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Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

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This creamy chicken curry with coconut milk is a lush dinner recipe. Served with rice or naan it's total comfort food.

It takes a few minutes to simmer, but it's totally worth it - the chicken becomes incredibly tender and the sauce reduces to creamy deliciousness.

An overhead shot of a dutch oven pot with chicken curry in it.

Chicken Curry Ingredients

To make this one-pot recipe, you'll need a few fresh ingredients and some pantry ingredients.

You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe. You'll also need a yellow onion, a few garlic cloves, a can of coconut milk, a neutral oil, curry powder, paprika, turmeric, salt, and pepper.

What is Curry Powder?

Curry powder tends to be a blend of turmeric, ginger, cumin, garlic, and sometimes chili powder. Here's how to make your own homemade curry powder.

Spice blends similar to curry have been used in the Indian subcontinent for over 4000 years, however, curry powder is actually a British invention created to mimic the flavors of Indian cooking.

Curry blends are often similar in flavor to garam masala, a spice blend often used in Indian cooking. Curry, as a word, can mean both a spice blend and a term used to refer to a South Asian sauce or gravy dish.

Ingredients for chicken curry on a marble background, including chicken coconut milk, a yellow onion, cilantro, lime, spices, garlic, and canola oil.

How to Make a One-Pot Chicken Curry

To make this recipe, here's what you'll need to do.

  • Brown the chicken. Toss the chicken with paprika, turmeric, half the salt, and pepper. Heat half the oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Cook the vegetables. Heat the rest of the oil and cook the onions for 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds. Return the chicken to the pot and add in the coconut milk. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer. Bring to a low boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve. Stir in the curry powder and lime juice. If time permits, allow the curry to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will bring the sauce together. Then top with cilantro and serve with rice or naan.
A composite photo with four pictures of making chicken curry.

More Easy Chicken Dinners

If you like this recipe, check out some of our other favorite chicken recipes.

  • Berbere Spiced Chicken - is wonderfully rich and full of flavors. It requires relatively few ingredients and makes a very hearty meal. It’s based on a recipe called Doro Wat, an Ethiopian spicy chicken stew.
  • Chicken Corn Chowder - rich, delicious, and creamy. You can make it with either fresh or frozen corn and it’s a wonderfully tasty recipe.
  • Lemon Chicken with Orzo - a zingy dish with preserved lemon, tomatoes, chicken thighs, and orzo.
  • White Bean Soup with Chicken - a tasty blend of white beans, shredded chicken, and vegetables.
A pot of chicken curry and two black bowls with chicken curry and rice.

Tips for Making this Recipe

  • You can make your own curry spice blend - our blend is highly flavorful but not too spicy.
  • If time permits, allow the curry to sit for 10 to 15 minutes after you make it, this will help the sauce continue to thicken. If you need to get dinner on the table though, serve it right away (it will still taste great)!
  • This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It just gets better with time too - making it a great meal prep recipe!
Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Chicken Curry Recipe

An overhead shot of a dutch oven pot with chicken curry in it.

This creamy chicken curry with coconut milk is a lush dinner recipe. Served with rice or naan it's total comfort food.

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • optional - 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • serve with - naan or steamed rice

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch chunks. Sprinkle the chicken with paprika, turmeric, 1 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and brown it for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick. 
  3. Remove the chicken and set it aside. 
  4. Add the remaining oil and once it’s hot, add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the chicken back into the pot, along with the coconut milk, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and increase the heat so the curry comes to a low boil. When it’s gently bubbling, reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. 
  6. Turn off the heat and stir in the curry powder and lime juice. If time permits, allow the curry to sit for 10 minutes before serving - this will continue to thicken the sauce. 
  7. Serve with optional rice or naan and top with fresh cilantro. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 1218mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 56g

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