Coconut Curry Chicken


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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. 

Coconut curry chicken in a pan.

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!


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 in a pan with cilantro.


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

A plate of coconut curry chicken on rice.


In just 30 minutes, you’ll have one tasty meal ready to serve. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Pour in the coconut milk, juice from one lime and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Serve it up with some white rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with fresh cilantro. That’s it!

A serving of coconut curry chicken on a plate.


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. 


Need more easy dinner ideas for busy weeknights? Here’s a tried and trued list of recipes. 

Coconut curry chicken on a bed of rice on a plate.

Coconut Curry Chicken (Super Easy!)

4.63 from 82 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


This coconut curry chicken takes less than 30 minutes - it's easy, healthy and delicious. Watch the quick video above!



  • 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. 

Lisa's Tips

  • To make this recipe paleo or low-carb, just use cauliflower rice. Super easy!


Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 768mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 988IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken Curry, Chicken Curry Recipe, Coconut Curry Chicken
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally published April 2017, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I tried this tonight as a last minute replacement and it came out nice! Good flavor too! At first I thought it was soupy but it ended up being perfect. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  2. Thanks! Excited to try this. Is the calorie count there for each serving (1/4 the entire recipe)? Is that with or without the rice?

  3. Tastes like the real thing.
    You can play with the recipe too. Will work with other meat and can add veggies. Only thing missing was the heat. Thai food has hot peppers so i just threw in red pepper seeds.5 stars

  4. Hello, 
    Thank you for this recipe! I like the flavor… however it was too liquid.. do you use the whole can of coconut milk? I added almond meal but it did not help…  I definitely want to try it again!!  Thank you!!!4 stars

    1. Hi Maria – yes, I use one can of full-fat coconut milk. If you used low-fat or light coconut milk, it may have been more watery.

  5. I made this for dinner last night and it was super yummy and sooo simple! I added mushrooms and an extra half of pepper. I also replaced the lime juice with a little lemon juice, only because that’s what I had on hand. It came out great! I’ll definitely be making it again soon! Thanks!5 stars

  6. Thankyou for this simple and tasty recipe! Found it simple to whip up after being at work all day and teamed with some cauli rice for us and some normal rice for the kids it was a winner!

    Thanks Lisa for your wonderful tried and tested recipes 

    :)5 stars

  7. I love this recipe so much! I skip the bell peppers (as they don’t agree with me) and the ginger (same reason) – but it still turns out fabulous! So much healthier than regular curry chicken, and it’s super easy to make. I always accompany the curry chicken with Lisa’s Cilantro Lime Rice. Perfection!5 stars

  8. This was a hit this weekend at a dinner with friends! As I’m savoring the leftovers I think it might be nice to add golden raisins to this dish. Or serve a mango chutney as a condiment.
    A friend brought over raita which made it next level.
    Good one!5 stars

  9. This was not good. I’m sorry to have to say it. It was too sour and had a flavor that did not remind me of other curries.

    1. Hi Lisa – sorry you didn’t enjoy this recipe. It definitely shouldn’t be sour (there’s no ingredient with a sour flavor), so I’m wondering if you used a milk that may have gone off? This recipe is best with canned coconut milk for that extra creamy and slightly sweet flavor mixed with the curry powder.

      1. It has lime juice in it, makes it sour. Found it delicious once I added a bunch of extra curry powder, fresh ginger, pepper, salt and red pepper flakes and a few Thai chilies. 

  10. Made this for dinner last night and my husband commented it was the best curry he’s ever had! Easy and delicious recipe! Thank you!5 stars

  11. This is so delicious!!!!! I did increase the garlic and curry. I added fresh ginger in addition to the powered. I offered  fresh ginger and parsley at the table. BIG HIT!!! Yum yum!! Love it!!!5 stars

    1. Hi Lissa- Happy to hear this recipe was a hit for everyone! Can never go wrong with adding additional ginger :)

  12. OK, so I’ve written a review before BUT i made this tonight but added roasted cauliflower and carrots to the curry and it was a great way if you want to amp up the veg factor!!! 5 stars

    1. Hi Jillian- Adding cauliflower to this sounds great and definitely gives it a boost in veggies! Glad you enjoyed this one.

