Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe

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Coconut Curry Chicken is always welcome in our home, and when you can make it quickly and easily, it makes it even better!

An overhead shot looking down on a serving spoon lifting some Coconut Curry Chicken towards the camera.

What Is Curry?

Curry is typically served as a meat and vegetable dish that has plenty of sauce (curry sauce) that is made with various Indian spices. The meats and vegetables can vary from recipe to recipe, as can the spices, which are typically dependent on the area of India it’s made in.

What Is Coconut Curry Chicken?

Coconut curry chicken is simply a specific type of curry. It can be made in either Thai or Indian flavors, but its primary ingredients are coconut milk-based sauce and chicken. This particular recipe calls for peas for the veggies. But you can use others if you prefer them.

A close up of a serving spoon resting in a skillet filled with Coconut Curry Chicken.

Coconut Curry Chicken FAQs 

Where Is Coconut Curry Chicken From?

This is a Thai dish, through and through. Though the curry sauce can be made to be heavier in Indian flavors, its origins are in Thailand.

Are Coconut Curries Healthy?

That all depends on what you consider to be healthy. This dish is made with all-natural, whole-food ingredients, but it’s also higher in fat, due to the coconut milk.

Do I Use Coconut Milk Or Cream For Curry?

You can use either. But only use coconut cream if your sauce has plenty of other liquids. Otherwise, full-fat coconut milk tends to work the best.

Does Coconut Curry Taste Like Coconut?

While the coconut offers underlying tones, the major flavors in this dish are all about the spices. The spices and coconut milk work quite well together and create a nice balance in this sauce.

What Can I Use Instead Of Coconut Milk In Curry?

You can use full-fat milk or even heavy cream if you prefer that. Consider how creamy you want this dish to be, and use the corresponding milk accordingly.

Does Coconut Milk Thicken Curry?

Yes, but only in that, it adds extra creaminess from the fat content. If you truly wish to thicken a curry sauce, you could easily stir in starch, such as arrowroot or cornstarch. But if your curry is made well, it shouldn’t need it. It should be naturally thick enough.

Coconut Curry Chicken, just cooked, sitting in a skillet. A serving spoon rests in the skillet.

What Is Coconut Curry Made Of?

2 large chicken breasts – Cut into stew-sized pieces. You can use chicken thighs if you prefer them.

14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk – You can use light coconut milk if you want to reduce the fat content, but the sauce won’t be anywhere near as creamy.

10 oz. package frozen peas and carrots – You can buy them separately, or combined. Mine was a combined package.

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tsp. garam masala

1 tsp. ground coriander

2 tsp. garlic powder – If you prefer fresh garlic cloves, finely mince 1 tbsp.

2 tsp. onion powder – If you prefer fresh onion, finely dice ½ a cup of red onion.

½ tsp. ground ginger – If you prefer fresh ginger, finely mince 1 tsp.

2 tbsp. red curry paste – I used the Thai Kitchen brand.

1 tbsp. granular sweetener – Try Sucanat, coconut sugar, or monk fruit. I used brown erythritol because that’s what works best for my blood sugar.

½ cup chicken broth – No sugar added (usually called dextrose in meat-based broths.) This is optional if you need to either thing your sauce or increase the amount of it. I added it to mine, but some may prefer a thicker sauce.

Salt and pepper – To taste at serving.

Optional Additions

  • Fresh Spinach – Stir in fresh spinach leave in the last 30 seconds of cooking. Stir until they wilt.
  • Chopped tomatoes – Add about 1½ cups chopped tomatoes.
  • Red Chilies – If you really like spice, add about a ⅛ to a ¼ tsp. dry, ground chilies.
  • Red pepper flakes – Another options for making things spicier.
  • Tomato paste – If you want more tomato flavor, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons.
  • Cumin – If you want more of an Indian flavor, add 1 tbsp. ground cumin.
  • Turmeric – If you love the health benefits of turmeric, you can stir in about 1 teaspoon.

How To Make Coconut Curry Chicken

Chicken cut into stew-sized pieces, sitting on a white cutting board.

Prep

Cut the chicken into smaller, stew-sized pieces.

Cut chicken sitting in a stainless steel skillet.

Add

Add the chicken to a large, dry skillet.

Coconut milk added to chicken pieces in a skillet.

