Coconut Curry Chicken
Coconut curry chicken is a healthy dinner that’s packed with flavor. Just let the chicken simmer in curry spice and coconut milk. Then serve over a fluffy bed of rice to soak up the saucy goodness. It’s an easy, one-pan meal you and your guests will love.
With all of my travels, I’ve found that curry spice is a staple ingredient in so many countries. The recipes made with curry spice are unique and delicious in their own way, with some extra spicy and some sweet and tangy.
And you can’t beat the combination of a rich and flavorful sauce over freshly cooked rice. It’s another form of comfort food at its finest.
If you’ve been avoiding curry because it sounds hard to make, think again. All you need are a few fresh ingredients and the perfect blend of spices. Not to mention, it’s all done in one pan and is great for feeding a large crowd or storing away for an easy meal prep.
Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Video
While this recipe is easy, it always helps to watch a quick step-by-step video tutorial. Give it a watch below!
WHAT IS CURRY?
You’ve probably come across the word “curry” – whether it be on restaurant menus or packaged jars in the market. But before you associate it with only Indian cuisine, it goes far beyond that.
Curry is a complex blend of spices and herbs that are made differently in various countries. It’s generally prepared in a rich sauce that’s cooked with veggies, meats, or fish. There’s Japanese katsu curry, Chinese chicken curry, Persian massaman curry, Afghan chicken korma – and the list goes on. But today, I’m going to show you how to make one of my all time favorites: Thai coconut curry chicken.
COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN INGREDIENTS
This one-pan meal is so easy to make with the help of curry powders and a few fresh ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Veggies: Freshly diced onions, bell peppers, and garlic
- Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Spices: Curry powder and ginger powder
- Coconut Milk: a can of full-fat coconut milk
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and lime juice
- Herbs: Freshly chopped cilantro
- Rice: White rice or cauliflower rice
HOW TO MAKE COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN
In just 30 minutes, you’ll have one tasty meal ready to serve.
- Dice up an onion, a sweet red pepper and finely chop some garlic. Saute everything with oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cubed chicken pieces, along with the curry spice, ground ginger and salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Pour in the coconut milk, juice from one lime and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve it up with some white rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. That’s it!
If you have leftovers (which you probably won’t), this can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, either in separate containers or mixed together.
You can also freeze curry for up to 2 months if stored properly in freezer safe containers. But if you’re planning to freeze the rice, make sure to place it in the freezer right while it’s still warm. You want to keep the moisture locked in so that when you re-heat, it’s still nice and soft.
MORE HEALTHY AND EASY DINNER IDEAS
Need more easy dinner ideas for busy weeknights? Here’s a tried and trued list of recipes.
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Chicken Fajitas
- Baked Chicken Breasts
- Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Garlic Butter Shrimp + Garlic Bok Choy
- Dijon Baked Salmon + Sauteed Cabbage
- White Chicken Chili
Coconut Curry Chicken (Super Easy!)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp curry powder, or more as desired
- 1 tsp ginger powder
- 13.5 oz full-fat coconut milk, (1 can)
- 1 lime, juiced
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups cooked white rice or cauliflower rice
- fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onion, red bell pepper and garlic cloves and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the cubed chicken and sprinkle the spices on top. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently.
- Add the coconut milk and lime juice and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve with rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.
- To make this recipe paleo or low-carb, just use cauliflower rice. Super easy!
Recipe originally published April 2017, but updated to include new information.
Super quick and easy, and the taste was great!!
Quick, easy and delicious! Will definitely make it again, thanks so much.
This recipe is delicious. I used Keens Traditional Curry powder and it was definitely full of spice and flavour. My whole family enjoyed it and it has gone onto our meal rotation.
Glad the whole family enjoyed this recipe Lauren!
This is absolutely delicious. I cooked the chicken using your other recipe (shredded chicken). So good!!!
Glad you enjoyed this coconut curry chicken Tracey!
I am making this recipe this week! My husband and I love curry. For the chicken breasts, I have found that the sizes differ at the store we get our meat from. Around how many pounds of chicken should I get?
The chicken breasts I use are typically 6oz.
We eat a lot of chicken thighs. Would the cooking time be different?
You can use chicken thighs! They might cook a bit faster, but generally it should be the same.
So easy and delicious! Thank you Lisa for this yummy recipe!
Tried this last night, it was great. What curry powder do you use when you make this? I used Penzey’s Curry and it had a very mild curry flavor. I definitely used tablespoons, so I was wondering if I just need to put in more powder or if I should use a different curry powder? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes.
Hi Leslie – I use Simply Organic curry powder. But it is a softer, more muted curry flavor in this recipe. If you’d like a stronger flavor you could also add curry paste, which tends to be stronger.
This recipe looks delicious! Would using lite coconut milk vs full fat drastically change anything in the recipe?
The sauce won’t be as creamy or thick.
I think my curry powder may have gone off as there was practically no taste. After adding cayenne and Garam Masala the whole thing came together beautifully. Thanks for an easy dinner.
Can you use boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?
I made the coconut curry chicken last night and my family couldn’t get enough! Thanks Lisa for another fabulous dish!