    2. This recipe packs so much flavor and is so comforting on a cold day (or any day)! It takes less than 30 minutes to make. I always add cauliflower florets to the recipe for extra veggies!5 stars

  13. This recipe could not be easier or more flavorful. Next time I make it (and there will be many more), I would add even more veggies like mushrooms, snap peas, etc. I wish I had doubled the recipe as I think it would be tastier the day after… but alas there were no leftovers to be had… ALL GONE…5 stars

    1. Hi Andry – no, because it’s a grain. Though some people still enjoy it on a more flexible approach. You can always use cauliflower rice in this recipe and I have another recipe for that!

  14. First, I LOVE all things curry, so I knew I would like this. I was so excited about how easily and quickly this came together! I made it for my boyfriend and he was just excited that dinner came together in just 20 minutes. My family also loved this recipe, even my step-dad, who is a pretty picky eater!

    I served with jasmine rice and roasted carrots and broccoli. One of my new favorite meals!5 stars

  15. Lisa,
    I love your recipes, however, I am not a fan of meat. I am wondering how to make this without the chicken. What do you think would be best? My first thought was to make the recipe and at the last moment add some vegetables that simply needed to be heated? My second thought was to make the recipe without the chicken and then use it as a sauce to place over the rice and cooked vegetables. Also, how does one make the recipe smaller? I am single and definitely don’t need four servings Does cutting a recipe in half in some way alter the flavor? Thank you for your time

    1. Hi Nancy- You can definitely substitute the chicken with other veggies instead! I would maybe suggest the first method, but depending on the vegetables you use. If you’re adding more veggies that need to be cooked longer such as zucchini, carrots, or potatoes, then I would cook the recipe as is. But with veggies that don’t need a longer cook time such as bell peppers or mushrooms, then toss them in at the end. And if you want to cut down the servings, you can cut the recipe in half :) Hope this helps!

  16. I made this yesterday so yummy and easy recipe. I am glad I bought two cans of coconut milk I am doing it again soon. 5 stars

    1. Hi Heydi – Wonderful! This will definitely be a quick and easy recipe to keep on hand for weekdays :)

    1. Sorry, I missed where the stars where when I originally posted and didn’t look like I could edit my post. It’s definitely five stars! As some people have already mentioned, few ingredients and quick to make, which makes it even better :)5 stars

  17. Very simple to make, delicious, and versatile. I added carrots and potatoes, so you could add whatever veggies you like or even make it spicy.5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa – Yes! This is definitely a versatile recipe in terms of ingredients being added. Glad you enjoyed it!

  18. I made this the other night and it turned out beautifully! Both my husband and I loved it! Thank you so much for all of your great recipes and kitchen tips! I posted my dish on FB and had 3 friends ask for the recipe so I gladly told them about your website and told them how much I enjoy all of your great advice, tips and recipes! Keep on with your great information!5 stars

    1. Hi Marianne- Wonderful! Thanks so much for spreading the word and I hope all your friends and family continue to enjoy Downshiftology recipes :)

  19. I cannot even begin to tell you how simple this was to make! Very few ingredients, yet so flavorful! This is a perfect weeknight meal. I was so sad there were no leftovers for my lunch the next day, but that’s cause my family ate it all! I have a picky 17 year old and she loves every recipe I make of Lisa’s! Thanks for another great recipe Lisa!5 stars

    1. Hi Christy- Wow! Can’t believe everyone gobbled this dish up in an instant. Looks like you’ll have to make 2 batches next time! But, I’m glad everyone enjoyed this :)

  20. Made this for dinner, super easy and delicious. I snuck in a few extra veggies for the kids and everyone enjoyed it, thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Jessica – Wonderful! I’m glad the whole family enjoyed this recipe. Plus, you can never go wrong with adding more veggies.

