Chicken With Coconut Milk Recipe


This chicken with coconut milk recipe is flavorful, low-fat, and makes a great main dish. Here’s what you need: – 1 chicken breast per person – 1 can of light coconut milk – 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (or 1/2 tsp of ground) – 1 clove garlic (optional) – Fresh basil and cilantro (with stems removed) – 1 onion (optional) – All-purpose or Thai red curry paste – Lime juice

Thai Coconut Chicken

With classic Thai flavors in a creamy coconut milk sauce, this Thai Coconut Chicken is both mouth-watering and easy to make! Enjoy this explosion of flavor over white rice for a quick and easy weeknight dinner ready in 30 minutes!

A skillet of Thai coconut chicken

Easy Thai Chicken Stir Fry

When it comes to international cuisine, I have a soft spot for Asian food – especially Thai food. I love the robust, hearty flavors that ignite your taste buds without being particularly spicy. (In most cases, at least!) While many people automatically think of curry when talking about Thai food, this Thai Coconut Chicken is a little different.

It’s similar to a curry, with vegetables and a coconut milk base, but contains no ground curry or paste. Instead, the sauce is a combination of coconut milk, peanut butter, and chili garlic sauce, with hints of Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Is your mouth watering yet?! Then we add in some chicken and veggies to make it a complete dinner. All in under 30 minutes. So easy and delicious!

Ingredients Needed

While this recipe is full of traditional Thai flavor, it doesn’t require any fancy or unusual ingredients. Just a few spices and some pantry staples.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Chicken thighs – We prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they lend more flavor, but chicken breast is delicious, too.
  • Vegetables – A mix of broccoli and carrots, which is one of our favorite combinations for taste and color.
  • Coconut milk – Whole or light canned coconut milk. Be sure to shake before using. (Make sure to use coconut milk, not coconut cream. Coconut cream will make the sauce much too sweet.)
  • Creamy peanut butter – Thai food is particularly peanut rich. In this recipe, peanut butter is used for flavoring and thickening the sauce. Due to allergies, we always use creamy almond butter, which also works beautifully.
  • Chili garlic sauce – This condiment is hot and tangy, with a punch of garlic. A staple in most of our stir fry recipes.
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger provides delightful aromatics to the dish.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds even more depth of flavor and balances out the sweet, savory, and tangy taste.
  • Lime juice – For acidity and a delicious zippy flavor, which complements the creamy coconut milk and peanut butter.
  • Brown sugar – A hint of sweetness to balance out the lime juice.
  • Seasonings: Coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper so the dish isn’t flat.
  • Vegetable oil – Used to sauté the chicken.
  • Thai basil – Added as a garnish for a pop of color and flavor.
  • Cooked white rice, for serving – Coconut milk chicken is traditionally served over white rice, which soaks up all the wonderful pan sauce!
A skillet of chicken pieces, broccoli and carrots in a creamy coconut sauce

How to Make Thai Coconut Chicken

Dinner is just 30 minutes away when you make this Thai chicken stir fry! Be sure to prep all of the ingredients before you start cooking, as it all comes together quickly. Here’s a brief summary:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)

  • Prepare the sauce. Whisk together all of the ingredients used in the Thai coconut sauce.
  • Cook the chicken & vegetables.. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then saute in the vegetable oil. Remove from heat, then add the vegetables to the skillet until tender.
  • Assemble. Return the chicken to the skillet, along with the ginger. Stir the sauce then pour into the skillet, just long enough to warm through. Remove from heat.
  • Garnish and serve. Serve over white rice with a sprinkle of Thai basil or scallions.