Yay! Glad this coconut curry chicken was a win :)
Made twice so far. Used leftover cooked chicken extra veggies and cooked down with chicken stock. Once over jasmine rice, once over riced cauliflower. A keeper! Trying meatless next go. Thank you for this!
I want to make the recipe but cannot find how many portions the recipe will yield. is the information hidden somewhere?
Hi Gita – you can always find the serving amount listed in the recipe card towards the bottom :)
Great recipe.. I used 2 TBSP and 1 tsp of spicy red Thai curry powder. The sauce also didn’t thicken as much as I wanted it to so I added a cornstarch slurry which thickened it beautifully. Next time I might marinate the chicken with tumeric to give it more color and another flavor element. This recipe is amazing thank you for sharing!
Happy to hear this coconut curry chicken turned out great with a few tweaks Caleb!
The coconut milk for this recipe should be sweetened or unsweetened? Thank you! :)
Should be unsweetened :)
Easy, quick and absolutely delicious. Thanks for creating such a yummy meal that is quick to make. We had rice and cauliflower rice to appease all the diets in my house.
Glad this recipe worked out perfectly for the whole family Sandy!
This is on regular rotation at my house. My 18-year old son devours it! It is a fast meal that is super delicious! I cannot imagine that someone could say it doesn’t have enough flavor. Maybe they used teaspoons instead of tablespoons of the curry powder or something, but this is perfect to us. I make it exactly as written.
Happy to hear you and your family love this curry chicken! The flavor can always depend on personal preference though, so if one feels it is lacking flavor, the spice amounts just need to be bumped up a bit :)
Great recipe, all your recipes are great
I have food sensitivities and your recipes are awesome for me
I don’t have a gallbladder and therefore need to eat very little fat
What can I use in place of high fat coconut milk for this recipe?
Hi Camille – I’m happy you’re enjoying my recipes! Unfortunately, most of my other recommendations would be other high-fat items to maintain that level of creaminess. But for you, I’d swap in a low-fat coconut milk or fat-free milk. It won’t be as creamy, but the flavor will still be amazing. :)
Hi, does the caloric information include the rice ?
Yes, it includes the rice :)
I usually love coconut curry – but unfortunately this recipe didn’t work for me because it did not carry enough flavor.
Made this recipe but halved it because I had less than a can of coconut milk left. There’s only 2 of us so it worked well. We love highly spiced foods but this was a creamy delicious curry, with a high note of lime. I added dried fenugeek leaves to give it a bit of zing. Very tasty and would definitely make it again with just a touch more garlic.
If Im making the 3X, how much coconut milk would I need?
You will need 3 cans of coconut milk then :)
Why whole fat coconut milk? Can lite be used?
I like to use full-fat coconut milk to keep a creamier curry consistency. But you can use a lite one if you don’t mind it being a bit thinner.
Such a quick and easy meal and so so good!
This truly is an easy, yet delicious meal! Glad you loved it Harry :)
We absolutely love this dish. I have 3 young kids all under the age of 5 and there is so excitement at the dinner table when I make this. It has got to be the easiest curry to make. I make this at least once a week.
If the kiddos love it, you know it’s a winner!
Made this tonight and was delicious. I actually cut the curry in half for my non spice loving Portuguese husband. (I know…) It was still very flavourful but definitely will increase next time. I did add two tablespoons of fresh ginger as I didn’t have powder. Substituted well. Will be making this again.
This recipe is delicious! I’ve made this dish twice now and planning on making it again tonight. I use a little more curry and ginger powder (to taste), a little less lime juice and swap the cilantro for parsley! Couldn’t recommend this dish enough.
Happy to hear this curry chicken was a success :)
Love Love Love. I have made this several times and it is wonderful!
Happy to hear you love this recipe Kim!
Nice simple tasty coconut curry! I did use fresh ginger instead of dried (trust me it will make it so much more flavorful) also I didn’t add the garlic at the beginning as instructed (this will kill your garlic) after the onion and peppers had cooked for a few minutes I added the garlic and ginger and let them cook for about 30 seconds then added the curry powder and allowed it to get aromatic (about one minute) then added the chicken. I let it simmer about ten minutes longer than the recipe as I like a thicker curry. For anyone looking for a vegetarian option you could substitute with chickpeas, cauliflower and sweet potato.
Glad you enjoyed this quick and easy curry :)
Excellent and super easy. I have added broccoli and it all works out well. A new main staple in our house and the kids love it too.
Happy to hear this has become a family staple!
I want to be as constructively critical as I can. For those who eat more ethnic foods (Indian, Thai, etc) and you are expecting a deep rich flavor, this is not the recipe for you. I used more than double the amount of curry powder, from a reputable brand , used fresh ginger and lots of salt. Still after over an hour of trying to make this dish more flavorful, I was disappointed. Also it will be very watery and thin if you use the whole can of coconut milk. Mine was ok because I added a whole head of cauliflower so it could soak up some of the water.
Hello my name’s Michele, I was wondering if using a can of lite coconut milk would work just as well??
You can use a lite coconut milk, it just won’t be as creamy.
It was okay. Kind of bland though.
Hi Brittany – you can always add more curry powder if you’d like a bit more kick. :)