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!Print
Coconut Milk Chicken
- Total Time: 30 min
- Yield: 4 1x
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
- ⅓ to ½ cup coconut milk or lite coconut milk (canned) – Use ½ cup coconut milk if chicken breast are very thick.
- ½ lime or orange, squeezed for juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (see notes)
- ½ Tablespoon grated ginger zest or pinch of ground ginger
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4 oz each
- 1 Tablespoon avocado or coconut oil (only if cooking in oven or on stove top)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon 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 ½ 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 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- If cooking on stove top, add a few tablespoons of the reserved coconut milk if desired, to keep moistened. Then, cook for about 20 minutes on medium high heat or until no longer pink inside and internal temperature reaches 165F. Rest chicken for 5 minutes before slicing.
- If cooking in oven, feel free to add a few tablespoons of coconut marinade on top. Then, place in an oiled baking dish and cook in oven at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until internal chicken temperature reaches 165F.
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” position.
- 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.
- Remove chicken from instant pot and let it rest 5 minutes. Once chicken is cool enough to touch, use two forks and shred the breasts into pieces.
- Serve over rice, cauliflower, or vegetables of choice. Spoon extra coconut marinade from the instant pot on top before serving.
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!
- Cilantro and lime to garnish.
Chicken with Chutney (Nutrition) – If you’d like to add 2 tablespoons of chutney to this chicken dish, the calories will be closer to 225 and sugar will increase to 12-15 grams.
Nightshade/AIP Substitutes – Nightshade free – Omit chutney and cayenne. For AIP omit chutney, cumin, and cayenne. Or replace cayenne with pink peppercorn to garnish!
- Prep Time: 3 hr
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Category: Main
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Indian
- Serving Size: 4 oz chicken with marinade
- Calories: 177
- Sugar: 0.1 g
- Sodium: 349 mg
- Fat: 7 g
- Saturated Fat: 4.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.4 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 26 g
- Cholesterol: 82.7 mg
Keywords: coconut milk chicken, coconut milk marinade, Indian chicken recipes, gluten-free chicken, dairy-free chicken
Other Marinated Chicken Ideas!
Chili-lime Mango Marinated Chicken Bowls
Crockpot Garlicky Green Chicken and Lentils
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!
Recipe pretty bland but enough spicy taste lol
Will adjust next time I decide to make this again
Hi Sandra! Did you use it in the air fryer? I was going to say that it might not be at flavorful if you air fry. The instant pot and slow cooker really give the chicken more flavor with the chicken marinating in the air fryer. Mind sharing what technique you used?
If you want to air fry, maybe next time marinate chicken for 24 hours and adjust spices. Like you mentioned.
Any way to cook in air fryer?
Love this flavor combo!
Omg made it for the first time today and it was amazing! Also made that chutney – can probably eat all in one sitting if left alone lol! Will for sure make again!
Yaayy! So glad you loved it! lol, I totally wouldn’t judge…that chutney is my fav!
I am always reads your recipes Lindsay…but this is one of my favouite dish…and i love your indian style cooking….Thanks for sharing..!
You’re welcome! Thanks for your kind words!
This is so flavorful. It hits all the right notes: juicy chicken, sweet, spicy, amazing!!
Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes
Love that this is dairy free! Made it for my friend who just had a baby! Delicious!
This was a huge hit at my house! Packed full of amazing flavors!
You know I love your recipes, but this one just might be my favorite!
This recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners! Easy to make, delicious, and healthy! Thanks for sharing!
This recipe is perfect for weeknight dinners! Easy to make, delicious, and healthy!
This was SO delicious! My husband and I each agreed it will go on the weekly menu. I made some coconut rice to go with it. I packed leftovers for lunch and I can’t wait to have it again!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!!
Oh wonderful! yes, me too! Love this dish!
LOVE this go-to recipe!!! so simple, this is seriously perfect for the workweek grind
Wonderful! Keep me posted
Oh chutney is one of my favorite ethnic condiments! It adds a really nice element of sweetness to any dish! Mango chutney is my favorite! I definitely have to try this one out!
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine
Glad I’m not the only one obsessed with coconut milk 🙂 What is your favorite brand in the States? I am not a big fan of the Whole Foods brand– honestly, they just taste better in Asia!
have you tried the so delicious culinary coconut milk at whole foods? Or the trader joes? I love them both! The culinary one from so delicious is so convenient. and yes, i bet they taste 10x better in asia! haha. I also buy another one from asian market when i can. That one is legit.
Megan @ MegUnprocessed
This will give so much extra flavor to any dish!
you’d love it megan!
Yum! Love this flavor combo. I’m looking for new ways to spice up chicken! Gotta add this to my menu next week!
Kristy from Southern In Law
Ooooh, this looks amazing! I love that you took typically sweet ingredients and turned them into a savoury sensation! 😉
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero
I am just going to need you to move in while I do this whole 30 day leaky gut crazy diet. I think it all sounds super terrifying and hard, yet am somehow sure you could make it delicious.
Email me anytime! All my Paleo recipes can be made whole30 or AIP
rachel @ Athletic avocado
What a perfect way to spice up a classic chicken breast!! Pinned to make for later 🙂
Yay!! Keep me posted
Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday
I love Indian flavors! This is so colorful and HOW have I never made my own chutney?! Happening.
YOu must! you’d love!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan
I’m not sure if I <3 this scrumptious looking, spice filled chicken with jalapeno mango salsa or the fact that y'all luv ethnic eats more!
And why i love you and you recipes! FLAVOR BOMB! haha
So much goodness here! I love mango chutney, and any meal that sounds fancy but is actually EASY is my jam!
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
I am a sucker for a colorful meal too – we taste with our eyes as well! Love the coconut milk marinade – I literally just did that with chicken 2 nights ago. Now I want to try this idea… need to gather some mangos!
same brain… always.
Leah @ Grain Changer
100% with you on the vibrant dishes. The more colorful my food, the happier I am 🙂 LOVE mango and coconut together – can’t wait to try this!
yes! I knew you’d love! <3
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
One of my go-tos is marinating chicken in coconut milk! Tis so good!
oh I should have known! You’re my chicken recipe gal! love yours
Erin @ The Almond Eater
Love the colors in this dish and LOVE coconut chicken. Well, coconut in general but coconut chicken is delishhhh.
right? so so good. I think you’d love. you are my food twin!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
Guess we both had chicken and jalapeño on the brain today. Trade you yours for mine? 🙂
i say we have a dinner party instead! hehe
Susie @ Suzlyfe
That chutney… I die…. Chutney goes on everything, even ice cream TRUST ME
Ice cream? Genius!!!!