Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

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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!!

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 – 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 Ingredients 

To make the red curry recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Coconut oil
  • Sweet Vidalia onion
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Garlic
  • 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.

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!!

How to Make Thai Red Curry

This is a very easy curry recipe to make! Here’s how the Thai curry recipe comes together: 

  1. Add the oil and chopped onion to a large skillet and sauté until softened. 
  2. Add the diced chicken and cook until done, then add the garlic, ginger, and coriander.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 

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!!

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. 

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!!

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! 

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!!

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. 

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 6

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

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!!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

Storage: Curry is best warm and fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 474Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 32g

More Easy Thai Curry Recipes: 

Favorite CHICKEN RECIPES HERE, CURRY RECIPES HERE, and RECIPES USING COCONUT MILK HERE

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry – An easy one-skillet curry that’s ready in 30 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors! Healthy comfort food that tastes amazing!

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry - An EASY one-skillet curry that's ready in 30 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! HEALTHY comfort food that tastes AMAZING!!

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Coconut Lime Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry — An EASY, one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and tastes BETTER than a restaurant!! Juicy chicken and tender sweet potatoes simmer in a lime-scented coconut milk sauce that tastes AMAZING! Healthy comfort food!!

Yellow Thai Chicken Coconut Curry — Better-than-takeout yellow curry is EASY and ready in 25 minutes!! Healthy comfort food with the PERFECT amount of heat and lots of textures and flavors in every bite! 

Yellow Thai Chicken Coconut Curry - Better-than-takeout yellow curry is EASY and ready in 25 minutes!! Healthy comfort food with the PERFECT amount of heat and lots of textures and flavors in every bite! Impress your friends and family and make this DELICIOUS curry at home!!

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Thai Pumpkin Chickpea Coconut Curry - An EASY curry that's ready in 30 minutes! Tender fresh pumpkin, chickpeas, bell peppers, spinach, and more all bathed in the most aromatic Thai-inspired coconut milk broth! If you love Thai food, skip the restaurant and make this better-than-takeout curry at home!

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About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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Comments

  1. My husband and I were really wanting the Thai Coconut Curry dish that we used to get in a local restaurant where we used to live, it was our favourite! This dish is it, so good and easy to prepare. I can’t wait to make it for the kids, they will love it! Thanks so much! I will definitely be trying your other recipes.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you loved it and that you’re going to make it again for your kids, too, and that you’re going to try other recipes of mine!

  2. This is the best Thai chicken curry recipe I have ever made. I have made Thai curries for many years and this particular one is better than all of the rest. My family raved about it and cleaned their bowls. Deeeeelicious!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s your favorite curry you’ve ever made, even after making them for years, that you like my recipe the best!

  3. Hi, I have a question on the servings

    YIELD: 4 SERVING SIZE: 1
    Amount Per Serving: CALORIES: 811

    Does that mean the entire recipe is 811 calories, or that 1 of the 4 Yields is 811 calories

  4. Excellent. Tastes just like the red curry at the local Thai place. Didn’t change a thing. Husband was impressed. This will be in the rotation! 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad it tastes as good as your local Thai restaurant’s and that it will be in your rotation!

  5. Second time I’m making this recipe for guests and every time it only seems better. Everyone is really loving it and this is for me the best curry I have made 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is getting better and better each time you make it and it’s the best curry you’ve made!

  6. This curry was a huge hit at my house! I added diced eggplant and a large jalapeno for spice. Adding to my “favorites” list!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that it’s a huge hit in your house and is on your favorites list!

  7. Hello what are the full nutrition facts? Thank you! I’ve made this a couple times it is so yummy

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you’ve made it a couple times and it was yummy!

      I am working on updating all the 2500+ recipes on my site to recipe cards with full nutrition stats. This one is in line soon!

  8. Used bok choy greens instead of spinach and added some shiitake mushrooms. Thickened with coconut oil creamy concentrate. So good my wife complemented me. High praise indeed. Watch your lime, don’t overdo and hardly needed any sugar.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this got you compliments and high praise from your wife! Great additions with the bok choy and shitakes, too!

    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was amazing and I bet the pineapple was a great touch (I love pineapple)!

