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Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

28 Reviews

Whether you are an adventurous foodie or a meat and potatoes type, this easy Coconut Curry Chicken is totally for you. 

coconut curry chicken atop rice on white plate

 

Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe

If you would have offered this easy chicken curry to me as a kid, there’s no way in heck I would have eaten it. I was dumb. I still am not a crazy adventurous eater (I don’t have any desire to try calamari or tongue), but I do enjoy trying different ethnic foods. I mean, one of our most popular recipes is my sister’s honey baked chicken, which uses curry. Ha! Look at me go!

Homemade coconut curry is not at all scary. In fact, with the coconut milk in there it’s actually creamy and really easy on the palate. Our oldest daughter was a little weirded out by that orange color at first, but our eight-year-old dug right in and was singing its praises.

In the end, this chicken curry with coconut milk was a success for the whole family and now it’s one of our favorite meals.

Coconut Curry Chicken Ingredients

We kept the ingredients list for the coconut curry sauce and chicken as short as possible. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy chicken curry recipe: 

  • Chicken breasts
  • Peanut oil
  • Curry powder 
  • Garam Masala 
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Coconut milk
  • Tomato paste 
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sugar
  • Water 
  • Cornstarch

coconut curry chicken recipe

How to Make Coconut Curry Chicken

This chicken coconut curry comes together quickly. Here are the basic steps for this recipe: 

  1. Dice the chicken into cubes, then season with curry powder, garam masala, salt, and pepper. 
  2. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill. 
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add more curry powder and garam masala and cook until fragrant. 
  4. Stir in the chopped onion and cook until translucent. 
  5. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the grilled chicken. 
  7. Serve over rice. 

Can I Make Curry in a Slow Cooker? 

Yes, to make this coconut curry chicken in a slow cooker simply combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.

What’s the Best Coconut Milk for Coconut Curry?  

We prefer using sweetened canned coconut milk by a brand called Thai Kitchen. If you can’t find sweetened coconut milk, unsweetened will also work. 

coconut curry chicken garnished with fresh cilantro on white plate

Tips for Making Coconut Curry Chicken

Grill the chicken —  I think it’s because our spices aren’t as good as the authentic stuff, but giving that chicken a little smokey awesomeness is totally going to change this dish. If you must, just cook it in a pan, but grilling is better.

Bloom the curry — I’ve tried a few curry recipes both ways and hands down the best coconut curry starts by letting the curry powder cook in the oil for a minute or two, then adding the onion and finally moving on with the recipe. This allows the true flavor to “bloom,” or come out.

Opt for coconut milk — It’s creamy like heavy cream, but it’s also lighter and melds well with the curry.

To see all of our family dinner recipes, head here! These are a few of our favorites…

Kid Friendly Easy Coconut Curry Chicken ohsweetbasil.com
Easy coconut chicken curry ohsweetbasil.com

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

4.61 from 28 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Whether you are an adventurous foodie or a meat and potatoes type, this easy Coconut Curry Chicken is totally for you. 

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 1 pound of chicken)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Peanut or Canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Curry Powder divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Garam Masala divided
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic smashed
  • 1 can (14 ounces) Sweetened Coconut milk full fat, never lite
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • White Rice for serving
  • Cilantro for serving

Instructions

  • Chop the chicken into large chunks.
  • Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and half of the curry and half of the garam masala.
  • Toss to coat evenly.
  • Thread the chicken onto skewers (if wooden make sure you soaked them first) and place on a medium high heated grill.
  • Turn the chicken every 1-2 minutes until grilled on each side, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat add the oil and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the remaining curry and garam marsala.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally for 1 minute, add the onion and a little more oil if the pan is dry.
  • Continue to cook for 2 minutes or until the onion is tender, stirring often.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds then add coconut milk, paste, salt, pepper and sugar.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch.
  • Whisk into the sauce.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes and add the chicken into the sauce.
  • Stir to combine and heat for 3 minutes then serve over rice with fresh cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Coconut Chicken Curry
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 279 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 614mg27%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 22g44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

coconut curry chicken recipe

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

Leave a comment

76 comments

  • I bought unsweetened coconut milk? How much sugar should I add ?

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  • Delish! Thanks for sharing.

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    • You will love it!!

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  • I made this tonight, my first curry dish, and it was amazing!  I realize now I forgot the sugar. But it was fine. I used three chicken breasts because it was the smallest package I could find and increased the spices to coat them for the initial grilling. I didn’t have to thicken the sauce, but I’ll keep that cornstarch trick in mind!  I also added a teaspoon of chili paste for a little spice!  This will be one of my go to recipes when I want to treat myself. Thank you!

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    • Hurray! Love to hear this! Thanks for taking time to leave a comment!

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  • Our family loves coconut curry! We like adding sweet potatoes to ours. Not necessarily authentic, but very yummy. 🙂

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    • Oh yum! I love the sound of that!

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  • One more question. Do you use just the milk or the milk and the cream from the can of coconut milk?

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    • Milk and cream

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  • Can you tell me how much chicken in pounds the recipe calls for? I have chicken tenders so not sure how much to use.

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    • Hi Sandra! It’s about 1 lb of chicken, maybe a little less.

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  • Just looking so much Good we can use the same curry with Paneer or Tofu Love it with rice also combination Good

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    • Enjoy!!

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  • Just looking so much Good we can use the same curry with Paneer or Tofu Love it with rice also combination Good

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    • Thank you!

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  • Woow, Just looking so much Good we can use the same curry with Paneer or Tofu Love it with rice also combination Good. I will try at home this today Thanks.

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    • Hope you enjoyed it!!

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  • Hahaa, curry has one of the best smell I love enjoying even when I was a little girl so I missed out anythin xo

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    • Curry is so good!!