Recipe Variations

  • Adjust the vegetables to what you have on hand. Cauliflower, water chestnuts, snap peas and more can easily be substituted or added to this recipe.
  • Use chicken breasts instead of thighs. If you prefer white meat chicken, you can use that instead of thighs in this recipe.
  • Try some shrimp. Using shrimp instead of the chicken is also a delicious option, just be aware that it won’t take as much time to cook.
A plate of Thai coconut chicken served over white rice

How to Store Leftovers

Leftovers: Allow any leftovers to cool completely, then store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Thai coconut chicken makes a great freezer meal. Allow to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. It will keep for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
To reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Spicy Chicken in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Manok)

Spicy Chicken in Coconut Milk or Spicy Ginataang Manok is a Filipino Chicken dish that makes use of coconut cream or coconut milk and lots of spicy chili. This simple yet rich dish is easy to prepare and can be eaten along with rice for lunch or dinner.

Chicken in Coconut Milk Recipe

I tried to make this dish as simple as possible so that you will find it easy to follow. If you have tried to make laing using one of our laing recipes, you’ll notice that we did not use cooking oil in the recipe; the ginger, garlic, and onion were initially cooked by boiling in coconut milk and the other ingredients were added sequentially.

Use any chili pepper that you prefer: the spicier, the better. You can also use cracked red chili or even cayenne pepper powder. As for the coconut cream, I prefer using it instead of coconut milk for this recipe because it is thicker and richer. However, coconut milk works well too.

Malunggay is a very good leafy green vegetable that I recommend using because it is packed with lots of health benefits. You can substitute spinach if maluggay leaves are not available; adding wedged green papaya is also a good idea.

Chicken in Coconut Milk_

Spicy Chicken in Coconut Milk (Ginataang Manok)

 Prep Time5 minutes

 Cook Time1 hour

 Total Time1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken cut into serving pieces
  • 10 pieces spicy red chili
  • 2 pieces spicy green pepper
  • 14 ounces coconut cream
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 cup mooring malunggay leaves
  • 1 thumb ginger julienne
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 medium red onion sliced
  • 1/2 chicken cube
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce


  • Heat a cooking pot and then pour-in the coconut cream.
  • Add ginger, garlic, and onion. Stir and let boil.
  • Put-in the chicken. Let the liquid reboil.
  • Add the chili and turmeric powder. Stir. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
  • Add the mooring leaves (malunggay). Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the fish sauce. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve.
  • Share and enjoy!

Thai Chicken Curry

I’m over-the-moon, giggly-girly giddy to tell you about today’s Thai Chicken Curry! It’s one of those special recipes we all want and need more of in our lives: a healthy, one-pan dinner that’s dead simple to prepare yet so outrageously tasty, it will leave you wowed by your own kitchen prowess. Ready in about 45 minutes (more than half of which is hands off) this Thai coconut curry recipe is fast enough for a weeknight but special enough for company.

Easy ONE PAN Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk recipe in a skillet

The first time I made this Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk, I was worried I would find it lacking, because my expectations for it were especially (bordering on unrealistically) high. Not only do I want you to find the very best recipes here, but also I’ve eaten my way through copious amounts of authentic Thai chicken curry in Thailand, so I know exactly how fabulous it can be.

Could a recipe that is as easy to prepare with such a short list of ingredients as this Thai Chicken Curry live up to my self-induced hype?

Forget “live up to.” This recipe BLEW ME AWAY. Meet one of the best Thai Chicken Curry recipes you will ever make at home (and it was even better than some of the curry I ate in Thailand, believe it or not)!

quick Thai Curry chicken without fish sauce in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Thai Chicken Curry (The Easy Way!)

Whenever I’m working on a recipe for the first time, I’m tempted to rifle around my pantry to throw in a little of this, followed by a dash of that. After all, isn’t more, well, more?

Not this time.

I know cooking Thai food at home can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it, but the ingredient list here is short, approachable, and you can find every one of the (few) ingredients you need at your local grocery store.

Yes, yes, I realize Thai food purists will (correctly) point out that authentic Thai curry has many more things added to it than this recipe does. For our purposes, I love that this easy version of Thai Chicken Curry can quickly come to life in your kitchen, no access to specialty ingredients required.

