Quick & Easy Coconut Curry Chicken

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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.

» You might also like this Simple & Flavorful Farfalle alla Vodka and the 7 Best Turmeric Substitutions.

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.

If you like this recipe, why not try one of our other quick and easy pantry dishes.

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Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry

This coconut chicken curry comes together so fast, you won't believe how good it is.
4.65 from 90 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chicken, Curry
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 409kcal
Author: Laura


  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast or thigh meat cut in bite-sized chunks
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 14.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 2 cups water


  • On the stove top, add all of the ingredients to a pot over medium-low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.
  • In another pot, heat 2 cups of water to boiling. Add the rice and stir. Cover with a lid and cook on a low simmer for approximately 18 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  • Serve the curry over rice.


Add additional veggies, if desired, like potato, sweet potato chunks, sliced bell pepper, water chestnuts, or spinach.


Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 207mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 178IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg

🥧 If you’re interested in more great recipes, I share all my favorite Instant Pot recipes over at A Pressure Cooker Kitchen, air fryer recipes at Air Fry Anytime, and cocktails and drinks at Savored Sips. Check it out today!


coconut chicken curry

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