Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

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There are so many reasons to love cooking a meal in your slow cooker. And this recipe confirms it.

We love all kinds of curry dishes, including Coconut Shrimp Curry and Chicken Curry. But, when you’re able to create these incredible flavors with the ease of your slow cooker, life couldn’t get much better. Serve with perfectly steamed rice for an amazing meal.

A straight-on view of a white bowl filled with a serving of slow-cooker coconut chicken curry with a glass of white wine nearby.

How To Make Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry


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The Ingredients and Tools You Will Need

The Tools You Will Need:
A 6 to 7 quart slow-cooker.
Large skillet or saucepan (12″ is ideal).

The Ingredients You’ll Need to Have on Hand:
Oil – Olive oil or vegetable oil will work just fine.
Chicken – We love boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but boneless, skinless breasts will work, too. Cut into large chunks, or leave whole.
Shallot – Can substitute regular onion, if desired.
Ginger – Fresh, finely chopped.
Garlic – Minced.
Curry powder – We love Sun Brand Madras. Amazing flavor. Or, you can easily make your own!
Seasonings – Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.
Broth – Homemade broth or stock is awesome, but purchased is perfectly fine.
Coconut milk – Unsweetened. Found the Asian section of most supermarkets, or online. Definitely do not use sweetened coconut milk (save that for Pina Coladas!).
Fish sauce – Found in the section of most supermarkets, at Asian markets, or online.
Carrots – Peeled, and cut into large, bite-sized pieces.
Sweet potatoes – Peeled and cut into the same size pieces as the carrots.
Cornstarch – For a small slurry which will slightly thicken the sauce.
Salt – Or, additional fish sauce.
Basil – Italian or Thai basil, cut into thin strips, for garnish.

EXPERT TIP: When you open the can of unsweetened coconut milk, you’ll notice it has most likely separated. This is completely normal. Use a knife or fork to gently stir the milk in the can until it’s combined and smooth.

A person pouring unsweetened coconut milk from a can into a large skillet that iss filled with a thin curry sauce.

Tips for Making Perfect Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

Sear the Chicken Pieces – If you plan on slow-cooking the chicken thighs or breasts without cutting them, searing them first in a skillet with oil locks in their juices and enhances their flavor in the curry. For ease, cut them into chunks, and no need to pre-sear.

Use Quality Coconut Milk and Curry Powder – This is essential for the best flavor. We use Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Milk and Sun Brand Madras Curry Powder. Amazing flavor.

Fluffy Steamed Rice Is a MustPerfectly steamed rice soaks up the delicious sauce and provides a satisfying base for the dish. Don’t skip this, if possible. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare it while the chicken slow cooks!

EXPERT TIP: Leave your chicken pieces fairly large (2-inch by 2-inch, or greater). Same with the cut carrots and sweet potatoes. As the chicken and veggies slow-cook, they will break down somewhat. The larger chunks will stay intact once ready to serve.

A coconut curry sauce being poured from a large saucepan into a Crock-Pot filled with chunks of uncooked chicken and cut-up carrots and sweet potato.

How To Serve

Don’t let the curry chicken slow cook for more than 7 hours. It will be okay, but the chicken will become so tender that it will shred when you serve it.

After 6 or 7 hours on the LOW setting (or 3 on HIGH), turn the slow cooker to the WARM setting until you’re ready to serve.

The coconut chicken curry is perfect served over a bed of perfectly steamed rice, however, we’ve also served it over cooked noodles, and that is delicious, too.

EXPERT TIP: To thicken the sauce somewhat, we recommend a cornstarch slurry of about 1 to 2 tbsp of cornstarch to the same amount of water. Stir in a small bowl until combined, then slowly pour into the sauce, gently stirring with a wooden spoon until slightly thickened. Don’t add more than this amount of the slurry, otherwise, the sauce may separate when reheating.

An overhead view of a 6-quart slow-cooker filled with a coconut cream sauce with cooked chicken, carrots, and sweet potatoes, with a large wooden spoon holding up chicken and sauce.

Other Slow Cooker Recipes To Try

We love the ease of using a slow cooker for so many of your favorite recipes. Here are, hands down, some of our all-time favorite recipes that we’re certain you and your family will love:

Beef Stew
Chopped BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Spicy Brisket with Garlic
Beef Braciole
Baby Back Ribs
Pulled Pork
Provencal Chicken Stew
Chicken Lo Mein
Gourmet Ham and Potatoes Gratin
Baked Beans
Asparagus Risotto

These are all amazing, without a doubt, but, in the meantime, isn’t this dish catching your eye?

A very close-up view of a serving of slow-cooker coconut chicken curry over a bed of steamed white rice all in a white bowl.

This dish has become one of our favorite slow cooker dishes of all time.

There is a little bit of prep work and sautéing before you let the slow cooker do its work, but it’s not much, and so worth it.

And, as always, the smells that will fill your home as it slow-cooks are truly incredible. Every bite is a taste sensation and leftovers are just as good, maybe even better!

A close-up view of a white bowl filled with a half-eaten portion of slow-cooker coconut chicken curry with chunks of tender carrots and sweet potatoes.

Ready to make the best curry dish in town in your slow cooker? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and #HowToFeedaLoon!

A straight-on view of a white bowl filled with a serving of slow-cooker coconut chicken curry with a glass of white wine nearby.

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry

Coconut Chicken Curry is incredibly flavorful and letting your slow cooker do all the heavy lifting makes it even better. There is a little prep and sautéing before it all goes into the slow-cooker, but it's not too much and even can be done ahead of time. Serve over perfectly steamed rice for the most amazing meal.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Asian / American
Keyword: how to make coconut curry chicken, slow-cooker recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 466kcal


  • 6 or 7-quart slow-cooker


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger fresh, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp curry powder Madras-style, or regular
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 13.3 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 lb chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp basil or Thai basil, cut into small strips, for garnish (optional)
  • Steamed rice for serving


  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or saucepan. Add the shallot and ginger and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, or until aromatic.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 1 shallot, 1 tbsp ginger, 3 cloves garlic
  • Stir in the curry powder, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until fully combined and very aromatic, about 30 seconds.
    3 tbsp curry powder, 2 tbsp dark brown sugar, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp black pepper
  • Pour in the broth/stock and then the coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for a few minutes.
    1 cup chicken broth, 1 13.3 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • Place the chicken, carrots, and sweet potatoes in your slow-cooker. Carefully pour the sauce over the top. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or on HIGH for 2½ hours, or until chicken is very tender and fully cooked. Taste and add salt, to taste (usually 1 to 2 tsp).
    3 lb chicken thighs, 3 medium carrots, 1 sweet potato, Kosher salt
  • In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of cool water to the cornstarch. Use a spoon to stir the mixture until dissolved. Slowly stir in the slurry until the sauce thickens somewhat, after 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Serve over steamed rice and garnish with basil strips (if using).
    2 tbsp basil, Steamed rice


See the video near the top of the blog post for visual guidance. If you liked this video, please subscribe to our YouTube channel
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be substituted for the thighs. You can also leave the thighs and/or breasts whole. If cutting them up, don't cut them too small, otherwise, they will become so tender the meat will shred. 
Don't overdo it with the cornstarch slurry. The sauce shouldn't be as thick as gravy, but it should not be too thin, either. Add just enough of the slurry to slightly thicken the sauce. The small amount of cornstarch won't cause any issues when reheating. 
Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat. 


Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 631mg | Potassium: 603mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 8087IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
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