Grilled Curry Chicken

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Quick and easy Grilled Curry Chicken features simple marinade ingredients plus a recipe for coconut rice.

Try some of our other favorite grilled chicken recipes: this all-purpose Chicken Marinade, this grilled Pineapple Chicken, or these Chicken Kabobs.

Savory grilled curry chicken atop a bed of fluffy rice, ready to be served.

Grilled Curry Chicken

The cold weather keeps me from grilling as often as I’d like, but after an especially warm weekend here in Utah, I had to take advantage of the sunshine and make some grilled chicken. The whole family was feeling curry, so I adapted my Coconut Chicken Curry recipe to make a very quick and easy coconut curry marinade.

To keep things simple with this recipe, we use the marinade to infuse the chicken with plenty of flavor and then to become a sauce to coat the grilled chicken. It doesn’t get much easier than that! This meal comes together quickly and while the chicken is grilling, you can use the leftover coconut milk from the marinade to make some coconut rice.

Preparation of the marinade, chicken submerged in the marinade, and then enclosed in a plastic bag to soak in the flavors.

How to make Grilled Curry Chicken

  • Whip together the marinade. Blend the seasonings, coconut milk, olive oil, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, and honey.
  • Prep the chicken. Halve large breasts horizontally and then pound the chicken to an even thickness for better grilling.
  • Add chicken to marinade. Let marinate for 2 to 8 hours. Overnight marinating isn’t recommended because the acidity of the marinade will start to dry out the chicken.
  • Grill the chicken. More on this below!
  • Prepare sauce and rice. The coconut rice is easy and uses the rest of the can of coconut milk (leftover from the marinade). The sauce is made from the marinade that was set aside before the chicken was added–it just needs to be heated through and thickened! 
  • Serve. Layer the coconut rice, Grilled Curry Chicken, and the sauce on serving plates. Garnish with fresh herbs, chopped nuts, and fresh lime.


Confused about coconut milk? This recipe uses coconut milk, which is different from coconut cream or coconut water. Just as it might sound, coconut water is very thin, and coconut cream is very thick. Coconut milk is in between.

Preparation of creamy coconut rice alongside the simmering of a rich curry sauce, intended for grilled curry chicken.

Chicken marinating and grilling tips

  • Slice breasts in half before marinating. Slice and/or pound your chicken breasts into evenly thick pieces before marinating. That way they’ll soak up all the delicious flavor from the marinade and they’ll cook evenly. We don’t want to pound the breasts to be flat, just to be even thickness throughout. Even thickness means all parts of the chicken will be done at the same time. I really like this meat mallet, and here’s a good YouTube video that illustrates the pounding process
  • Flip and/or stir. Throughout the marinating process, be sure to flip the bag of chicken breasts to the other side, or stir the breasts in the marinade. We don’t want just one side of the chicken getting flavorful!
  • Generously oil your grill grates. I do this by rolling up a few paper towels, drenching them in oil (canola or vegetable), and with tongs, rubbing the drenched paper towels along the grill grates. This will contribute to a beautiful sear, and ensure the chicken doesn’t stick to the grates. 
  • Let the chicken rest. Tented with foil, let the chicken stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting in. This allows the juices to redistribute inside the chicken; this means juicier meat!

Freshly grilled chicken with charred marks, enhanced by extra curry sauce drizzled over the top. Serving suggestions

Serve Grilled Chicken Curry alongside coconut rice and fresh herbs. Below are some other side dish suggestions:

Grilled Chicken Curry could also be chopped into small pieces and served in a lettuce wrap with the rice and cilantro.

Ready-to-serve curried grilled chicken laid over coconut rice, accompanied by fresh lime wedges and cilantro.

More curry recipes

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Grilled Curry Chicken

5 from 6 votes
Quick and easy Grilled Curry Chicken recipe features simple marinade ingredients plus a recipe for coconut rice.
Savory grilled curry chicken atop a bed of fluffy rice, ready to be served.
Print Recipe

Grilled Curry Chicken

Savory grilled curry chicken atop a bed of fluffy rice, ready to be served.
5 from 6 votes
Quick and easy Grilled Curry Chicken recipe features simple marinade ingredients plus a recipe for coconut rice.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Grilled Curry Chicken
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 484kcal
Cost $8.23


  • 2 tablespoons EACH: soy sauce, honey, olive oil
  • 2 large limes (1 tablespoon zest, 1/4 cup juice)
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 can (14 ounces) full-fat coconut milk, divided
  • 1 and 3/4ths pound (~3 large breasts) boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • Optional: fresh cilantro, fresh lime, finely chopped cashews


  • MARINADE: Before starting the marinade, keep in mind that you'll remove 3/4 cup of it before adding it to the chicken. In a large bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lime zest, 1/4 cup lime juice, 2-3 cloves minced garlic (add to preference, we add 3), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 teaspoons ground coriander seed, 2 teaspoons salt (or to preference), 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper if using, and 1/2 cup coconut milk. (Stir the coconut milk until well integrated before measuring). Whisk all the ingredients together and remove 3/4 cup (for the sauce) and place in the fridge. Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Halve thick breasts horizontally and pound the chicken breasts with a meat mallet or the bottom of a frying pan. We don't want to make the breasts thin, just the same thickness throughout to ensure even cooking. Place chicken breasts in a large plastic bag and pour the remaining marinade over the chicken. Knead to coat the chicken, seal the bag without any air, and refrigerate. Marinate for 2-8 hours.
  • PREP GRILL: Make sure the grill grates are clean and greased. Once the grill is preheated to 400 degrees F, dredge a paper towel in vegetable oil and holding it with tongs, rub it all over the grate.
  • GRILL: Grill the chicken until completely cooked through (about 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the grill and thickness) Chicken should be at 160 degrees F at its thickest part (carryover heat will bring it to 165 degrees). For 1-inch thick breasts grilled at 400 degrees, it takes generally 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the other side. Use a metal spatula to remove the chicken to a plate and cover immediately with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • RICE: Combine 1 cup basmati rice, the remaining coconut milk (there should be 1 and 1/2 cups), 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste). Stir and place over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the rice. Allow to simmer for 13-18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, keep covered, and let stand for 10-15 minutes. Fluff the rice and divide it onto plates.
  • SAUCE: Pour the reserved 3/4 cup marinade into a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 1-2 minutes or until sauce is slightly reduced and thickened. Remove from heat and spoon over grilled chicken.
  • SERVE: Top sauced chicken breasts with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime, and finely chopped cashews if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.8g | Protein: 30.8g | Fat: 24.6g | Cholesterol: 82.7mg | Sodium: 283mg | Fiber: 2.1g | Sugar: 11.5g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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5 from 6 votes (1 rating without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    This was a great way to change up our standard grilled chicken! It turned out so delicious! I will be making this all summer long!

  2. Question: You listed “ground coriander seed.” Do you mean ground coriander, or coriander seeds that I grind myself? Thanks!

  3. Chelsea, we loved this dish! The chicken was delicious with its bold and flavorful sauce, and the basmati rice was the best recipe I’ve tried. Once again, my dinner hit it out of the ballpark thanks to you!

    1. Yay! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed this dish! Thank you so much for trying so many of my recipes and leaving such kind comments, I’m so appreciative 🙂 <3

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious!! One of the best chicken recipes out there! For a side……would zucchini patties be a good option?

    1. Oh that is so fun to hear, thank you Kim! I do think zucchini patties would be delicious on the side!

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