Spicy & Sticky Coconut Honey Chicken

If you haven’t watched the latest Mindy Project, TURN AWAY NOW. Just go straight to the recipe. Or at least skip this paragraph. I’m serious. This is a spoiler alert if you haven’t watched it. OMGIMSOEXCITEDDANNYANDMINDYFINALLYKISSED!!!! Best winter finale EVER. I’ve pretty much stopped watching New Girl, I’m very sad about it, so I’m pretty dedicated to Mindy Project. It keeps getting better every episode. And it finally climaxed. Don’t be dirty. They made out hard core. I’m so happy for these tv characters. Why oh why must I wait until April to see what drama occurs in their relationship? Oh the frustration.

Ok, so a couple months ago, Dunkin’ Donuts came to the Denver area. I know this because it is down the street from my gym and our street was backed up for blocks. People were waiting in line for an hour to get freaking donuts. Donuts. I mean, I get it. When I was on swim team at 12 years old, I used to be able to eat a dozen cake donuts in one sitting. That’s what we would do. We would huddle in sleeping bags at 6am, jump into a freezing cold pool, braid each other’s hair, flirt with boys, and eat donuts. Ok, maybe that was just mostly me. Either way, I consider myself pretty much a donut expert because of all the donuts I’ve inhaled in my day. And once I started eating paleo, I made lots of donuts: pumpkin cream donut sandwiches, chocolate coffee banana donuts, carrot cake donuts, blueberry lemon jam donuts. Those are my favorites. Anyways, I’m an “expert”. And the other day, I had the chance to try a bite of a Dunkin’ Donuts chocolate donut…and you know what? It sucked. I would take a paleo dessert any day over that crappy unhealthy donut. What what!! Paleo is the best.

Yesterday, I spent more money than I am comfortable with. I’m the type of person that gets a lot of stuff at thrift stores. I got my donut maker there, my immersion blender there, my spatulas there, you get it. I just like saving money. But going forward with my life, moving in to a new place, I decided that I should buy some stuff I enjoy using. Like great pans. I spend every single day of my life using a pan, multiple times. So I might as well spend a bit more money on something that will last. So I did it. I spent some money on some amazing pans, but EFFFFFF, it was not fun to swipe my card. How can they charge that much for metal?? I’m sure they have reasons but I have reasons for saving money. Like so I can pay the gas bill to use the pans to cook with. Oh the frustration.

Whatever. I have a new kitchen to cook in soon!!! Can’t wait to show you.


Spicy & Sticky Coconut Honey Chicken

  • Yield: 3-4 1x



For the rice

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • ⅓ cup broth or water
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the chicken

  • 12 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • salt, to taste

For the sauce

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce)
  • 23 tablespoons sriracha, depending how spicy you like (find paleo sriracha here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • chopped green onions (to garnish)


  1. Run florets of cauliflower through a food processor using the shredding attachment, to rice the cauliflower. Or use a grater and crate the cauliflower until you have small pieces.
  2. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, add cauliflower and broth or water and garlic powder and salt to the pan and cover to let steam for about 10 minutes. Mix a couple times to keep from sticking to the bottom.
  3. Now place a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add coconut oil. Once oil is very hot, add chicken to the pan without crowding the pan to help with searing. Sprinkle with salt. Once chicken begins to turn white, flip on cook on other side. After chicken has cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. When chicken is done cooking, add 2 more tablespoons to the pan (if needed) then add garlic and onion. Once onion becomes translucent, add coconut milk, honey, coconut amines, sriracha, red pepper flakes, and salt. Whisk together and let come to a low boil then reduce to low heat.
  5. Lastly, while continuously whisking, add in tapioca flour 1/8 cup at a time. Be sure to continuously whisk to keep from tapioca flour from clumping.
  6. Once mixture thickens, add chicken to the pan with the sauce and coat, let cook for about a minute to reheat the chicken.
  7. Pour sauce and chicken on top rice and garnish with green onions.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


111 thoughts on “Spicy & Sticky Coconut Honey Chicken”

  1. First off, CONGRATS on being featured on the greatist.com roundup of best healthy blogs! I just followed you on bloglovin’ and couldn’t be more excited. I recently decided to go grain free which isn’t entirely paleo, but I would like to check out so many of your recipes, starting with this gem!

  2. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN CRAVING! I made the whipped yams and buffalo chicken pasta last night. I wish this would have been posted too 🙂

  3. I’m laughing at the DD’s comment- because they do suck. i’m from Boston with a dunk’s on every corner and I have to say, people don’t go for donuts (or at least New Englander’s don’t), it’s the coffee. But their hot coffee isn’t nearly as good as the iced.

