Coconut Milk Chicken is a dairy-free and gluten-free marinated chicken recipe to make in an Instant Pot, oven, or on the stove top. A coconut milk marinade creates moist, delicious chicken. Make this nutrient-rich recipe for an easy weeknight meal that’s nourishing and delicious!
Hi friends! Just letting you know this coconut milk marinated chicken recipe originally published a few years ago, but we’ve recently updated it with instant pot version and new photos! Plus, it’s a bonus recipe for our junk free ingredient week challenge. We’ve really been enjoying it lately!
My husband and I love ethnic dishes. And apparently, I’m on a cultural cooking kick. Thai noodle salad, Quinoa tabouli salad, and now this Indian inspired coconut milk chicken . Oh yes, we love Indian spices and jalapeño in everything. POWER anti-inflammatory food combos if you ask me!
This coconut chicken recipe uses one of my favorite marinades – an easy coconut milk chicken marinade. Nutritionally, we have plenty of reasons to love the goodness of coconut milk, right?!
Do you know that coconut milk is rich in ZINC?
Yes, it is! And zinc contains a protein that helps transport Vitamin A from foods that have it, like jalapeno and mango. Hence, my recommendation to serve this healthy delicious meal with a side of jalapeno mango chutney!
And lastly, mango contains an enzyme that can help break down protein.
See… now you know why this mango chutney is a must-serve with coconut chicken. ALL the healthy digestion and feel good facts.
Plus it’s just SUPER DUPER delicious. Yup!
Coconut milk chicken (3 ways)
If you’re new to Cotter Crunch, you may not realize that I am always testing and retesting recipes, especially when a reader requests something special.
That’s the case with this recipe. Originally, I developed the recipe for oven or stove top cooking. NOW, I’ve added a third cooking method – a coconut chicken Instant Pot recipe!
The instructions for all three cooking methods are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, I’m just going to highlight how to make the marinade, and instructions for the Instant Pot coconut chicken.
Coconut milk chicken marinade
Have you ever heard of marinating chicken in milk before, like with buttermilk chicken? No, not buttermilk biscuits and chicken (although that sounds fab!), but using actual buttermilk as a marinade for chicken.
Well, this recipe uses the same concept, but we’re using a coconut milk chicken marinade, obviously.
Can you marinate chicken in coconut milk??
Oh YES, yes you can!! Marinating in coconut milk gives the chicken a sweet flavor while also making it extra moist.
Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade:
- coconut milk, lite coconut milk, or cream
- lime or orange, squeezed for juice
- ground cumin
- ground cayenne pepper
- grated ginger zest or pinch of ground ginger
Making the marinade is easy enough; simply whisk everything together to combine.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that the chicken will need to marinate for at least 3 hours. So, plan ahead. The good news is, you can let it marinate for up to 24 hours, so I encourage you to meal prep. As a result, you’ll save time on the day you want to make the coconut milk chicken.
How to make Instant Pot coconut chicken
- Make the coconut milk chicken marinade. As mentioned earlier, this needs to be done ahead so that the chicken can marinate for at least 3 hours before you start cooking.
- Place the marinated chicken into the Instant Pot. To prevent the chicken from sticking to the pot, set it on a trivet, and then pour the marinade over it. The use of trivet is optional.
- Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes for shredded chicken. I like to serve this dish with the chicken shredded, which is why the chicken breasts need 10 minutes of cooking time. If you would rather serve whole chicken breasts, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.
- Natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes. Again, for shredded chicken, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. If you’re leaving the breasts whole, you only need 5 minutes of natural pressure release.
- Shred the chicken, rewarm, and serve! After the pressure releases, the pin on the Instant Pot will drop. When this happens, it’s safe to remove the lid. Take the coconut chicken out of the pot, shred it, then return it to the pot, stir it into the marinade, and turn the unit to saute. Keep it there until the chicken warms through and/or you’re ready to serve the meal.
In addition to topping the chicken with jalapeno mango chutney, I think the dish is delicious with a side of cilantro-lime rice, cauliflower rice, or some fluffy quinoa. We’ve even made curried mango chicken salad with this chicken! It’s another favorite summer meal!
Coconut Milk Chicken is a dairy free, gluten free marinated chicken recipe that is nourishing and delicious! Make this easy weeknight meal in an Instant Pot, oven, or skillet!
Coconut Milk Marinade
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk or lite coconut milk (canned) – Use 1/2 c coconut milk if your chicken breast are very thick.
- 1/2 lime or orange, squeezed for juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (see notes)
- 1/2 tbsp grated ginger zest or pinch of ground ginger
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4 oz each
- 1 tbsp avocado or coconut oil (only if cooking in oven or on stove top)
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Cilantro and/or green onion for garnishing
- lime or orange wedges, for serving
- Add the marinade ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish or Ziploc bag and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 24 hrs.
- Once marinated, reserve 1/2 of the marinade and discard the rest.
Oven or stove top instructions
- Place marinated chicken breasts in a skillet or in a baking dish with 1 tbsp oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- If cooking on stove top, add a few tbsp of the reserved coconut milk if desired, to moisten. Then, cook for about 20 minutes on medium high heat or until no longer pink inside and internal temperature reaches 163F. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before slicing.
- If cooking in oven, feel free to add a few tbsp of coconut marinade on top. Then, place in an oiled baking dish and cook in oven at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
Instant Pot instructions
- Place the chicken onto a cooking trivet inside of the Instant Pot. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover with the lid, and set the valve to “sealing”.
- Pressure cook on high for 10 minutes, then perform a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes before removing the lid. NOTE: If you don’t want shredded chicken, you can reduce the cook time to 5 minutes and natural release to 5 minutes.
Toppings for serving
- While the chicken is cooking, you can make the jalapeno mango chutney recipe. Chutney is optional, but quite easy to make and delicious!
Chicken with Chutney (Nutrition) – If you’d like to add 2 tbsp of chutney to this chicken dish, the calories will be closer to 225 and sugar will increase to 12-15 grams.
Nightshade free option – Omit chutney and cayenne. Or replace cayenne with pink peppercorn to garnish!
- Category: Main
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 4 oz chicken with marinade
Keywords: coconut milk chicken, coconut milk marinade, Indian chicken recipes, gluten-free chicken, dairy-free chicken
Other Marinated Chicken Ideas!
Now that I’ve babbled on about coconut milk and chicken (nerdy nutrition talk), tell me… what’s your go to homemade chicken marinade? Any made with buttermilk, coconut milk, nut milk?
Winner Winner #junkfree ingredient Chicken dinner!