Perfectly tender chicken dredged in a creamy curry broth makes this one-pot meal a dinner delight. This Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry is a fast and healthy meal with busy weeknights in mind.
Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry
Curry, with its richly bold flavor and creamy broth, might just be one of my favorite meals. Ripping off a large chunk of Naan and dredging it into this decadent sauce is ultimate food bliss in my opinion.
To heighten this level of bliss would be to have a coconut curry that’s not only made in one pot, but also under 30 minutes. This creamy coconut chicken curry is a bold blend of flavor with tender chicken swimming in a delicious broth. Spoon it over rice or scoop it up with flatbread.
Ingredients in Coconut Chicken Curry
- Oil: you can use the oil you prefer for this dish and since it’s not cooking at a high temperature then low smoke point oils like olive oil are just fine. I prefer to use grapeseed oil, olive oil, or sesame oil when preparing this dish.
- Boneless Chicken Thighs: the chicken thighs are more tender when cooked in this dish than a chicken breast, but both will work.
- Salt and Pepper: these common kitchen spices are used to season the chicken before cooking it in a large pot.
- Onion: this flavorful vegetable adds a delicious flavor to the sauce as well as bulk.
- Garlic: personally, I think you can never go wrong with a ton of garlic, but I know some people are allergic so if necessary you can leave this condiment out. It does add a bold touch of flavor to the curry though and more is always better.
- Curry Powder: this key spice is what turns this sauce into a curry and it can also be swapped for curry paste if you’d prefer to use it. As the sauce is simmering I always like to do a taste test and add more curry powder if it’s needed.
- Chicken Broth: using chicken broth as a sauce base pairs well with the chicken and brings out more flavor than just using water.
- Coconut Milk: the delicious creaminess in this recipe comes from using full-fat canned coconut milk.
- Diced Tomatoes: the diced tomatoes paired with the tomato paste add bulk as well as bring flavor to this sauce.
- Tomato Paste: the tomato paste is for creating a thick and smooth sauce, and adds a tangy taste.
- Sugar: placing a small amount of sugar into the sauce neutralizes all the flavors, yet keeps it bold at the same time.
- Parsley: sprinkle some parsley on top for a beautiful garnish.
How to Make Creamy Chicken Curry
This one-pot meal is super simple to prepare and has only a few steps. Besides the delicious taste, one of the best things about this recipe is the minimal clean-up.
- Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook for 7 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.
- Prepare the sauce: add the onion, garlic, and curry powder, tossing to coat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Pour the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and sugar into the pot and bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes
- Simmer: Add the chicken back to the sauce and continue to simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes until the sauce begins to slightly thicken.
Below are some images of how to prepare this recipe. This version shows the chicken remaining in the pot during the entire cooking process. For a more tender chicken remove it using a slotted spoon before adding the remaining ingredients. Then add it back in with 5 to 10 minutes of cooking time left.
What is Curry?
Curry is made using a bold mixture of spices and blended into a rich and flavorful sauce. There are many versions of curry from a wide range of countries, but the version in this recipe is a Thai coconut curry. This curry consists of curry spices, coconut milk, meat, and vegetables.
How to Serve Coconut Chicken Curry
Thai curry is typically served with bread such as naan or roti, which is used to scoop up the sauces along with the meat and vegetables. Also, rice accompanies the dish and is usually served on the side so it doesn’t get soggy. I prefer to serve this creamy coconut chicken curry over steamed rice with the intention of drowning the rice in the delicious sauce.
Below are some options for how to best serve your curry. You can choose to spoon the chicken curry over some of the sides or serve them as just sides.
Additional Add-ins for Coconut Chicken Curry
My family is no stranger to this recipe and I would almost argue I make it once a week, which is why I like to have variations. Below are some of the ways I like to change it up to beat dinnertime boredom.
- Vegetables: try adding in some sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, or even celery.
- Potatoes: steam some baby Yukon gold potatoes or fingerling potatoes in the microwave for 5 to 8 minutes until tender and then add them to the broth.
- Fruit: believe it or not adding shaved coconut or diced pineapple adds a delicious twist to this recipe.
Which chicken is best for making coconut chicken curry?
You can use chicken breast, chicken thighs, or ground chicken (if you need a super quick option) for this recipe. I prefer to use boneless chicken thighs because they’re more tender.
Can chicken curry be made ahead?
Yes! This coconut chicken curry recipe makes a great lunch or dinner option if you’re planning to meal prep. This recipe can be made up to 5 days in advance. It is a great option for meal prep and porting out later.
Can I use curry paste?
Yes. Instead of adding curry powder to the recipe swap it out for curry paste.
Can I leave out the sugar?
Of course! If you’re cutting back on sugar or would just prefer to omit it all together then you can leave it out.
Can I make coconut curry vegetarian?
Certainly. To make this dish vegetarian swap the chicken for tofu, or leave it out entirely. Then swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
Can you freeze chicken curry?
Yes. To freeze this recipe, prepare it according to the recipe directions and then let it cool completely before placing it in an air-tight freezer-safe container or zip-top back. This chicken can be stored for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Consider Trying these Easy Chicken Dishes Next:
- Creamy Basil Pesto Chicken
- Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya
- Easy Thai Chicken
- Skillet Chicken in Mushroom Sauce
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large Dutch Oven (or heavy bottomed pot)
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 2 lbs Boneless Chicken Thighs cubed into small pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1 small Onion diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 3 tablespoons Curry Powder
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 14 ounce Coconut Milk 1 can
- 14.5 ounces Diced Tomatoes 1 can
- 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Parsley chopped
- Cook the chicken: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add the chicken. Cook for 7 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate.
- Prepare the sauce: add the onion, garlic, and curry powder, tossing to coat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and sugar into the pot and bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add the chicken back to the sauce and continue to simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes until the sauce begins to slightly thicken.
- Garnish with fresh parsley.