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Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: February 3, 2024

Coconut chicken stew is a no-fuss, one-pot dish that you can cook in a slow cooker, microwave oven, or on the stove, with pretty much the same ingredients (though at six to nine hours, the cooking time is much greater in a slow cooker; the oven and stove take 30 minutes).

When I’m craving the flavours of the tropics on a cold, grey, rainy evening at home, this colourful coconut chicken stew comes to the rescue! It’s also so ridiculously easy to whip up that I could cook it every day of the week for every meal and still have plenty of time left over to finish all my other work—and then do it all over again.

Here’s how you can whip up this mouthwatering, light chicken stew, whatever equipment you have at home.

One of the best things about this recipe is how easy, flexible, and forgiving it is. You can make this in a slow cooker, a microwave, or a stovetop and get the same delicious results in both cases. In the first two cases, it also becomes a one-pot meal—less washing up!

Whatever equipment you’re using, here’s how to whip up a delicious coconut chicken stew.

Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe

Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe
Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe
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5 from 1 vote
PREP TIME 20 minutes
COOK TIME 40 minutes
COURSE Main Course
CALORIES 1955 kcal


  • 500 grams Chicken breasts, diced into inch-long pieces
  • 500 grams Yukon potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Celery stalks, chopped
  • Onion, chopped
  • A teaspoon Sea salt
  • A teaspoon Dried thyme
  • A quarter teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 500 millilitres millilitres of chicken broth
  • 100 grams Petite green peas preferably frozen
  • 1 can Full-fat unsweetened coconut milk, (around 400 millilitres)
  • 2 tablespoons Finely chopped parsley, this is to garnish your stew and is optional


Method – Microwave

  • Put all your ingredients, except the parsley, into a large microwave-safe bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Cover the bowl tightly and microwave it for about 30-40 minutes on high.
  • Once cooked, garnish and serve.

Method – Stovetop

  • In this method, there are two things to note—you’ll need a few additional ingredients, and all things considered, this is technically more of a curry than a stew.
  • You’ll need two tablespoons of oil (I prefer canola), four cups of fully pre-cooked shredded rotisserie chicken (this reduces the cooking time and the risk of improperly cooked chicken), and about 120 millilitres of chicken stock or broth. You can also add a splash of lime juice if you like a hint of tangy flavour.
  • Once you have these, follow the below instructions to cook your coconut chicken stew:
  • In your skillet, heat the oil.
  • Once heated, add the onion and cook until it’s softened. This should take about five minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, stock, and fresh lime juice. Let this simmer, seasoning the stew in the meantime.
  • Once it’s simmered for about four or five minutes, add the chicken and veggies and let this cook for three to five minutes. Serve hot in shallow bowls!
Chefs Tips
  • As I said, this is a flexible recipe, so you can add in just about any veggies that you like, such as potatoes, spinach, corn, basil, baby lima beans, and tomatoes, and any spices that you like, such as cumin, curry powder, hot sauce, or even sliced birds-eye chillis. Just make sure that you dice the veggies into small-enough chunks so that they cook well.
  • You can use any potatoes you like, but be aware that starchy potatoes are much easier to pull apart, while all-purpose ones will hold their shape.
  • If you’re worried about the fat from all that coconut milk, opt for coconut milk with lower fat levels (though flavour honestly does lie in the fat!). Additionally, use a good-quality brand without stabilizers or gums, which can encourage curdling in the coconut milk.  
  • I find that dark chicken meat is more flavourful than light (I mean, chicken breast is great and all that, but have you ever had dark-meat chicken thighs?).  
  • When using broth in the stovetop method, it’s recommended that you use low-sodium broth or stock. It’s better to add more salt than to try to correct excessively salty stew.  
  • To store your chicken stew, refrigerate it for a couple of days in an airtight container or freeze it. In the latter case, your stew will last you a couple of months, and when you want to eat it, you can simply defrost and reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
Nutritional Information
Calories: 1955kcalCarbohydrates: 123gProtein: 130gFat: 110gSaturated Fat: 87gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 330mgSodium: 2597mgPotassium: 5487mgFiber: 23gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 20551IUVitamin C: 123mgCalcium: 209mgIron: 13mg
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Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe: FAQ

Will Coconut Milk Curdle If Boiled?

Coconut milk should never be boiled, which can cause it to split or curdle. It should always be simmered, cooked on low heat, or gently boiled. This is what makes it a great ingredient for a slow cooker.

Is It OK if Canned Coconut Milk Is Solid?

It’s completely normal for canned coconut milk to be solid and even chunky. It’ll dissolve once exposed to heat.

Coconut Chicken Stew Recipe: Conclusion

Coconut chicken stew is one of those recipes I turn to when I’ve had a long day or don’t have much time to throw into cooking a meal. I throw my ingredients into the microwave (the slow cooker is only for days when I can afford the time), finish the rest of my chores, and return to a hearty, ready meal.

Whatever your time situation is, this coconut chicken stew recipe has you covered. Happy cooking!

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Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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