Keto Coconut Curry Chicken

Curry powder simmers with fresh ginger and garlic for an easy, one-skillet chicken dinner that’s bursting with flavor!  This healthy chicken curry is naturally low-carb and gluten-free, but tastes like true comfort food!

Hey there, it’s Sarah from Green and Keto. My family loves Indian Food, and it has always been our go-to takeout choice.  For many years, I couldn’t imagine cooking those seemingly complicated dishes at home. But once I gave it a shot, I realized that Indian curry can be easy to make, as long as you have the right ingredients.

This particular dish, Coconut Curry Chicken, is an all-star recipe. It’s definitely a family favorite. I love how easy it is to whip up on a weeknight.  And I really love how any leftovers you may have taste even better the next day.

Healthy Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry is healthy, too.  It’s naturally gluten-free, paleo, and low-carb.  What more could you ask for?

The curry is savory, a little salty, and there’s a hint of natural sweetness from the onions and tomato paste.  Coconut milk makes it super creamy and delicious. Lime juice gives it a burst of freshness, and there’s a gentle heat from the aromatic curry paste.

How to Make Chicken Curry

This dish starts with browning 2 pounds of chicken.  I like to use chicken thighs in this recipe, but chicken breasts will work as well.
Then we build flavor with aromatic vegetables and spices. We cook onions in coconut oil or butter over medium heat until they are golden and delicious – about 10 minutes.  It’s tempting to rush this step, but cooking the onions until they are truly golden is key to developing the flavor of this dish.

Once the onions are fried, we add fresh ginger, garlic, and curry spices.  The aromatics and spices are cooked in oil for several more minutes to allow their flavors to “bloom”. Cooking the spices in oil first helps to maximize their flavor — and then encourages that flavor to distribute throughout the entire dish.

One thing to note about this technique: ground spices can burn quickly, so be sure to stir constantly and be ready to add the coconut milk (the next step of the recipe) to prevent scorching if necessary.

Keto Friendly Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a great, keto-friendly alternative for those who follow a paleo or low-carb diet. It’s high in fat, low in carbs and dairy free. When shopping for this recipe, look for full-fat coconut milk.  If you are following a low-carb or keto diet, you may want to double check the ingredients list to make sure there are no added sugars.

How to Make Curry Powder

Run out of curry powder? That’s okay, you can make your own! Here are the spices you’ll need to make a basic, mild curry powder that you can use in this recipe.

Now, just to be clear, the term “curry” is very general. The spice mixtures used to make a “standard” curry powder will be different depending on who you ask and where they are from.  But in an effort to make things as simple as possible, I’ve reduced it down to just 4-5 essential spices in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

What to Serve with Curry

Traditionally, coconut chicken curry would be served with rice or naan bread.  If you are looking for a low-carb alternative to rice, try cauliflower rice.  Cauliflower rice is a nice way to substitute a low-carb vegetable for starchy grains.
Stores often sell “riced” cauliflower in bags, but it’s easy enough to make yourself.  There are two basic ways to make cauliflower rice.

  1. You can either use medium size holes on a traditional box grater to grate chunks of cauliflower into rice-size pieces.
  2. Or, you can use the grater blade of your food processor to grind large chunks of cauliflower into small, rice-size pieces.

Whichever way you choose, you can cook your raw cauliflower rice by sauteeing it for 8-10 minutes in a large skillet over medium heat in a tablespoon or two of oil.

Keto Coconut Curry Chicken

Keto Coconut Curry Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic. minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 14oz coconut milk
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, until browned.  Remove from pan and reserve. (The chicken does not need to cook completely at this stage, as it will simmer in the sauce in a later step.)
  2. Add the remaining 2 tbsp oil to the pan. Add chopped onions and saute 8-10 minutes, until they start to caramelize. Add the minced garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute longer.  Add garam masala, curry powder and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute, or until fragrant.
  3. Add tomato paste, coconut milk, and cooked chicken back to the pan. Stir well, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 586Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 750mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 29g

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Carb count will vary with different ingredients and brands. It should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • pounds of Chicken Thigh, cut into 1 in cubes
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 inch knob of Ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves of Garlic. minced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


Cut the chicken into 1-inch (bite-sized) pieces. Place a large skillet over medium heat, and add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the pan.

Add chicken to the pan.  Cook, turning pieces occasionally until browned.  Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the remained 2 tbsp coconut oil to the pan. Add chopped onions. Saute 8-10 minutes, until golden. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Continue to saute for 1 minute.  Add garam masala, curry powder and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes, or until fragrant.

Add tomato paste, coconut milk, and cooked chicken back to the pan. Stir over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed.

Garnish with fresh, chopped cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing on top. Serve with cauliflower rice.

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