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 Curry with Coconut Milk
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.
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 Thai red 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.
Since sharing this recipe in 2017, I’ve received almost 600 comments and 240+ five-star reviews on it. To say it’s a reader favorite is an understatement!
Thai Chicken Coconut Curry Ingredients
To make the red curry recipe, you’ll need:
- Coconut oil
- Sweet Vidalia onion
- Chicken breasts
- Ground or fresh ginger
- Ground coriander
- Canned coconut milk
- Shredded carrots
- Thai red curry paste
- Fresh spinach
- Lime juice
- Brown sugar
- Fresh cilantro
Can Curry Powder Be Used Instead of 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.
How to Make Thai Red Curry
This is a very easy curry recipe to make! Here’s how the Thai curry recipe comes together:
- Add the oil and chopped onion to a large skillet and sauté until softened.
- Add the diced chicken and cook until done, then add the garlic, ginger, and coriander.
- Coconut milk, carrots, Thai curry paste, salt, and pepper are stirred in next, and then the mixture should be left to bubble away for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, lime juice, and optional brown sugar last.
I like to serve this coconut milk curry with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro to make the flavors pop.
How Long Does Curry Last?
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge, this red curry will last up to five days.
Can You Freeze Curry?
Absolutely! I like to store smaller quantities in freezer bags to reheat at a moment’s notice. Frozen curry will last up to three months.
What to Serve with Curry
We like to serve this Thai chicken curry with naan bread, rice (brown, basmati, or white), or quinoa.
There are so many veggies in the curry itself that a vegetable side isn’t really needed, in my opinion. However, curry pairs nicely with steamed veggies or a crisp green salad.
Tips for Making the Best Thai Red Curry
Curry paste: 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.
Veggies: 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.
Meal Prep: Something I love about this Thai curry recipe is that the flavors deepen as the leftovers sit in the fridge. So feel free to make a big batch of curry before a busy work week to enjoy later on!
Ingredient Substitutions and Shortcuts
This is a very flexible chicken coconut curry recipe, so feel free to tweak the ingredients list as needed to use up what you have on hand.
- Coconut oil: May be substituted with olive oil.
- Chicken: Use shredded rotisserie chicken or meal prepped chicken instead to save time. Or, use a can of chickpeas to keep this dish vegetarian.
- Veggies: Mix and match the veggies to use up whatever is in your produce drawer.
- Ground coriander: Omit if you don’t have it on hand, but note that the curry won’t have quite the same depth of flavor.
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- 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
- 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.
- Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done; flip and stir often to ensure even cooking.
- Add the garlic, ginger, coriander, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g
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