Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken + VIDEO

Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Jump to Recipe

This Coconut Grilled Chicken is sweet, sticky and slightly spicy — marinated in spices and coconut milk, this chicken has a mild coconut flavor that is out of this world! Includes step by step recipe video.


Recipe and photos updated from June 2014

coconut grilled chicken on white plate with blue checked napkin on the side

Lately, I have a bit of a thing for food that is sweet and sour and spicy all at once. Like this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork. Or pretty much anything with an “Asian” flair.

And I say “Asian” because I don’t pretend to know much about what real Asian food is.

I don’t pretend to know much about which foods can really define another culture — I know that everywhere you go, and every community has a different take on their cultural dishes, and I think that’s what’s so fun about travelling — you get to experience all of that firsthand.

The coconut milk marinade is so creamy and just slightly sweet. If you didn’t know it was marinated in coconut milk, you probably wouldn’t get a lot of coconut flavour from it. So if you’re worried about not liking the taste of it, don’t worry.

The sauce smells pretty potent when you’re cooking it, I’m not gonna lie. You might get a little bit worried that it’s not going to taste good. When you taste it by itself from the pan, it’s going to be pretty strong. But it pairs so incredibly well with the chicken. Realize, as you’re tasting it, that it’s a glaze, and not a thick sauce that you will eat like one would eat spaghetti sauce. If you want a little less tang, simply swap half of the vinegar for chicken or vegetable broth as stated in the notes section.

It’s tangy, sweet and spicy. The glaze reduces to this beautifully thick, syrupy consistency that doesn’t simply run off of the chicken.

overhead image of coconut grilled chicken breasts with green onion slices

Tips and Tricks to Make this Sweet and Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken:

  • This glaze really packs a punch — if you aren’t sure that’s for you, I recommend using ¾ cup vinegar and ¾ cup chicken broth to mellow out the flavor.
  • The sauce on this chicken is very thin, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t get thick. If you’re looking for a thicker sauce, feel free to combine equal parts corn starch and water and gradually stir into the sauce until you reach your desired thickness (again, just remember — it’s going to pack a punch!)
  • Be sure not to overcook your chicken or it will be dry! I recommend using a meat thermometer so you know exactly when it’s ready.

Watch the recipe video and see how easy it is to make!

ashley avatar

Pin this recipe to save for later

Pin this recipe to your favorite board

Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Sweet, sour, sticky and a bit spicy — this chicken has everything you want. So delicious off the grill with the glaze brushed over top!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 6 servings
Calories 358cal


  • 3-4 large chicken breasts mine were massive, and I sliced them into 7 average portions. You can always use more smaller breasts

For the marinade:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

For the sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar optional: sub in some broth — see note above
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam


  • In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts, coconut milk, ginger and ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Seal bag and use your hands to combine ingredients. Marinade in the fridge at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Over medium heat, grill chicken for about 10 minutes per side (**Note: cooking time will vary greatly depending on thickness of your chicken. Use your own discretion here.)
  • While chicken is cooking, combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, pepper flakes and jam in a medium pan on the stove. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook about 20 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Watch closely and whisk constantly as the glaze starts to get close to being done — it can burn quickly because of the high sugar content. Glaze will thicken considerably after it starts to cool down.
  • Spoon glaze over cooked chicken and serve with rice or noodles.


*The amount you use will depend on your tastes. If don’t like too much spice, go with the lesser amount.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 358cal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 1087mg | Potassium: 387mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2.8mg

Want to save this recipe?

Create an account easily save your favorite content, so you never forget a recipe again.

Register Now

Tried this recipe?

Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel —
I love to see what you’re making!

Tag @thereciperebel

Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

Read More

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions


  1. Tanya says

    I made this tonight for dinner, and it was a big hit! Asian meals for us are hit or miss on the sauce, but this was the perfect balance. I was nervous after seeing how much vinegar was in the glaze, but it turned out well. Great recipe!

  2. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas says

    I found you on The Weekend Re-Treat. So happy I did because I have two new recipes to try. This sounds so good too. I have lived in Asia, South Korea twice and China once. I liked a lot of the Korean food. I can’t say the same for the Chinese food from China. I liked a few things, but not too much. Be happy for your CanadiAsian food. I’m happy for my AmericiAsian food. Seriously.

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Kathleen! We love this chicken in the summer time! I’m jealous that you have gotten to live there — how cool is that?!

  3. Lori Hart says

    This looks amazing!! Found your recipe at Two Cup Tuesday.  I am one of the hostesses of Tickle My Tastebuds and would love you to stop by and link up this recipe if you have not yet already. Here is the link

  4. Sherry says

    Oh this looks so yummy. I love coconut shrimp. Never had chicken this way. I’ll have to try it.
    I enjoyed visiting from Weekend link. I am following you now.
    Have a great weekend,

    • Ashley says

      Thanks Matt! The first time I made it, I was really surprised how much I liked it. Now I’m addicted!

Leave A Reply

Have you tried this recipe? Leave a rating