This Macadamia Nut Chicken is an effortless sheet-pan dinner that’s drizzled in the tastiest Thai-inspired peanut sauce! Get ready to fall in love with crunchy and flavorful chicken tenders baked alongside broccoli florets and sweet pineapple chunks.
Why You’ll Love Macadamia Nut Chicken
Macadamia nuts may not be a common ingredient in today’s most popular recipes, although they should be a household staple! These nutritious tree nuts, native to Australia, are rich and buttery and add a perfectly delicious crunch to the chicken breading.
A tangy marinade sauce tenderizes the boneless chicken for about two hours before cooking. Bursts of sweet flavor from pineapple juice in the coconut milk are balanced with more savory ingredients, including soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and ginger.
Served with cauliflower rice or traditional rice, this chicken tender recipe creates an unforgettable meal that your family will love.
How to Make Macadamia Nut Chicken
Marinade: To make the marinade, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the marinade and two tablespoons of olive oil to a large ziplock bag with the chicken tenders. Seal the bag, coat the chicken in the marinade, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Broccoli and Pineapple Prep: Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, toss the pineapple with olive oil and brown sugar. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray—place the broccoli on one side and pineapple on the other.
Breading and Coating the Chicken: Process macadamia nuts in a food processor and add panko breadcrumbs, flour, and toasted coconut. Mix well and transfer to a ziplock bag. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add to the bag with the chicken. Coat the chicken in the breading mixture and place on the baking sheet.
Cooking Instructions: Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked.
Peanut Sauce: For the peanut sauce, heat the reserved marinade in a saucepan and whisk in cornstarch. Simmer until slightly thickened, remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken tenders and serve over rice or cauliflower for a low-carb dinner.
Leftovers and Storage
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Leftovers may be served cold or reheated in the microwave until warmed through.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
- Orange Chicken Recipe
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Chicken Yakitori Recipe
- Teriyaki Chicken Bowl
- Air Fryer Whole Chicken
If you try making this Macadamia Nut Chicken Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Macadamia Nut Chicken
FOR THE COCONUT PINEAPPLE MARINADE/SAUCE
- 1 cup coconut milk - lite or full fat
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar - packed
- 2 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tablespoon Sriracha - more or less depending on how spicy you want it
- 5 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger - minced
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup roasted salted macadamia nuts
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup flour
- ⅓ cup shredded coconut
- First prepare the marinade. In a medium bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade until fully combined. Place 1/2 cup of the mixed marinade and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large ziplock bag. Add the chicken tenders and seal the bag completely, removing as much air as possible from the bag. Use your hands to move around the chicken so that each piece is coated in marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hour (if time permits) to overnight. Store the remaining sauce in a separate container in the refrigerator.
- Once ready to cook, prepare the broccoli and pineapple. In a large mixing bowl toss the broccoli with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt + pepper. In a separate bowl toss the pineapple with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
- Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with a light coat of nonstick cooking spray. On one side of the baking sheet line the broccoli and on the other side of the baking sheet line the pineapple. Set aside as you prepare the chicken.
- Space allowing, add another piece of foil in between the broccoli and pineapple for the chicken and spray with nonstick cooking spray. While not necessary, it will protect the chicken from the pineapple juices which will make the chicken soggy (no bueno). If things get too crowded, you can always cook the chicken on a separate baking sheet.
- To a food processor add the macadamia nuts and process until the size of panko breadcrumbs. Add the processed macadamia nuts, panko breadcrumbs, flour and toasted coconut to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
- Transfer mixture to a large ziplock bag. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggs in a small bowl and add to the bag with the marinating chicken. Working in batches of 2-3 chicken tenders at a time, carefully transfer chicken from marinating bag to the ziplock bag with the processed panko and macadamia nuts. Press mixture firmly onto the chicken with your fingers to make sure the coating sticks.
- Transfer each breaded chicken tender to your lined baking sheet, repeating the process until all the chicken has been coated in the breading mixture. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked through (internal temp of 165 degrees F). Turn oven to broil for extra crispiness.
- Finally, as everything is baking, prepare the Thai peanut sauce. To a small saucepan add the reserved refrigerated coconut pineapple marinade over medium high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and bring to a low boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter. If sauce becomes too thick, thin with any remaining coconut milk, pineapple juice or water.
- Drizzle sauce over baked chicken or use as a dipping sauce. Serve chicken, broccoli and pineapple over rice, cauliflower or as a delicious low-carb dinner.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)