CRUNCHY, CRISPY FLAVORFUL BAKED COCONUT CASHEW CHICKEN BITES WITH SWEET AND TANGY PINEAPPLE DIP MAKE AN APPETIZER (OR MEAL) EVERYONE WILL RAVE ABOUT!
These Baked Coconut Cashew Chicken bites boast the perfect harmony of sweet and spice, crunchy outside, tender inside and tons of texture are so crazy delicious you won’t be able to stop eating them!
I really could not stop eating these crunchy little morsels. Every bite of chicken is crusted in roasted, salty cashews, sweet coconut and crunchy panko spiced with garlic and ginger with hints of chili powder, cayenne and brown sugar – ah, SO cravilicious!
These BAKED Coconut Cashew Chicken Bites would make a delightfully delicious appetizer this Christmas or New Years but I guarantee you are also going to want to make them for dinner too so you can eat them and only them for an entire meal. And I haven’t even gotten started on the Pineapple dip yet!
But first, let’s talk this Baked Coconut Cashew Chicken. You can make the chicken in advance up to the point of coating the chicken but not baking. Refrigerate the coated chicken then bake when you are ready to serve for a stress free appetizer! The chicken stays crunchy due to the cashews and the toasted beading which I’m about to get to…
Now this coconut cashew breading. Does it get any more wonderfully tropical in December? To achieve this paradisaical crunchy crust, you pulse your cashews in your food processor until they are the size of panko crumbs (or crush with a rolling pin).
You also pulse your coconut (or chop by hand) so it is smaller and sticks to the chicken better. You then add your coconut and panko to a pan with some butter and coconut oil (or olive oil) so it can get nice and toasty. This extra step ensures nice and crispy chicken. Add flour, our crushed roasted cashews and a rainbow of spices and that is our heavenly cashew, coconut breading.
Next, its our ONE STOP batter. Instead of dividing our eggs and flour, I’ve created a breading with both eggs and flour with a splash of soy, lime juice and brown sugar so all you have to do is add all your chicken to the batter at once and stir until its evenly coated. Then, working with a handful of chicken at a time, you coat it in the coconut/cashew breading and then bake for about 10 minutes.
And then its dipping time! Our silky Pineapple Dip is a blend of crushed pineapple in juice, sugar, lime juice and sriracha that you simmer with some cornstarch until slightly thickened, creamy and absolutely heavenly. It is the perfect bright, light, fresh compliment to the nutty chicken.
Welcome to tropical paradise in December with flavorful. crunchy, sweet and savory Baked Coconut Cashew Chicken Bites. Its a delicious place to be.
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Baked Coconut Cashew Chicken Bites
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- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts pounded thin (or chicken tenders), cut into 1 ½- 2” pieces
- nonstick cooking spray
Coconut Cashew Breading
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 3/4 cup roasted salted cashews
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp EACH salt, brown sugar, garlic pwdr, ginger pwdr
- 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, onion pwdr, chili pwdr
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon sriracha more or less to taste
- Add all Dip ingredients to your blender. Blend until very smooth. Add to a small saucepan and simmer approximately 5 minutes or until reduced and thickened. Store in the refrigerator while you prepare chicken. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container.)
Coconut Cashew Breading
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Add coconut flakes to your food processor and blend into smaller pieces (or you can cut by hand). Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon coconut oil (may sub olive oil) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add coconut flakes and panko and toast until golden, stirring often. Remove to a large bowl.
- Add cashews to food processor and process until the size of panko crumbs. Add to coconut/panko mixture. Stir in ½ cup flour and all Coconut Cashew Breading Spices and mix until evenly combined.
- Lightly whisk egg and egg yolk in a large bowl. Add all remaining Batter ingredients and whisk to combine. Add all chicken and toss until evenly coated.
- Remove a handful of chicken pieces from batter, let excess batter drip off (dab with paper towel if necessary), and add to coconut/cashew mixture. Press mixture into chicken with clean fingers to make sure the coating sticks (I use one hand to touch battered chicken and the other clean hand to press in the coconut/cashew mixture). Place chicken pieces on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
- Lightly spray chicken with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Serve with chilled Pineapple Dip.
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