The chicken curry recipe prep is a breeze, and the final effect is deeply rewarding: a rich, not-too-spicy, yet-oh-so-flavorful thick coconut sauce that’s brimming with ginger, garlic, and authentic Thai chicken curry flavor.

When you read this Thai Chicken Curry recipe, you’ll see how straightforward the steps are:

  • Season and brown the chicken.
  • Sauté the vegetables, Thai red curry paste, and spices.
  • Add the coconut milk.
  • Pop into the oven.

Um, that’s it.

What you won’t see is how the flavors bloom and develop together. I was eating this sauce out of the skillet with a spoon, and the chicken was perfectly browned and juicy.

This Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk recipe is from the pages of Jessica’s latest cookbook, The Pretty Dish, and if the rest of the recipes in it are even a fraction as delightful as this Thai red coconut curry chicken, then we are all in for a fabulous 150+ pages of stellar eating and drinking.

Cooking this Thai Curry Chicken recipe—which wowed me in every way if you can’t tell already—and paging through The Pretty Dish was especially meaningful to me because Jessica’s blog is one of the very first I ever followed. Nearly six years ago, when I first clicked “publish” here at this corner of the internet, I hardly knew what a blog was, let alone that other people, cool people I’d like and admire and even meet in person one day, could be doing the same crazy thing.

I have a vivid memory of typing “what are some food blogs” into a Google search bar. How Sweet Eats was one of the first names I came across.

This is going to sound borderline creepy in that special way only blogging can, but as soon as I visited Jessica’s blog, I became lost in her writing and, a few hours later, felt like I had made a friend. Her voice is warm and authentic in a way that’s rare to find online. “If only we could meet in real life!” I thought.

Fast forward a few years and a few hundred recipes later. I have had the pleasure to spend time with Jessica “in real life.” She’s just as personable, kind, and genuine as I (and everyone else who reads her lovely blog) imagined she would be. I’m honored to be sharing her book with you today, and I do hope you will buy a copy, because it’s incredibly special. The recipes feel fresh and creative yet are totally, absolutely doable.

Case in point: Thai Chicken Curry. Can you chop vegetables and stir coconut milk? YOU CAN MAKE THIS RECIPE!

Easy Thai Chicken Curry made with bell peppers, cilantro, and chicken breasts

More About Making Thai Red Curry Chicken

  • You can make this Thai Curry Chicken with chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or keep your entire household happy like both Jessica and I do by using a mix of both.
  • The star flavor-maker in this Thai red chicken curry recipe is Thai red curry paste. Curry paste is available in the Asian food section of most major grocery stores or online here.
  • If you’d like to make the Thai chicken curry green, you could swap the red curry paste for green curry paste (not yet tested and it will have a very different flavor, but I suspect it will be quite tasty).
  • The same is true for Thai yellow chicken curry: use yellow curry paste instead of the red curry paste.
  • I insist you use full-fat (not light) coconut milk. I promise the boss sauce will be worth it. I like to swap in light coconut milk anytime I can, but it just isn’t the same here.

The Difference between Red Curry and Panang Curry

  • Panang curry (also called as Penang or Penaeng curry) is a red curry that originates from Penang, an island located off the west coast of Malaysia. It is usually less spicy than traditional red curry because of the fact that it uses fewer red chiles. Panang curry also includes coconut cream and peanuts, thus making it sweeter than other Thai curries.
  • This red curry isn’t strictly one or the other. It’s not overly spicy by any means, but it has a distinct Thai flavor I think you’ll love!

Serving and Storing Thai Chicken Curry

  • We served ours with rice, and it was delicious. Jessica also suggests dipping the sauce with sourdough, which, after trying the sauce, I am 1,000% certain would be outstanding.
  • To make reheating leftovers easier, I diced up the extra chicken and then mixed it in with the rice.

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