A flavorful dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. Try this Simple Curry Chicken Recipe for your next weeknight meal. This Indian-inspired Chicken Curry is ready in less than 30 minutes. Gluten-free and dairy-free. 

plate with chicken curry and rice.

Curry has such a wonderful flavor and it’s so easy to make at home! Skip the expensive restaurant versions and make this budget-friendly dish that the whole family will enjoy.

This easy Chicken Curry recipe doesn’t use a lot of exotic spice jars that will clutter your pantry, making it accessible and perfect even if it’s your first time making curry.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Curry powder is the only seasoning you might not have on hand. No need to buy a bunch of jars you may only use once.
  • Curry traditionally uses coconut milk, making this dairy-free.
  • Dinner will come together in under 30 minutes! Let your Instant Pot make rice while you cook curry.

Key Ingredients

Ingredients to make simple chicken curry in small bowls on a white surface.

Chicken breast is a lean protein that soaks up all the wonderful curry flavors. You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs. If you don’t eat meat, you could easily substitute the chicken with chopped tofu.

Crushed tomatoes add color and flavor without spicy heat.

Coconut milk brings creaminess to the dish without any dairy.

Curry powder gives us that great curry flavor in a single jar.

You’ll also need some cooking oil to sauté the veggies. You can use any neutral-flavored oil including olive oil or avocado oil.

Recipe Steps

Process collage on how to make chicken curry in a saucepan.

Step One

Sauté onion and garlic in a large skillet to create a flavor base.

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Add the chicken pieces, curry powder, and tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Step Three

Cover the pan and let simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Be careful not to let it dry out.

Step Four

Stir in the coconut milk and heat through before serving with rice.

A wooden spoon in a saucepan of simple chicken curry.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • This dish is best served with steamed basmati rice or sauteed cauliflower rice. It is also great served with Indian-style naan bread. 
  • Store any leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
  • If your curry powder contains salt, then leave out any additional salt until you taste the finished dish. Most curry powders do not contain salt, though.
A white dinner plate loaded with white rice and chicken curry.

Recipe FAQs

Is this recipe allergy friendly?

As written this is gluten-free and dairy free. Serving over rice or potatoes keeps this gluten-free and fits into many diets.

Is curry spicy?

As always, spiciness is personal preference. Curry isn’t necessarily spicy hot like you’d think of Mexican food. It is often just a different flavor profile that you may not be used to. The coconut milk helps temper it some and you can also serve with plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt on the side.

Can I use light coconut milk?

Yes, but the sauce won’t be as rich or flavorful.

How do I make this dish spicier?

If you want to increase the spice level, feel free to add up to 1/2 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and red curry paste.

A fork lifting up a bite of chicken curry with white rice.

More Healthy Chicken Recipes You Might Like

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A white dinner plate loaded with white rice and chicken curry.

Simple Curry Chicken Recipe

A flavorful dinner doesn’t have to be complicated. Try this Simple Curry Chicken Recipe for your next weeknight meal. This Indian-inspired Chicken Curry is ready in less than 30 minutes. Gluten-free and dairy-free. 

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.25 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pieces), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 15ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (you can use heavy cream if you are not on a dairy-free diet)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (optional, for topping)

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat for a few minutes.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken, curry powder, and chopped tomatoes. Stir and bring to a simmer. 
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet or saucepan. Let the chicken cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until it is cooked through. If the mixture starts to look dry, then you can add up to ¼ cup of water to the skillet.
  5. Remove the lid, stir in the coconut milk, and then turn off the heat.
  6. Serve hot, with the cilantro sprinkled on top.

Notes

  1. This dish is best served with steamed rice or sauteed cauliflower rice. It is also great served with Indian-style naan bread. 
  2. Store any leftovers in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
  3. If your curry powder contains salt, then leave out any additional salt until you taste the finished dish. Most curry powders do not contain salt, though.

Keywords: chicken curry, easy curry, dairy free curry

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