Recipe For Curry Chicken With Coconut Milk


Recipe For Curry chicken with coconut milk is a recipe that comes with Indian origin. This recipe uses coconut milk and powder, chili powder, garlic and ginger and other spices. The chicken breast is marinated overnight in the above ingredients, along with yogurt to enhance the tenderness of the meat. This can be served as an entree or as a full meal served with rice and mint-coriander sauce and cucumber slices as a side dish.

Coconut chicken curry

  • 15m prep
  • 30m cook
  • 4 servings
Coconut chicken curry

This quick and easy coconut chicken curry is a simple way to liven up the week.


Annette Forrest


out of 10

Health Score*


529 calories per serve

Allergens: Recipe may contain mustard and sulphites.

More nutrition information >

  • 15 Ingredients
  • 3 Method Steps
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 750g Lilydale Free Range Chicken Thigh, trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 1 brown onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 lemongrass stem, trimmed, bruised, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Steamed jasmine rice, to serve
  • Coriander sprigs, to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve
  • Select all ingredients


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  • Step 1Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add half the chickenUnsure of the quantity needed?Click on the underlined ingredient to reveal the quantity. No need to flip back and forth!OK, GOT IT. Cook, turning occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Step 2Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining oil to wok. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add turmeric, curry paste, lemongrass and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
  • Step 3Stir in coconut milk and curry leaves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Return chicken to wok. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is tender. Stir in coriander and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Spoon over rice and top with coriander sprigs. Serve with lime wedges.


Image of Coconut Curry Chicken on a bed of rice, ready to eat.

Make Coconut Curry Chicken in one pot in 30 minutes or less. It’s packed with delicious flavors and is the perfect weeknight dinner.

Pair Coconut Curry Chicken with rice and/or naan bread. A side of roasted carrots or roasted sweet potatoes would also pair nicely.

Image of the ready-to-eat Coconut Curry Chicken with a fork in it and rice on the side with naan bread.

When you’re not sure what to make for dinner, creamy Coconut Curry Chicken always comes through.

Coconut Curry Chicken Video

Coconut Curry Chicken

It’s fast, flavorful, and healthy! This is one of my husband’s all-time favorite meals, and while I tend to prefer veggies over meat (hiiii  there, butternut squash curry), this is one of my favorites as well.

Image of the chicken and red peppers in the pan for Coconut Curry Chicken.

Coconut Curry Flavor

Today we’re using red curry in this dish, alongside yellow curry powder and a good amount of coriander. If you’re wondering what coconut curry tastes like, it’s a bit sweet but mostly savory with hints of spice from the red curry. Red curry is made from crushed red chilies, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, ginger and fish paste. We amp up those flavors with additional garlic, ginger, and onions.

So as far as spiciness goes, I would rate this dish as mild, but it does depend on the brand of red curry you use. I’ve found Thai Kitchen® is generally quite mild.

Image of the coconut milk being added to the chicken and peppers for Coconut Curry Chicken.

Coconut Curry Chicken FAQs 

What makes curry sweet?

  • Cooking the onions slowly and for a longer period causes the onions to brown and develop a sweeter flavor.
  • Coconut milk makes this curry sweeter than using regular cream.
  • We add a little bit of brown sugar (optional) for sweetness.
  • Coriander is a naturally sweet spice. Curry powder tends to be on the sweeter side as well (more on this below).

What Does Curry Powder Taste Like?

Curry powder has a unique flavor with both savory and sweet spices. Cumin, turmeric, and bay leaf give curry powder a deep, earthy and savory flavor while the sweet spices such as cinnamon and cloves add brightness and sweetness. 

Image of Coconut Curry Chicken in the pan with lots of sauce.

With all of the various coconut products, it’s hard to know what will work best in your coconut curry chicken. To help, I’m breaking it down below.

Coconut milk or coconut cream?

  • Coconut milk has the liquid consistency of cow’s milk. It’s the basis of most Thai curries and is made by simmering 1 part shredded coconut to 1 part water.
  • Coconut cream has a much thicker and richer consistency than coconut milk. Coconut cream is made from simmering 4 parts shredded coconut to 1 part water.
  • Cream of coconut is a sweetened version of coconut cream. It’s generally used in drinks or desserts. With all the added sugar, it’s not a great substitute for coconut cream.

Can I use coconut cream in curry?

