bag.

Store in the refrigerator fo at least 4 hours or overnight to tenderize.

STEP TWO: Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes. While it’s preheating, coat the chicken tenders.

STEP THREE: Make the dredges in three shallow bowl. Flour and spices in one. Eggs in the second. Panko and coconut flakes in the third.

Remove the tenders from the marinade and dip the chicken in flour, then eggs, then coconut panko. Set on a plate while you dip the rest.

STEP FOUR: Spray the coated tenders with coconut oil spray if desired. Air fry for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown, flipping half way through.

Based on the size of your air fryer basket, you might need to cook in batches.

STEP FIVE: While cooking, mix the dipping sauce by combining the yogurt, honey, and sriracha. Serve with coconut chicken!

For the full recipe and detailed instructions, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Sign up to early access to recipes, tips & tricks, and behind the scenes info in our newsletter! It’s FREE and we promise not to SPAM you. Click here to join us!

chicken tender dipping in sauce

What’s the difference between chicken tenders and chicken strips?

Chicken tenders, or tenderloins, are a specific cut of the chicken, right behind the breast. Chicken strips are boneless skinless chicken breasts that have been cut into strips.

How do you keep chicken tenders moist?

Soaking or marinating the chicken tenders before cooking them will make them moist and juicy all while getting crispy on the outside.

A simple salt water brine will work or the buttermilk marinade in this recipe works great too!

What are the best frozen chicken tenders?

I like to buy my tenders fresh but if you have a house full of hungry people it might be necessary to keep some extra stored in the freezer.

I like to keep a few extra bags for emergencies too.

Since most of the ones your find in the grocery store are already breaded, it might be best to buy a few bulk packages of the raw tenders and freeze them into the portions you like.

coconut chicken tenders on a cooling rack

How do you make chicken tenders crispy?

Make sure your air fryer or frying oil is the correct temperature to keep them from getting greasy.

How do you keep chicken strips from getting soggy?

When they are done cooking make sure to place them on paper towels or a cooling rack to keep any residual oil off them which can make them soggy.

Can I bake, deep fry, or air fry these?

Of course you can!

  • Air fry at 400F for 6-8 minutes or until nice and crispy.
  • Deep fry at 375F for 3-4 minutes on each side until nice and crispy.
  • Bake in the oven at 425F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

collage of chicken with text "super delicious coconut chicken tenders recipe"

Other Air Fryer Recipes

Coconut Chicken Recipe

plate of coconut chicken tenders

Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Crispy Coconut Chicken Tenders are TENDER and JUICY on the inside and CRISPY on the outside. Coated with Panko and coconut, these tenders are delicious as an APPETIZER or a MAIN DISH.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Sriracha
  • 2lbs chicken tenders
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce

Instructions

    1. Mix the marinade by mixing the buttermilk and sriracha. Add the chicken tenders and place in a covered bowl or zip top bag.
    2. Store in the refrigerator fo at least 4 hours or overnight to tenderize.
    3. Preheat the air fryer to 400F for 5 minutes. While it’s preheating, coat the chicken tenders.
    4. Make the dredges in three separate shallow bowls. Place the flour and spices in one, eggs in the second (beaten), and the Panko and coconut flakes in the third.
    5. Remove the tenders from the marinade and dip the chicken in flour. Shake off the excess.
    6. Dip the flour coated chicken tender in the beaten eggs.
    7. Then dip in the panko and coconut mixture and press to make sure the panko sticks to the chicken.
    8. Place on a plate while you coat the remaining tenders.
    9. Place the tenders in the air fryer basket, leaving space between them and keeping them in a single layer. Spray the coated tenders with coconut oil spray if desired.
    10. Air fry for 6-8 minutes or until fully cooked and golden brown, flipping half way through.
    11. Based on the size of your air fryer basket, you might need to cook in batches.
    12. While cooking, mix the dipping sauce by combining the yogurt, honey, and sriracha. Serve with coconut chicken!

Notes

*If you love this recipe as much as I do, please leave me a comment and rate it 5 stars. Thank you!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 523Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1593mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 28g

This nutrition information was generated via a third party. I can not be held liable for any discrepancies in the information provided.

Did you make this recipe?

Follow me on Pinterest for more fun recipes!

@TakeTwoTapas.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.

Mexican Cheese Ball with Spicy Tortilla Chips
← Previous
40+ Best Air Fryer Appetizers
Next →
Skip to Recipe