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Kid-Friendly Air Fried Coxinhas: Healthy Brazilian Chicken Snacks - Great Meal Prep Recipe for Busy Moms

Brazilian Coxinhas on a piece of wood with tomatoes in the background.

Coxinha a beloved Brazilian snack, gets a healthy makeover in this recipe. We've crafted a version that maintains all the deliciousness of the original while incorporating natural, wholesome ingredients. Bursting with flavor and nutrition, these air fried Coxinhas are perfect for any occasion, whether it's a casual gathering or a protein packed snack for the kids. Let's dive into the recipe and explore the goodness within!


For the Coxinha Filling:

- 9 ounces cooked finely shredded chicken thigh

- 4 eggs, beaten

- 1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs

- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

- 4 cloves of garlic, minced

- 1 small white onion, finely diced

- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika

- 4 ounces of full-fat cream cheese

- 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the Coxinha Pastry:

- 1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter

- 2 cups of organic whole milk (Or milk of choice)

- 1/4 cup of organic chicken broth

- 2 cups of whole wheat flour

- 2 eggs, beaten

- 2 cups of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

Cooking Directions:

1. In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, sauté minced garlic and diced onions until soft and golden brown. Add the finely shredded chicken thigh, paprika, and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well and set aside.

2. Transfer the cooked chicken mixture into a mixing bowl. Add in the cream cheese and finely chopped parsley. Mix until all ingredients are well combined. This creamy and flavorful filling is the heart of the nutritious Coxinhas.

3. Using the same medium-sized pot, add the unsalted butter, chicken broth, and milk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then gradually stir in the whole wheat flour. Use a ladle to incorporate the flour until a smooth dough forms. Remove from heat and transfer the dough onto a flat surface.

4. Knead the warm dough gently until it reaches a pliable consistency. Be careful not to overwork the dough; we want it to remain tender and light.

5. Take a generous portion of dough and shape it into a ball. Flatten the dough with your palm and place a spoonful of the chicken filling in the center. Ensure that the filling is well-contained within the dough, leaving a small border around the edges.

6. Seal the dough around the filling, creating a teardrop shape reminiscent of traditional Coxinhas. This step requires a gentle touch and a bit of finesse, but the result is well worth the effort.

7. Prepare a breading station with beaten eggs and whole wheat panko breadcrumbs. Dip each filled Coxinha into the beaten eggs, then coat evenly with panko breadcrumbs. Repeat this process for the remaining dough balls.

8. Preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C) for about 3-5 minutes. Place the coated Coxinhas in the air fryer basket, making sure they are not overcrowded. Cook the Coxinhas in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Air fry the Coxinhas for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Once cooked, carefully remove the Coxinhas from the air fryer basket and let them cool slightly before serving.

Note: Cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the Coxinhas as well as the efficiency of your air fryer. Adjust cooking time as needed.

9. Once cooked, transfer the Coxinhas to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy the delightful flavors of this wholesome Brazilian snack!


With this healthy Coxinha recipe, you can indulge in the irresistible taste of Brazilian cuisine without compromising your commitment to natural, nutritious ingredients. Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply treating yourself to a delicious snack, these Coxinhas are sure to satisfy both your cravings and your conscience. Give this recipe a try and discover a new favorite for yourself and your loved ones!


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