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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.

Some pantry spices, coconut milk and chicken is all you need to make some amazing and creamy coconut chicken curry at home.


This recipe calls for coconut milk, but you can substitute regular milk or cream if you want to avoid the subtle and sweet coconut flavor.


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 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 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. 

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?