This healthy chicken coconut curry is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It is super flavorful, creamy and filled with veggies. It also freezes very well, so it is the perfect meal to make ahead.

dark background with a white bowl of curry with a spoonful of curry powder in the foreground

Why We Love This Chicken Coconut Curry

This recipe for Chicken Coconut Curry is made with tender chunks of boneless skinless chicken breast, potatoes, carrots and sweet coconut sauce. It is hearty and healthy and will warm you from the inside out.

Serve this meal for a weeknight dinner or double the recipe for company. It can also make a lovely freezer meal for meal prep.

This recipe is one of my all-time favorite recipes I have developed for EatingWell. The onions, carrots, celery and potatoes are so hearty. And the chicken in the sauce is sublime. It hits the perfect balance of coconut creamy, sweet, sour and a little bit spicy.

I throw in frozen peas and cilantro toward the end to freshen it up. I hope you love it as much as I do!

a tin of curry powder with the curry stew in the background

Ingredients For This Coconut Curry

Curry Powder & Seasonings

For this mild curry, I like to use 2 tablespoons curry powder to season the chicken and sauce. In large supermarkets in the spice isle, you’ll find “Curry Powder” which is a British-style curry spice blend and works really well with the sweet coconut sauce.

Additionally, you’ll need salt and garlic for seasoning. Plus I like to add in fresh chopped cilantro and maple syrup for sweetness at the end. You can substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup if you prefer.

Chicken Breast

The protein of choice here is boneless, skinless chicken breast. You’ll want to cut it into bite-sized cubes before searing it. You can also use chicken thighs, or turkey breast instead for an equally yummy curry.

Note, if your chicken is frozen, here’s how to safely thaw it.

Chicken Broth, Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil

The main sauce for this curry is a combination of “lite” coconut milk and broth. You can certainly use homemade chicken stock or bone broth instead.

And for more coconut flavor, I opted for coconut oil as the cooking fat. Other options would be ghee or canola oil.

Vegetables

Around here we are always in favor of veggie-forward recipes, even those that include meat or poultry. So we have added an extra dose of veggies to this chicken curry. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 cups gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks, about 1 pound 4 ounces
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

Step-By-Step Instructions For This Chicken Coconut Curry

sear the chicken, remove it, then cook the aromatics in the Dutch Oven

Step 1: Sear Chicken

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon curry spice powder and ¼ teaspoon salt over the chicken and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add chicken and brown, stirring once or twice until mostly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. It will continue cooking in a later step.

Step 2: Cook Aromatics

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the onions are starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry and cook, stirring until fragrant but not browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

add the liquid ingredients and vegetables and simmer until the potatoes are tender, then add in peas, cilantro and sweetner

Step 3: Add Liquid and Vegetables

Add coconut milk, broth, potatoes, carrots, celery and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Step4: Finish The Curry

Stir in the chicken and peas, increase heat to high, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and maple syrup. Serve hot over steamed rice or with Naan.

side view of a white bowl of hearty chicken, potato and vegetable curry with peas and cilantro on a green dish towel.

Expert Tips and FAQs for This Recipe

Is Coconut Curry Indian?

This combination of curry powder and coconut milk-based chicken curry is more British inspired than Indian. In fact, curry powder was invented by British Colonists who were trying to create a spice blend to mimic Indian cuisines, not an easy task considering the breadth of curries and spice blends.

What is curry?

Curry is a term used in many cultures and cuisines and has a variety of meanings. Generally, curry means a thick stew consisting of vegetables, sometimes meat, fish or poultry and a blend of spices. Often curry is spicy and usually layers most if not all of the five tastes: Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. Some of the cultures that enjoy curry as part of their diet are India, Persia, Iran, Thailand, Japan, China and Afghan to name a few! As you can imagine, the spices and ingredients vary widely among them.

What goes with Chicken Coconut Curry?

We like the sauce over steamed basmati rice or brown rice. You can also try warm Naan bread torn and used to dip into the sauce. For more vegetables serve sauteed spinach or another green such as Swiss Chard on the side. If you like you can add wedges of lime on the side for serving.

How to Freeze Chicken Coconut Curry

For best results, freeze individual portions of this healthy curry in 16-ounce containers. You’ll want to make sure to leave head-space because the curry will expand as it freezes. I recommend leaving the lids off until the stew is cold, and then seal the containers shut. I like these quart containers (that’s an affiliate link) because the lids screw on tight, and when it comes time to defrost the curry, you can pop it out by running hot water over the outside of the container.

I just pop it out into a large pyrex measuring cup and then microwave it to heat it back up. And don’t forget to make a label with the name of the recipe and the date on it — there’s nothing worse than having a freezer full of meals you can’t remember making! 

a serving of the curry with a spoon in it

More Recipes To Try

More Healthy Curry Recipes

If you love Curry Spice here are some of our favorite healthy recipes with curry spice.

More Freezer-friendly Meals

  • Our veggie-packed recipe for Slow Cooker White Bean Stew with Chicken and Ham is a good one to freeze in individual portions for satisfying high-protein and high-fiber lunches. Just pop them into the microwave to heat up.
  • This creamy and bright green 4 Ingredient Kale and Cheddar Soup re-heats surprisingly well. Just make sure to stir it as you heat if doing so on the stove-top.
  • We love making a double batch of Carrot Ginger Soup for the freezer. (the Oregano Crotons will also freeze well, just pop them in a ziplock)
  • You can actually freeze Moroccan Lamb Shanks too. Just remove the meat from the bone before freezing.
  • Our non-tradtiional Healthy Beef Burgundy has a little maple syrup added in to balance the flavors. Try it!

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

Print
close-up of the curry in a white bowl from the side

Chicken Coconut Curry

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: British

Description

This healthy coconut chicken curry stew is one of my favorite chicken dinners! It’s made with light coconut milk, carrots and peas. I add in fresh cilantro and maple syrup at the end for a pop of fresh flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • a 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • a 14-ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks, about 1 pound 4 ounces
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, dark or amber

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon curry powder and ¼ teaspoon salt over the chicken and toss to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven or Soup pot over medium high heat. Add chicken and brown, stirring once or twice until mostly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. It will continue cooking in a later step.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pot and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often until the onions are starting to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons curry and cook, stirring until fragrant but not browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Add coconut milk, broth, potatoes, carrots, celery and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken and peas, increase heat to high, and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro and maple syrup.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cup each
  • Calories: 302
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 735 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 30 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 27 g