In this coconut curry chicken, we use full-fat coconut milk. Lite coconut milk won’t thicken and give you a rich full flavor like regular coconut milk. Coconut cream tends to be too thick (and overpoweringly coconut flavored) for this coconut curry chicken and cream of coconut is far too sweet.

Coconut Curry Chicken Additions

With just a few ingredients, creamy Coconut Curry Chicken goes from good to WOW. 

Our must-have additions: fresh lime juice, finely chopped cilantro (or basil!) a little bit of brown sugar.

Other great add-ins: chopped peanuts or cashewsfish sauce.


  • Coconut Curry Chicken and vegetables: This curry has some red pepper in it, but feel free to increase the veggies! You can add some carrot sticks (add along with red pepper) and spinach (stir in at the very end — residual heat will cook it down).
  • Coconut Curry Chicken thighs: Chicken thighs will work great instead of breast meat (use boneless skinless and adjust for cooking time).
  • Chicken Curry with coconut milk and potatoes: Try adding baby Yukon gold potatoes (to do this, I microwave whole potatoes for 5-8 minutes or until tender; cut them into quarters and add them in alongside the red pepper. This helps the potatoes catch up to the rest of the ingredients and yet still absorb the delicious flavors). 
  • Coconut Chicken Curry slow cooker recipe: try this recipe!

Quick & Easy Coconut Curry Chicken

This Coconut Curry Chicken uses just six ingredients that you likely already have at home to make a delicious curry dish that packs a ton of flavor.

coconut curry chicken

You can make great curry chicken at home very quickly and it tastes as good as take out. The best part is it’s done in just 25 minutes.

Ingredients in Curry Chicken

If you’re wanting to use up some of the ingredients you probably already have lurking in your pantry, this dish is perfect.

The ingredients you’ll need to make this dish are:

  • Chicken – You can use boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. I like to use thighs because they don’t get dry during cooking and they have more flavor. Cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Onion – I use a small white or yellow onion, chopped. Onion adds a slightly sweet and savory flavor.
  • Tomato paste – This thickened, reduced form of tomato is very useful for deepening the flavor of your sauce. It also helps thicken it a bit.
  • Curry Powder – This turmeric-based spice blend gives aromatic depth to the recipe.
  • Coconut Milk – Full-fat coconut milk adds a crucial creaminess, with a touch of the calming coconut taste that suits this curry so well.
  • Garlic

Those are all likely ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry. In a pinch, you can leave out the onion and garlic. If you don’t have fresh chicken, you can substitute it with potato chunks. I particularly like the addition of sweet potato chunks.

For the coconut milk, you need the kind that comes in a can. You can’t substitute coconut milk in a carton that’s meant for drinking. The fat ratio in these two different types of coconut milk is quite different. I even prefer the full fat version to light coconut milk.

Coconut Chicken Curry

Cooking Methods

This curry is best cooked on the stove top, but you can cook it in the slow cooker, if you want.

It’s not ideal for the Instant Pot because the coconut milk will curdle in the high heat. If you do cook this in the Instant Pot, you need to leave out the coconut milk and instead add 3/4 cup water to the pot before cooking. After cooking, you can add in the coconut milk and set the pot to Saute mode to cook down and reduce the sauce.

It only takes around 25 minutes to cook this on the stove top. With the need to pressurize and depressurize, the Instant Pot actually takes longer.

Serve it up!

Don’t forget to make some rice to go along with this dish. It’s needed to soak up the sauce. If you don’t have rice, you can use any type of noodle or pasta, as well as cauliflower rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does curry powder taste like?

Curry powder is a yellowish orange spice that has a unique combination of savory and sweet. Cumin, turmeric and bay leaf add a deep earthiness along with the bright sweetness of cinnamon and clove.

Is curry powder very spicy?

Most curry powders are not actually spicy. Their ingredients are mild and fragrant. Some can be spicy. Look for spice blends that list ginger and black pepper for a more mild blend. Chili peppers will signal a spicier curry powder.

What is the difference between coconut milk and coconut cream?

Coconut milk and cream are mostly interchangeable in recipes. For a richer and creamier texture try coconut cream. For the coconut milk, you need the kind that comes in a can. You can’t substitute coconut milk in a carton that’s meant for drinking. The fat ratio in these two different types of coconut milk is quite different. I even prefer the full fat version to light coconut milk.

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