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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129 comments on “Thai Chicken Coconut Curry”

  1. I had some Thai curry paste and lite coconut milk sitting around needing to be used up (just moved into an apartment with a smaller kitchen), and I figured I’d use it up making this. It was pretty easy to put together. I did add diced red bell pepper, and instead of adding carrot I threw in a bag of mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green beans, and lima beans) that had been lurking in the freezer for half an age. Turned out magnificently! I’m eating it over quinoa this week for my work dinners. Thanks for the recipe!

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the five star review and I’m glad it worked out great given what you had on hand! <--- This is exactly what I wish more people could/would do - throw in a bag of this, an extra this, maybe a piece of that because they have it, and voila, it all works out beautifully!

      • I am normally SUPER nervous about deviating from recipes. I don’t really know what goes together. I’ve Googled pictures of food before to figure out what goes with things. lol Enough of what I remembered being in the mixed veggies (I forgot about the lima beans) were already suggestions, though, that I felt perfectly comfortable substituting/adding.

  2. I made this last night and served over basmati rice and with naan. I made it as written, but tried adding some curry powder in addition to the thai red curry paste and then some chili powder to try to make it spicier. I didn’t get the heat I wanted, but it tasted wonderful. I couldn’t put my fork down. It may have ended up tasting more Indian than Thai, but I’ll definitely make it again. The chicken was very moist and tender, no dryness whatsoever. Thank you!

    Rating: 4
    • I think the addition of actual curry powder made it taste more Indian than Thai, which is why I didn’t call for it in this recipe because it does tend to overwhelm things at times.

      For more heat, I would say use some cayenne pepper. That would do the trick with minimal flavor alterations of the flavors you want to keep. Glad you enjoyed it overall!

    • If you want more heat, you will not get it from the curry paste linked in this recipe – I have used this product, both red and green, and I practically have to use the whole jar to get any “kick!” If you can get your hands on curry paste that is imported from Asia, you will find you need less, but get lots of heat.

  3. This is my absolute favorite curry recipe using the paste. For years I’ve followed the recipe on the back of the red curry paste jar and have always felt it lacked depth of flavor. THIS dish is what I’ve been looking for! The carrots add a wonderful texture and the wilted spinach feels velvety on the tongue. I added some red peppers as well. One of the secrets is having the small pieces of chicken and veggies – they really absorb the complex flavors better than large chunks. Has anyone tried this with the green curry paste?

    Rating: 5
    • Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad this dish is what you’ve been looking for! I agree, this curry paste is great. I have not personally tried it with their green curry paste, which I also enjoy, but I think it would turn out good.

  4. I followed the recipe and it turned out great. Tasted like authentic thai cuisine!

    Rating: 5
  5. I have made this three times in as many weeks! Absolutely delicious. This last time I replaced the chicken with red lentils and diced water chestnuts; it tasted great! Served with fresh naan and basmati rice, this has become one of my favorites. Thank you for posting!

    Rating: 5
  6. Was looking for something new. And this was a great find! Made it exactly as directed. Notes: cook in coconut oil, it really adds depth. Add for the paste- I used 3 Tblspns. I think if mostly depends on the paste you buy as to how much you want to use. Each paste is unique. Can’t wait to make again

    Rating: 5
  7. This was spectacular! I omitted the Thai Red Curry Paste and used curry powder instead. I also used sweetened condensed milk in place of the coconut milk, which I didn’t happen to have on hand. Other than that, I made it exactly as directed, served it over white rice, and my hubby and I absolutely loved it! It made a lot, so we enjoyed it for three nights’ worth of dinners. I can’t wait to make it again, and it will definitely be added to our menu rotation. Thanks so much for this recipe!

    Rating: 5
  8. This turned out delicious. Had to force myself to stop eating. I have to say, however, if you can prep this in five minutes you must be a professional. It took me about 30 minutes from start to all prepped. Unless you start the prep timer once you have every ingredient lined up on your counter, I don’t know how you could get this all ready in less than 10 minutes. I mean, I’m not a fast cook, but I don’t think I’m especially slow either.Another thing I’d note – I found that after the specified time, the curry was way too watery for my taste. I let it cook down for half an hour and it was just right. Also, I used Thai basil which really made it taste like real Thai takeout in my opinion.Anyway, great recipe even though the estimated times were a tad unreal. I’ve printed it out and will for sure be making this again.

    Rating: 5
  9. Awesome flavor!!! Will make often!

    Rating: 5
  10. Literally breakfast – lunch – dinner! So yum! I was bit worried my 2.5yo would find it too chilly (never tried chilly before) and he ate it!! Its delicious!

    Rating: 5
  11. hi! would it be okay to substitute frozen peas for the carrots? thank you!!!

  12. Delicious! I love chicken coconut curry and haven’t had it in years. I used curry powder that I had on hand, and added plenty of garlic powder and ginger powder to enhance the smashed garlic and minced ginger root. No cilantro so used dried basil to top. No fresh spinach so used frozen spinach. An excellent versatile recipe. I licked the spoon and the cooking container before washing them. It came out really good. Thank you for sharing.

    Rating: 5
  13. I’m on a kick to try new recipes and this was tonight’s! We very much enjoyed it (I made naan to go with it). I kept tasting the sauce along the way and liked it, but thought I’d try the brown sugar in it–I think I’ll skip that next time as I preferred the less-sweet flavor. Yum!

    Rating: 5
  14. Hi Averie,

    I’m making this again (for about the 10th time). It’s absolutely wonderful and comes out perfect every time. I haven’t had a bad experience one single time with your recipes. Thank you so much for your recipes!!!!

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