Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken

The first time I ever tasted curry was shortly after Brett and I got married.  For a date night we went with some good friends for a scenic fall drive through the Alpine Loop (if you live in Utah, you know how beautiful the Alpine Loop is!).  We planned to grab a bite at a new burger joint afterwards but by the time we got back it was late, the burger joint was closed, and we were starving.  
Our friends talked us in to trying a Thai restaurant that was nearby and happened to be open late (Kellie, do you remember this?).  I was skeptical- I had never tried Thai or curry, and the fact they were open late made me wonder if they were desperate for business?  But we gave it a try.  Our friends told us exactly what to order–a couple of different curries with rice and noodles.  And we loved it! 
My friend told me about this slow cooker Coconut Curry Chicken recipe and the instant I heard “slow cooker” and “curry”, I knew I needed to try it.  As much as we love going out for curry I was excited to have a simple way to make it at home.  The recipe is from Carpe Season and originally found at Tasty Kitchen
There’s a few ingredients you might not have in your pantry that you’ll need:  coconut milk, curry powder, and garam masala (Indian spice mix).  Most grocery stores carry all three.  Once you try this, you’ll keep them on hand so you can make this any time you want!
We loved it and Brett keeps asking me when we can have it again.  
Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chicken
  1. 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  2. 5 large carrots, peeled and diced
  3. 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  4. 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  5. 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a green pepper)
  6. 1 (5 oz ) can tomato paste
  7. 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  8. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 1 tbsp curry powder
  10. 1 tbsp garam masala
  11. 1 jalapeno, seeded and halved OR 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  12. 2 tbsp water
  13. 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  1. Grease your slow cooker with Pam. Place the chicken and carrots on the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients (except water and corn starch) in a food processor and process together until mixture is mostly smooth. ***If your food processor is too small to hold everything, process everything but the coconut milk. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl then mix in the coconut milk.
  3. Pour the sauce over the chicken and carrots, mix well, then cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
  4. An hour or so before serving, mix cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved. Pour mixture into the slow cooker, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another hour. **This will thicken up the sauce. When the sauce is to your desired thickness, turn slow cooker to warm setting until ready to serve.
  5. Serve over rice, with Naan, and garnish with cilantro.
  1. *if you want you can chop the bell pepper into larger pieces and place in with the chicken and carrots rather than processing into the sauce. This is what I did and we loved the different textures of the carrots, chicken, and pepper in the sauce.
Adapted from Carpe Season
Adapted from Carpe Season
Sweet Treats & More


    • Anonymous says

      Sounds divine! Must try! Have you ever tried sweet potatoes instead of carrots in a curry? My husband is not a huge veggie eater and sometimes I add ones I know he will eat to things that I make. Anyway the sweet potatoes play off the spicy curry and is really interesting.

  1. says

    So glad you liked the curry and reposted it. It’s definitely a meal we keep coming back to as well. I love when situations like a closed burger joint lead you to discover something new.

  2. says

    I just made this!! Well, I made some minor adjustments. The garam masala is definitely essential to this curry. Luckily, I had some on-hand as a Pakistani co-worker gave me some of her own one day.

    The changes I made were:

    I used chicken thighs and took the meat off the bone once it was cooked through and continued to let the curry cook.

    I didn’t have a pepper on-hand so I added fresh green beans about 45 minutes before serving.

    I used a mixture of hot and regular curry power.

    I added basil leaves.

    Instead of water I used chicken stock.

    I just bought a slow cooker and this was the recipe I chose to kick-off my slow-cooker life. What a success! Thank you!

  3. says

    In my crock pot now…i only had one pound of chicken so I added mushrooms also….Let you know how it turns out! also no garam Marsala so I used the list above to make my own…

  4. Alyson says

    We had this for dinner tonight … my family consists of individuals from Vietnam, South Korea, and Kansas … and we all LOVED it!

  5. says

    Thanks for this recipe. My wife and I enjoyed it. My kids, not so much.

    Changes I made:

    -whole chicken breasts on the bottom of the slow cooker, topped by a layer of sliced carrots (4), topped by a layer of chunked sweet potatoes (3), then 1 sliced bell pepper, then the coconut milk/spice mixture over that. Six hours later–no stirring–the chicken came apart very easily, while all the other vegetables remained chunky.