  4. Perhaps a silly question, but just because I have it on hand… could arrowroot powder be subbed for the tapioca flour?

  5. Hi Juli,
    I just had to comment on this, even though I never write comments, because I remember those swim team donuts too! Not sure if you remember me, but we swam together at AAC and I came across your blog about a year ago and thought you looked familiar, small freaking world! Those early morning swim meets were always supplemented with donuts and ramen noodles from the snack shack 🙂 Anyways, congrats on a healthy and happy lifestyle and thanks so much for all the great recipes! Paleo is definitely the way to go.
    Liz Guzy

    1. LIZ!!! Of course I remember you, that’s so crazy you’ve come across my blog!! Real small world! We’ve definitely come a long way since snack shack days hahaha. Thanks so much for reading my blog!! Hope all is going great for you!!

  6. OMG I need to try this!
    Juli–love your blog! I’m currently doing the Whole Life Challenge, and tapioca flour is a no-no. (and I’ll have to change a few other things…but that’s ok!) Do you know of an acceptable replacement for tapioca flour? I can do coconut flour….will that work? Thanks for the great recipes!!

  7. Dunkin Donuts don’t make “fresh” donuts anymore. It’s all frozen (resource: friend who used to work there). Can’t say I’m sad because I’ve never even had one of their fresh donuts. Your donuts, however…. mmmmmmm 🙂 Definitely worth splurging for!

  8. I just made and ate this recipe. Turned out exactly like the pic and tastes amazing!! Thanks for posting such workable recipes. 🙂

  9. I agree, it’s hard for me to justify shelling out a lot of money on things when there are cheaper versions out there. I am a big thrift shopper myself, but when it comes to something you do every day (like baking/cooking in your case) the quality product will pay off. Enjoy your new place! 🙂

  10. DEFINITELY OMG about the Mindy Project! I DVRed it and watched it last night…. EPIC!!! I can’t wait till April! 🙂

    And true about Dunkin Donuts – I don’t get it. We have Yum Yum donuts here in LA by me and while they smell amazing – pre-Paleo I would eat one and be sick, sick, sick! Never taste as good as they smell. Same on Krispy Kremes. Full disclosure, I do prefer a cake donut. I’ll have to make up some Paleo donuts but I bet I would eat them ALL! Good luck on your move. I love your blog!

  11. Seriously how long have we been anticipating Danny and Mindy!? Ahh so exciting for that to finally happen. I stopped watching New Girl too, I was so sad when it started going downhill. Mindy it is! Trophy Wife is pretty hilarious too!

  12. I’m a Rhode Islander and Dunkin does suck! I treated myself to a boston cream while visiting Family in San Francisco. Amazing!

  13. I am very very excited about this recipe, I can’t wait to try it. I live in MA so there is a DD on like every corner. And I don’t get why people love it so much. They never get an order right and the food/coffee isn’t that great. SO yea… I don’t get it either.

  14. I love how in your preamble you talk about TV, pans, and your new apartment but nothing about the recipe!!!

    You crack me up!

  15. Awesome recipe! I was out of honey and too stubborn to head to the market. With hesitation, I substituted a ripe banana for the honey. It was surprisingly delicious (mashed half a banana mixed with a little almond milk for consistency). Thanks for the recipe!

  16. OMG Can I be the 400th person in a row to ask if I can use Alternate/Arrowroot flour???!??!? I really love your site which is why I don’t read through and pay attention to details! (sarcasm)
    JK, love the site, you do awesome work and if I lived in Denver I’d totally ask you out

  17. OH MY GOD I JUST WATCHED THE MINDY PROJECT. Thank you for the spoiler alert your considerate angel! That episode blew my mind. Damn you winter break.
    And awesome recipe!

  18. Okay…about New Girl…what made you give it up? I haven’t stopped watching yet but every episode that Coach is still there I get more upset. This might be the last season I keep up with that show. Shame.

  19. I know that this sounds awful, but I am sitting here laughing at how many times you had to reply “arrowroot” when someone asked about tapioca flour substitutions. I actually laughed out loud, causing my coworkers to look at me funny.

    This looks amazing. Might have to try it after my Whole30 is finished next week. I don’t want to skimp out on honey or sriracha.

    Also, I must say that I love your cookbook and, being new to paleo, your blog is an inspiration for me. Thank you for your great recipes and entertaining anecdotes 😀

  20. Hi Juli!

    LOVE your blog and your recipes!

    I am curious about what type of pans you bought. With so many to choose from, I’d be interested in your selection process.


