Spicy Brazilian Coconut Chicken

Add some fire to your everyday chicken with this jalapeño- and ginger-infused coconut sauce from Brazil. Try serving this spicy Brazilian chicken with brown rice and black beans.

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Spicy Brazilian Coconut Chicken recipe
Gibson & Smith

Nutritional Bonus: Coconut contains medium-chain fatty acids such as lauric acid, which is converted to a substance called monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties. 

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Prep Time
35 min
Cook Time
40 min
75 min


  • 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (TRY: Simply Organic Ground Cumin)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (TRY: Simply Organic Ground Cayenne Pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric (TRY: Simply Organic Ground Turmeric)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (TRY: Simply Organic Ground Coriander)
  • 6 5-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (1 oz) peeled and thinly sliced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups jarred or boxed unsalted diced tomatoes, divided
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted


  1. In a large bowl, combine oil, 2 cloves garlic, cumin, cayenne, turmeric and coriander. Add chicken and stir to coat. Cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse together jalapeño, ginger, ¼ cup cilantro and remaining 2 cloves garlic until minced. Add lemon juice and pulse again to combine.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, add chicken and cook for about 6 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned. Remove from skillet and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add onion to skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Scrape ginger mixture from food processor into skillet with onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Turn off heat and transfer onion-ginger mixture to food processor along with 1 cup diced tomatoes and broth. Blend until smooth, then return mixture to skillet. Stir in remaining 1 cup tomatoes. Bring to a simmer on medium. Return chicken to skillet, nestling in sauce. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
  5. To skillet, add milk. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 more minutes, until sauce has thickened slightly. Divide chicken among serving plates and top each with sauce and coconut, dividing evenly. Garnish with additional cilantro.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 coconut chicken breast, 1/4 cup sauce, 1/2 tbsp coconut
  • Calories 264
  • Carbohydrate Content 8 g
  • Cholesterol Content 91 mg
  • Fat Content 11 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 32 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 5 g
  • Sodium Content 215 mg
  • Sugar Content 4.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g