Chicken Curry

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You can easily make Chicken Curry in about 30 minutes in just one pot. This recipe packs a serious flavor punch with fresh ginger, onions, garlic, red curry paste, and creamy coconut milk.

To be sure this chicken curry can be made in 30 minutes, we’re keeping it simple without adding tons of chopped veggies. But if you like, feel free to add a veggie or two to bulk it up. Serve Chicken Curry over basmati rice with some good naan bread to make it a meal.

Overhead image of Chicken Curry over rice in a bowl, with a fork on the side.

Chicken Curry flavor

Today we’re using red curry paste in this dish, alongside yellow curry powder and a good amount of coriander. This Chicken Curry is a bit sweet, but mostly savory, with hints of spice from the red curry paste.

Red curry paste is made from crushed red chilies, garlic, lemongrass, shallots, ginger, and fish paste. We amp up those flavors with additional garlic, ginger, and onions. In this recipe, the flavors of the paste are balanced with some good yellow curry powder.

Some curries can be quite spicy and others quite mild. For this specific recipe, I would rate this dish as mild, but it does depend on the brand of red curry or curry power you use. I’ve found Thai Kitchen® and Simple Truth® Organic Curry Powder are both quite mild (not sponsored).

Process shots-- images of the chicken curry being made from start to finish.

How to make Chicken Curry

Directions below correlate with numbered images above.

  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with curry powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Char the chicken pieces, without cooking through, and then transfer to a plate.
  3. In the same skillet, add the coconut oil and onions.
  4. Add minced garlic and ginger.
  5. Bloom the spices: curry powder, coriander, and red curry paste.
  6. Add coconut milk and chicken stock. Simmer until thickened.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan and finish cooking through.
  8. Stir in diced cilantro.
  9. Add fresh lime juice.
  10. Finished chicken Curry!

Chicken Curry tips

  • Cook the onions long and slow so they have a chance to develop a sweeter flavor.
  • Coconut milk makes this curry sweeter and adds a deeper flavor than regular cream would. Use full-fat coconut milk for the best flavor and thickness. Lite coconut milk won’t thicken and give you the rich full flavor that regular coconut milk will. Cream of coconut is far too sweet and coconut cream tends to be too thick (and overpoweringly coconut flavored) for this curry.
  • For a thicker curry, use only 1/2 cup chicken stock. Alternatively, remove 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk into a separate bowl and mix with 2 teaspoons cornstarch. Whisk until smooth and then stir back into the curry to thicken it further.

Variations

  • Chicken Curry with vegetables: Increase the veggies! You can add some carrot sticks (add after adding the curry paste and seasonings) and spinach (stir in at the very end — residual heat will cook it down). Another great addition would be frozen peas at the end (add 1-2 minutes before finishing).
  • Chicken Curry with thigh meat: Thigh meat will work great instead of breast meat (use boneless skinless and adjust for cooking time). Add the chicken after blooming the spices and then let it simmer in the sauce until cooked through.
  • Time saving idea: Use pre-chopped onions from the grocery store (typically with refrigerated produce or in the frozen vegetable aisle). You can also use pre-mined garlic and ginger, but at some sacrifice to overall flavor.
  • Chicken Curry with coconut milk and potatoes: Try adding baby Yukon gold potatoes. To do this, I microwave full baby potatoes for 5-8 minutes or until tender; cut them into quarters and add them in after blooming in the spices. 

Up-close image of Curry Chicken being scooped up with a fork and naan bread.

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Chicken Curry

5 from 12 votes
Easy Chicken Curry made in about 30 minutes in just one pot. This dish packs a serious flavor punch with fresh ginger, onions, garlic, red curry paste, and creamy coconut milk.
Print Recipe

Chicken Curry

5 from 12 votes
Easy Chicken Curry made in about 30 minutes in just one pot. This dish packs a serious flavor punch with fresh ginger, onions, garlic, red curry paste, and creamy coconut milk.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Thai
Keyword chicken curry, easy chicken curry
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 399kcal
Cost $7.12

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (vegetable oil also works)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons yellow curry powder, divided
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (~1 small onion)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic (~3 cloves)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger (~from a 1 and 1/2 inch piece)
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen; reduce or increase as desired for spice levels)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (15.25 ounces) full fat coconut milk (~1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, optional
  • Serve over/with: cooked basmati rice and naan bread with additional fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • PREP: Dice the onion, mince the garlic and ginger. You can peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and then finely mince it. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Toss the cubed chicken pieces in 1/2 tablespoon curry powder, salt and pepper (add to taste; I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Toss the chicken until coated.
  • CHICKEN: Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a large and deep cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once coconut oil is melted, add in the chicken. Cook over medium-high heat until golden on the outside, but not cooked through inside, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.
  • FRAGRANCE: Return the skillet to the stovetop, and add remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add the diced onion and saute for 3-5 minutes or until onions are beginning to turn golden; add the garlic and ginger. Stir to coat everything with the oil. Lower the heat and add in the curry powder, red curry paste, and coriander. Stir often for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
  • SAUCE: Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock. It should sizzle as it hits the heat. Stir until smooth, lower heat to medium and cook, simmering at a rapid pace, for 8-10 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens. After 8 minutes of simmering, add the chicken back in to finish cooking through. Stir in the brown sugar, lime juice, and cilantro. If desired, add in the fish sauce. Stir and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear and it is cooked to 165 degrees F), about 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust for any additional salt/pepper needed.
  • SERVE: Serve over rice and/or with naan bread. Garnish individual plates with additional fresh cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If you want a thicker sauce, you can remove 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce to a small bowl and (with a fork) whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch until smooth. Whisk this mixture into the curry.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.9g | Protein: 29.3g | Fat: 25.9g | Cholesterol: 84.5mg | Sodium: 409mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 5.2g

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28 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this dish and it’s delicious!!! I didn’t change anything and loved it with the cilantro, which I have never tried before. Very good and I will make this again. Thank you!

      1. PS…If I may please make a suggestion. I used the print feature on your recipe to make sure I can make this again. I noticed on the printed version there is no reference at all to your business or website. If I pass a copy to a friend it needs to have some info to help them find your site. Thanks again

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe is fabulous and easy! We loved it. I added veggies at the end just to heat because we like them on the crunchy side but otherwise followed exactly. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Since retired, I have taken on a few cooking responsibilities to help out around the home front. I think it scared the wife more than anything. I tried this recipe last night and she beamed. Gave me a ten and save that recipe. As a cooking newbie I was a bit challenged. I could not find the red curry paste in locale stores. I subbed mild Rotale tomatoes. I also subbed heavy cream for the coconut milk. I cooked it down a bit to thicken. It was out this world good. Thanks for the help.

      1. PS…If I may please make a suggestion. I used the print feature on your recipe to make sure I can make this again. I noticed on the printed version there is no reference at all to your business or website. If I pass a copy to a friend it needs to have some info to help them find your site. Thanks again. Sorry it posted under another reply. Please correct it if you can.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night and it was amazing!! I’ve tried several curry recipes lately and this is my favorite! Only change I made was 1 less Tablespoon of the curry paste bc I was serving it to my kids. Both kids ate this and said it was good. That’s big!!

  5. 5 stars
    Gosh this was a wonderful curry. Tastes like something from my favorite Thai restaurant. Will definitely make this my go to recipe from now on. Thanks so much.

    1. For the entire recipe, but it takes into account using small portions of everything assuming the basics are in kitchen (so if you need to buy an entire jar or coconut oil or red curry paste, etc. it will cost more up front — of course you have those ingredients leftover to use again)

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