    1. i honestly have already forgot hahahaha and they are in storage until i move this weekend. once i know, i’ll post on my instagram which ones i got! sorry about that!

  21. OMG I love The Mindy Project, and I am sooo excited they kissed! But now I worry. Just like New Girl, season 2 is too soon for the two main interests…season 3 New Girl has been hit and miss all season. I know Mindy and Danny are right for each other, but…I can’t go through seasons of breakup and makeup, my heart is too fragile!

  22. Another rockin’ recipe!! My (non paleo) brother loved it! Only problem now is, I’m going to have to hide it in the fridge so I can actually enjoy some leftovers!

  23. Hey Juli,
    I just made this today with a few minor modifications. I added coconut flakes into the mix and I topped the finished product with cashews. It was amazing! Thanks for another great recipe.

  24. I just made and ate this and I am so, so happy right now. DELICIOUS!!! I seriously can’t believe how good this is. And I really, really like food. Thank you, Juli!

  25. I just made this recipe!!! WOW!! It was my first time using cauliflower as “rice,” I was skeptical, but am now a convert! Tip on the tapioca flour/starch that my grandma taught me for making gravy/sauce: mix flour/starch with a bit of cold water then pour into your sauce. This will give you lump free results every time!

  26. So darn good!! Even fooled my carb obsessed kids the cauliower was rice. The sauce was terrific! Love all your recipes. Tomorrow? Shredded pork chili!

  27. So darn good!! Even had my carb obsessed kids convinced the cauliflower was rice! The sauce was amazing. Love every recipe I try of yours. Tomorrow? Shredded pork chili!

  28. This was amazing! I could have used a little more heat….my wife did complain that it was too spicy….so that makes it perfect! I loved the sticky feel of standard versions. You know it is good when we fight over who is taking it for lunch tomorrow….I win, only because I baked her chicken for the week.

  29. So good! I used arrowroot and it worked perfectly. I just wish there was a better way to make cauliflower rice – always a mess at my house.

  30. I made this today, and used light coconut milk. I also didn’t have tapioca flour, so I used a dash of cornstarch. Regardless of my changes, this dish came out FABULOUS. Really delicious; I’m bookmarking this site for future reference. THANK YOU!

  31. Okay, so this recipe took me like an hour and 20 minutes to make, not 35…however! IT WAS DELICIOUS!!!

    I’m wondering what’s your trick for dicing the chicken so quickly? It took me forever!

    Anywayyy, I’m totally willing to make it again, because it was THAT INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS!

    <3 Thank Juli!!

  32. Just made this tonight and OMG!! It was AMAZING!! Reminded me of Kung Pao Chicken…just needed some cashews! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  33. Juli!
    My husband and I dropped into CF Broadway on Friday hoping to meet you but you taught earlier in the day! Oh well!

    Anywho-my buddy is opening up Rosenberg bagels (he will have GF) in Denver. He is a super awesome dude! You should check them out!

    Alsooooo-we ate at The Curtis Club while we were in town. Very delicious. Gluten free options, local ingredients. Totally recommend!


  34. This was amazing. I’m new to paleo and this was our second meal my family and I tried. I have three kids under 5 who are ridiculously picky, but ate it all and seconds. Can I say that you’ve literally saved my sanity in not having to argue with my kids over eating? This was so good, smooth and the hint of coconut and honey sent it straight to the top

  35. I tried this recipe yesterday. Oh my goodness! It is delicious!! My husband, who doesn’t like coconut, really enjoyed it too. Thank you very much!!

  36. Made this for dinner tonight and HOLY DELICIOUSNESS!! No one believed me when I told them it was paleo. Love it!!

  37. I made this last night. Eating dinner is annoying to me, I don’t really like to do it. But I work out and know that eating = recovery. Eating this didn’t feel like the chore dinner usually is. I actually considered seconds. That’s a big deal.

  38. Juli,

    This is AWESOME! I’ve made it twice now. The 2nd time I had some extra mushrooms in the fridge, threw them in…..turned out great 🙂 Love your blog! I wouldn’t know what to eat most days without you. Thanks! keep up the great work!

  39. I am going to make this for dinner. It is our family’s favorite chicken dinner. Thank you for amazing recipe.!

  40. I can’t stop going back to the pan to “taste-test” this is the best thing I’ve ever made hands down.

  41. Hi Juli! Been following your blog since I went Paleo in January and love your recipes! I made this one the first time with rice flour and did not have the sticky-ness, but tried again last night with tapioca flour and was amazing. I have leftovers for the rest of the week when I doubled the recipe.

    Thanks again for the amazingness!

