Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe

This Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe has quickly become part of our regular weekly menu rotation.

Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe Say goodbye to bland, dry chicken with this flavorful Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe. It’s so easy too, and can be ready from start to finish—prep + cook time— in less than 40 minutes. It’s the perfect weeknight main dish, as it can be prepped the night or morning before and popped in a preheated oven for only 30 minutes. Serve with a simple side salad and/or easy Quick Baked Potatoes(which also cooks in no time) for a complete and most satisfying meal.

Pretty much on a weekly basis we roast or grill a whole bone-in chicken cut up. Not only is it a quick and versatile dish, but it’s economical too. Plus, I’ve found that a whole bone-in chicken is more flavorful and tender than many of the boneless portions. Being able to choose the size chicken is a perk too. We always look for a smaller bird, and when possible one that hasn’t been pumped full of junk. They tend to be more flavorful and not as tough. So many times we’ve found chicken to be just plain bad, no matter how we cook it, so putting thought into the a good bird to begin with is worth the time. Otherwise, I’d rather have a salad and baked potato and call it a night.

Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe You may find this Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe a part of your regular repertoire. I know we have. The subtle flavors of ginger, garlic and lime mingled with the slight richness added by the coconut milk result in wonderfulness on the plate. Make sure to use the sauce from the pan to drizzle over the chicken OR as an addition to that baked potato. Oh yeah, yum is right!


A few notes for Coconut Milk Baked Chicken:

  • Let’s talk bird. A whole bone-in chicken, cut up is perfect for this, but all drumsticks, thighs or leg-quarters are great too. Leave the skin on for more flavor while roasting and remove before eating.
  • If time permits, marinate the chicken in the coconut milk mixture up to a whole day ahead, refrigerated in a zip-top plastic bag.
  • Before measuring the coconut milk, make sure it is mixed well, as it will tend to separate in the can.

Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe

Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Recipe
A quick and easy recipe full of flavor perfect for a weeknight meal.
Recipe type: Main
  • 6 tablespoons canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (or other citrus on hand)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pound whole bone-in chicken (skin on), cut up
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients (except chicken) until well combined. Toss chicken in mixture until coated. Arrange in oven-proof skillet or dutch oven.
  3. Bake uncovered 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
If time permits, marinate the chicken in the coconut milk mixture up to a whole day ahead, refrigerated in a zip-top plastic bag.

Before measuring the coconut milk, make sure it is mixed well, as it will tend to separate in the can.



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  1. 1


    I have a cast iron pan too, I used it once and it’s now so rusty that I don’t know how to clean it. I would love to cook this chicken recipe with it if I could clean out the rust.

    • 2

      Bob says

      Some of my best cast iron pans come from garage sales. Burnt food or rusted don’t care. For burnt food place in a self cleaning oven (not continuous clean) for rusty sandpaper or wire wheel until shiny. Place clean pan in 300 to 350 degree oven after wiping with lard or canola oil. Leave several hours. IF a wet spot remains wipe off and heat again. If a dry spot oil and heat again. Some pans have printed instructions imprinted right on the bottom

    • 4

      sandra says

      @ Ordinary J

      How to Restore a Rusty Cast Iron Skillet
      What You Need

      Steel wool
      Scrubbing brush or sponge
      Dish soap
      Dish towel or paper towels
      Vegetable oil (or cooking oil of choice)
      Aluminum foil


      Remove all the rust: Use fine steel wool to remove rust from affected areas. Scour the skillet until the area returns to raw cast iron.
      Wash the skillet thoroughly: Wash the cast iron with warm water and mild dish soap. Scrub with bristle brush or mesh sponge if needed.
      Dry the skillet: Thoroughly dry the cast iron immediately with a clean dish towel or paper towels.
      Cover the pan with a coating of oil: Apply a small amount of vegetable oil (or cooking oil of choice) to the entire piece, including the bottom and handle. Use only a small amount to avoid a sticky surface.
      Place the pan in the oven: Place the cast iron upside down on the top rack of your rack. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or a foil-lined baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any oil drips.
      Heat the pan for an hour: Heat the cast iron for one hour at 350 degrees.
      Let the pan cool before using: Turn off heat, let cast iron cool, then get back to cooking!

    • 5

      Doug says

      Scrub your pan with a steel wool/soap pad. Rinse it well with hot water. Put it upside down in a preheated oven at about 250 for an hour to dry it. When it’s cooled, coat the inside liberally with bacon grease (or cooking oil). Put it back in the oven at 350 for an hour, upside down, with a cookie sheet on the rack below it to catch the drips. That should do it.

  2. 7

    Jen and Emily // Layers of Happiness says

    Awesome recipe! Baked chicken dishes are one of my absolute favorite things to make. They make me feel like I can do anything in life. I’ve never tried coconut milk but I can only imagine it takes the chicken to a whole new level leaving it extra moist and extra flavorful! Pinned :)

  3. 11


    This looks amazing! I’ve been looking for a new way to jazz up chicken and I think this is it.
    P. S. I am in full agreement with putting thought into the chicken you buy. It makes a world of difference to purchase a fresh and chem clean bird.

