This Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry ticks all the boxes: easy, quick, healthy, budget-friendly and utterly delicious! It’s the perfect midweek meal and a great option for filling the freezer too.
I may not believe in unicorns, but I do believe in unicorn recipes! To me unicorn recipes are recipes which check these 5 boxes:
Hit these 5, and you know you are onto a winner!
If you’ve been round here for a while, you’ll know that Easy Peasy Foodie is full of unicorn recipes… well I’d like to introduce me to my latest one… my Easy Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry!
A quick and easy chicken curry
This delicious chicken curry is so easy to make… Simply fry some onions and spices, add lentils and coconut milk and, finally, add the chicken and diced peppers, then simmer until the chicken and lentils are fully cooked. It’s all done in just 30 minutes making it perfect for busy weeknights.
And because this recipe uses skinless, boneless chicken thighs, you don’t need to worry about overcooking your chicken… in fact, this recipe is pretty much foolproof!
Packed full of goodness and flavour
This easy chicken curry is not only quick and easy, it’s also packed full of goodness! It features healthy spices like turmeric, ginger and chilli… skinless, boneless chicken thighs which contain lots of protein, vitamins and minerals… 3 of your 5 a day (because lentils count!)… lots of fibre from those lovely lentils…. and using light coconut milk reduces the calorie count and saturated fat… Which all means this Easy Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry is so much healthier that a ready meal or takeaway curry!
But this fab chicken and lentil curry is not only packed full of goodness, it’s also packed full of favour from all those wonderful spices, flavoursome chicken thigh meat, earthy lentils and just a touch of nutty sweetness from the coconut milk.
Kind on your budget
This recipe is also kind on your budget – chicken thighs are so much cheaper than chicken breast meat and packing this curry with budget friendly veg and lentils not only makes this dish more nutritious, it also helps to stretch this dish a little further – filling more mouths for less!
Perfect for filling the freezer!
This recipe is such a great one for filling the freezer! Making double is not much more effort than making a single quantity of this recipe… you can then pop what you don’t need right now into the freezer and you have a delicious, nutritious homemade chicken curry in your freezer… which should stop you reaching for the takeaway menu next time you are tempted!
What to eat with Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry?
If you want to keep this super healthy, I recommend serving this curry with either brown basmati rice or plain cauliflower rice. Or you could try my Pilau Cauliflower Rice.
Otherwise, you can serve this with white basmati rice, regular pilau rice and / or naans and all your favourite chutneys / pickles / sides.
What to drink with Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry?
This is quite a fragrant chicken curry, so works well with aromatic white wines, such as Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.
Red wine would not be a great match here, but this easy chicken curry would also go wonderfully with a fruity rosé from somewhere like Spain, Portugal or Chile.
Make it your own
This easy peasy curry is very easy to adapt to your own personal preferences / what you have in your kitchen right now. Here are some ideas…
- Use diced chicken breast instead of chicken thigh
- Swap the chicken for prawns or diced white fish. (Add these 5 minutes before the end as they won’t take so long to cook.)
- Make it veggie by using Quorn pieces or canned chickpeas instead of the chicken
- Try aubergine, cauliflower or spinach instead of the peppers
- Use canned chickpeas or green lentils instead of the red lentils
- Not a fan of coconut milk? Use passata instead!
Can you reheat leftover chicken curry?
Absolutely! And this is one of those recipes that actually tastes BETTER the next day. Put any leftover chicken curry in a plastic lidded container and place it in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the curry in a saucepan with a splash of water and bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the curry is piping hot all the way through.
Can you freeze leftover chicken curry?
Yes! This curry freezes very well. Simply put any leftover chicken curry in a plastic lidded container and place it in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months.
Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat as above.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Easy Chicken, Red Lentil and Coconut Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 cloves garlic grated or crushed
- 2 cm ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 3 teaspoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs diced (roughly 500g / 1lb total weight)
- 100 g red lentils
- 400 ml light coconut milk (you can, of course, use full fat coconut milk if you prefer)
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 green pepper diced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lime (optional)
- 15 g fresh coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- Your choice of white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice and / or naans to serve
- All your favourite pickles / chutneys / side dishes
- Place the oil and sliced onion in a wide, deep pan and fry gently with the lid on for 3-5 minutes until the onion is softened, but not brown. Stir occasionally.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, garam masala and turmeric and fry for 1 more minute over a gentle heat, with the lid off. Stir occasionally and, if the pan starts to get a little dry, add a small splash of water.
- Add the red lentils and coconut milk, followed by the diced chicken and peppers, plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the chicken is cooked through. (See Note 1) Stir occasionally and add a splash of water if the curry starts sticking to the pan, before it is fully cooked.
- Finally stir through the lime juice and fresh coriander, and serve with your choice of rice / cauliflower rice / naans and all your favourite sides.
- The brand of lentils I use take 20 minutes to cook, but double check the lentils you buy and adjust the cooking time accordingly, if necessary.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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