Coconut Curry Chicken

This coconut curry chicken is hearty, creamy, and incredibly flavorful! This one skillet meal has warm and spicy flavors. Everything simmers away until the chicken is melt in your mouth tender. The leftovers are even better the next day!
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This homemade coconut curry chicken is a delicious and flavorful dish perfect for any night of the week!  This one pan recipe is made with chicken, vegetables, and a rich and flavorful curry sauce.  The chicken is melt in your mouth tender, while the sauce is hearty and creamy.  Great for family dinners, meal prep, holidays, and leftovers!

Check out these Chicken Breast Recipes for more easy dinner ideas!

Coconut curry chicken.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are many reasons why you will love this recipe for coconut curry chicken!  Here are just a few:

  • It is quick and easy to make.
  • This recipe is simple to follow and does not require any special skills or equipment.
  • The chicken is so tender and juicy. Try these Chicken Meal Prep Ideas!
  • The curry sauce is rich and aromatic. Try this Chicken Korma too!
  • This is a great way to sneak in more vegetables.
  • Say goodbye to boring chicken recipes.  This curry is loaded with bold flavors.
  • It is versatile.  We love this served with brown rice or whole wheat Naan bread.
  • It is affordable.  Chicken curry is a relatively inexpensive dish to make.
  • This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and sugar free.
  • Check out these Chicken Curry Bowls for another delicious recipe!

Ingredients & Substitutes

These are the ingredients and substitutes for coconut curry chicken. Scroll down to the recipe card below for the entire recipe.

Use chicken breasts or chicken thighs. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If you only have frozen chicken, thaw completely before.

Cook the onions in olive oil. Avocado oil works well too.

Finely chop the onion.

Minced garlic and fresh ginger add a delicious flavor!

Use chopped tomatoes. To save time, feel free to use canned tomatoes.

Season the curry with curry powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. Taste and adjust the soup as you cook.

Use canned coconut milk. Light coconut milk can be used, but the curry will be much less creamy.

Chicken broth adds a hearty and savory flavor to the sauce.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lastly, top the coconut curry chicken with fresh cilantro if desired.

Ingredients for chicken coconut curry.

What is Curry?

The word “curry” comes from the Tamil word “kari,” which means “sauce.” Curry is a dish that is typically made with a sauce or gravy that is seasoned with a mixture of spices. These spices can vary depending on the region of India, but some common spices include turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, mustard seed, fennel seed, and black pepper.

Curry is often served with rice. It can be made with a variety of meats, vegetables, or tofu. Some popular types of curry include chicken curry, vegetable curry, and lentil curry. Curry is a delicious and healthy dish that is enjoyed by people all over the world.

Taste & Texture

This coconut curry chicken has a delicious blend of spices! This Indian-inspired dish is loaded with flavor.

The veggies are soft and the chicken is extremely tender.

The overall texture is smooth and creamy, with a bit of heat from the spices.

How to Make

Step 1

First, heat the olive oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium heat.

Step 2

Add the chopped onions and cook until they become soft and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Finely diced onions in pan.

Step 3

Stir in the minced garlic and grated ginger, and cook for another minute until fragrant.

Step 4

Add the chopped tomatoes to the pot and cook until they start to break down and release their juices.

Onions and tomatoes in skillet.

Step 5

Add the curry powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric powder, and chili powder to the pot. Mix well to coat the onions, garlic, and tomatoes with the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices are fragrant.

Curry spices in pan.

Step 6

Now, add the chicken pieces to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the chicken with the spice mixture.

Spiced chicken in skillet.

Step 7

Pour in the coconut milk and chicken broth or water. Stir everything together, making sure the chicken is submerged in the liquid.

Creamy coconut milk with spices.

Step 8

Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

Step 9

While the chicken is cooking, taste the curry and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or chili powder if desired.

Step 10

Once the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened, remove the pot from the heat.

Step 11

Lastly, garnish the coconut curry chicken with fresh cilantro before serving.

Creamy curry with chicken.

Different Types of Cooking Methods

There are many different ways to cook coconut curry chicken.  Some popular methods include:

  • Stovetop: This is the classic method for cooking chicken curry.  This allows you to easily taste and adjust as you cook.
  • Slow cooker: This is a great way to make chicken curry if you are short on preparation time. Simply add all of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  • Instant pot: This is a quick and easy way to cook chicken curry.  Simply add all of the ingredients to the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 3 to 4 minutes.

Expert Tips for Success

Here are a few expert tips and tricks for making the best homemade coconut curry chicken.

Use fresh herbs and spices.  Fresh herbs and spices will give your chicken curry the best flavor.

Do not overcook the chicken.  Overcooked chicken will be tough and dry.

Simmer the curry until the chicken and veggies are tender.  This will allow the flavors to develop and meld together.

Adjust the heat to your liking.  If you like your curry spicy, add more chili powder or cayenne pepper.

Flavor Variations & Add-Ins

There are endless possibilities when it comes to making coconut chicken curry. Here are a few ideas for flavor variations and add-ins:

  • Add vegetables to the curry. Some popular vegetables to add include potatoes, carrots, onions, and bell peppers.
  • Use different spices. There are many different spices that can be used in chicken curry. Some popular spices include turmeric, coriander, cumin, garam masala, and chili powder.
  • Add cilantro or parsley to the curry. Cilantro and parsley add a fresh flavor to the curry.

How to Serve & Store

Thai coconut chicken curry is best served hot and fresh. Serve alongside brown rice or whole wheat Naan bread. However, it is also great as leftovers.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply reheat it in a pot on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Bowl of chicken curry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of chicken should I use?

You can use any type of chicken for chicken curry, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are the most popular choices.

What type of curry powder should I use?

There are many different types of curry powder available, so it is important to choose one that you like the flavor of. If you are not sure what type to use, you can always start with a mild curry powder and add more heat to taste.

What vegetables can I add to chicken curry?

You can add any vegetables that you like to chicken curry. Some popular choices include onions, carrots, potatoes, and peas.

How can I make my chicken curry even more flavorful?

You can add different spices and herbs to your chicken curry, such as garam masala, cumin, or coriander. You can also add coconut milk or yogurt to the curry to give it a richer flavor.

Is curry better with coconut milk or cream?

Curry is great with coconut milk. It adds a subtle sweetness.

What is the secret to a good curry?

Use plenty of spices! In addition, the secret to good curry is allowing it to simmer until the veggies are tender.

Can you make curry with heavy cream instead of coconut milk?

Yes, heavy cream works well.

Equipment Needed

Large Nonstick Skillet: This nonstick skillet is large enough for this Indian coconut curry chicken recipe.

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