Chicken Massaman Curry

Chicken Massaman Curry is an easy, gluten-free weeknight dinner option. It has a wonderful flavor– mild and just slightly sweet from the coconut milk. This chicken curry recipe is a one pot dinner that comes together in 30 minutes. 

An overhead photo of chicken massaman curry in bowls

When I go to the grocery store, I like to stock up for the week. I try to plan in advance so that I have enough food to make several meals, preferably with leftovers. But I’m not actually very good at meal planning.

I’m a sucker for fresh, colorful produce, and I often wind up buying more than I need. That’s when my homemade massaman curry recipe comes to the rescue.

This Thai massaman curry is a one-pot meal that’s easy, impressive and an excellent way to use up vegetables. If you’re unfamiliar with Thai cuisine, massaman curry is a great place to start. It’s slightly sweet and slightly spicy (not too spicy).

I typically prepare it with chicken, but you can easily make this into a vegetarian dinner by swapping the poultry for chickpeas or tofu (or simply increasing the potatoes).

There are intricate versions of this dish that include many spices and unique ingredients, but I’m making it easy for you: mix one can of massaman curry paste with one can of coconut milk. In my opinion, it tastes just as good as any curry I’ve had from a Thai restaurant, yet it’s easy enough to prepare at the last minute after a hectic day at work.

Curry ingredients - potatoes, cilantro and peanuts

In my simplified version of this dish, the main ingredients are coconut milk, massaman curry paste, chicken or beef, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts and cilantro.

For massaman curry paste, I like the brand Maesri. Sometimes I can find it in the grocery store; other times I have to order it online. I’ve tried other brands, which work, but the Maesri is definitely the best I’ve tried so far.

On top of those ingredients, you can pretty much add any vegetable you want to use. I’ve added bell peppers to this version, and their sweetness works wonderfully with all of the other flavors.

For a DIY twist, you can try making this curry recipe with my homemade coconut milk!

Homemade Thai curry in bowls, shown from overhead on a dark background.

Looking for more easy dinner recipes?

Be sure to check out my Teriyaki Salmon, Rotisserie Chicken Tacos, and Spinach & Artichoke Pasta!

4.91 from 10 votes
Chicken Massaman Curry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins

Chicken Massaman Curry is an easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner option.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 6 servings (approximately)
Calories: 324 kcal
Author: Jennifer Farley
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 (4 ounce) can massaman curry paste (I like the brand Maesri)
  • 1 tablespoon high heat oil or clarified butter (vegetable, grapeseed or peanut oil would all work)
  • 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of fat and cut into large cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 mini gold potatoes, quartered
  • 3 medium plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup toasted unsalted peanuts, chopped or whole (for garnish)
  • Optional: rice for serving
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and curry paste until evenly combined. Set aside.

  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the oil on medium-high until shimmering, and then brown the chicken on both sides for several minutes. You might want to do this in batches to avoid crowding the pan.

  3. Once the chicken is browned, stir in the onion, bell peppers, potatoes and tomatoes (add all of the chicken back into the pot first if it was cooked in batches). Add the coconut milk mixture and stir. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. 

  4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.

  5. Serve over rice if using, and garnish with peanuts.

Thai Chicken Massaman Curry is an easy, gluten-free weeknight dinner option. It has a wonderful flavor-- mild and just slightly sweet from the coconut milk. This chicken curry recipe it a one pot dinner that comes together in 30 minutes.

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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