    -added basil leaves

    -added cashews and raisins when serving

    -I did not need to use water/corn starch to thicken

  6. Darin says

    Single guy tired of getting take out all the time. I’ve been experimenting with various crock pot recipes recently and this is the first one I really REALLY like.


  7. michelle says

    I really WANTED to like this recipe, but the sauce really did not turn out well at all. After being in the slow cooker for a few hours, I realized how ’empty’ the sauce tasted. It was seriously lacking. I ended up adding a dollop of curry paste (green), fish sauce, tumeric, and ginger. Since I was having guests over for dinner, I paniced and just started throwing things in to taste to try to save the dish. So I really wasn’t paying close attention to the measurements. Not sure why I had such a drastic difference in results as others, but I would suggest the next person to experiment more with other ingredients.

    • Jacqueline Jordan says

      I just made this and I agree, it is lacking flavor. I was expecting big flavor with the spices called for in this recipe. Now I’m stuck with a tasteless dinner to serve my picky husband. I won’t make this again.

  8. says

    I made this and it turned out great!!! I was nervous that my grocery store (Harris Teeter) wouldn’t have all the ingredients, but they did!

  9. says

    This was one of the recipes included in the chicken round up I did for Nikki at Chef In Training and it was the first one I wanted to try! Soooooooo good!!! And it made so many delicious leftovers! I think I ate it for three meals in a row and I was seriously bummed when there was no more. Thank you!! :)

      • Natalie says

        Hi! I accidentally added the water and cornstarch to the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. It is now in the crock pot and I just wanted to know how bad of a mistake I made. Will I have to start over? Thank you!

  10. says

    I have made this SOOO many times and I LOVE it! You are an angel in my home for providing me and my family with our most favorite dish! We seriously have eaten it 4 times in the last month.
    Would you mind if I share your awesomeness on my blog with this recipe and a few things I have discovered with it and of course, with a linky link sending traffic your way? Let me know. And Kristy a big thanks to you from me, my hubbs and my 2 yr old. Yes! She loves it too!

    and I would love for you to follow me too!

  11. Kandice says

    Tasty & ideal for intentional leftovers. (I like to cook extras in the crock pot to stretch time, money, cooking & cleaning.) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    I used 3 lbs of chicken & a few extra carrots but no more liquid or spice than described. In total, I’ll get 8 generous adult servings from this crock pot: 4 fresh servings with naan & I’ve frozen down 4 servings for a quick pan heat up later (likely that the second round will get served with rice since I always have that in stock & naan is a bit of a grocery store treat). If the freezer container looks thin when ready to eat, I’ll add drained chick peas from a can to stretch it out.

    Next time: I’d maybe consider adding a big handful of frozen peas when I open up the crock pot to add the corn starch just for color & a bit of extra nutrients.

    Overall: I liked it. Maybe I’d consider it more of an Indian influence — as opposed to Thai — but possibly that’s just my previous taste experience. Either way, it had a really good taste & we’ll be eating again for sure.

  12. Erica says

    A couple questions. #1) Has anyone tried this recipe with light coconut milk? #2) Do you think it will be ok to cook on low for 8 hours?

  13. Tarah says

    I am planning on making this recipe on Tuesday. Do I cook it all for 6 hours THEN throw in the cornstarch mixture and cook an additional hour? So the whole thing cooks for 7 total hours, or stop at 5 hours to add the mixture? I just dont want to overcook and mess anything up! I am REALLY excited to try this! Thanks!

  14. Cari says

    I tried it with the light cocunut milk and it just turned out great! I also added fresh basil and extra carrots. The carrots were the best!

  15. says

    OH MY GOD!!!! This is the best thing I’ve ever made. It’s SO freaking good!!

    I added a few things…
    I used 1.44 lbs of chicken just because that’s how much came in the organic chicken package I found. I added three small potatoes, hella extra garlic (about 8-10 cloves instead of 2), extra salt, fresh basil, fresh ginger, fresh cilantro, and several tablespoons of grapeseed oil (not to be confused with rapeseed/canola oil). I used half a tablespoon of arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch.

