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5 from 3 votes
Overhead picture of Butternut Chicken Coconut Curry in a bowl garnished with toppings and naan bread
Butternut Chicken Coconut Curry
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Healthy and super delicious, this Butternut Chicken Coconut Curry comes together in less than an hour. It makes a beautiful presentation and can be prepped ahead for easy, elegant entertaining.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Thai-inspired
Keyword: chicken coconut curry, coconut curry, easy chicken coconut curry
Servings: 6
Calories: 319 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the pickled red onions
  • 1 medium red onion peeled halved and sliced in thin wedges
  • juice of 1 medium-size lime
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
For the coconut curry sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion peeled halved and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mild yellow curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups peeled & chopped butternut squash 1 medium-small butternut squash
  • 1 pound baby carrots or regular carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 apple medium-size Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Fuji, Pink Lady, etc
  • 1 large bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • ½-2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 14 ounces light coconut milk 1 can
For the chicken:
  • 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise and cut into thin ¼-inch slices widthwise
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon oil
For garnish: (optional)
  • pickled red onions recipe above
  • salted dry roasted peanuts or honey-roasted peanuts
  • 1 medium ripe mango peeled, stone removed and diced
  • fresh herb leaves mint, basil and/or cilantro
  • fresh lime wedges
For the pickled red onions: (optional)
  1. Combine sliced red onion, lime juice, sugar and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir well to coat and set aside for 30 minutes (or more), tossing occasionally.
For the coconut curry:
  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the chopped onion and pepper. Cook for 4- 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and maple syrup. Cook for another 30 seconds, stirring continually until fragrant.

  2. Add the broth, squash, carrots, apple, bay leaves, chili garlic sauce, salt and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Cover, with the lid slightly vented, and cook for 20-25 minutes until the carrots are nice and soft.

  3. Add the coconut milk and, with an immersion blender, blend until smooth and lump-free. (Or use a regular blender to puree.) If using a regular blender, blend in small batches with the lid vented. To vent, I just remove the center cap and cover the opening with a small funnel, a clean kitchen towel or several thicknesses of paper towels.) If using a blender, return soup back to the pot. Taste and season with more kosher salt and/or chili garlic sauce, if needed.

For the chicken:
  1. While the veggies are simmering, combine the egg white, corn starch, rice vinegar and oil in a medium-size bowl and whisk together vigorously. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Bring the pureed coconut sauce back to a simmer. Add the chicken and stir well to separate the pieces. Bring the mixture back to a low simmer, then cover the pot tightly and cook for one more minute.

  3. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit, undisturbed for 10 minutes. Stir well. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it with some chicken broth or more coconut milk.

  4. Garnish, serve and enjoy! (I like to serve this dish with jasmine or basmati rice.)

For the garnish:
  1. Garnish with pickled red onions, peanuts (or cashews), sesame seeds, diced mango, fresh herb leaves or whatever your heart desires - or you can find in your fridge!

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.

Nutrition Facts
Butternut Chicken Coconut Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 319 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 64mg21%
Sodium 721mg31%
Potassium 1029mg29%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 23113IU462%
Vitamin C 36mg44%
Calcium 110mg11%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.