Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

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Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk is an Asian-inspired recipe that’s so easy and so tasty, you’d think you were eating at a fancy restaurant. If you’ve ever wanted to try making Thai food before but felt a little too nervous, this is the recipe that will change your mind forever!  

For more out-of-this-world Thai-inspired recipes, try my popular posts for Grilled Sweet and Spicy Thai Chicken Kabobs, Shrimp Pad Thai with Peanut Sauce, and Thai Coconut Curry

thai curry overhead in bowl with rice and fork

The first time I attempted to make Thai food I almost had a panic attack. Which is kinda silly in retrospect. I mean, who flips out over a recipe? But, believe it or not, every time I try a new cuisine I get a little crazy. I just want to get it right the first time, and the thought of putting together all of the complex flavors in Thai cuisine just made me really nervous for some reason. 

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about! Thanks to a few pantry staples (if curry powders and pastes are not currently pantry staples in your house, they soon will be!), coconut milk, and some veggies, I was able to pull off a simple Thai dish that tasted just like the real thing on the first try! 

Trust me, it’s pretty hard to mess up (and even if you do, it’ll still taste good!) and once you get past the jitters of taking on a complex-sounding dish, you’ll be wanting to make Thai food all the time! 

hands holding skillet with coconut chicken curry

WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THAI CHICKEN CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK?

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless thighs 
  • Red bell peppers
  • White or yellow onion
  • Oil
  • Yellow curry powder
  • Red curry paste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Unsweetened coconut milk
  • Salt 
  • Cold water 
  • Corn starch
    thai chicken curry in skillet with serving spoon

HOW DO YOU MAKE THAI CHICKEN CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK? 

Take a deep breath — it’s easier than you think and you’re going to be so proud of yourself when this spicy Thai chicken dish is done! 

Take out a large skillet and add to it the chicken, peppers, and onions. Drizzle with oil and turn the burner up to medium high heat. Stir everything around and cook for 6-8 minutes, cooking chicken just through. 

Next, sprinkle the yellow curry powder over all of the chicken and veggies, and stir to coat that for another minute. Then, add the coconut milk, red curry paste, crushed red pepper flakes and the salt. Stir, then let the mixture come to a low boil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the water until the corn starch is dissolved. Add that mixture to the pan and stir it into the coconut milk and spices to achieve a thicker broth. Stir for 1-2 minutes while it thickens. 

Give the dish a taste and add more salt if needed. I like to serve this nice and piping hot over rice or noodles and of course, with that fresh herb garnish. For this healthy Thai chicken recipe, I usually garnish with cilantro.

thai chicken curry in bowl with flack fork and white rice

TIPS & TRICKS FOR MAKING THAI CHICKEN CURRY WITH COCONUT MILK 

Since my first foray into making Thai food, I’ve learned a thing or two that can help the process when cooking dishes like this coconut curry recipe.

  • Thinly slicing your chicken is important for two reasons: 1) It cooks up uniformly in the pan so you won’t have some chewy, hard pieces that are overdone and 2) thinner pieces are more easily able to soak up all that yummy curry powder and paste as well as the coconut milk. You want every bite to be chock full of that yummy, flavorful Thai curry taste.  
  • You can also add diced potatoes and carrots (no bigger than 1-inch pieces) to this dish alongside the chicken to bulk it up and give it some different tastes and textures. I like to use baby red or Yukon gold potatoes, but anything you have is fine. Cook carrots and potatoes (about 1 cup potatoes and ½ cup carrots) in step 1. 
  • When you open your can of coconut milk, you’ll probably find that a lot of it has congealed at the top. That’s okay! Just add it all to the skillet and once you start to stir, it will all mix together. If it really bothers you, you can stir the cream back into the milk first before adding it to the Thai curry recipe that you’re making.  
  • I love to serve this Thai chicken stir fry recipe over white or brown rice but basmati and jasmine rice are ah-mazing too (the smells of both!). If you want to use a noodle, some of my favorites include: rice noodles (vermicelli), soba noodles, pad Thai rice noodles, and even ramen. But thinner angel hair or spaghetti will work too if you don’t have specific Asian-style noodles.  
  • Store leftovers for up to 3 days in the fridge. I do not recommend freezing this dish, as the coconut milk kind of takes on the flavors of your freezer in a short amount of time. You could cook through step 2, cool ingredients to room temperature, and freeze. Then, add the coconut milk and the rest of the ingredients at a later date to save some time on this dish. 

hands holding bowl of coconut chicken curry and rice

thai curry overhead in bowl with rice and fork

Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk is an Asian-inspired recipe that's so easy and so tasty, you'd think you were eating at a fancy restaurant. If you've ever wanted to try making Thai food before but were too scared, this is the recipe that will change your mind forever!  
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless thighs thinly sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes more to taste
  • 26 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 2 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chicken, peppers, and onions. Drizzle with oil, give it a good stir to coat, and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally til chicken is just cooked through.
  • Sprinkle yellow curry powder over everything and stir 1 minute.
  • Add coconut milk, red curry paste, crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a low boil.
  • Whisk corn starch into water until dissolved. Add to the pan and stir 1-2 minutes til thickened.
  • Taste, add more salt if needed. Serve immediately over steamed white rice or rice noodles. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.
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thai chicken curry in skillet with serving spoon

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Comments

5 stars
wonderful, a nice change of pace for me and especially appreciate that it’s fairly easy to make, thank you!

    You are so welcome!

5 stars
Great recipe! I added potatoes, which eliminated the need for cornstarch. We loved it. Will make again, and again!

    I love that you added potatoes! Genius idea. So glad you enjoyed this recipe Sue!

5 stars
I needed something new to cook during the pandemic. I was getting tired of my usual recipes. I was worried it would be spicy because I do not usually use red curry paste, but it is not hot at all but has delicious flavour. Thanks for the great recipe.

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