Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

A few months ago I made Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry and since then have fallen in love with all things Thai curry.

This is an easy Thai chicken curry that’s made in one skillet, ready in 20 minutes, and is naturally gluten-free. According to the computer-generated nutrition stats, there’s only 141 calories and 4 carbs per serving – no rice or naan included.

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

With cold weather upon us, nothing is better than diving into a bowl of this hearty yet healthy comfort food that’s layered with flavors. I could just drink the coconut milk-based sauce.

The curry is savory, salty, there’s natural sweetness from the sweet Vidalia onions, carrots, and coconut milk. There’s perfect acid balance from lime juice and a very gentle heat from the Thai red curry paste.

Thai red curry paste adds a richer and smoother flavor profile than curry powder (Indian) does, but if all you have is curry powder, go for it knowing that the flavor of Thai versus Indian curry products is vastly different and your dish won’t taste like mine.

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

As with all curry pastes and powders, they vary in intensity and everyone’s preferences for spice and heat vary, so adjust to taste. I used 2 rounded tablespoons and I wouldn’t call it spicy at all but very flavorful. My 10-year-old wasn’t at all phased by it but we like spicy food.

If you have extra veggies you want to incorporate such as cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, or edamame, add them when you add the coconut milk and carrots.

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil may be substituted)
  • 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • one 13-ounce can coconut milk (I used lite; full-fat will deliver a richer/thicker result)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, or to taste (curry powder may be substituted, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • about 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar, optional and to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped for garnishing (basil may be substituted)
  • rice, quinoa, or naan, optional for serving

Directions:

  1. To a large skillet, add the oil, onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until the onion begins to soften about 5 minutes; stir intermittently.
  2. Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done; flip and stir often to ensure even cooking.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
  4. Add the coconut milk, carrots, Thai curry paste, salt, pepper, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow mixture to gently boil for about 5 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced as much as desired and thickens slightly.
  5. Add the spinach, lime juice, and stir to combine. Cook until spinach has wilted and is tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and optionally add brown sugar, additional curry paste, salt, pepper, etc. to taste.
  6. Evenly sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately. Curry is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Adapted from Sweet Potato Chickpea Coconut Curry

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225 comments on “Thai Chicken Coconut Curry”

  1. I discovered this recipe a month ago and I have already made this meal three times since. It is too good! I substituted chicken for oven baked tofu! Loved the commenter who suggested red pepper flakes. It really added a nice kick! I also put mushrooms in my curry (add them in one minute before you add the coconut milk) It is simple enough to make again and again. Thank you!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad you discovered it and have been making it steadily since then!

      I am sure the red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and baked tofu are all great. I would love them all!

  2. So I just tried this 3 days ago and it was amazing. My husband asked me to make it again tomorrow. Thanks for the great recipe. Simple and delicious

    Rating: 5
  3. One of my favorite Fall/Winter recipes!

    Rating: 5
  4. I hadn’t even started cooking, I was still just prepping, but the coriander and ginger, and lime, and coconut, and garlic, already smelled heavenly. Then I had it on some brown basmati rice…oh my. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you so much.Funnily enough as I’m stirring the pan I’m thinking I’d do it again maybe with sweet potatoes and chick peas. When I scrolled down to write this review I see: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry. I think we’re going to be good friends.

    Rating: 5
  5. Hi, I’ve made this recipe yesterday with just a tweak or two (added a bell pepper, just a few raisins instead of the sugar, and a little more oil) and it’s soooo good! Thank you so much! :D It was my first time cooking with curry paste too. This was so easy to follow and it tastes delicious <3

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad that your first time cooking with curry paste was a big success! The raisins I could see being a nice touch (I personally love them) and glad they worked well.

  6. I never was a big fan of the Indian style curry. Even hearing/reading they have a different taste I was still hesitant. One day I had been watching the Food Network competitions and most of the episodes included Thai red curry dishes. At this point i started searching for recipes and found this one. I looked over at my girlfriend and said we have to make this tonight. Man I am so glad we did. This dish was awesome! We cut the portion in half and it came out great. We served ours with the option of jasmine rice or naan. Thank you for sharing! This was great and will become a normal meal that we might change up every now and again with shrimp or vegetables.

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and glad that you took the plunge and made this! I know exactly what you mean about Indian style curries…totally different flavor than this. Glad this will be a keeper for you!

  7. I heard about this recipe on the podcast Sorta Awesome with Meg Tietz. It was her “Awesome of the Week” and it was DELICIOUS!!! It was quick to make and even more delicious 2 days later for leftovers. Definitely will make again!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and I didn’t know that it was featured on that podcast but I appreciate it! Glad it was even more delish a few days later (I find that too after the flavors marry even more) and that you’ll make it again!

  8. This is the best chicken curry that I had in a years.. thanks for great recipe!!!

    Rating: 5
  9. This is one of the easiest and best curry recipes I’ve come across and I’ve been cooking for a LOT of years now. Usually I’m making up my own curry spice concoctions but this time I just used the Thai brand red curry paste from the store as listed. I added extra chopped veggies as Averie suggested as a variation, with the onion – 1/2 small head cauliflower, 1 yellow (any color) pepper, and 3/4 c. fresh tomatoes. I added the coconut milk after the veggies, including the carrots, had simmered for about 8 minutes. For the chicken, I used about 3/4 lb diced chicken and juices from a Costco deli chicken – both white and dark meat and added that at the end. I served this with brown rice. SOOO amazing! My husband is not a huge leftovers guy but he wanted this for lunch and dinner the next day! Thank you!!

    Rating: 5
  10. Fantastic!!! We were craving Thai and this recipe exceeded our expectations. We added some red pepper flakes as well. The dish was even better as leftovers. Thank you for publishing this. We’ll be definitely making this again.

    Rating: 5
  11. Hi there,

    I’m just wondering how spicy this recipe is? I love spice but am making it for someone who only likes mild spice.

    Thank you,
    Lisa

    • I did discuss this in the blog post: As with all curry pastes and powders, they vary in intensity and everyone’s preferences for spice and heat vary, so adjust to taste. I used 2 rounded tablespoons and I wouldn’t call it spicy at all but very flavorful. My 10-year-old wasn’t at all phased by it but we like spicy food.

      Adjust to your needs, start slowly, work up from there.

  12. What can you use instead of spinach? Making this tonight but local country store doesnt have any spinach. Thanks

    • If you don’t have it, then I would probably omit it. If you’re like most people.

      But if you’re like me… You could try adding really any dark leafy green you can get. The tops of radishes, the tops of bok choy, escarole, basil, really any green you like and can access. Test a few leaves, throw them in, see what happens, and add more if the result was good.

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