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Easy Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

This mild, easy chicken curry comes together in a flash in the instant pot, but it tastes like it simmered all day. Plus, it's just so dang delicious, it'll quickly become a regular repeat. You can also cook it in a crockpot, oven, or stovetop!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, American
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 661kcal
Author: Beth Ricci


  • 1 large onion diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic crushed or finely diced
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil butter or avocado oil would work fine too
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. turmeric
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cloves
  • 1/4 t. cumin
  • 1/4 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. curry powder
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk I use the Aroy-D brand because it has no unwanted ingredients, like guar gum
  • 12 boneless chicken thighs you can use any cut of chicken, really. Adjust time accordingly for bone-in.


  • With the Instant Pot on the sauté setting, add oil and onions. Let them soften for around two minutes, then add garlic. (Note: I find that the sauté setting on my IP gets a bit hotter than when I sauté on the stovetop, so if you find that your onions are browning too quickly and not softening nicely, you can add half a cup of water. Bone broth works too.)
    Close up shot of onions chopped on a white cutting board. Instant Pot and cans of diced tomatoes and coconut milk sit in the background.
  • Combine spices in a small bowl, then add to pot.
  • Add tomatoes and coconut milk, and stir. (If you have a tomato-picky kid like I do, you could probably use strained tomatoes instead of diced. If you try it, let us know how you like it in the comments below.)
  • Add chicken, and stir to coat the pieces with the sauce.
  • Set to manual mode for 14 minutes.
  • Let pressure release naturally (if you're crunched for time, you can do a quick release.)
  • Serve with your favourite sides, and enjoy! (We like it on rice, with a couple of veggies on the side.)


1. If you're fairly new to Instant Pot cooking, be aware that the listed cooking time of 14 minutes does not include the time that the instant pot takes to come to pressure after you set it (how long depends on the recipe, how full the pot is, etc.) or the time that it takes the release the pressure afterwards. For this recipe, it took around 10 minutes to come to pressure, and about 15 to release.
2. This is a very flexible recipe, so tweak to your heart's content if that's your thing. For example: if you want it creamier, go ahead and dump in the whole can of coconut milk instead of just 3/4 cup. You could try strained tomatoes instead of diced if you have a kid who's picky about cooked tomato texture. You could tweak the spices slightly according to what you have on hand, and it'll probably still be delicious as long as you have most of them (especially the main ones). And of course, use whatever cuts of chicken you want.
3. To use frozen chicken pieces instead of thawed, add 4-5 minutes on the timer, and be sure to check for doneness using a meat thermometer.
4. OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: if you don't have an instant pot and want to use your oven: follow the above instructions as written, except when it says to saute in the Instant Pot, saute on the stovetop instead. Then, add all other ingredients except for chicken, stir to combine, and pour over chicken in a casserole dish. Bake in a 400F oven for as long as appropriate for your cut of chicken.


Serving: 0g | Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Cholesterol: 221mg | Sodium: 311mg | Potassium: 693mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 3.3mg