    I’m so happy! Thank you!

  16. says

    Oh one more thing. I used a can of Trader Joe’s Light Coconut Milk. Not because I wanted light, but rather because this was the only coconut milk I could find that didn’t contain guar gum or any other additive. (I also looked at Whole Foods and Sprouts, and this was the only one I could find without additives.) If anyone knows of a good coconut milk with nothing added, preferably in a glass container, please let me know!

    I should add that there is definitely no shortage of flavor as a result of the light coconut milk, possibly because I added grapeseed oil, but it does feel silly to be paying for watered down coconut milk! :)

  17. Daniel says

    Just made a good meal of this curry. It was FANTASTIC. I did change some things though.
    Only used 2.5 huge carrots as five seems like too many.
    Added 1 extra clove of garlic midway
    Ommited bell peppers (hate them)
    Added extra tsp of curry powder midway for no particular reason

  18. Claudia says

    Amazing! My husband and I love curry and this was great! Made it last week and he has already requested it again for next week! I think I may lover the red pepper flakes next time though, it was spicyyy! Definitely going into rotation in my kitchen! Thank you!

  19. Carrie says

    This is a GREAT starter dish for people who have never made an Indian dish. Good traditional flavors and ingredients and wonderfully fast for the week (crock pot curry?! yes please)

    For those who have made a curry or Indian dish before, you may find the dish lacking. Look at the comments for additives and you will not be disappointed.

    So glad I stumbled upon this.

  20. LARRY SHANKS says

    I am going to make this but i have a dumb question . There are different curry’s & my wife can’t take spicy so what curry do i use ?
    thanks, so much .

  21. says

    This recipe was absolutely fantastic! I loved it so much I posted a link to it on my blog. I used only 1/2 tsp of the red pepper flakes since my little one does not like spice and it was perfect.

    I will definitely be making this again and will be doubling the amount of chicken next time so we have some left-overs.

  22. olgandh says

    For my first time making an Indian dish, i think that i did an awesome job. This was amazing and i’ll def make it again now.

  23. Marine Wife says

    It’s 8:30 PM and I just threw this all in the crockpot and put it in my fridge to be ready to just pop into the heating unit and turned on low tomorrow morning!! I read other reviews that this is a bit bland so I changed several things to suit our tastes. I used cubed chicken thighs, chopped my bell pepper instead of blending it, I also used a red bell pepper because they are sweeter. I rough chopped a small onion to add to the curry and used a small one blended with the coconut milk. Because I had other spices from previous curries I have tried (never one in a crockpot yet!) I decided to throw that in there too! So I used 2 tablespoons of oriental curry powder, 1 tsp grnd coriander, 1tsp grnd turmeric, 1tsp grnd cumin. I didn’t have garam masala and my commissary doesn’t carry it so I left it out. The oriental curry had all the spices listed that is in a garam masala and more so I figured that was good…. :/ . I added a few splashes of fish sauce since I had that, and a tablespoon of red curry paste because I had that laying around too.I plan to add some frozen peas during the last 30 minutes of cooking, and possibly a can of drained chick peas to stretch the meal even further, but we like our curry saucy so I haven’t decided yet… Can you tell I like ALOT of build of flavor?? Lol I am soooooo excited to pop this in and just have to turn it on
    Low tomorrow morning!! A super easy dinner!! I’ll report back with how it turned out because we LOVE curries and try a new one almost once a week in the last few months. Thank you so much for this recipe !!

  24. Olga says

    I made this recipe and it is absolutely amazing… i just started a blog and if you give me permission, i would love to post this on my blog using the pictures that i took myself and everything else will be credited to you.

  25. Lindsay says

    I’m looking forward to making this! One question though; what size crockpot did you use? I live alone and have a medium sized crockpot – I don’t want to overfill it. Before my new (current) crockpot, I had a very small 2 qt crockpot, so I’m not yet able to accurately gauge volume by ingredients! :) Thanks in advance for your reply!

  26. Kiersten says

    Hi! I made this tonight and it’s delicious, however the onion seems to be really overwhelming. Thanks for the great recipe though! :)

  27. Marine Wife says

    Hey! I had forgotten to come back and report back how the curry turned out… It was AMAZING!! We made a huge crockpot full and my husband and I ate allllll of it in a few days! I served it with jasmine rice and it went perfectly. I know I made a lot of changes to the recipe, but thank you so much for the base recipe! It was the best curry I’ve ever had!

  28. Steve says

    Wow, just made this last night and it’s delicious. I was worried after seeing some of the comments suggesting it was bland. But I did not have that problem at all. It’s got a nice kick to it. I let it cook for about 12 hours though because I left the slow cooker on overnight, so maybe that boiled off some of the water and concentrated the flavors? I also used lite coconut milk because that’s all we had. Tastes great. Can’t wait for dinner.

  29. Judith says

    Thank you! This is by far the most amazing crock pot recipe I have ever made. I used whole bone in Thighs without the skin and a whole Jalepeno that had turned red- extra spicy. I added a sweet potato cut up and a can of chick peas. Unreal!

  30. TanyaGreenT says

    mine turned out so blend, and just not enough flavour. i actually tried to figure out how to fix it and dont know..i love curry and this recipe seemed easy to make but turned out not good for me

  31. says

    I made everything this morning, and the sauce tasted fantastic! Now, though, it has a very bitter aftertaste. I did add the green pepper into the sauce. Maybe that’s the problem? Any suggestions for how to remedy this prior to dinner? I was thinking a bit of sugar, but not sure… Thanks for the great recipe! Smells delicious!

    • Kylle says

      One thing I always do with my curries is add at least a tbsp of brown sugar. If it ends up too sweet, add a splash of vinegar. It helps alleviate bitterness and add extra flavor. Good luck!

  32. Katrina Graham says

    This turned out great, however I did find it a bit bland so I doubled the spices at the end of the cooking time to kick it up a notch. I also added a bit of garlic powder and salt at the end as well. Hubby and I loved it! Will definitely make this again.

  33. Denise says

    I just want to say, I have this in the crock pot, it’s 10:30am, dinner is done just add a salad, it smells good and I feel like pretty dang happy!

  34. Karen says

    I’m so excited to try this, but I was wondering if there is a good substitute for the coconut milk? Like chicken stock or something? My husband hates coconut, but he loves curry. Thanks!

      • Karen says

        Thanks for the suggestion! I made it for dinner tonight with regular milk. It was delicious! My whole family loved it, including my 4 year old who said repeatedly, “I just can’t stop eating this awesome chicken!”

        I don’t understand the comments saying it was bland. We eat a lot of pretty spicy food, so I was prepared to add more spices once it was cooked. But I thought this was very flavorful as is!

  35. Jennifer says

    This is a longshot as I need an instant answer – but can you do this on the stove top instead of the crockpot? Time got away from me this morning and afternoon…

  36. Mike says

    Fantastic recipe! This is definitely among my favorite coconut curry recipes I have tried thus far. I substituted eggplant for the green pepper, as I had none in the house. Thank you for sharing!

  37. christine says

    This curry is amazing! I also added some butternut squash with the carrots and it was great! Thanks for the recipe :)

  38. Lindsay C says

    I’ve made this twice and love it! The first time I used tikka masala because I couldn’t find garam masala in the grocery store – that added great flavor and quite a bit of spice! The second time, I was able to find garam masala and loved it that way, too! I served it over coconut rice and it was a great match. Such an easy, flavorful, and healthy recipe. Thanks!

  39. Sara Schultz says

    I made this for a cooking competition at my husbands place of employment and took home 1st prize! We love this recipe and use it often. I think it has great flavor and is not very spicy at all. Thanks so much for sharing!

  40. Lindsay C says

    I’ve been making this for a year now and love it! My boyfriend, who is obsessed with curry, requests this regularly. I use 3/4 T tikka masala and 1/4 T garam masala to kick up the spice and flavor and it was amazing! Thank you for this great recipe!


  1. […] Dinner was great but I didn’t take one single picture. Instead I was just hustling in the kitchen and visiting with the fam jam. It had been awhile since I had a family dinner like it, so I was soaking up every moment that I could. I made this meal again (this is an old picture from this post) and you can find the recipe here. […]

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