This succulent Coconut Yoghurt Chicken is incredibly easy and requires only a handful of ingredients. It’s paleo, Whole30, keto and gluten-free friendly and can be served with a lovely salad, cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles.
Using Yoghurt For Marinades
You might have heard of yoghurt or buttermilk marinated chicken and wondered why?
Yoghurt and other fermented dairy are often used to marinate meat and poultry because they are natural tenderizers. The acidity helps to break down the tissue and protein. This creates pockets in muscle structure that also allows the meat to absorb more of the flavours in the marinade, while the fat helps to keep the meat from getting tough. This is why if you’re doing citrus or vinegar-based marinade for meat, you should also add some oil).
Learn more about marinating meat in yoghurt here.
Coconut Yoghurt Chicken
I had a big tub of dairy-free coconut yoghurt in the fridge and decided to use that to marinate some chicken tenderloins. I wanted a super simple recipe so the only ingredients I added to the chicken yoghurt marinade were a bit of salt, mild curry powder and crushed garlic. That’s it!
With a bit of lime drizzled over the top, you’re looking at 5 main ingredients to make this dish.
I had some desiccated coconut in the pantry, so I toasted a couple of tablespoons in a small pan to garnish the chicken (mostly for presentation).
The same goes for spring onions and coriander (cilantro). You don’t need to have those ingredients to enjoy this amazing coconut yoghurt chicken. Simply serve over cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, a side of greens or a salad.
The cooked chicken keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and you can also marinate and freeze the uncooked chicken for later use. Enjoy!
More Tasty Chicken Recipes
- Garlic Chilli Chicken Rissoles With Mango Salsa
- Easy Sticky Marmalade Chicken Drumsticks
- Paleo Satay Chicken Skewers
- Georgian Chicken With Creamy Garlic & Coriander Sauce
Coconut Yoghurt Chicken (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 22 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 1x
- Category: Main
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Asian
- Diet: Gluten Free
This dairy-free coconut yoghurt chicken is made with a handful of ingredients and can be served with your favourite veggies sides or a salad. See notes below for coconut yoghurt alternatives.
- 150 g / 5 oz. coconut yoghurt, unsweetened (dairy-free)
- 3 heaped teaspoons mild curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 500 g / 1 lb chicken tenderloins (about 6 pieces, you can also use sliced chicken breast or chicken thighs)
- Cooking oil such as macadamia or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, toasted or raw (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- A small handful of fresh coriander and chopped spring onions/scallions (optional)
- Combine coconut yoghurt, curry powder and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and coat well with the marinade. Transfer the chicken and any leftover sauce to an airtight container and allow to marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- To cook the chicken, heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or macadamia oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken pieces (don’t worry about brushing off the marinade) and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown on one side.
- Use a spatula and slide it under the chicken, making sure to scrape the cooked marinade with it and turn over the pieces. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. If the pan is small, you might need to do the chicken in batches.
- After 8-10 minutes of cooking, add the remaining marinade in the gaps between the chicken pieces and cook over high heat for about 30 seconds to a minute. The sauce will start to bubble and thicken, caramelising on the bottom. At this stage, remove from heat.
- Finish the chicken by drizzling the juice of half lime over the top and sprinkling with toasted coconut and some fresh coriander and spring onions.
- If you can’t get coconut yoghurt, use thickened coconut milk (coconut cream from the top of the can) and add two tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. There will be enough marinade for extra pieces of chicken.
- To toast the coconut, add the raw meat to a small hot pan. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Be careful not to burn it! It should be ready when it’s light brown, caramel colour.
- Serving Size: 5 oz / 150 g chicken
- Calories: 1218
- Sugar: 2.8 g
- Sodium: 2577.2 mg
- Fat: 77 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.4 g
- Protein: 117.2 g
- Cholesterol: 365 mg
That looks so delicious! I love using yogurt with meat.
So totally simple and straight forward, I love the easy prep!
This recipe is amazing!! The yoghurt and chicken combo is perfection and the curry…I am living for this recipe!
Looks so easy and delicious! Love anything with curry powder.
This looks so flavorful! I don’t use coconut enough in my cooking but you are giving me all the inspiration!
Coconut, curry and chicken are a good combo. I really like how easy this recipe is! Pin it for later.
I love how simple yet impressive this is. Curry is my favorite, and fast easy dinners! 🙂
This was so easy to make & I love the creaminess of the yoghurt!
This looks so full of flavour! Perfect tasty and easy family dinner, love it!
We love curry – definitely putting this on my meal plan! Thanks!
You had me at coconut yogurt! I love yogurt. It’s such a versatile ingredient – great for healthy desserts, breakfast parfait, and now chicken tender marinade. Just genius!
This looks so good, you know the kind of thing you could easily eat every single day! I always love your dinner ideas, so creative and flavorful!
The explanation of marinating meat in yogurt is so helpful. I cant wait to try it!
What a flavorful chicken recipe! Looks so delicious.
I love marinating proteins in yogurt and adding herbs + spices to enhance flavour.
This recipe is ‘right up my alley’. Easy. 5 main ingredients + looks SO delish!!
I had no coconut shreds or spring onion but I added loads of coriander and toasted pine nuts. What a refreshing and satisfying meal! Tender chicken… so delicious- I’ve shared the recipe. I look forward to trying it as it’s written.
Thanks, Chelsea. Love the idea of some pine nuts, they are my favourite!
So simple and delicious.
Is the calorie count for one portion of the coconut yoghurt chicken really 1218 kcals, as listed under the nutrition facts – or is it a misprint? The recipe looks delicious and I would like to try it but not if it is really that calorific!
Misprint! That’s the calories for the whole recipe. It’s for 3-4 servings. Thanks for the heads up!
This was amazing! I ended up using a few substitutions because of what I had on hand. Cubed chicken thighs, vanilla flavored coconut yogurt (couldn’t tasted a difference), and baked the chicken because I was multi tasking. I will definitely be making the recipe again! Great for meal prep, so easy with few ingredients!!
Thanks, Jenna.Glad to know it even worked with vanilla yogurt.
Hubby is doing dairy free for a month & I had bought vanilla coconut yogurt….he took one spoonful & said yuck! Was going to make smoothies, but found this recipe & sounded yummy & easy! I had boneless chicken thighs on hand, so that’s what I used. Hubby took one bite & said “so moist& flavourful!” I almost fell out of my chair because I usually have to ask if he likes a new recipe! Forgot the lime juice & green onions at the end, so will have to remember that for next time…might make it even better! Thanks for the recipe!
Awww, glad you find a good use for that yoghurt AND that your hubby enjoyed a new recipe. Win win!
Great, easy recipe. FYI: Introduction states adding garlic to the marinade but not listed in the recipe itself. (Also Note 2, first sentence, regarding toasting the coconut ‘add the raw meat’) 🙂
Came across this recipe and thought I would give it. A try did not have curry but had turmeric and Greek coconut yogurt, Marinated it for two days and slow Fryed, wow it. Is so good we’ll do this recipe again
Thanks, Vicki, glad it turned out well even without the curry spice.