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Curry Coconut Chicken with Cauliflower {Slow Cooker/Instant Pot}

4.80 from 54 votes

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Tender chicken seasoned with curry spices, cauliflower, healthy greens and chickpeas in a golden coconut sauce — satisfying and so delicious!

Here’s a recipe that was meant to be cooked to perfection in a slow-cooker or electric pressure cooker — creamy coconut curry chicken that makes a perfect one-dish meal.

The finished recipe dishes up like a hearty stew, featuring fall-apart tender chunks of boneless chicken thigh, cauliflower and chickpeas.

It’s all super flavorful and satisfying to eat.

Think spiced-up mouthfuls laced with cumin, turmeric and fresh ginger and lime in a light and tangy coconut milk sauce.

Spiced Coconut Chicken with Chickpeas and Cauliflower {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}

It’s so good with warm flatbread (like naan) or a scoop of coconut rice on the side to savor every last drop.

If you’ve been following along recently, you know I’m all-in on the electric pressure cooker obsession.

Something special happens when food is cooked under pressure or for hours low and slow.

Golden Coconut Chicken with Chickpeas and Cauliflower in an enamel cast iron Dutch oven.

Aromatic garlic, onion and spices release meld with everything in the pot, producing layers of mellow, savory flavor.

In this recipe, the cauliflower cooks until it becomes meltingly soft, helping to create a creamy texture in the sauce.

Throw a healthy handful of baby spinach or other greens into the warm stew until they wilt. Serve over rice noodles or cooked rice and you have tasty one-dish dinner.

Bonus — it tastes even better the next day (or the one after that) and freezes perfectly.

Spiced Coconut Chicken with Chickpeas and Cauliflower {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}

I like to portion this in my absolute favorite freezer-to-oven containers. I love that they have sturdy glass covers so you can see what’s inside) for easy meal planning.

Tips for Freezing Coconut Chicken with Cauliflower and Chickpeas:

  • Be sure to cool the stew before freezing to prevent ice crystals from forming.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) right in the cooking pot or a large bowl.
  • Portion into freezer-safe containers or heavy duty plastic freezer bags.
  • Label your container with the date and contents — I often use a simple piece of masking tape and a Sharpie for this task.

Coconut Curry Chicken with Chickpeas and Cauliflower {Slow Cooker or Instant Pot}

Karen Tedesco
Creamy and delicious curry-spiced, one-pot chicken stew packed with cauliflower, chickpeas and healthy greens is so easy to make in your pressure cooker or slow cooker. Make-ahead and freezer-friendly. Serve with basmati rice or warm naan on the side to make a complete meal. 
Print Pin Text
4.80 from 54 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Chicken
Cuisine Curry
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons (60 g) ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 (110 g) onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ pounds (900 g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, divided into florets (about 6 cups)
  • cup (75 ml) water, chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (425 g) 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 14-ounce can (250 ml) full fat coconut milk
  • 2 (40 g) heaping cups baby spinach leaves or other leafy greens


  • Chopped cilantro and black or brown sesame seeds, optional


Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Directions:

  • Set a pressure cooker to the "Sauté" function and preheat on high. When the cooking pot is hot, add the ghee or oil, and the onion. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the ginger, garlic and all the spices through the cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant and the spices are coated in the oil about 1 minute.
  • Add the lime juice, salt, chicken, cauliflower and water or stock to the pot and stir to mix. Secure the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on medium-high 8 minutes. Release the pressure manually or use the quick release function.
  • Open the lid and stir in the chickpeas and coconut milk.  If the sauce seems too thin, simmer on the sauté function for a few minutes to reduce the liquid.
  • Stir in the spinach. Serve warm in bowl sprinkled with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Put the ghee or oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in the ginger, garlic and all the spices through the cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant and the spices are coated in the butter, about 1 minute. 
  • Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker and add the lime juice, salt, chicken, cauliflower and water or stock to the pot and stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
  • Stir in the chickpeas, coconut milk, and spinach. Serve topped with cilantro and sesame seeds.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

Make this recipe on the stovetop: Use a Dutch oven or other large heavy pot. Follow the directions for precooking the onions and spices as above, and add the coconut milk and chickpeas along with the stock. Cover and cook at a slow simmer for 35 – 40 minutes


Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 1251mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 108IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe? Mention @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Instagram

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. Khristina says:

    5 stars
    Amazing!! Making it again tonight! Made it in the pressure cooker. Didn’t change anything.

  2. going to make this tonight … the recipe states ‘1 tablespoon salt’ ? is this correct ?

    1. Hi Pauline, Yes that’s correct. It’s 1 tablespoon *kosher* salt. If using regular table salt use 1 1/2 teaspoons, or to taste.

  3. 5 stars
    I made this in the crockpot tonight, per instructions except with a little extra spinach and stock. It was AMAZING. I ate so much. I love the way the cauliflower breaks down to give the sauce its thickness. Sublime.

  4. 5 stars
    This is delicious. I was a bit skeptical about 1/3 c of liquid in the IP but it worked out just fine! Loved the flavors. Made as is with exception of chicken breasts and kale instead of spinach. My whole family loved it! Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    Love this curry. Made it this week and worked perfectly in the slow cooker, really moreish. Nicely spiced.

  6. 5 stars
    great recipe and thanks so much. next time will use breast instead of thighs though! good spice level.

  7. 4 stars
    Loved this recipe for my mom who is undergoing chemotherapy. Healthy, full of good fat and protein. I added 1 TBS of curry powder since the recipe doesn’t call for it yet the title is Curry Coconut. Delicious!

  8. Renee D Ewing says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was delicious! I have made curried chicken many times and love this version with cauli and garbanzos! Used my instapot. I made few modifications according to what I had on hand, added a can of hatch green chili enxhilada sauce as it was open in my fridge. At the end I thickened it with cornstarch slurry. Served on brown rice with condiments you add yourself- green onions, chipped dates, peanuts, and coconut..yuuum!

  9. 5 stars
    I made it exactly as you stated in the instant pot. It was a hit!! With everyone, which is not always the case. Healthy, quick and with ingredients I always have on hand. I served it over angel hair rice noodles. The only thing I would say is that the cauliflower broke down quite a bit more than I would have liked, but the flavour was superb and the chicken was perfect. Thanks for a great recipe!!

  10. 5 stars
    This was OUT OF THIS WORLD!!!! Loved the creaminess from the cauliflower. What a fabulous idea to add that extra creamy element without using flour or cornstarch, and it had the perfect amount of spiciness. I only had kale on hand, so I thinly chopped that and added with the chicken. Also only had chicken breast and they were cooked perfectly. This is a new favorite in our book!!!

    1. Tracy! So very happy that you loved this dish! Great to know that chicken breast worked just as well. It’s one of our faves, too 🙂