  9. As good as my favorite thai restaurant, this is a fabulous recipe! This will be a new staple recipe for me and my friends say I’m “a good cook”. I emailed my adult children the link. I used almost exactly as written. Did not add optional sugar- didn’t need it; maybe because Vidalia’s are in season or the coconut milk (lite) because there is no sugar in the Red Thai paste, but it was sweet• I brined my bone-in organic grass fed chicken breast and cooked on instant pot trivet (a little less than 1 minute per oz, 7 minute natural release, then rest 5 before cutting) so I did not add any more salt, and it didn’t need it; I do this to avoid meats injected with chemicals• I always use fresh ginger. YUM!

    Rating: 5
  10. Wow ! I like many types of curries ….but this recipe is in a different league than the rest! Very different and incredibly delicious. It’s an exceptional recipe and deserving of all the 5 star ratings and positive reviews. The whole family loved it! Thanks for sharing.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad that you are a curry fan and that my recipe is in a different league than others and that your whole family loved it!

  11. Wow, just wow. SUCH a great recipe. I’m honestly so surprised at the depth of flavor in this dish, given that it only has to simmer for 20 minutes. I wound up using frozen spinach since that’s what I had on hand, and I threw in half a bell pepper that needed to be used up. But otherwise I followed this recipe to a tee and it was amazing! Easily the best curry I’ve made! 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you are impressed and glad it’s easily the best curry you’ve ever made (and with a 20 min simmer time)!

  12. I just made this and it’s excellent. I will definitely make it again. The only change I made was doubling the garlic. I used the full 3T of red curry paste and 2T of brown sugar. Next time I’ll try using only 2T of the paste and adjust at the end if it needs more. I used the Lite coconut milk, next time I’ll use the full fat version for a thicker sauce. Also, I think I’ll add a couple tablespoons of peanut butter to add character. It is difficult to judge 3c of spinach so I just put in a big pile. Prep time took me about an hour but I’m a slow chopper and I’m not very organized. Definitely have everything ready to go before you start cooking.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you will make it again! There is a fair amount of chopping but you will get faster with practice :) and use ground ginger and garlic in a jar that’s already minced (store bought) to save time too.

  13. My partner doesn’t like Thai curry or coconut so when we left to go camping with a buddy, I went searching for an easy recipe that I could enjoy on my own. This was soooo good! I added a diced red pepper, a minced jalapeno (that was turning red and starting to shrivel, lol) and 2T natural peanut butter (stole that idea from another recipe I saw). Dang, this was so good. I used a heaping 3T of the curry paste as I love that flavor and the heat. I plated it over rice and then finished it with some sea salt flakes which made all the flavors pop. Thank you so much for this super easy, super tasty recipe!!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this turned out great for you! I totally hear you about the peanut butter, I have similar recipes that I put PB in and I know it adds another great flavor dimension!

      1. SO good!! Added some mushroom, but other than that followed the recipe exactly. Best curry I’ve had at home and better than some restaurants! 

        Rating: 5
      2. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s the best curry you’ve had at home and better than some restaurants!

  14. OMG- I love this recipe so much!! I’ve made it 3 times now, have varied the veggies each time  & it’s always delicious! My kids love this dish & I don’t think they even realize how veggie-packed it is. The shredded carrots are genius- they just blend in with the sauce as do the onions diced small. My favorite addition is mushrooms- they are absolutely perfect in this dish. Each time it gets better- today I added the onions, shredded carrots, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, garlic & cilantro (with everything else of course) and it was perfection. I use the substitute of yellow curry each time & it’s truly delicious. I serve over jasmine rice & it’s become a favorite dish in this house. 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you love this recipe so much and have been able to vary the veggies and make it your own! I love mushrooms, cauliflower, I would be down for all of that too!

  15. I’m curious why you used kosher salt rather than regular table salt; how would it make a difference?

    1. I’m glad that it tastes just as good as your local restaurant and now you can make it at home!

  16. I’ve been trying different recipes for this dish, and so far THIS IS THE BEST ONE!
    Easy to follow and wonderful aroma, texture and taste!!!!!

  17. This is one of the best thai curries that I have tried. One of my family’s favourite. The spinach and the ginger and coriander adds a lovey flavour to it. Very easy to make and definitely worth 5 stars for sure. Will want to try your other recipes too. 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it’s one of the best curries you’ve tried and a family favorite!

