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3.65 from 14 votes

One Pan Coconut Chicken Curry

This one pan creamy coconut chicken curry is delicious, fast and flexible! Tender chicken and vegetables are coated in a luscious sauce that slightly sweet with a hint of spice. With my tips, this foolproof chicken curry is ready in under an hour!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Nancy Buchanan


  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable or coconut oil
  • 3/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken cut into 1 inch cubes breasts or thighs
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 head cauliflower cut into small florets
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 roma tomato seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk regular or light
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro optional
  • 1 red jalapeno sliced, optional


  • Add the garlic, ginger and chopped jalapeno to a mortar and bash with the pestle until a coarse paste forms. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, chop the garlic, ginger and jalapeno together until finely chopped. 
  • In a large skillet with a lid, heat 3 Tablespoons of vegetable or coconut oil over medium high heat. 
    Add the onions and salt and saute for 3 - 5 minutes until the onions are soft and lightly browned. 
  • Add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno paste and cook for 1 - 2 minutes. 
  • Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and garam masala. Stir, cooking for 1 minute until the spices are aromatic. 
  • Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes until the chicken is just beginning to brown. It won't be cooked through so don't worry. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. 
  • Add the cauliflower and 1/4 cup water, scraping up all the spices on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium,  and cover the pan  Cook for 20 - 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. 
  • Remove the lid from the pan and add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add the peas and stir to combine. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to boil! 
  • Remove the pan from the heat and taste, adding salt and/or cayenne pepper as needed. 


Tips for Success:
  • Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. 
  • There is no need to rinse the chicken. Just blot it dry before cutting into 1 inch chunks. I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts but thighs would work just as well! 
  • It may seem strange to add the spices before any liquid is added but this is what gives curry dishes their lovely flavor and aroma. Don't skip this step! 
  • In order to achieve a thick and creamy curry sauce, do not boil after adding the coconut milk. Boiling will cause the coconut milk to separate. If this happens, don't worry - the curry will still taste delicious but the sauce will look grainy! 
  • If you don't have cauliflower, feel free to substitute potatoes, carrots, zucchini - almost any vegetable will work although I think cauliflower tastes the best in this dish. 


Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 366mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 415IU | Vitamin C: 56.3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2.3mg