This flavorful curry chicken bake is a perfect all-in family dinner recipe. Chicken, rice, and vegetables are combined with a creamy coconut curry sauce.
How to Make Curry Chicken Bake
This curry chicken recipe is a wonderful take on curry chicken with rice, except that they are in one dish. To start making this meal, you will start by cooking your rice. Alternatively, if you have 4 cups of leftover cooked rice in your fridge, this is a perfect place to use it up.
You can use either brown or white rice for this dinner recipe and the results will be equally delicious. The benefit of using brown rice over white rice is that it has a higher amount of nutrients and fiber. This is because the bran and germ are still present whereas these are removed in the case of white rice. If you are looking for a little more nutritious value in your meals, brown rice is a great choice. However, white rice is perfectly good if that is your preference.
Next, you will boil cauliflower florets and frozen mixed vegetables until soft. This step should only take a total time of 5 minutes. Once cooked, you can drain the veggies and set them aside while you finish preparing the other components of your chicken curry dinner.
Afterward, heat your choice of oil in a skillet and cook your cubed chicken breast until golden, and set it aside. If desired, you can replace this with rotisserie chicken meat. Chicken breast is a wonderful choice to cook with as it is higher protein and leaner than other cuts of chicken like thighs or drumsticks.
Cooking the Aromatics
The next step is cooking the aromatics including the onion and garlic. You want to cook these until they are translucent and the onions have softened, which may take somewhere between 5 and 8 minutes. The spices, including curry powder, salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper, go in next; simply stir them until they pick up the pan oil and smell fragrant. I recommend using a mild curry powder to make this dish more suitable for the whole family.
Be careful here as you don't want your spices to burn. You should have your chicken broth ready to go so that you can stir it into the skillet immediately when the spices are ready. This will help lift up any delicious brown bits from the base of the pan and make the sauce even tastier than it would be otherwise.
Finishing the Sauce
Before adding your coconut milk to the skillet to complete the sauce for this curry bake, a few tablespoons should be reserved to make a slurry. To do this, simply blend the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk until smooth. A fork will work fine, but I like to use a mini whisk that will fit into a small bowl or cup.
Next, add the remaining coconut milk to the skillet and bring it to a boil. At this point, you can whisk in the cornstarch slurry and simmer the mixture until thickened. This should only take a couple of minutes. Cornstarch works almost instantaneously and gives the sauce a glossy appearance.
Assembling the Casserole
You will need a 9 x 13-inch glass casserole dish for the quantity of food in this chicken curry bake recipe. First, add the rice and spread it into the baking dish in an even layer. You can pour or ladle half of the curry sauce over the top of the rice. The rice will soak in the spicy coconut sauce making it extra tasty.
Afterward, simply arrange the vegetables and chicken breasts on top before pouring over the remaining curry sauce. The chicken breasts, vegetables, and rice should bake in a 350° F oven until everything is warmed through and bubbling. Once done, serve the casserole with a sprinkling of parsley and a lime wedge. You could even add some finely chopped cilantro if that is an herb you like and serve it along with some mango chutney.
Can I Make Curry Chicken Bake Ahead?
You can certainly prepare components of this curry chicken recipe in advance to make things easier for you. However, I wouldn't recommend assembling and baking the whole thing to reheat later as the chicken breasts may dry out.
If you would like to prepare some parts of this chicken curry dish ahead of time, you can precook your rice and vegetables, and store them in separate containers in the fridge until you are ready to make the rest of it. You could even pre-cube your chicken before storing it in the fridge and pre-measure your spices (store these in an airtight container) to make things easier. Then, when you are ready to cook dinner, you can pick up from where you brown the chicken breasts and make the sauce.
When it comes to making a meal on a busy night, any advance preparation at all can be a lifesaver.
Other Curry Recipes You'll Love:
- Chickpea and Spinach Curry
- Easy Khao Soi - Thai Coconut Curry Soup with Egg Noodles
- Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry
Curry Chicken Bake
This curry chicken bake has an abundance of flavour from warm spices, coconut milk, onion, and garlic. Moreover, it comprises your protein, veggies, and starch in one dish meaning that this is all you will need to make to have dinner for a family of four to six people.
- 4 cups cooked rice or cook 1 cup brown or 1-⅓ cup white rice to package instructions
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup frozen carrots peas and corn mix
- 1 tablespoon oil divided
- 1 pound chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces (or 2 cups rotisserie chicken meat)
- Salt and pepper
- ½ onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup coconut milk divided
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
Cook the rice according to package directions, unless using leftover rice.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the cauliflower and frozen vegetable mix for 5 minutes until softened. Drain and set aside.
Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper and sear until browned from all sides.
Remove chicken from skillet and add remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Cook the chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Stir in curry powder, salt, coriander, cumin and cayenne.
Deglaze pan with chicken broth. Scrape up any brown bits from the chicken.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the cold coconut milk to make a slurry.
Stir the remaining coconut milk into the pan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and cook until slightly thickened.
To assemble the casserole, add the brown rice to the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Top with half of the curry sauce.
Add cooked chicken and vegetables on top and finish with the remaining coconut curry sauce.
Bake at 350°F for about 25 minutes until heated through and bubbling.
Serve the casserole sprinkled with chopped parsley and a lime wedge for extra flavor.