Pour

Pour the coconut milk into the skillet with the chicken.

Frozen peas and carrots top chicken and coconut milk in a skillet.

Top

Top the chicken and coconut milk with frozen peas and carrots.

Seasonings and Thai curry paste added to a skillet of veggies, chicken and coconut milk.

Season

Add all the remaining seasonings, including the curry paste and the sweetener.

Broth poured into a measuring cup for measuring.

Cook

Sauté everything, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat, (keep it at a strong simmer) until the chicken is fully cooked through. It should be at least 165 F. on a meat thermometer. If needed for extra broth, add up to a ½ cup of chicken broth.

Sprinkling fresh lime juice over the finished Coconut Curry Chicken in a skillet.

Squeeze

Squeeze fresh lime juice (about half a lime) over the finished dish.

Garnishing the Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe with fresh cilantro in the same skillet it was cooked in.

Garnish

Sprinkle chopped, fresh, cilantro over the top (optional). If you don’t like cilantro, chopped cashews are a good alternative for a garnish.

Coconut Curry Chicken served over cooked quinoa, served in a white bowl.

How To Store Coconut Curry Chicken

This should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. If stored properly, it will last for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Coconut Curry Chicken?

Definitely! This freezes quite well, actually. It’s great for stocking your freezer with healthy meals. My suggestion is to freeze it in single servings. It just makes life easier when you need a quick meal. Souper Cubes are also a great way to freeze this in portioned sizes. I use them all the time so I know exactly how much I’m eating every time.

What To Serve With Coconut Curry Chicken

This is most often served with rice. But aside from that, you can try serving this over a baked potato, a baked sweet potato, noodles, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or even over some toast or naan. It’s also quite good over other grains such as quinoa or millet.

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An overhead shot looking down on a serving spoon lifting some Coconut Curry Chicken towards the camera.

Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe

Delicious Thai flavors made the quick and easy way!
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 396kcal
Author: The Gracious Pantry

CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!

Equipment

  • 1 Large Skillet

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into stew-size pieced)
  • 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 10 oz. package frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. red curry paste (I used the Thai Kitchen brand)
  • 1 tbsp. granular sweetener (such as Sucanat, coconut sugar or monk fruit)
  • ½ cup chicken broth (no sugar/dextrose added)

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into smaller, stew-sized pieces.
    Chicken cut into stew-sized pieces, sitting on a white cutting board.
  • Add the chicken to a large, dry skillet.
    Cut chicken sitting in a stainless steel skillet.
  • Pour the coconut milk into the skillet with the chicken.
    Coconut milk added to chicken pieces in a skillet.
  • Top the chicken and coconut milk with frozen peas and carrots.
    Frozen peas and carrots top chicken and coconut milk in a skillet.
  • Add all the remaining seasonings, including the curry paste and the sweetener.
    Seasonings and Thai curry paste added to a skillet of veggies, chicken and coconut milk.
  • Sauté everything, stirring constantly, over medium to high heat, until the chicken is fully cooked through. It should be at least 165 F. on a meat thermometer. If needed for extra broth, add ¼ to a ½ cup of chicken broth.
    Broth poured into a measuring cup for measuring.
  • Squeeze half a fresh lime over the finished dish.
    Sprinkling fresh lime juice over the finished Coconut Curry Chicken in a skillet.
  • Garnish with fresh, chopped, cilantro.
    Garnishing the Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe with fresh cilantro in the same skillet it was cooked in.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.16the recipe | Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 990mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5343IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 4mg

Original Recipe

The recipe below underwent quite an upgrade with the above version. While it doesn’t really even come close to the original, I thought I would post the original inspirational recipe from back when I first started eating clean and posting my recipes on this site. At least one person has emailed me for it, so I’m guessing there may still be a few people who enjoy the original recipe. Here it is.

Clean Eating Curry Chicken With Peas

(Makes 4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • ½ (14 ounce can) light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ½ package frozen peas
  • ½ tablespoon mild curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the chicken, and bring to a soft boil.
  2. Add chicken breasts and boil until chicken is cooked through.
  3. If your sauce has not cooked down enough (it should cook down by almost half) by the time your chicken is cooked and you want the sauce to be thicker, you can add 2 tbsp. of organic corn starch to the pot to help thicken up the sauce.
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