  18. I/ve done Thai curry dishes many times but never very satisfied with the results. Saw this recipe and its high ratings and thought I’d give it a try. It was so easy, super quick and tasted so good. Deserves its 5 stars! Thank you! (Note: I modified by using the existing ingredients I had (Swiss chard instead of spinach as well as used shrimp instead of chicken (add shrimp last minute after the veggies since you want to avoid overcooking it.) I also didn’t have coriander powder and left that out).

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it it turned out great for you and you were able to make it given what you had on hand.

  19. Absolutely wonderful! Tastes just like Cheesecake Factory’s Bang Bang chicken!! Deelish! 

    Rating: 5
  20. A weekly staple for my household! Obsessed with this recipe and it is super quick and easy. Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t change ANYTHING and it is perfect. I use Thai curry paste from an Asian market, that really elevates the dish but any curry paste works. 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it is a weekly staple for you and that it’s perfect without any changes!

  21. awesome recipe- my husband  and I really liked it- we had some Jasmin rice with it.  just one remark- we are not huge eaters but ate it all- so in my opinion to say that this is a recipe for 6 is not quite right- unless u r getting full on Naan.We printed it out and keep it in our “favourites” folder! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
    1. One of the curries I’ve ever made. Thanks for the recipe!I added sliced almonds (on the plate) to make it more crunchy and it worked very well

      Rating: 5
      1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad glad it’s one of the best curries you’ve ever made!

  22. My son loves this and wants me to double the chicken. Do I then double all of the ingredients?

    Rating: 5
    1. That’s a tricky question. If you just double the chicken, you will have a much drier/less brothy curry if you don’t make adjustments to the amount of coconut milk. Plus the extra chicken will throw off the spice ratios. You will have to play it by ear based on what your end goal is for the amount of broth/sauce, spice level, etc.

  23. Delightful and easy! I only modified it this way: used thighs instead of breasts…reduced spinach to two cups and added one half cup of shiitake mushrooms. The coconut and curry blends wonderfully with the smokey, earthy flavor of the shiitakes.It’s as good as you would find in most Thai restaurants for lunch, takes no time to prepare and is inexpensive to boot.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad this turned out great for you with thighs and I would love shitakes in here as well…yum!

  24. Absolutely delicious and so easy! Me and 2 kids eating and there was not a bite left! 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad it was a hit with the kids too with not a bite left!

  25. Has become one of my favorite recipes!! Make it at least once a week. Thank-you!!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad it has become one of your faves and that you make it weekly!

  26. Yummy! I made this last night with shrimp instead of chicken. I caught one kid eating it off the plate with her mouth like a puppy (I guess to get all the flavor or maybe the fork wasn’t working fast enough, Lol). My kids don’t care for spinach but they still enjoyed this dish. I may try to use broccoli instead next time or maybe chop the spinach to disguise it and add some broccoli as well. I stumbled upon this website trying to find a good coconut curry or malai recipe. All the recipes look so yummy. Can’t wait to try more.

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad this worked out great with shrimp and it’s a very flexible recipe and you can easily mix and match the green veggies to your liking (or your kids’ liking)!

  27. Thank you so much for such a delicious and oh-so simple Thai curry. I’ve made this twice in the last two weeks, and my husband, who always says he doesn’t like curry, absolutely loved it…both times!  The only variation I did from the recipe was omit the spinach bc I didn’t have any on hand. I will definitely be making this again!  Love love!!!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the five star review and glad this was delicious and simple and that you’ve made it twice in the last two weeks!

  28. I had to come back and say thank you for this recipe. It was wonderful! I have always loved the smell of curry but I’ve never really liked it until now. This has a wonderful taste and the directions were easy to follow. A thousand thank yous!

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this had a wonderful taste and now you like both the smell AND taste of curry!

  29. Yooooooo!! Just made this. It’s AMAZING. 10/5 stars. This will be one of my go to’s from now on! 

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 10 star review :) and glad tis will be one of your go-to’s from now on!

  30. This was absolutely delicious and we make a fair amount of curry. I had some left over poached chicken so shredded it and added some julienned yellow and orange peppers and snow peas in addition to carrots and spinach. Also added about a tsp of fish sauce because as smelly as it is there is just something about it in Thai food. I had more chicken than i thought so also added another half can of coconut milk and about half a cup of chicken broth just for consistency. Crushed some peanuts for the top just to gild the Lily Huge hit here  : )

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was absolutely delicious and that you make a fair amount of curry! Great that you were able to use what you had on hand, too.