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Coconut Curry Chicken

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Coconut Curry Chicken is a delightful dish that combines the rich flavors of coconut milk with aromatic spices to create a truly comforting meal. This recipe is not only easy to follow but also versatile, making it a staple in many households. Let’s explore the benefits of the key ingredients and why this dish is perfect for any occasion.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Benefits of Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a crucial ingredient in this recipe, providing a creamy texture and a subtly sweet flavor that balances the spices perfectly. Beyond its culinary appeal, coconut milk is rich in essential nutrients. It contains lauric acid, which is known for its antimicrobial properties, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can help boost energy levels. Additionally, coconut milk is dairy-free, making it an excellent alternative for those who are lactose intolerant or following a vegan diet.

The Goodness of Curry Powder

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Curry powder, the star spice blend in this dish, is not only flavorful but also packed with health benefits. It typically contains turmeric, cumin, coriander, and fenugreek, among other spices. Turmeric, with its active compound curcumin, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Regular consumption of turmeric can support joint health and improve digestion. Cumin aids in digestion and is a good source of iron, while coriander offers a fresh, citrusy note and helps in detoxifying the body.

Tips for Perfecting Coconut Curry Chicken

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life
  1. Quality Ingredients: Using fresh, high-quality ingredients can significantly enhance the flavor of your curry. Opt for organic chicken, fresh garlic, and onions to bring out the best in your dish.
  2. Balance the Heat: Adjust the level of spiciness to suit your taste. If you prefer a milder curry, reduce the amount of curry powder or add a bit more coconut milk to mellow the heat.
  3. Marinate the Chicken: For an extra depth of flavor, marinate the chicken in a bit of curry powder and salt for at least an hour before cooking. This allows the spices to penetrate the meat, making each bite more flavorful.
  4. Slow Cooking: Simmering the curry over medium heat allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. Patience is key, as rushing the cooking process can lead to a less developed flavor profile.

Versatility of Coconut Curry Chicken

One of the best things about Coconut Curry Chicken is its versatility. It can be served over a variety of bases, catering to different dietary preferences. While traditionalists might enjoy it over a bed of white rice, those following a paleo or low-carb diet can opt for cauliflower rice. The dish pairs wonderfully with a side of steamed vegetables, adding a burst of color and nutrition to your plate.

Health Benefits of Coconut Curry Chicken

This dish is not only delicious but also nutritious. The combination of protein from the chicken, healthy fats from the coconut milk, and a variety of vitamins and minerals from the spices makes it a well-rounded meal. It’s particularly beneficial for those looking to maintain a balanced diet without compromising on flavor.

Convenience of the Recipe

Coconut Curry Chicken is an ideal recipe for busy weeknights. With simple steps and minimal preparation time, you can have a wholesome meal ready in no time. The ingredients are easy to find, and the dish can be made in large batches, making it perfect for meal prepping. Leftovers taste even better as the flavors continue to develop, making it a practical choice for families and individuals alike.

In summary, Coconut Curry Chicken is a flavorful, healthy, and convenient dish that brings the essence of exotic spices and creamy coconut milk to your table. Whether you are cooking for your family or hosting a dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress and satisfy. Enjoy the rich, comforting flavors and the numerous health benefits that come with every bite.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Coconut Curry Chicken

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Coconut Curry Chicken is one of those easy set-it-and-forget-it type of meals that everyone in the family will devour and then ask for more. Restaurant quality food right at your dining room table.


  • 3 lb Chicken Tenders
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 28 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 1/2 cans Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 4 Tbsp Honey, leave out for a Whole30 meal
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste


  1. Cut chicken tenders in half lengthwise then cut into small bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Cut the onion in half, then thinly slice each half. Cut the slices in thirds. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (I mean the biggest one you have), heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over MED-HIGH heat for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and stir to combine with the oil to make a thin paste. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the onions and minced garlic to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring often. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil while the onions are cooking.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and cook the chicken until all pieces are cooked through and no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, combine the coconut milk, diced tomatoes (with liquid), tomato paste, and honey in a large bowl, stirring to combine everything evenly. This makes it easier to add to the skillet later.
  7. When the chicken is cooked, carefully pour the coconut/tomato mixture into the skillet and stir to combine everything. Reduce heat to MED and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve over rice (real or cauliflower rice). See notes below about white rice.


Rice is a grain, and grains are a paleo no-no for sure. Our family has recently re-introduced small amounts of white rice and even smaller amounts of red potatoes. We don't eat it often, and when we do, we don't eat large portions. For the most part, we are an active family and replenish every now and then with a little extra starch. We don't have any medical conditions that can be aggravated by eating these starches, so it's a personal choice that we have made. White rice is making a comeback in most paleo circles, but this is a personal choice for you. Don't do it just because it's in this recipe if eating white rice doesn't agree with you.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 g
Amount Per Serving Calories 532Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 16gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 108mgSodium 564mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 17gProtein 41g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

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Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Good morning! I am following your Whole30 meal plan and so far everything has been delicious ? Themes came out just alright. It seemed to be missing something and a bit bland. My curry could have been old and a bit flavorless, or perhaps I could have added different spices. What do you suggest to give it a bit more depth and a little spice. I didn't want to go with jalapeños in case a different pepper or chili might be better. Than you btw for all these incredible recipes. ?

Kendra Benson

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Thank you for your feedback, and glad you're (mostly) enjoying all the recipes. As far as the flavor, there are different types of curry, so that may have played a part. Also, I tend to shy away from spicy/heat in my recipes because I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy. If you prefer spicy and used a mild yellow curry (as I do), that may be the culprit. Maybe use a different, bolder curry OR you could try adding more curry next time. Every now and then I accidentally add a tad too much and it definitely ups the flavor.


Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

This looks delicious! Just wondering if you can use curry paste instead of curry powder?

Kason Walker

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Wanted to know what the serving size is for the nutritional facts. Thank you.

Catherine E Richards

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Can this be made in a slow cooker/crockpot?

Kendra Benson

Thursday 31st of January 2019

I've made it in the Instant Pot and it turned out thinner than I would have liked, but haven't tried a slowcooker yet. I think it would turn out well, but you may need to remove the lid towards the end to let the sauce reduce/thicken.


Wednesday 30th of January 2019

Made this tonight and it is a keeper!!!! Hubby didn't go for it (doesn't like curry) but my 7 year old asked for seconds!! sprinkled a little more curry over mine as to not make it too spicy for her .... will be making it again!!

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