We made this easy dairy free pressure cooker coconut chicken with curry last night and it turned out amazing! A creamy Instant Pot chicken with vegetable dish served as a soup or on top of rice. Try our Thai style coconut chicken yourself and let us know what you think!
This pressure cooker coconut chicken turned out really yummy! In just 3 minutes it’s done cooking and ready to eat. Thicken the sauce if desired and dinner is served! This is my husbands favorite amongst all our Instant Pot recipes. (originally published 4/18, affiliate links present)
My husband was trying to follow a dairy free diet for a while.
It was a bit of a struggle for me to come up with ideas because I’m so used to using milk products to create creamy soups and dishes. This was a winner though!
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- For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Instant Pot coconut chicken
Here are a few questions you might have before you get started making this:
Make this coconut chicken, our Instant Pot coconut rice pudding, or coconut banana bread. All of them are super tasty with a hint of your favorite tropical flavor inside.
It is a lactose-free, vegan milk substitute that can be used in a ton of recipes. Great if you’re looking for a dairy free milk alternative.
There are several styles of this popular dish. Some like to add shredded bits into their breadcrumb mixture when making chicken tenders. This is different where coconut milk is used and soaked into the meat.
Not really. I would compare this to evaporated milk vs. condensed milk. One is MUCH thicker than the other. You’d need to dilute the cream if that is all you had. It would be sweeter too.
For this recipe you can omit or use this spice. It is up to you according to your taste buds. If you’ve never had this combination before, it is a bit sweet but mostly savory with hints of spice.
Just buy breasts or thighs, whatever is on sale. That is what I do.
What type of chicken should be used for coconut chicken?
- I have used both cubed chicken breast or thighs depending on what looks good at the store.
- Typically I prefer chicken thighs because they’re a lot more tender, and cheaper overall really.
Either way just make sure that you cube them so they’re the same size. This will ensure that every piece is cooked as tender as the other. It is important that they’re a similar thickness too.
You really want the meat to be able to absorb the flavors in the pot. I do not like extra thick breasts for anything. If that is all you can find I might slice it in half so it’s thinner.
Pressure cooking everything in one pot is great for ease at the end of a busy day. I can put a healthy meal on the table in under 30 minutes with prep time included. Throw in veggies with the meat and sometimes pasta too.
Coconut curry is something different you can try. I love adding vegetables into my main dish. These snap peas were perfectly tenderness when it was done.
- You need items that are a bit firmer and can withstand a few minutes under high pressure and won’t fall apart.
- Thick slices of carrots would work too if you really wanted to load it up.
Usually I don’t incorporate meat and vegetables when cooking in my Instant Pot because veggies typically have shorter cook times. Meat obviously takes a lot longer.
Snap peas need a bit more time. Cutting the chicken into bite size pieces though and when you cook chicken a bit at the beginning, makes it work perfectly.
- Whether you’re looking for a new dish or have someone with dietary restrictions at home like we do, this easy homemade Instant Pot coconut chicken recipe is really yummy.
You just add the chicken a bit using saute. I use olive oil but coconut oil could be used as well. Then cook on high pressure with the vegetables together.
The whole process takes about 15 minutes with a quick release at the end. If you do a natural release the peas will be quite soft. That is your preference though.
Pressure cooker coconut chicken
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts – I used 2 medium sized but 3 would be okay too
- Bell pepper
- Snap peas – fresh
- Fresh cilantro
- Chiles – I buy canned diced, mild
- Soy sauce
- Coconut milk
- Cornstarch – if you want to thicken it at the end
- Garam masala & curry powder – optional, add 2 tsp. each when you add spices, if you want to add bold flavors
These are quick instructions but there is a printable recipe card at the bottom as well.
Time needed: 12 minutes.
Instant Pot coconut chicken
Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and dice your onion. Then add to your pressure cooker and cook until outsides of chicken pieces are white and pink is gone (doesn’t have to be completely cooked thru).
Turn pressure cooker off.
- Add ingredients
Add soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. (add curry and garam masala now if adding those) Stir to coat chicken with spices. If you choose to add garam masala and curry add them now too and stir to combine.
Add in diced bell pepper, can of chiles, cilantro, snap peas and coconut milk and gently stir to combine.
Put lid on and close steam valve. Set to pressure, high, for 3 minutes.
Do a quick release of pressure when done.
If you want liquid to thicken add 1/2 cup of hot liquid in pot to a small bowl with 1.5 tbsp. cornstarch and whisk together. Pour back into pot and slowly stir it in.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so to thicken more if desired. Serve as is or on top of Instant Pot rice.
Pressure Cooker Coconut Chicken
- 1 lb chicken boneless, skinless, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1/2 bell pepper diced
- 1/2 tsp salt may want to add a bit when done too, depending on preference
- 1/4 c cilantro fresh, diced
- 1 c snap peas fresh, ends removed
- 1.5 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp ginger minced
- 4 oz chiles canned, diced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar heaping
- 14 oz coconut milk
- 1.5 tbsp cornstarch optional, to thicken
- 2 tsp curry optional
- 2 tsp garam masala optional
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot and set to saute.
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces and dice your onion, add to your pressure cooker and cook until outsides of chicken pieces are white and pink is gone (doesn’t have to be completely cooked thru).
- Turn pressure cooker off.
- Add soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and salt. (add curry and garam masala now if adding those) Stir to coat chicken with spices. If you choose to add garam masala and curry add them now too and stir to combine.
- Add in diced bell pepper, can of chiles, cilantro, snap peas and coconut milk and gently stir to combine.
- Put lid on and close steam valve.
- Set to pressure, high, for 3 minutes.
- Do a quick release.
- If you want liquid to thicken add 1/2 cup of hot liquid in pot to a small bowl with 1.5 tbsp. cornstarch and whisk together. Pour back into pot and slowly stir it in.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes or so to thicken more if desired.
- Serve as is or on top of white rice.