    2. Great recipe – super easy and super tasty. Added a small chopped red chilli and it really came alive. I was also surprised how well the coriander on the side went with it. This is certain to be a regular.5 stars

    1. This recipe looks so delicious and easy, which is perfect because I’m new to curries. One question: can leftovers be frozen?

      1. Hi Kim – Yes! You can freeze this in freezer safe containers for up to 2 months.

  21. Could I use light coconut milk? This looks delicious but I am trying to cut down on my saturated fat intake. Thanks!

  22. I love this recipe! I hope the nutritional info is for the entire recipe and not per serving! I don’t count calories but this seems incorrect? Either way it’s worth it Lol!5 stars

    1. Hi Steph – good catch! It was accidentally calculated on 4 cups of dry rice versus 4 cups of cooked rice. I’ve fixed it. :)

    2. Great! Also have made with both red and green curry paste to mix it up. Both are amazing! Such a great recipe!!!5 stars

  23. Hi, I really want to try this recipe and I’m wondering how many people this recipe serves and what the macros are. Thank you!

    1. Hi Marika – this recipes serves 4 people. I don’t have the nutritional info on this recipe yet, but I’m in the process of updating older recipes with nutrition info. That should be completed shortly! :)

  24. Made this for our dinner tonight – seriously so yummy!! Thanks for another quick, easy and delicious meal Lisa. I added baby green beans which I had blanched and frozen when on special a few weeks ago. Win, win, bonus!5 stars

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you loved the recipe! And more green beans, yum! Can’t disagree with that! Thanks for the kind words Anita!

  25. I preferred using spinach I added baby spinach right at the end once chicken cooked fully and covered the lid after turning off the stove. Delicious! Thanks for this one!5 stars

  26. This recipe couldn’t be more easier or delicious. I made it for girl’s night in and it was a hit. I will be keeping this recipe in circulation for sure. Thanks, Lisa!5 stars

  27. Thanks a bunch! I’ve got no left overs for lunch tomorrow!  The coconut chicken curry was a hit with all five of us, the pot was bone dry.  I cannot eat cream (immune system reacts with cream) so the coconut provided that creamy curry I sorely missed!  I didn’t have red pepper, but used sweet potato – yuuuuuuummmmm!  I made sure I spiralled enough for the egg nest breakfast first.5 stars

    1. Yes, the coconut milk is a great way to make this dairy-free and you adds amazing flavor to the dish as well. So glad you enjoyed it. And sweet potato sounds like an awesome swap in! Smart of you to save some for spiralizing though – ha! ;) x

    1. Hi Chasity – there are 4 servings in this recipe. I’m currently adding nutritional info to all recipes on my site, so this should be updated in the next few weeks. :)

  28. I made this and loved it but was wishing it had a bit more spice to it. Would I solve that by adding more curry powder or more red pepper flakes? 4 stars

    1. Hi Micah – glad you loved the recipe! Yes, you could absolutely add more curry powder (or red pepper flakes). I’ve kept it on a fairly medium level for the majority of readers, but absolutely tweak to your liking. Next time you make it, start with 3 tablespoons of curry powder and add more as needed. :)

  29. I love eating coconut curry chicken, but I actually never made it myself. I had no idea it was so easy to make at home, I’ll definitely give it a try!

  30. I think that coconut curry is one of the best things ever but I’ve never tried making it from scratch. Will try your recipe at some point.

  31. Ahh, have a fabulous time in NYC! You’re in luck that the weather on this coast is getting at least slightly warmer ;) Love warming curry recipes – great dish!

    1. Thanks Liz! I do see rain on the forecast…but at least I won’t freeze to death. ;) Enjoy the curry!