  42. OMFG! This is my favourite paleo recipe of alllll time! Just made it for supper tonight and I can’t stop eating it! Foodgasm for sure. Thanks Juli! If it weren’t for you I would starve to death. Been paleo for almost a year and use your recipes ~60% of each week. LOVE them and U!

  43. I just made this and it is thus far, my favorite item on your blog. I really wish I made a double batch!!! And, I’ve found the easiest way to rice cauliflower is in the blender. Rough chop it, put in the blender with water to cover it and pulse it. Then just strain and cook as desired.

  44. I’m a twenty a something nonmember blog-comment virgin. This recipe deserves my first. I thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant-quality dish. I didn’t think it possible to have that delicious, full of depth, thick brown sauce w/o gross corn starch. You nailed this, and nailing a paleo dish deserves extra kudos. You’re my new go-to for dinner (and lunch the next day). Thanks for feeding me! P.S. She’s not fibbing peeps; same conversion arrowroot worked great! PSS. star rating isn’t working on my android, but its obviously a 5.

  45. This recipe is fantastic. My boyfriend and I loved it even though neither of us like cauliflower usually. He has a dietary problem and can’t actually eat rice at all, so this has opened up a whole new world of curry recipes for us. Thank you!

  46. Perfect! Hubby loved it and has already told me he wants it again. The sauce was delicious and it could potentially be made with pork too, or just put over a ton of steamed veggies. Thanks, Juli!

  47. This was really good! I stopped at 3 tbsp of tapioca flour and it was super sticky and yummy! Thanks so much!

  48. This was really good! We even added andouille chicken sausage to add some heat. We think next time we might add some type of seafood and make it a jambalaya.

  49. Made this last night and had to come back to comment! This is such a delicious dish, my hubby and I both were amazed at home delicious it was! This will definitely be a rotating dish at my house! Thanks for the great recipe!

  50. This is my favorite food in the WORLD now. OMG, it’s so good. Thank youuuuu for inventing it!! 🙂

  51. So excited to try your paleo recipes. I decided to go Paleo with my family so here goes nothing!! My question is if I can sub coconut flour for tapioca flour. Thanks!

  52. Loved it!! had to leave out the red pepper flakes for the kiddos but this is one of my favorites. However it took me 90 minutes to complete from start to finish…I am never able to finish a meal in the stated times. 😉

  53. Holy balls, this was awesome. Both the girls ate seconds, which almost never happens. Im making it tonight for the boys at the firehouse. They should also love it. It only took me extra time because I had to cut the chicken off the bone, because Im cheap. So friggen good.

  54. My husband made the most inappropriate noises of satisfaction while eating this (LOL) and said it was one of the BEST sauces I’ve ever made! We love spice and this was delicious. Our local grocery store doesn’t carry tapioca flour because Michigan is way behind the curve on health food but I used coconut flour and it worked great!

  55. I made this with chicken breast and reduced fat coconut milk, can’t imagine how even more crazily delicious it would’ve been if I had used full fat and chicken thighs! Oh and this sauce is seriously to die for. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  56. This is AMAZING! Just made this and was shocked at how quick it was to make and equally delicious!

  57. This was SO delicious! I did make a few changes though instead of sriracha and red pepper flakes I used this thialand chili paste I already had on hand, which is pretty much red pepper flakes in a paste. I found it by accident in the “Chinese” isle at walmart. And I love it so much I use it all the time, especially when my dishes call for something spicy. I will make this over and over and over again 🙂 thanks for the great food!

  58. I just made this last night, it was super good! I am on a sugar detox so I substituted xylitol for the honey and it was super yummy! Great job Juli!

  59. Just made this, and it was so great! Made enough for lunch tomorrow, so I have to stop myself from having seconds! Love your website

  60. Hi! this looks delicious!! But I can’t handle that much saturated fat from the full fat coconut milk. Is there anything I can do to substitute or adjust that portion?

  61. This was awesome. I made this last week and my husband kept repeating “this is so good!” We will definitely be having this again!!

  62. Omgoooood!! I have been paleo for a couple years now and I can’t believe I waited so long to make this! All your recipes rock.. But this one take número uno in my heart.. For all my paleo recipes, not just yours. Thank you for sharing so many awesome recipes!

  63. Can someone tell me why the actual fuck it took me THIS LONG to make this?! It’s super easy, and I almost fell over when my husband loved it! We have completely different palettes, but he does tend to like a fair amount of hour recipes, so this is definitely another win in my book. We were out of yellow onions so I subbed purple….still tasted amazing!

  64. I made this tonight and this was awesome! However, I need to know the calorie count on this dish. Do you happen to know what that might be?

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