Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

4.86 from 21 votes
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Coconut Chicken Curry is a timeless, tasty dish loved by all, and this Instant Pot version makes dinner super quick! This easy coconut curry chicken recipe is full of flavor and gets done in just 30 minutes!

Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry Served in a bowl with a side of cauliflower rice.


Chicken thighs in the Instant Pot is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken! They always turn out really tender and extra juicy, and when you combine that with the flavors of this easy curry, you get the perfect, warm, and filling meal. After my successful and delicious Instant Pot Butter Chicken attempt, I had to try my favorite coconut chicken curry recipe. Not only is this meal super easy to make, but it’s also a one-pot dinner that makes cleaning up a breeze!

What Is Coconut Curry?

Coconut curry is simply a blend of curry spices combined with unsweetened coconut milk. It is known for its rich, creamy texture and bold flavors. Traditional curry can take hours to make, however, this version is made in the Instant Pot and takes minutes to prepare. It may take less time, but there won’t be any less flavor, so skip your takeout because you’re about to have this curry in an instant!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Curry Recipe

  1. Tender and Juicy Chicken: Cooking chicken thighs in the Instant Pot ensures they turn out incredibly tender and deliciously juicy every time.
  2. Rich Flavor Profile: This easy coconut curry recipe combines a fusion of flavors, resulting in a comforting meal that warms you from the inside out.
  3. Quick Preparation: Thanks to the Instant Pot, the cooking process is significantly faster, making this dish perfect for weeknight dinners or last-minute meal prep.
  4. Easy Cleanup: As a one-pot meal, cleanup is a breeze. This recipe gives you more time to enjoy your meal and less time dealing with a mountain of dishes.

How To Make Curry Chicken In The Instant Pot

Making this recipe in the Instant Pot is what makes it so simple, and there is nothing as good as the bold spices of a good curry with chicken!

Coconut Chicken Curry Cooking in the Instant Pot.


This magic blend of seasonings will give your curry some extra spice, and the coconut milk will add sweetness to balance everything out perfectly.

  • Olive Oil – Used to sauté the onion and pepper, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil.
  • Yellow Onion – I like to cook with yellow onions, but white can be used in its place.
  • Red Bell Pepper – Introduces a mild, sweet flavor and colorful presentation. Any color pepper will do.
  • Chicken Thighs – I like the juicy texture of chicken thighs, use chicken breasts for a leaner option.
  • Garlic – If fresh is not available, add garlic powder.
  • Spices & Seasonings – Curry powder, dried basil, salt, chili powder, white pepper, cayenne, and ground ginger.
  • Tomato Paste – Concentrates the tomato flavor and adds a bit of sweetness and tang to the sauce.
  • Coconut Milk – Gives the curry its creamy texture. Replace with heavy cream or yogurt for a richer sauce.
  • Cornstarch – Thickens the sauce.
  • Cooked Rice – Serves as the dish’s base, soaking up the flavorful sauce. I’ve also served this curry with quinoa and couscous.
  • Fresh Cilantro – You can also use parsley for a milder touch or skip it if you are not a fan.


  1. Prep Instant Pot: Select the “sauté” mode on your Instant Pot and heat up the olive oil
  2. Sauté Veggies: Once hot, add in the diced onions and peppers for a quick 2-minute sauté.
  3. Add Chicken and Spices: Stir in the chicken and garlic, seasoning them with the spices.
  4. Add Coconut Milk: Stir in tomato paste and canned coconut milk for a creamy texture.
  5. Pressure Cook: Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 5 minutes. When time is up, do a quick release.
  6. Prepare Cornstarch Slurry: Mix a portion of the pot’s liquid with cornstarch in a separate bowl to create a thickening slurry. Pour the slurry back into the pot, stirring until the sauce achieves desired thickness.
  7. Serve: Plate the chicken curry over rice, garnished with cilantro.

Recipe Tips

  • Brown the Chicken: Don’t skip browning the chicken thighs before adding the other ingredients. This can enhance the flavor of the final dish.
  • Adjust Heat Level: Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder, curry powder, or other spices to suit your family’s taste.
  • Use Full-Fat Coconut Milk: Using full-fat coconut milk will provide a richer, creamier curry. Light coconut milk can also be used, but the result may not be as rich.
  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture, serve the curry immediately after preparing it.
Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry served in a bowl with rice and garnished with herbs.

Serving Suggestions

  • Coconut Curry Chicken is served warm over rice. I prefer Lemon Rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, or quinoa.
  • If you are watching your carb intake, feel free to use this Cauliflower Rice.
  • My Naan recipe is perfect because Indian breads are great for scooping up the flavorful curry and provide a wonderful contrast to the spicy and creamy texture.
  • Light and fluffy couscous can also be a delicious bed for your chicken curry.
  • A tangy rhubarb chutney can add more flavor to your curry dish.

Storing Leftovers

Once the chicken has completely cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it, covered, in the microwave for convenience, but you can also reheat it on the stove over medium heat. Serve once it’s warmed throughout.

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4.86 from 21 votes

Instant Pot Coconut Curry Chicken

Delicious and creamy Coconut Chicken Curry made in the Instant Pot and ready in just 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 serves


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion,, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper,, thinly sliced into strips
  • 1½ to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, , cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger,, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt,, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper,, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper,, optional
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can (13.6 ounces) unsweetened full fat coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • cooked rice, , for serving
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
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  • Select the “Sauté” function on the Instant Pot and heat up the olive oil.
  • Add diced onion and prepared peppers to the hot oil; cook for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in chicken pieces and garlic; season with curry, basil, ginger salt, chili powder, cayenne, pepper, and white pepper.
  • Cook and stir until chicken is just browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until incorporated.
  • Add coconut milk to the pot, and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.
  • Turn Off the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and make sure the vent is closed.
  • Select Manual (or Pressure Cook) and set it to cook for 5 minutes.
  • When time is up, do a quick release. When the pin drops, remove the lid.
  • Carefully remove 1/4 cup of the liquid from the pot and transfer it to a small bowl; whisk the cornstarch into the liquid until thoroughly combined.
  • Whisk the cornstarch mixture (slurry) back into the Instant Pot; mix and stir around until incorporated and sauce is thickened.
  • Serve Coconut Curry Chicken over rice and garnish with cilantro.


  • Use Quality Spices: Fresh, high-quality spices make a significant difference in the flavor of your curry. Ground spices lose their potency over time, so try to use them within six months to a year.
  • Brown the Chicken: If time allows, consider browning the chicken thighs before adding the other ingredients. This can enhance the flavor of the final dish.
  • Release Pressure Naturally: For meats cooked in the Instant Pot, natural pressure release (as opposed to quick release) can result in more tender and juicy chicken.
  • Adjust Heat Level: Feel free to adjust the amount of chili powder or other hot spices to suit your family’s taste. Remember, it’s easier to add heat than to take it away.
  • Use Full-Fat Coconut Milk: Using full-fat coconut milk will provide a creamier curry.
  • Serve Immediately: Curry can thicken as it cools. For the best texture, serve the curry immediately after preparing it.
  • Storing Leftovers: Store leftovers in the refrigerator and consume them within 3 to 4 days.


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 922mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 906IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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  1. Lois says:

    I’d say there’s enough sauce to use 3 lbs of chicken thighs. So delicious!

  2. Sara C says:

    I eat a lot of middle eastern food. I loved the simplicity of this recipe but felt it was very bland. I had to doctor it up a bit to make it more flavorful.

    1. Jean says:

      Sara, what did you do to doctor it up? we liked, but was a bit bland, flat. but like the recipe, thx.