Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken. (Grain/Nut/Corn/Soy/Dairy/Egg Free)

Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken. (Grain/Nut/Corn/Soy/Dairy/Egg Free)

Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken

What to use when you are restricted from all of the most common breading vices and you really want popcorn chicken??

Coconut Flakes. I use them for everything. Yesterday I posted in a recipe how to use them to make Strawberry Cream Cheese. I eat them as chips ( Curried Coconut Flake Chip recipe).. I also have found they make awesome Breakfast Porridge when combined with pureed squash. Coconut is the one ingredient that I seem to be able to eat and eat, without developing an intolerance. I'm thankful for that.

This Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken recipe is a guide. I'm not providing exact measurements as you really don't need them. Use it as a tool to get you started- add your own flair by experimenting with different spices.

I'll be making a giant batch of these Gluten Free Popcorn Chicken for the Super Bowl on sunday.

Popcorn Chicken


  • 2-3 Cups Unsweetened Shredded Coconut Flakes (not- reduced fat)
  • Several TBS of your favorite spice. (I love Garlic Powder + Smoked Paprika)
  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs cut into small bite sized pieces.
  • Dash of Salt.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the chicken. In a bowl combine the coconut flakes, spices and salt. A handful at a time add the raw chicken to the coconut flake breading. Toss until each piece is well covered.
  3. Place breaded chicken on a dry baking sheet. (Do not coat with oil). Place into oven and bake 45-55 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the breading is golden. (Toss popcorn chicken around with spatula on baking sheet a few times during the baking process)


Tip: Do not add any oil. This will prevent the popcorn chicken from gaining its crispy- slightly crunchy texture. Coconut Flakes contain some fat naturally. This is all you need. Using chicken thighs vs. Chicken Breast is important. Using breast will result in dry, hard nuggets.

Save the leftover toasted coconut flakes from the pan and use them as bread crumbs in other recipes

For those on a less restrictive diet some other great gluten free breading options include: Almond Flour, Finely Crushed Chex Cereal. (tastes similar to panko breading). Finely Chopped Nuts or Seeds or Crushed Potato Chips (try sweet potato chips too!) All of these options will taste best if a little oil is added to the pan before baking. Add spices to these different options just as I suggested above. For extra "stick" the chicken of course can be coated in an egg wash. Or- Chia gel, dairy free buttermilk etc. You can get away without this extra step in most cases. (Make sure not to coat the chicken with anything if using coconut flakes)

Brittany Angell

30 comments | Leave your own

  1. Jacqui

    this looks awesome! I don’t eat meat.. but the rest of my family does. We usually soak our chicken in buttermilk overnight, the use GF bread crumbs. I think I’ll give this one a try! Thanks!

  2. Traci Bowman

    I just voted for you!!! <3

  3. Leighanne

    Thanks for such a great looking recipe. Looks totally yummy. Will be trying this over the weekend. I think my 2 children (4 & 2) will be beside themself when I put this little number on the table.

  4. Gina P

    Hey Brit! I made these tonight and I was suuuuuuper excited! I used the coconut flakes, not shredded because I thought that’s what it said in the directions, but the breading did not stick very well. I’m also not doing eggs this month. It’s still yummy, but came out kind of dry with a lot of breading on the side. Thoughts on how to remedy? πŸ™‚


  5. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    Oooh these look amazing. I need to get my hands on some coconut flakes ASAP. I know you are in Rochester, I am in Buffalo, where do you buy your coconut flakes? Thanks so much.

  6. Linda

    Yum! NOW I know why I voted for you! πŸ˜‰

  7. Christy

    OMG…YUM!!!!!!!!! I tried it with Cumin and Celery Salt as that is what I had on hand!

  8. Alexis

    Wow this looks so yummy! I’m sooo excited to find your blog. I am nursing and my son is reacting to wheat, dairy, soy and nuts, and rice flours give me a gut ache, and I’m just going crazy trying to figure out what to eat! So thank you sooo much for doing this blog!

  9. Alyssa @ Queen of Quinoa

    I just made this (slightly tweaked) and it was amazing! We used an egg wash and added gluten-free corn flakes to the mixture. It was totally delicious! Thanks for the inspiration πŸ™‚

  10. Rose

    Do you mind if I clarify before attempting? You mean shredded coconut like this:

    I’m excited, but worried about the baking. I know if you just lay out coconut by itself in the oven it QUICKLY toasts then burns… but I’m assuming with the chicken it will cook slower. thanks

  11. JC

    what is the best way to “shred” coconut flakes? My organic store only has HUGH flakes. I tried putting them in the blender but that didn’t work so well.

  12. Rebecca

    All this coconut stuff – now and I am not a huge fan of coconut πŸ™ I will look for something else to use. Also with someone mentioning dryness. I might try to soak in milk kefir

  13. Sarah Adal

    Thank you Brittany!!! You, your experimenting, and having your website has totally made my life easier now that I found out that I have Hashimoto’s. Thank you for being. This recipe sounds awesome, I am going home tonight and making it.

  14. Canta79

    These were fabulous!!!! Thank you so much for the recipe. My whole family ate the entire tray. No whining, and no ketchup!!! πŸ™‚

  15. Tina

    Tried this recipe last night for the Super Bowl and they were AWESOME! And so easy to make! Thanks for sharing! I will be adding these to our monthly meal plan!

  16. Gilda

    Brittany, sorry I’m not clear on the coconut – are coconut flakes the same as flaked coconut? I live in Toronto, so no Wegman’s.

  17. Recipe Roundup: Healthy Super Bowl Recipes

    […] Popcorn ChickenΒ (Grain/Nut/Corn/Soy/Dairy/Egg Free) […]

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