Coconut Chicken Nuggets

by Jen on March 13, 2012

Add a touch of sweetness to plain chicken nuggets with coconut! 

Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Do your kids like chicken nuggets?  Do I even have to ask?  I’m pretty sure I know the answer.  Every kid likes chicken nuggets.  But since I don’t support the fast-food industry, I like to make my own chicken nuggets at home.  They are so simple to make and I know exactly what’s going into them…like 100% chicken!

Instead of just plain breaded chicken, I like to add a touch of sweetness with some shredded coconut.  This recipe has also been lightened up by using panko crumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs.

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Coconut Chicken Nuggets

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 16 minutes

Total Time: 26 minutes

Yield: serves 4

Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup panko crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup no-sugar added apricot preserves
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (adjust according to how spicy you like your sauce)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine the coconut and panko. Put the flour on a small plate. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk.
  3. Working one piece of chicken at a time, coat the chicken in flour (shake off any excess), then dip it in the egg white mixture, then coat it in the coconut/panko mixture.
  4. Once you finished coating all the chicken pieces and placed them on your prepared cookie sheet, give the chicken a light mist with your non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Bake chicken in the oven for 10 minutes, turn chicken over and cook another 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
  6. To make the sauce, combine apricot preserves, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  7. Serve chicken with dipping sauce.


Kids and adults alike will love the flavour of the coconut.  And as an added bonus, I’ve taken a lot of the sugar out of the dipping sauce by using no-sugar added fruit preserves.  But trust me, no one will even know the difference.

So the next time your kids are wanting some chicken nuggets, you should make them these!


Healthy Coconut Chicken Nuggets

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison March 13, 2012 at 8:06 am

My hubby is like a kid. He will love these! 🙂


2 Jenn March 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Wow Jen… YUM! I am so excited about this I might make them tonight! what a brilliant idea to use unsweetened jam =) and rice vinegar! I know it has been too long!! I miss reading your food recipes… they always inspire me! I have been SUCH a lazy blogger lately. time. never in abundance!~ =)


3 Jen March 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for stopping by, Jen. I know how busy things can get. Hope you enjoy the chicken!


4 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes March 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm

That’s so creative!


5 Jen March 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Yes, I thought so 😉


6 Samantha March 13, 2012 at 3:52 pm

That looks yummy! I will have to try it. Thanks for sharing more food ideas, I am always looking for new, healthier things to inject into our routines now that I’m on this awesome health kick.

Question (and this is because I’m genuinely curious, not snarky!), how is panko ‘lighter’ than regular bread crumbs? I’m working to cut white flour out of our diets as much as I can, so in my frugalness I’ve got a stash of homemade breadcrumbs from whole-grain loaves in my freezer. If panko is better, I should pick some up!


7 Jen March 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Glad to hear you are making healthier choices! Panko is lighter because the crumbs are airy and crispy, not as dense as regular bread. They have about 1/2 the calories and fat as regular breadcrumbs and cook up nice and crispy. However, whole wheat bread crumbs are great for the fibre, so feel free to use those as well. So panko isn’t necessarily “better” for you, just lighter in terms of calories and fat.


8 SamiJoe March 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Oooh yummy! (And it’s my tummy saying that, not the kids! Though they’ll love them too!)


9 Jen March 14, 2012 at 8:11 am

Yes, coconut is so yummy! Enjoy 🙂


10 zorina latores January 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Where are the nutrition values. I would like to see how much fat, carbs, sugar, etc.


11 Jen January 22, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Hey Zorina! I’m sorry, I don’t have that information as I don’t count nutrition values, I only count portions. You would need to enter the ingredients into a program like myfitnesspal to get the info you are looking for 🙂


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