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If you like Thai coconut curry, you’ll love this one-pan coconut lime chicken with rice recipe! With a balanced sweet and savory flavor, citrusy lime, and creamy coconut milk, it’s sure to be a hit at your house.

close up top view of chicken curry and rice on plate with lime

When someone asks what’s for dinner and the answer is chicken and rice, you might get a few groans if you make the same dish all the time. But this dish will turn that around! With the flavors of Thai coconut curry, this chicken and rice dish is anything but boring.

After I developed this recipe, I made it for company – twice! Both times people raved about it, went in for seconds, and then asked for the recipe.

With tender, juicy chicken and perfectly seasoned, fluffy rice, this meal is sure to get rave reviews at your house. Like any Thai-inspired recipe, this one has a well-balanced flavor profile of sweet, salty, tangy, and umami flavors (and that’s what makes it so addictive!).

If you’re looking for an easy way to jazz up chicken with rice, this is the way to go!

close up of fork with coconut curry chicken and rice to show texture

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • It’s restaurant-quality. You can skip takeout or food delivery! When you realize how easy this is to make at home, it’ll go on your regular dinner rotation.
  • With chicken thighs and rice, it’s budget-friendly. And you probably already have quite a few of the seasonings and aromatics for it in your kitchen.
  • It’s good for meal prep. I love a meal that’s even better the next day, because it means I don’t have to cook. This dish will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer, and it reheats well.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

coconut lime chicken curry and rice ingredients
  • Coconut oil – Coconut oil is the base flavor of this dish; I like to use virgin coconut oil, but if you want a more subtle coconut flavor, you can use refined coconut oil or any type of oil you have on hand.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – I like to use chicken thighs because the meat stays tender and juicy. If you prefer, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead.
  • Salt – Salt is a natural flavor enhancer that pulls out the flavor of everything else in this dish. We don’t overdo it with the salt here because we’re adding other ingredients that contain salt (like curry paste and chicken stock).
  • Curry powder – I love the pungent flavor of Madras curry powder.
  • Ground coriander – This is a bright citrusy, peppery spice that pairs well with the coconut and lime in this dish.
  • Onion, garlic, and ginger – This combination adds savory depth of flavor and aroma.
  • Thai red curry paste – Thai cuisine has a variety of curry pastes, such as red, green, yellow, massaman, panang, etc. Red curry paste is my favorite here (and it’s what I usually have on hand in my kitchen), but you aren’t limited to that! Green curry paste or yellow curry paste would also work well in this recipe. (If you want to try a variety of Thai curry paste, Amazon offers a variety pack!)
  • Jasmine rice – Jasmine rice is naturally nutty and aromatic.
  • Tamari sauce – Or you can use coconut aminos or soy sauce. This adds salty, umami flavor.
  • Coconut sugar – Light brown sugar will also work well. This adds sweetness with rich notes of molasses.
  • Full-fat canned coconut milk – Rich, creamy, and subtly sweet coconut milk is the secret ingredient that absorbs into the rice as it cooks and really makes it incredibly delicious.
  • Chicken stock – You can use homemade or store-bought stock, just make sure that it has deep, rich flavor.
  • Fresh lime zest – Lime zest adds a ton of bright citrus flavor without the acidity. After you zest the lime, cut the fruit into wedges so you can serve them for squeezing on top right before eating.
  • Fresh cilantro and lime – These optional garnishes add fresh, bright flavor to the dish.

Instructions

how to make one pan coconut lime curry chicken and rice
  1. Heat the oil in a 4 to 5-quart nonstick pot over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in an even layer and season with the salt, curry powder, and ground coriander. Cook the chicken until it’s browned on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, flipping once. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside for now. (The chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.)
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. To the same pot, add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry paste and cook 1 minute, and then add the rice.
  3. Stir in the rice; you’ll notice it’s already red because of the curry paste.
  4. Add the tamari sauce, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Bring up to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).
one pan coconut lime chicken and rice

Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat. Let it sit (covered) for 10 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork. Add the lime zest to the fluffed rice. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and fresh lime.

Tips

  • Feel free to swap out the red curry paste. Both Thai yellow curry paste or green curry paste are good alternatives here.
  • Don’t be tempted to open the pot while it’s cooking. Leave the lid on so the rice can steam perfectly.
  • You can make this with leftover chicken instead of chicken thighs. To do so, add the salt, curry powder, and ground coriander at the same time as the rice. Add 3 cups of cooked, chopped chicken along with the chicken stock.

Storage and Reheating

You can store leftover curry chicken and rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, thaw to room temperature if it was frozen. I find the best way to reheat leftover rice recipes is in the microwave. To do so:

  1. Put the rice onto a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Wet a paper towel and slightly wring it out so it’s not sopping.
  3. Microwave until warm at 80% power in 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval.
front view of plated curry chicken with rice

Curry Chicken and Rice FAQs

What Kind of Rice is Best Here?

I like using jasmine rice here because its naturally nutty flavor and aroma work well with the Thai curry flavors in this recipe. However, you can also use basmati rice or regular long-grain rice.

Why Do You Let Rice Rest Before Fluffing?

Once the rice has fully absorbed the cooking liquid, for best results it needs to rest for 10 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.

This resting period allows the rice to finish cooking gently and absorb the steam in the pot. It yields perfectly fluffy rice that’s evenly cooked instead of having mushy, water-logged rice at the bottom and crunchy, undercooked rice on the top.

partially eaten plate of chicken and rice dinner with lime

What Do You Serve with Chicken and Rice?

This dish is almost a full meal built right in! If you want to serve it with a side dish, I would opt for some kind of vegetable or salad. Here are a few options:

  • Steamed broccoli or cauliflower
  • Sautéed zucchini or yellow squash
  • Roasted or steamed green beans or asparagus
  • Smashed Asian Cucumber Salad

More Coconut Chicken Recipes to Try

chicken with rice on plate with fresh lime

Let’s Connect

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One Pot Coconut Lime Curry Chicken and Rice Recipe

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Other Time10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
If you like Thai coconut curry, you'll love this one-pan coconut lime chicken with rice recipe! With a balanced sweet and savory flavor, citrusy lime, and creamy coconut milk, it's sure to be a hit at your house.

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a 4 to 5-quart nonstick pot over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in an even layer and season with the salt, curry powder, and ground coriander. Cook the chicken until it’s browned on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes per side, flipping once. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside for now. (The chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.)
  • Turn the heat down to medium. To the same pot, add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger, and curry paste and cook 1 minute, and then stir in the rice.
  • Add the tamari sauce, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and chicken stock.
  • Bring up to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).
  • Remove the rice from the heat, let it sit (covered) for 10 minutes, and then fluff it with a fork. Add the lime zest to the fluffed rice.
  • Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and fresh lime.

Notes

  • Storage: You can store leftover curry chicken and rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: To reheat, thaw to room temperature if it was frozen. I find the best way to reheat leftover rice recipes is in the microwave. To do so, put the rice onto a microwave-safe dish. Wet a paper towel and slightly wring it out so it’s not sopping. Microwave until warm at 80% power in 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval. 

    Nutrition

    Calories: 491kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 924mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 821IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 3mg

    Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Thai
    Keyword: Coconut Curry Chicken and Rice, Coconut Curry Chicken with Rice, Coconut Lime Chicken, Curry Chicken and Rice, One Pan Coconut Lime Chicken

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    curry chicken and rice pin
    Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
    About Faith

    I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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