Make this easy Creamy Chicken Curry for a weeknight dinner ready in 30 minutes! Our curry recipe is a family favorite and it’s made in one pan, plus it’s dairy free, gluten free, and has a paleo and keto option.
Hey friends, how are you holding up during this pretty unusual and disjointed time?
We’ve been doing okay, trying to get outside as much as we can and planning out our 2 week menus like normal as well.
I’ve struggled with meal planning for years, but I finally recently disciplined myself to do it regularly. I’m really glad I got into the habit of meal planning before all of this isolation stuff started happening, or this would be a lot harder for us!
Planning and shopping for 2 weeks at a time helps a ton, and even though we still need to fill in the gaps with a few grocery runs within that 2 weeks, we still don’t have to make as many store trips (we usually end up making a bunch of store trips when we don’t meal plan).
If you need help with meal planning, check out our 7-day gluten free and dairy free meal plan!
One of our family favorite recipes that we include in regular rotation on our family menu is this Creamy Chicken Curry recipe that’s dairy free, gluten free, and has paleo and keto options.
This delicious and creamy chicken curry is our interpretation of chicken curry and how we love to make it, so it’s not authentic per se but we love it. I’ve been making this for our family for a few years now, but haven’t written it down into an actual recipe until now.
Our curry is easy to make and ready in about 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for weeknight dinners. You can serve this with white rice or serve it over cauliflower rice to keep it paleo or low carb, whichever you choose. Sometimes I even eat it without rice, it’s still amazing!
If you don’t have fresh veggies, you can cook this with frozen ones! We add instructions in the post farther down for swapping out fresh ingredients for frozen or canned ones if you’re having a hard time finding fresh ingredients.
Read on for tips on how to make our stovetop curry, don’t forget the recipe card has complete ingredients and instructions at the end of the post!
How to cook creamy chicken curry
Everything in this chicken curry besides the rice or cauliflower rice is cooked in 1 pan, making this simple to cook and resulting in easier cleanup.
- First start cooking your rice. If you use white rice, it will take 20 minutes to cook on the stove, so the curry will be done about the same time as the rice.
- Prep your veggies and cook the carrots first for a bit then add the zucchini and spices (zucchini cooks faster than carrots so we add them a little after the carrots).
- Add the chicken and curry powder and cook some more.
- Add the coconut milk and gluten free flour to thicken (optional, you can skip the flour if you want this to be paleo or keto).
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice!
You might be wondering why there is Creole spice in a curry recipe. The all purpose Creole spice actually works great in just about any savory dish since it has a blend of garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, and salt, which are pretty much universal spices for many cuisines.
We use our favorite Creole spice in pretty much every savory dish we make, so you’ll see it a lot in our main dish recipes since it adds great flavor and just the right amount of salt and spice.
Using pantry staples for our dairy free chicken curry
If you don’t have access to fresh vegetables for this recipe and want to use pantry staple ingredients and frozen or canned vegetables, you can do this with a few changes:
- Swap 2 cloves of fresh garlic for 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Instead of fresh carrots and zucchini, you can use sliced frozen carrots and frozen zucchini slices, the cooking method is the same but it might take slightly longer since they’re frozen. Make sure to cook the veggies first until slightly softened before adding your cubed chicken.
- For canned sliced carrots and canned zucchini, add these after you’ve cooked the chicken and before you add the coconut milk to create the curry sauce. The canned carrots and zucchini are already cooked, so you’ll only need to heat them in the pan after the chicken is cooked.
I personally love fresh produce over frozen or canned since it tastes best, but if you aren’t able to get fresh produce right now, these swaps can help!
Check out our other gluten free and dairy free main dish recipes!
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Smoky Beef Barbacoa
- Sheet Pan Barbecue Chicken with Potatoes
- Grilled Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Crema
Dairy Free Creamy Chicken Curry (with Paleo Option)
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1.5 cups chopped carrots, peeled
- 2.5 cups chopped zucchini, unpeeled
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Creole spice (we use this in everything!)
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt (or regular salt)
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon sorghum OR brown rice flour to thicken, optional (skip if you want this to be paleo or keto)
- If you're serving this curry with rice, first start your rice cooking according to package directions. If you're cooking white rice, your rice should be done cooking by the time the curry is ready (about 20 minutes).
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I usually cook this at just under medium heat on my gas stove).
- Peel and slice the carrots and add them to the pan.
- While the carrots have started to cook, chop the zucchini and add them to the pan after the carrots have been in the pan about 3 minutes (zucchini cooks faster than carrots so we add them a little after the carrots).
- If your veggies stick a bit, add a splash of broth to the pan as needed instead of oil (this helps keep the fat content a bit lower).
- Add the zucchini to the pan, along with the fresh garlic, creole spice, onion powder, and black pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about another 6 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking, trim and cube the chicken.
- After the vegetables begin to soften, add the chicken to the pan along with the curry powder and smoked salt.
- Cook the chicken for about 8-9 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add the canned coconut milk and cook until slightly reduced, about 3-5 minutes.
- You can add a sprinkle of sorghum flour or brown rice flour to the pan and stir it in to thicken the sauce if you want, but this is optional and you can skip this if you like a less thick sauce or you want this to be paleo or keto.
- Serve the Creamy Chicken Curry over rice or over cauliflower rice if you want this paleo or low carb.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist