Whole30 Chicken Katsu

I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a while because it is one I love! Chicken Katsu is a Japanese dish that is traditionally served with a thick fruit-based sauce known as tonkatsu sauce. This dish is usually fried and coated with panko breadcrumbs which is not super healthy.

So, with my fellow Whole30ers in mind, I put my own spin on this dish to make it Whole30 compliant. I never go into creating a recipe determined to only make it Whole30 or “healthy”. I always go for a flavor profile first. Then I think about what I want the recipe to accomplish. If I can find a way to make it a healthier option without compromising the flavor, then I got for it.

Chicken kaTsu prep work:

This is certainly one of those recipes I knew I could create a Whole30 option and still keep it flavorful and delicious. When it comes to making the tonkatsu sauce, I didn’t want to complicate things. We simply mixed unsweetened ketchup, unsweetened BBQ sauce, coconut aminos (to add some sweet and smoky flavor), and dijon mustard to create our Whole30 friendly tonkatsu sauce. Of course, you can tweak the sauce to your liking by adding less or more of each ingredient.

To bread the chicken, I am using arrowroot flour/starch, a mixture of eggs and coconut milk, and shredded coconut mixed with warm spices. You can certainly switch up these ingredients if you have allergies or if you are not on a round of Whole30.


  1. Almond flour
  2. Cereal
  3. Panko breadcrumbs (with or without parmesan cheese)
  4. Crushed pretzels
  5. Chips

For our recipe, we are using chicken breasts. But chicken thighs and tenders will also work great for this recipe.


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Let’s get cooking

Let’s get cooking


Chicken thighs coated with an egg batter and unsweetened coconut flakes then baked and finished with a Whole30 friendly tonkatsu sauce.
Chicken thighs coated with an egg batter and unsweetened coconut flakes then baked and finished with a Whole30 friendly tonkatsu sauce.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Total Time:40 mins
Yields:4 SERVES


  • 1/3
    cup arrowroot flour
  • 1
    pasture-raised egg
  • 1/4
    cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1
    cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1
    tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2
    tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1
    lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts – butterflied (~2 large chicken breasts)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2
    tbsp. grass-fed ghee

  • 1/3
    cup unsweetened compliant BBQ sauce
  • 1
    tbsp. unsweetened compliant ketchup
  • 4
    tbsp. coconut aminos


  1. o begin, scatter the arrowroot flour on a plate. Mix the egg and coconut milk in a shallow bowl and set that aside. Then mix the shredded coconut flakes, paprika, and turmeric in another shallow bowl and set that aside.
  2. Pat the chicken breasts dry using a clean paper towel. Butterfly the chicken breasts, place the breasts on a cutting board and hold it flat with your non-knife hand.
  3. Use a sharp knife to slice the chicken breast horizontally into two equal pieces. Season them with salt and black pepper.
  4. Now, coat each chicken breast in the arrowroot flour and shake off the access. Dip them in the egg and coconut milk mixture, then press them into the coconut flakes mixture until they are well coated on both sides.
  5. Now, heat a castiron pan over high heat until it starts to smoke. Then, lower the heat to medium-high. Add the ghee to the pan and sear the chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes on both sides or until the breasts are cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer them to a cooling rack lined with paper towels to catch some of the grease from the chicken.
  6. While the chicken rests, add all the ingredients needed for the sauce to a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Transfer the pan to the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer the sauce on medium for 3-5 minutes to heat it through and marry all the flavors.
  7. Serve the chicken with the sauce, cauliflower rice, and roasted vegetables or a side salad.


  • Transfer any leftovers into an airtight glass container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat the chicken in the oven (or toaster oven) at 350˚F for ~7-10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Serves 4
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What do you think of this recipe?

Looks so good! What’s your fave favorite whole30 bbq sauce?

This was AMAZING!! My husband tried chicken katsu on a business trip a while back and has been begging me to make some! I’ve never tried normal, but he said this tasted incredible and like the chicken katsu he loves! Thank you for an amazing recipe!
– I used tenderloins instead of chicken breast and didn’t butterfly it
– used avocado oil instead of ghee
– I used 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon instead of smoked paprika since my toddler was eating it too and my husband has zero tolerance for spice haha

Hi Christianne!! I am so happy you and your family enjoyed this! Means so much to me! Makes me so incredibly happy. Thank you for your support and thank you for sharing.

Looks so good? How much dijon do you add to the tonkatsu? I don’t see it listed in the ingredients. Also, what brands of whole30 bbq sauce do you like?

Looks delish! Do you think I could substitute coconut flour for the coconut flakes? I have a lot of coconut flour left over from another recipe.

I’m not sure it will be crunchy but you can certainly try it and let us know how it turns out! I’m sure it would help others