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Have you been missing your favorite Indian takeout meal? Then this easy chicken curry recipe is for you! It’s surprisingly simple to make at home. Chicken coconut curry is rich and warming, with a little spice and a whole lot of coconut cream curry flavor. Serve it over rice for a classic taste, but it would also be fantastic over cauliflower rice.
Why This Is My Best Chicken Curry Recipe
- Creamy coconut sauce with spicy curry flavor
- Juicy, tender chicken
- Natural, common ingredients found in any grocery store
- Made in one pan or pot, for easy cleanup
- Done in 30 minutes
- Naturally gluten-free and healthy
Chicken Curry Ingredients
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this Indian chicken curry recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Olive Oil – Used for sauteing. Any heat-safe cooking oil, such as avocado oil, also works.
- Onion – Traditional chicken curry recipes typically use red onions, but I used a white onion. Feel free to use red or yellow if that’s what you have on hand.
- Chicken – I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, but boneless skinless chicken thighs also work if you prefer dark meat. Cut into bite-sized pieces. If you only have bone-in chicken, you can cook it whole without cutting into pieces, but it will take longer to cook through.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – To prevent the curry coconut chicken from getting too watery, be sure to drain the diced tomatoes before adding them to the coconut chicken curry.
- Coconut Milk – You won’t need the entire can of coconut milk, just the cream part. Place the can in the fridge overnight — this will separate the coconut cream from the coconut water and you’ll be able to skim the cream from the top. Alternatively, you can just buy canned coconut cream, or Greek yogurt should also work.
- Chicken Broth – I use reduced sodium chicken broth. You could also use chicken bone broth as well.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic adds the best flavor, but you could use jarred minced garlic for convenience. If you don’t have any of either, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Curry Powder – This spice blend of turmeric, chili powder, coriander, cayenne pepper, and other spices is a must for this dish! If yours doesn’t have cumin in it, add 1 teaspoon of cumin to the recipe.
- Other Spices – Ground ginger, paprika, and sea salt.
Some curry chicken recipes add sugar as well, but I don’t find this necessary. The tomatoes and coconut milk add a little natural sweetness on their own.
How To Make Curry Chicken
This section shows how to make chicken curry with coconut milk, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute the onion. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent and browned.
- Sear the chicken. Push onion to the side. Increase to medium-high heat. Add another tablespoon oil and add chicken in a single layer. Saute the chicken only to brown the outside.
- Make the chicken curry sauce. Add diced tomatoes, coconut cream (skimmed from the top of canned coconut milk), chicken broth, garlic, curry powder, ground ginger, paprika, and sea salt. Stir everything together.
TIP: Only use the cream portion of your canned coconut milk.
This is the important secret trick! If you want your curry to taste like it came from an Indian restaurant (which you do!), only use the cream. Most cans of coconut cream will have directions to shake the can before using. DON’T do this. Simply open the can and scoop out the thick cream portion. Thanks to my friend, Emily from My Everyday Table, for this tip!
- Simmer. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, sauce is thick, and flavors develop to your liking. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
- Store: Allow coconut curry chicken to cool completely. Store leftovers in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (Curry will stain some plastic storage containers — beware!)
- Meal prep: Chicken coconut curry is similar to soups and chilis where it gets even better after a day in the fridge. Simply make the full recipe ahead of time and store.
- Reheat: Warm on the stove or in microwave until hot. If it’s too thick, you can thin it out with a bit of water or broth, or even a bit more coconut cream.
- Freeze: Chicken curry recipes freeze quite well. Once it has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Or, to save space, store in a freezer bag and lay it flat so that it freezes flat. Once it’s solid, you can stand it up.
What To Serve With Chicken Curry Recipes
This is important… because you don’t want to lose any of the flavorful curry sauce! Here’s what I like to pair with this dish:
- Rice – Serve chicken curry over a bowl of basmati rice, or for lighter options, try cauliflower rice (shown in the photos above) or shirataki rice.
- Naan – Classic Indian curry dishes include a side of naan. For a lighter option, try my low carb naan.
- Vegetables – A side of roasted cauliflower, sauteed broccoli, or garlic roasted bok choy pair well with Indian cuisines. You can also add Indian spices, such as curry powder, to roasted potatoes.
More Indian Chicken Recipes
If you like dishes with a little kick, try these other spicy Indian-inspired favorites:
Tools To Make Chicken Coconut Curry
- Large Saute Pan – To make the best chicken curry recipe, be sure to use a nonstick saute pan. This will prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan while it cooks.
Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe
Chicken Curry Recipe (30 Minutes!)
This easy chicken curry recipe makes the best chicken coconut curry, with simple ingredients like chicken, coconut milk, tomatoes and spices.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for about 7 to 10 minutes, until translucent and browned.
Push the onion to the side. Increase heat to medium high. Add another tablespoon oil and the chicken in a single layer. Saute the chicken for just 1 to 2 minutes per side, only to brown the outside.
Add the diced tomatoes, coconut cream, chicken broth, garlic, curry powder, ground ginger, paprika, and sea salt. Stir everything together. Adjust salt to taste.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, sauce is thick, and flavors develop to your liking.
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Serving size: 3/4 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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One of my absolute favorite go-to meals. I’ve since altered the recipe to my liking, which uses chicken thighs instead of breasts (much more flavor). I subbed out the can of tomatoes for 1/4 cup tomato paste, and I use a little of the leftover coconut water to thin the mixture out instead of chicken broth. I ended up using a custom spice blend for a recipe I have for tikka masala, but if I’m in a hurry, I use curry powder, ginger, and paprikás.
This is excellent over rice for the non-keto peeps, and really good over konjac noodles if low carb/keto.
Is it possible to make a curry without using tomatoes? What would you substitute for that, or just leave them out?
I haven’t tried your recipe.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Dar, I have never made curry without the tomatoes so I am not sure how it would turn out.
This recipe was fast and easy. Next time I will use less of the coconut cream as I felt it was too sweet. Overall good.
This was a fast, delicious, and simple chicken curry recipe. So good!
So much flavor in this dish and it’s so easy to make! This is getting moved into the weekly rotation for sure.
I love chicken curry and this variation is delicious. Thanks you.
This was so delicious and a really easy dinner for a weeknight! I loved all the garlic and the warm spices. Can’t wait to make it again!
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