Coconut Encrusted Chicken Salad

Yesterday we covered the many nutritional benefits of coconut oil, so I wanted to follow it up with a delicious recipe featuring this tasty fat. I tried this recently and it really hit the spot.

If you are making the transition to the Primal lifestyle this may be just the breaded chicken alternative you need to make things easy. And, in my opinion, it beats out the best floured and fried drumstick the colonel has to offer. Let me know what you think in the comment board.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup almond flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
3 tbsp of virgin coconut oil
1 bag/8 cups of mixed salad greens or spinach
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

Trim any remaining skin or white parts from the chicken breasts. (Note: I usually love the skin on chicken. In fact I find boneless skinless chicken breast pretty boring unless it is dressed up like I’ve done here.) Rinse under cool water and pat dry using a clean kitchen towel or parchment. On a chopping board, cut the chicken into strips somewhere between ½ an inch and an inch thick. Set aside. In a shallow dish, combine coconut flakes, almond flour and salt and pepper. In a bowl, crack eggs and beat lightly. Dip the chicken strips first in the egg and then roll in the coconut/almond flour mixture. Heat the coconut oil in the pan over medium-high heat and sauté the chicken strips until the exterior turns a golden brown and the inside is no longer pink. Remove from heat and place atop a bed of mixed greens. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories: 600 per serving
Fat: 38.5 grams (55% calories from fat)
Carbs: 7.9 grams (5% calories from carbs)
Protein: 57.5 grams (40% calories from protein)

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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38 thoughts on “Coconut Encrusted Chicken Salad”

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  1. I’ve had a variety of breaded chicken breasts, but never thought of coconut flakes for the coating. Awesome!

    I’ll have to try this next time I do chicken!

  2. So many recipes for boneless chicken breasts! Never really understood the appeal – I usually make thighs or legs since they are cheaper and tastier.

    On another note, it is kind of interesting to me that people with unusual eating patterns tend to try to replicate some of the foods they used to eat. “Breaded” primal chicken breast is a good example, as is the tendency of vegetarians to eat veggie “burgers” and other such things. I have not gotten to try some of the bread recipes on this website yet, but I’m desperate to do so because I really do miss bread.

  3. You’ve all got it in for me haven’t you?

    I just came back from the shops with lamb chops, rabbit and pheasant and first I read a recipe for stuffed mushrooms, now THIS!!!

    Eh well, there’s always next week . . .

    . . . sometimes I wrap chicken breasts in bacon and roast them, that gives them some flavour and reduces the potential dryness. Other times I stir fry them with coloured peppers, garlic etc. and sometimes make a Thai-style curry with chillies and creamed coconut, and sometimes also peanut butter. This is definitely one to add to the list.

  4. Mark:

    I was exited to read your take on coconut oil the other day. I’ve been using it now for about a month after my grandfather suggested I try it for some IBS like symptoms I’ve been having. Since introducing it into my cooking, I have been worry free from my IBS symptoms. I actually had this recipie in mind earlier today for dinner. Funny you should post it!!

    I am wondering though how you feel about organic refined coconut oil (such as the Spectrum brand). Thanks for such a great site!


  5. Your post is timely, for I came home today with 6 lbs. of boneless chicken breast marked 60% off. I’ve already used half to make chicken shawarmas, and I’ll use the other half to try this recipe. I bring a lunch to work every day and am always looking for delicious ways to prepare meat that can be eated cold on top of salad greens.

    1. any chance on getting your chicken shawarma recipe. We live in VA. and just got back from Cali. and have been spoiled by Zankou Chicken. Thanks

  6. Mark – hopefully your new website has a section dedicated strictly to recipes. Its a pain to go back and find them right now!

  7. [i]Its a pain to go back and find them right now![/i]

    If you happen to use Firefox, there’s a real simple solution. Download the “Scrapbook” extension and save the post. Scrapbook will save the basic page and any links in it up to several levels. All of this is on your hard drive so it can’t go bad like a book mark. I have a Recipes folder and that’s where Mark’s go! BTW, I did the Asian Pepper Steak today and it was great!

