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plate of shredded coconut milk chicken breast with cilantro topping

Coconut Milk Chicken

  • Author: Lindsay Cotter
  • 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!


Units Scale

Coconut Milk Marinade

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk or lite coconut milk (canned) – Use 1/2 cup coconut milk if 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 Tablespoon grated ginger zest or pinch of ground ginger

Other ingredients

  • 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)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For Serving

  • cilantro and/or green onion for garnishing
  • lime or orange wedges, for serving


  1. 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.
  2. Once marinated, reserve 1/2 of the marinade and discard the rest.

Oven or stove top instructions

  1. Place marinated chicken breasts in a skillet or in a baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve over rice, cauliflower, or vegetables of choice. Spoon extra coconut marinade from the instant pot on top before serving.

Toppings for serving

  1. While the chicken is cooking, you can make the jalapeno mango chutney recipe. Chutney is optional, but quite easy to make and delicious!
  2. 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