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Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry

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.

Instant Pot Chicken Curry

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 Curry Chicken 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!

Sauteeing chicken and spices in the instant pot.

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 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!


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
  • Yellow onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Chicken thighs
  • Garlic cloves
  • Curry powder, dried basil, salt, chili powder, white pepper, cayenne, and ground ginger
  • Unsweetened coconut milk & Tomato Paste
  • Cornstarch
Stirring through Chicken Curry Cooked in a pressure cooker.


  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 a variety of 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 corn starch 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 Coconut Curry Chicken over rice, garnished with cilantro.
Coconut Chicken Curry Cooking in the Instant Pot.

How To Serve Coconut Chicken Curry

  • 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.

Tips For Making Chicken Curry

  • 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.

Storing Leftovers

  • Once the chicken has completely cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating Coconut Chicken Curry is easy-peasy! I prefer to 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.

More Instant Pot Chicken Thighs


Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry Served

Instant Pot Coconut Curry Chicken

Katerina | Diethood
Delicious and creamy Coconut Chicken Curry made in the Instant Pot and ready in just 30 minutes.
4.89 from 18 votes
Servings : 4 serves
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 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


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

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.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: chicken curry instant pot, chicken curry recipe, instant pot chicken thighs recipe
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41 comments on “Instant Pot Coconut Chicken Curry”

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

    1. Yes, you can. However, white meat doesn’t need to cook as long as dark meat, so you may want to skip the sauteeing part of the chicken. Do sautee the aromatics, though. It makes a difference in flavor and texture.

  2. Was so simple, so tasty, chicken just fell apart. I used bone-in thighs, still sliced the meat and put the bones in. Cooked an extra 3 minutes.
    Highly recommended.

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      I wouldn’t because that would make it sweet, but if you want to use it, you definitely can.

        1. Katerina - Diethood
          Katerina Petrovska

          Hi! 👋
          Do you mean bone-in thighs? Yes, those will have to cook longer.
          However, I have not tested this recipe with bone in thighs, so I can’t tell you for sure how to exactly adjust it.

  3. Avatar photo
    Patricia F McClaren

    I made this today and it was very delicious. I even added some potatoes to the recipe. I will definitely make this again.

  4. Love this recipe and it smells incredible! I was confused about steps 11 and 12. Do we take out 1/4 cup and mix in the cornstarch with that or do we mix in the cornstarch with the chicken and throw out 1/4 liquid?

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Katerina Petrovska

      Thanks for letting me know about this – looks like a line is missing from that step. So sorry about that! I’ll fix it right away. But, yes, you want to mix the cornstarch into the 1/4 cup liquid and then stir it all back into the pot to thicken the sauce.

  5. This was so flavorful and rich; easily a new family favorite recipe! Looking forward to enjoying this again later this week!

      1. Hi- I have never used anything but stock in the instant pot- I am a newbie! I was wondering if you could help me tweak this.
        Could I cook the chicken in the coconut milk but not make it a curry? I found a bake chicken recipe that you bake chicken thighs in coconut milk in the oven- but I don’t want to heat up the kitchen! I am hoping the IP infuses the coconut flavor into the chicken? My parents are older and cannot have any spices or herbs besides thyme & Rosemary. (no garlic or onion either). I was thinking of a thyme coconut chicken? My mum loves Coconut.
        I have a can of coconut cream too- can that be used? I have never used coconut milk before. I was afraid it would curdle in the instant pot.

  6. Avatar photo
    Krissy Allori

    Yum! I had just been telling my husband we need to eat more curry at home. This recipe makes it easier to do for sure. Thanks!

  7. This dish is full of so much flavor! We like to serve this with rice. My kids like it, so that’s a win!

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