  8. I just finished making 3 lbs worth. The breading has a nice coconut flavor that goes well with the chicken. However, I needed proportionally about a 1/3 more breading mixture than the recipe called for, taking into account the larger quantity I was preparing. I refrigerated the breaded pieces for one hour before frying since it’s supposed to help the breading stay on the chicken, which it did. I got tired of frying batches, so I put some in the oven and baked on 375 for about 25 minutes. The coating was nice and crunchy, but the oven pieces were dry whereas the fried pieces were juicy. Hand breading and frying is a lot of work just to get some crunch and a little coconut flavor. Almond flour is expensive, too. I would make this dish again but not very often owing to the labor and the cost. Cooking marinated meat is easier and just as delicious.

    1. You can make your almond flour from the pulp left over from making almond milk. Just dry the pulp and grind it in a coffee grinder. Don’t grind it too long or you get butter! I see it as free food.

  9. This is a winner, I used leftover roast chicken today and used coconut flour instead of flakes as that’s all I had. It was crispy slightly sweet and juicy! YUM

  10. Hmm I’ll definitely have to try. There is this great diner by me called the Kings Plaza diner in Brooklyn. I always get a chef salad from there. It’s like $12.95 but it’s huge and lasts me for a few meals. Tons of protein and veggies.

  11. Had this tonight, it was soooooo good! Keep em coming, the biggest struggle with paleo is learning how to obtain a flavorsome variety with the sudden reduction of learned taste options. Breaking sugar addiction is my hardest challenge.

  12. Well mother decided there were too many nuts in this, so I kept some chicken breast back for myself but didn’t quite have enough so also added some prawns and cashew nuts which I can report also work well!

    Also I had no eggs so had to use Araldite. Well no, obviously I didn’t, in fact the mix of coconut flour and ground almonds in the coconut oil kinda stuck itself to the other ingredients quite effectively anyway.

    Did I mention it was delicious yet? (drools)

  13. Made the recipe tonight. It turned out FAR beyond my expectations. The advice I will leave is that if you want to make a large batch of this, have extra coconut oil standing by and change it out frequently. I found that the first batch looked perfect and each subsequent batch looked a little more unevenly cooked until I refreshed the oil. I found I could cook about 10 strips and I needed fresh oil. Awesome recipe!!!

  14. OMG! This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. One of my assistants created something similar using coconut flour (no almonds). You’ve got some delicious sounding recipes and appetizing pictures!

  15. Just made this and it was awesome. Fantastic lunch idea. Cooked it in some coconut oil, added some avocado, and it was great. Thanks!

  16. I just made my second batch for my family (6 people), it was absolutely delish. I have leftovers and can’t wait for tomorrow’s dinner or lunch. Thanks Mark.

  17. this is delicious!! i made the chicken first then used the same recipe for shrimp. the shrimp was particularly wonderful!!

  18. I am going to have to give this one a whirl! My dd LOVES chicken strips and I think this would be just the thing to break her of that. I could also see the chicken chunked up in an oriental style salad, kinda like the one at Applebee’s, but better!

  19. I made this last night and my boyfriend proclaimed, “They taste just like chicken fingers! The best chicken fingers I’ve ever had! It’s also the best thing we’ve eaten since going primal.” Yah! Gold stars all around.

    If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, they sell almond meal for $4/lb. That’s the best deal I’ve seen on it.

    I will definitely be adding this recipe to my permanent collection.

  20. Made this last night and it was delicious. I did manage to set off my smoke alarm though, but that is a separate and unrelated issue….

    I think I may try the same preparation for tilapia and see what it’s like. Additionally, I might try the same “breading” process and bake the chicken. I’ll post results of both.

  21. My family is just starting to go primal, it’s been a hard sell to wean them off flour and sugar. I have a 17 and19 year old. But after making these chicken strips tonight I think I have them sold that this is not a depravatory way of life. It’s also spurred me on at a time when I was starting to waver due to the drab same old food every day. Thank heaven for your site and recipes they have put more spring in my step as I embark into new territory and adding things to my old boring repertoire