Shredded chicken with onion and lentils, simmered in a deliciously spiced coconut milk sauce. This Curry Chicken and Lentils recipe is quick, easy, and full of flavor!
I have a rotation of dinners I make on busy weeknights when I don’t have much time or energy. The list of dinners changes depending on the season and my mood.
One of my go-to dinners, no matter the time of year, is this Curry Chicken and Lentils. I make it so often that I was confident I had already posted the recipe. But, a couple of months ago I realized that I had not.
So, I took pictures one night to post it. I began to edit photos to post then, and then to my chagrin, I realized I had not written down how I made the dinner.
No worries. I just waited a week, measured ingredients, and wrote the recipe down as I made it.
Curry Chicken and Lentils
What kind of chicken should I use?
I have made this recipe using chicken breasts, thighs, and a mixture of both. Breasts and thighs both work well, but use boneless, skinless pieces, whichever you choose.
How do I make shredded chicken?
There are a number of ways you can cook the chicken:
- Instant Pot
- Frozen chicken: Place in Instant Pot with 1 cup of chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on high pressure for 13 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes.
- Fresh chicken: Prepare the same as above but, cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, and again use the natural release for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Place chicken on foil. Use salt and pepper to season to taste, then pour 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chicken broth over chicken. Fold aluminum foil around chicken and bake until breasts are cooked through, about 40 minutes.
- Slow Cooker
- Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Place in slow cooker and cover with 1 cup of chicken broth. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
Then, it’s the fun part; shredding the chicken. There are a number of ways you can do this. Here are a few of my go-to methods:
- Use an electric mixer fit with whisk attachment. This is my favorite method!
- Use two forks.
- Let the chicken cool enough to shred with your hands.
Ghee versus Butter
I much prefer the taste of ghee for this recipe. However, if you do not have ghee, butter will also work well.
Ginger: Fresh is Best
Yes, I have used powdered ginger for this recipe. But, I much prefer fresh, grated ginger.
If you don’t feel like grating ginger, prepackaged ginger paste is a good substitute.
Use Canned Coconut Milk
Use canned, full fat coconut milk for this recipe. Light coconut milk will not thicken as well as full fat. And as cartons of coconut milk are a bit diluted, they will also not thicken as well, and will have less flavor.
This Curry Chicken and Lentils is an easy, delicious dinner that is perfect for a busy weeknight meal!
Curry Chicken and Lentils
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
Sauce and Lentils
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 4 cloves fresh, minced garlic
- 2-4 tablespoons red curry paste depending on spice preference (I usually use 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon tumeric powder
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 1 can full fat Coconut milk
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 1/2 cups dry Basmati rice cooked according to package directions
- Cilantro for serving
- Salt and pepper chicken to taste.
- To cook in Instant Pot: Add chicken and 1 cup of chicken broth to Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, then natural release for 10 minutes. To cook in slow cooker: Add chicken and 1 cup of chicken broth to slow cooker. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or on low heat for 6-7 hours.
- Shred cooked chicken with 2 forks or using an electric mixer with whisk attachment.
Sauce and Lentils
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt ghee. Add onion and saute until softened, about 4 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
- Stir in garlic, red curry paste, maple syrup, tumeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, cardamom, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Transfer sauce to blender, or use immersion blend to blend sauce until smooth.
- In same pot, stir together blended sauce, lentils, and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover pot. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. Then remove lid and stir in shredded chicken. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in garam masala. Taste, and if desired, stir in another 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Serve over rice and top with cilantro.
Disclaimer: All nutritional information provided on this website is an estimate only and is not guaranteed.
If you enjoyed this Curry Chicken and Lentils, you might also enjoy these other SugarSpicesLife recipes: