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Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry

A simple, but delicious creamy coconut chicken curry that can be customized with your favorite veggies, and serve over rice for a super easy meal.

A bowl of coconut chicken curry with rice.

What Does Creamy Chicken Curry Taste Like? 

Creamy chicken curry has a subtle sweetness from the coconut milk and hints of savory spices, like coriander, mustard powder, turmeric, and salt.  

The combination of these flavors creates an incredibly comforting meal that can be customized to have more or less heat or spice and can be paired with any vegetables you desire.

When served over fluffy basmati rice or naan bread, creamy coconut chicken curry is an easy dish that will bring warmth to any kitchen table.

Why Make This Chicken Recipe? 

Creamy Coconut Chicken Curry is a great weeknight meal because it's incredibly easy and quick to make.

With just a few simple ingredients, you can create a flavorful, comforting dinner that everyone in the family will love.

Plus, you can customize it with your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers or mushrooms, making it a nutritious one-pot meal.

And with only 30 minutes of total cook time, you don't have to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen.

Just the following ingredients is all you need to make some amazing and creamy coconut chicken curry at home.

Coconut Curry Chicken Ingredients

Get more info on these basic ingredients, like quantities, in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. 

  • butter- you can swap this out for olive oil if desired
  • garlic cloves- minced
  • onion- you'll need a medium sized onion and it will get diced
  • baked chicken breasts- you can also swap this out for rotisserie chicken that has been pulled into bite-size chicken pieces with fork. Or you can can substitute it out for tofu or jackfruit to make a vegan creamy chicken curry
  • chicken stock- you can substitute vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock if you're looking for a vegetarian version
  • coconut milk- you can sub with whole milk or heavy cream if you want to get rid of the subtle sweet coconut flavor
  • curry powder- make sure to get a good quality curry powder
  • aromatic spices- cardamom, ground coriander, ground mustard powder, turmeric, and salt
  • flour 
  • crushed red pepper flake- this is optional and will add a nice spice
  • lime juice- fresh squeezed lime juice brings the most flavor
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • steamed white rice- this is for serving. I like to use basmati or jasmine rice but you could use brown rice or even cauliflower rice if preferred


In a skillet or shallow pot, add butter or oil on medium high heat with the minced onion and garlic.

If you are using hard root vegetables, like carrots, add them here too.

Soft vegetables like green beans, peas, or tomatoes can go in at the end when the chicken does to avoid over cooking and becoming mushy. 

cast iron dutch oven sauteing onion and garlic with curry spices and flour, using a wooden spatula on a marble surface next to cup of coconut milk for adding later

Once onion and garlic become translucent and soft, add the spices and sauté for a few minutes until they become fragrant.

Add the flour the the butter and vegetable mixture, and sauté until a smooth, paste like consistency forms.

To the flour mixture, add the liquids chicken stock and coconut milk.

Simmer the ingredients together; everything should thicken up by 10 minute's time. 

Add the tender chicken, and additional veggies. Simmer until cooked through. Remove from heat.

cast iron dutch oven with curry sauce and shredded chicken added about to be stirred up with a wooden spoon on a marble counter top

Serve this chicken coconut curry with steamed rice, and additional lime and cilantro as garnish.

One of my favorite ways to eat chicken curry is to simply serve it on a bed of spinach, like shown below.

bowl of chicken curry and basmati rice served with a bed of fresh spinach leaves in a white bowl next to white napkin on marble counter and wooden bowl of extra fresh spinach

Serving it this way, means there is no chopping, or extra sautéing required beyond the base recipe. 


This easy chicken curry recipe can be stored in an airtight container once it has cooled to room temperature. It should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

When reheating, use the stovetop and put leftovers in a saucepan and bring it up to temperature over medium heat, stirring frequently until hot. 

One thing we really love about this great recipe is that it has even more flavor the next day once it has sat for a bit. 

To freeze the curry, transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop.

Can I make this gluten free chicken curry? 

Sure! Instead of the ¼ cup flour that this recipe calls for, you can use ⅛ cup corn starch instead.

What to serve with chicken curry? 

To make a complete meal, try serving this easy chicken curry with basmati rice, naan bread, or a side salad. Coconut-lime cauliflower rice is also a great choice for adding some extra flavor and texture to the dish.

If you'd like to make it even heartier, consider adding roasted vegetables such as potatoes or sweet potatoes for an extra layer of flavor and nutrition that the whole family will go crazy for. 

Tips and Variations

  • If you want to make this richer, you can use coconut cream instead of the milk. 
  • You can add any other spice blend or spice mix from your spice cabinet like fresh garlic, chili powder, or black pepper to change up the flavor profile of this Indian cuisine. 
  • If you don't have rotisserie chicken, you can use any other leftover cooked chicken that you have. If you have bone-in chicken, remove the meat from the bone first before chopping into bite size pieces. 

Try these additional recipes below.

📖 Recipe

A bowl of creamy coconut chicken curry served with rice.

Simple Curry Chicken

Shredded chicken in a rich curry coconut sauce, served over rice. Can be made vegetarian style, and also gluten free. See recipe notes.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: coconut curry chicken, creamy chicken curry, thai chicken curry recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 485kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $4.40


  • 3 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 4 baked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken (pulled into bite size pieces with fork; can substitute tofu or jackfruit)
  • 4 cups chicken stock can substitute vegetable stock for vegetarian
  • 15 oz coconut milk (about 2 cups, can sub whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon good curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup flour to make gluten free, use ⅛ cup corn starch instead of ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon crushed red pepper flake optional, for spice
  • 1 large lime juice of (plus more for serving)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
  • steamed white rice for serving, basmati or jasmine preferred


  • In a large, deep skillet heat olive oil, garlic and onion, and saute until translucent.
  • Add flour and spices, and saute for 2-3 minutes until spices darken and become fragrant.
  • Add stock, coconut milk(or whole milk), and juice of one lime. Bring to a simmer on medium high heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • Add chicken pieces, (and veggies if desired) and cook until heated through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice, and cilantro for garnish. See notes for additional serving options.


  • Feel free to add veggies like carrots, peas, green beans, and peppers to the curry. If the vegetable is firm (like a carrot) add it with the onion and garlic to soften it. If it is soft (like a bean) add it at the end, with the chicken to avoid over cooking it. 
  • Coriander can be substituted with extra cilantro; cardamom with extra lime. Curry powder usually contains all these seasonings, including turmeric, so these are just extra. But can be made with curry powder alone. 
  • Curry can be served with rice, naan bread, or vegetables of choice. 
  • Chicken can be swapped with beef or tofu.
  • Consider serving with fresh leafy greens like spinach.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional).
  • If you are choosing to make this vegetarian style, make sure to swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
  • To make gluten free, substitute corn starch for the flour, and use half the amount. (Corn starch requires only half the amount of flour to be used as a thickener.)


Serving: 1g | Calories: 485kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 713mg | Potassium: 674mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating


Monday 16th of August 2021

We subbed some ingredients since we were out, but this still came out REALLY GOOD. Saved the recipe to make again!!


Sunday 22nd of August 2021

Nice! Thanks for letting people know-- can you share your substitutions just in case someone else needs to?