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  • This looks delicious, thanks for the recipe! I’m a California gal living abroad, and I can’t really make any of my usual rotation meals, so I have been experimenting with curries and can’t wait to make this. Could I omit the Garam Masala? Anything you might suggest using in it’s place? Thank you!

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    • Unfortunately, that is a spice that it really needs.

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  • Hi! Happy New Year! 

    I love cooking with curry, my favorite dishes. I’ve cooked with coconut and curry a few years back for a Hawaiian chicken and actually used grape jelly to sweeten  ( just experimenting at that time), turned out to be delicious. Of course, I told no one there was grape jelly in their dinner😂. 

    I so look forward to trying your coconut curry chicken. Always fun to try others recipes. Thanking you in advance.  Love from NY! 

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    • Hello Dee! Happy New Year to you too! We would love to hear what you think about this recipe! We sure love it!

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  • Really it was very easy to make Chicken curry. You did a great job everything you mentioned very clearly. Thanks for the post.

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    • Thank you!

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  • Can you substitute red curry paste for the tomato paste?

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  • Can you substitute red curry paste for the tomato paste?

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    • Great question! I would say yes, but I have never tried it to be sure. If you try it, let us know how you like it! Sounds delicious!!

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  • Hahaa, curry has one of the best smell I love enjoying even when I was a little girl so I missed out anythin xo
    Anyways, I have to say that curry is one of the best-ever cuisine!!!
    – Natalie

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    • Yay!!! This is a favorite in our house!! So happy you enjoyed it!

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  • very good. Thank you for sharing!

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  • This was the best meal I have ever made. I can’t even describe how delicious this was so I won’t even try! I will just say that I made it with easy Thai coconut rice and it was mind blowing. I will also say that I did not have corn starch so I left out the corn starch and water. The texture suffered a bit but the flavor was on point and it will be that much better next time. I will be making this recipe a lot.

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    • Yay! You have made our day! It is so so soooo good! So happy you loved it!

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    • I bought unsweetened coconut milk. How much sugar should I add ?

      • Reply
      • I’ve used unsweetened before and it turns out fine. If you are worried about it, add a couple of tablespoons. Enjoy!

  • Could I use brown sugar in place of white sugar with this recipe? Thanks!

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    • We have never tried that, but it is worth a shot! I bet it would give it a yummy caramel taste!

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  • It’s great, thank you for sharing the cooking.

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  • It’s great, thank you for sharing the cooking.

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    • You’re welcome and thanks for commenting!

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  • Yum I absolutely love this recipe it looks amazing!

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    • Thanks Beth!!

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  • This is one of our favorite dishes when we go out….can’t wait to try your recipe at home! Looks amazing!

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    • I love when you can make your favorite restaurant dishes at home! I think you will love this!!

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  • Looks so yummy and flavorful!

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    • Thank you!! It does have SO much flavor!

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  • What an easy dinner! Looks great!

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    • Thanks Liz!

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  • I am definitely going to try this…even though I don’t have a grill. I have a Naan recipe too. I really like ethnic food!! THANK YOU!

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    • You could totally grill the chicken on the stove in a pan! Oh man, we LOVE naan too! I think you’re going to love this dish!!

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  • This recipe looks delicious. How do you adapt it for a crockpot? 

    Thanks in advance

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    • Hi! You can make it in the crockpot by merely dumping everything in and allowing to cook on low for 4 hours.

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  • This has become one of my favorite recipies ever! I’ve passed it on to family and friends and all have found this dish DELICIOUS!
    Instead of using skewers, I undercook the chicken in a pan and then let it finish cooking in the sauce.
    I also usually double the sauce cause it’s just so yummy!

    Absolutely perfect, highly recommended! Thanks so so much 🙂

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    • Isn’t that sauce so good?! We need to find more ways to use it. Thanks for the kind comment!

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  • It’s “garam masala”.
    Marsala is a fortified wine..you might want to fix that typo 🙂

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    • WHOA! That could have been bad! lol thank you so much Wendy! You are my life saver!

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  • What is “sweetened” coconut milk? I can find coconut milk both regular and lite, but nothing that is “sweetened”.

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    • Hi Tami, just use regular coconut milk if you don’t see the cans with sweetened. The light doesn’t taste the same so we wouldn’t use that.

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  • Flavor was great,..but the texture was off…maybe no cornstarch or I maybe simmered it too long?

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    • Over simmering can definitely break down a sauce. 🙁 Also getting too hot too quickly could as well.

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  • Would this work in the crock pot?

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    • Absolutely! We prefer to cook on low for 4-5 hours

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  • It’s looks so incredible. A perfect curry version!

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    • Thank you so much Vicky!

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  • I’m new to the curry making world, this recipe was phenomenal! I was just curious why you recommend full fat coconut milk, is it just a flavor preference or something else?

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    • Oh thank you!! The reduced fat ends up a more watery and not as flavorful. 🙂

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  • Could this be adapted to make in the crock pot/slow cooker??

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  • This was amazing! I’m definitely passing this recipe on!

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    • So glad you enjoyed it Bethany!

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  • Could you recommend a brand of coconut milk? I have had some in the past that we did not like.

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    • Hi Amy, we use Thai Kitchen

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  • Do you keep the chicken on the skewers to take it off before adding to the sauce? This looks and sounds so delicious!

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    • We take them off and add the sauce. 🙂 Thanks for checking

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  • Had this for Sunday supper and it was restaurant quality dish. Adjusted down the curry to make everyone happy, but not much.

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    • Love it! Thank you so much!

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  • This chicken coconut curry looks incredible! Great combo of ingredients (and flavors)!

    • Reply

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