Making chicken curry at home gives you all the warmth and complexity that you crave from your favorite Indian restaurant in the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus it’s super easy to make and is a great way to meal prep a delicious and comforting meal.
Curry Ingredient Notes
This easy chicken curry recipe combines a handful of kitchen staples. Here are a few ingredients notes before you get shopping:
- The aromatics: ginger, garlic, and onion are sauteed in oil for a sweet and balanced base. Pro-tip, you can buy peeled and grated ginger in the freezer section of most grocery stores.
- The spices: curry powder, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and cayenne are toasted to enhance their flavor.
- The broth: diced tomatoes and coconut milk. Opt for canned, full-fat coconut milk, thinner refrigerated coconut milk is not a sub here, as it won’t add as much creamy flavor.
- The protein: Most curry recipes are made with cubed chicken, but I prefer the texture of thinly sliced. Feel free to use whatever you prefer, just make sure the chicken has cooked to 165 F before removing it from the heat.
Tweaks + Substitutes
This combination of ingredients is our family’s favorite. But, if one of these doesn’t work for you, here’s how you can switch things around:
- Spicier/milder: Adjust the amount of cayenne pepper. You can also add a jalapeno with the onion.
- More veggies: Saute your veggies, and add them after your sauce has pureed. Broccoli, bell peppers, or beans (like string bean chicken!) are classics.
- Spice/salt adjustment: adjust the spices in your curry to your liking. I suggest taste testing after your curry has simmered, then adjusting the seasoning and salt.
- Coconut free: If you have an allergy to coconut milk, you can use chicken broth–however, I much prefer coconut chicken curry.
- Different meat: Use this recipe to make beef, pork, shrimp curry, or salmon curry by swapping the protein. Or, make this curry vegetarian by skipping protein altogether.
How to Make Chicken Curry
Not much to this Indian curry recipe, and there are a handful of ways to save time, when needed. Here’s how to make chicken curry with step-by-step photos:
1 – Saute onions in oil, then add the garlic and ginger.
2 – Add the spices and toast. This adds a whole new depth of flavor. Trust me, it’s worth your time.
3 – Add coconut milk and tomatoes, and allow the sauce to simmer.
4 – Place in a blender and blend until smooth. This step is optional, if you’re ok with a chunky sauce skip!
5 – Add the sauce back to the pot, and stir in the chicken. That’s right, I want you to skip the browning step–while this does develop flavor, I find that it can be difficult to get it just right, resulting in tough chicken. I skipped this step and the marinade, and let the chicken gently poach in the coconut milk and spices. It was the most tender chicken curry I had ever made. Better results, less work!? I’m in! If you’re still craving a marinade, check out my Asian chicken marinade.
6 – Stir in cilantro, serve, and enjoy!
This dish is one of my favorite make ahead or freezer meals. Here’s how:
- Store: In an airtight container in the fridge, either all together or in individual portions.
- Freeze: Remove as much air from the container as possible before freezing.
- Reheat in the microwave or over the stove, just top your warm bowl of curry with some freshly chopped cilantro before serving.
The obvious answer here is curry chicken and rice with a side of freshly baked naan (or keto naan)–but feel free to serve this dish however you’d like.
Is Chicken Curry Healthy? Keto? Paleo?
Whether this chicken curry is healthy depends on your goals and eating plan. Here’s what you should know:
- Health benefits: This Indian curry is loaded with spices such as turmeric, which is known to reduce inflammation.
- Protein + fat: Packed with protein (from the chicken) and fat (from the coconut milk).
- Carbs: This keto chicken curry has 7 g total carbs, and 5 g net carbs per serving. There are ways to cut the carbs in curry even more, just know it’ll change the flavor of the recipe. You can: Skip the onion or diced tomatoes.
More Curry Recipes
Chicken CurryPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 2 tablespoons Coconut oil or vegetable oil divided (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups Yellow onion chopped (1 medium)
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 Teaspoons Ginger freshly grated
- 1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 13.5 Oz can Full Fat Coconut Milk (Note 2)
- 3/4 cup Canned Diced Tomatoes drained
- 1.5 Lb Chicken Breasts boneless/skinless. Sliced very thin (Note 3+4)
- 1 1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Cilantro
- Saute + Simmer. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot (make sure you have a lid for this). Add onion (1 1/2 cups) and saute until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic (3) and ginger (2 teaspoons), and saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add curry powder (1 tablespoon), cumin (1 teaspoon), turmeric (1 teaspoon), coriander (1 teaspoon), and cayenne pepper (start with 1/2 teaspoon, we'll adjust later), and toast another minute or two, until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk (1 13.5 Oz can), tomatoes (3/4 cup), salt (1 1/2 teaspoon), and bring your sauce to a simmer. Simmer to marry the flavors for 5 minutes.
- Blend + Taste. Ladle or pour the sauce into a blender (Note 5 skipping blender option). Blend sauce until completely smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning — add more cayenne pepper if you'd like a spicier curry.
- Want to add veggies to your curry? See note 6 below.
- Chicken. Add the sauce back to the pot. Add chicken (1.5 lb) and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer, and cover/cook until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 F — about 7-11 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro (2 tablespoons), and serve over cauliflower rice or rice. Enjoy!
Fans Also Made These Low Carb Recipes:
- Vegetable or coconut oil. We want an oil with a high smoke point. For this particular recipe, coconut oil is a great option to enhance the coconut flavor.
- Full-fat coconut milk. This is coconut milk in a can, light coconut milk (from the refrigerator section) is not a substitute.
- Chicken (thin slicing hack!). Freeze the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting for an easier slice.
- Cubed vs. thinly sliced chicken. I prefer the texture of thinly sliced chicken in curry, but it’s up to you. If you’d rather cubed, slice chicken into 1″ cubes.
- Can I make this without a blender? Yes, however, your sauce will be thinner and not as sweet (still delicious!).
- Want to add veggies to your curry? Before adding your sauce back to the pot, saute veggies in 2 tablespoons of shimmering oil (the same type you used before), until they’re soft and enough liquid has been released to not water down our sauce (about 6-8 minutes). We love adding broccoli and red bell peppers.
- Nutritional information is for 1/6 of this recipe and doesn’t include cauliflower rice/rice, or additional veggies: