Basil Coconut Chicken Curry

basil coconut curry

When I wrote this post about routines, I mentioned that grocery shopping was killing me – I had no regular system for meal planning and grocery shopping (even grocery pickup isn’t helpful if you don’t know what you need to buy).

A few weeks ago, I had a doctor’s appointment for Tally scheduled on Monday afternoon. As I was looking at the calendar for the week ahead, I realized I could go straight from her appointment to the grocery store, which is pretty nearby.

So on Sunday night, as part of my planning, I made a menu and a grocery list and tucked it in my purse. After Tally’s check-up, we headed to the grocery store, grabbed all the things we needed, and were home to put everything away just in time for dinner. It was kind of like magic.

Coincidentally, I had my own doctor’s appointment scheduled for the following Monday afternoon, so riding on the success of the previous week, I planned to go again right after my appointment.

And it worked perfectly.

I already do a lot of planning on Sunday night, so adding my menu planning to it wasn’t hard, plus Monday is the day that I feel the most motivated and accomplishment driven, so it’s been a good fit so far.

Best of all, it’s meant MUCH less scrambling to put dinner on the table. Not only do I have a menu planned and all the ingredients for it, but starting the week off with a plan gives me all sorts of momentum to keep making dinner each night for the rest of the week.

It’s ridiculous how much of a relief it is to have this reoccurring issue finally solved.

At least for now, since if there is one thing I know about life, it’s that it’s always changing.

But one unchanging thing is how much we love this basil coconut chicken curry – I’ve been making it for the last five years and it’s always a hit. It isn’t spicy (just the tiniest bit of heat) and it comes together super quickly in one skillet.

And it has pretty basic ingredients, so even if I hadn’t gone to the grocery store on Monday, I still would have been able to whip it up for dinner.

basil coconut chicken curry

basil coconut chicken curry

Basil Coconut Chicken Curry

An easy one-pot curry that's made with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
Course Main Dish
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder (I used ancho chile powder but any type is fine)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • cooked rice for serving


  1. Mix together the curry powder, salt, pepper, and chile powder. Sprinkle over the diced chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and stir until everything is well-coated. Cover and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and basil and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the chicken pieces, including any juices from the bottom of the bowl and cook until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour a few tablespoons of the coconut milk into a small bowl and whisk with the cornstarch. Add the rest of the coconut milk to the skillet, scraping the bottom, until everything is well-combined. Add the coconut milk/cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly, and then let cook about 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is completely cooked through.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice.

Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

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  1. If you are interested in a post suggestion, I would love to read about how you get your toddlers to eat. I want to be person that serves everyone the same meal (as opposed to making something special for the kids), and we all sit down together to eat dinner every night and I DO give us all the same food, but my 3-year-old refuses to eat most everything I make. She will eat nothing on her plate, then ask for some yogurt or toast or something and I sometimes cave and make it for her, because I feel like she should be eating. Other times I refuse and she just doesn’t eat and will hop down from her chair and play instead. I try to make foods that are at least somewhat appealing to a toddler (for instance I don’t do really spicy stuff), but she just won’t even try it. What do you do?

  2. Yum! Definitely trying this! I’m going to see how it works with tofu, since we don’t do meat-I think it will totally work! Thanks!

  3. The last (and only) time I made this, it was “light your mouth on fire” hot. I must have done something wrong. Maybe it’s time to try it again.

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