  4. 14

    Danielle says

    So do I buy a whole chicken and then cut the pieces apart to marinate and cook? I know sounds dumb that’s what it looks like you did in your photos but I’ve never done that we’ve only ever done whole chicken on the grill bc I wasn’t sure how to cook it! But this looks so good I want to try it!

  5. 16

    Bobby says

    2 Questions: Do you omit all the liquid that it marinaded in when arranging it into the oven proof dish? Also, do you “lid” the oven-proof dish or dutch oven when cooking?
    Your photos are amazing!

    • 19

      Danica says

      Thanks for that yummy-looking recipe! I was JUST about to forego this recipe on account only using 6 TB of a whole can of coconut milk seemed wasteful (I’m not rich). Now I can use both!

  6. 22


    I stumbled upon this recipe….. I have leftover coconut milk in the fridge, and tons of limes! TOTALLY making this over the weekend. Simple, easy, I can dig it! Cheers!

    • 23

      Bess says

      Natalie, did you make it? My chicken is marinating at home right now and I can’t wait to cook it and dig in. Wondered if you were satisfied with the outcome and/or had any suggestions.

      • 24


        I did make it! I used fresh ginger and garlic because it was on hand, and I didn’t really measure the lime juice :-) It did turn out fantastic though! I had only chicken breasts, so next time, I think I’d put them under the broiler, so they get a little brown. They essentially just poached in the liquid. I did, however, reduce the remaining marinade, and boy, what flavor!!! I’m definitely making this again. Made a shredded carrot/pineapple salad with coconut/lime dressing to accompany. So good! <3 <3

  7. 25


    Should definitely add this one to my files, as we eat chicken a lot! For those who are really fussy about chickens, try and find a source of organic FREE RANGE chickens–the taste really is vastly superior to grocery store chickens. Definitely don’t buy “seasoned” chicken (or seasoned meat of any type)–all that means is that the meat has been pumped full of salt water, so you’re paying whatever price per pound for the salt water as well as the meat.

  8. 26

    Gail says

    Does this taste like Coconut Milk for is it just juicy – My husband hates coconut and I love it – Think about making this for the Oscars with your potatoes

      • 29

        Gail says

        The chicken was delicious but my Calphalon pan was a mess – did you make this in a cast iron skillet? I did not put any oil in the pan – maybe that would have helped and I did dump all the juices from the bag into the pan – maybe I shouldn’t have? I will make again but i might use a baking dish and no extra liquid – what do you think?

        • 30


          I did make it in a cast iron skillet. If using another pan, I suppose you could line it with aluminum foil or oil the pan first?

  9. 31

    Yvette says

    How healthy are your recipes? They all look so good but I’m on a strict diet for a few months. Do you know if they are south beach diet or weight watchers friendly?

    • 32

      AMY says

      Yvette, if you’re concerned about fitting it into south beach, sub out the brown sugar for a brown sugar substitute (Splenda has one), and stick to white meat pieces as they are leaner. I’ve never done WW, but this should even be phase 1 compliant on SB if you do just that minor substitution and stick to the leaner pieces.

      • 33

        Debbie says

        I didn’t want to use sugar so I subbed the brown sugar with equal amounts of agave nectar – it was delicious. I also cooked the chicken on the grill and it turned out great!

  10. 35

    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective says

    Amy, this chicken dish looks amazing! Mouth watering pictures!

  11. 36

    Vanessa says

    I’d like to try this…I’m wondering if this dish is on the sweet side? Hubby does not like his food sweetened, hahaha! I see that lime juice is an ingredient and that would balance out the sugar but in your opinion would you say that it is definitely on the sweet side? Maybe I could omit the sugar

  12. 39

    Allie says

    This is marinating in my fridge right now! The sauce is SO flavorful. Can’t wait til dinner!

    Question: If I only want to cook some of the chicken tonight, could I freeze the rest in the marinade and thaw/bake another night?

  13. 41


    Aaaaaaaaand this was delicious! Husband and I both loved it to pieces. I subbed fresh ginger and fresh garlic for the dried versions and it really made those flavors pop! Thanks for the recipe. PS- did you like, JUST update the look of your blog? I swear it didn’t look like this yesterday!

    • 42


      YAY! So glad you enjoyed it. I saved leftovers last time to use in a pasta dish. So good!

      And, yes, I did just update it! I didn’t think anyone would really notice.

  14. 45

    Molly says

    Making the grocery list now to include this in our dinner for the week. I’m wondering if you seared the chicken first to get the brown skin or if it was a result of broiling in the oven.

  15. 47

    Ronny says

    You don’t mention browning the chicken pieces first, but the picture looks like they’ve been browned. Did you run them under the broiler? Did you turn them once during the baking?

    • 48


      They have not been browned, they were not under a broiler, and they were not turned. That’s just how they look after 30 minutes of baking as stated in the recipe. We just made them again for the 6th time 2 days ago. They turn out the same exact way every time. So easy!

    • 50


      The only thing to consider is a large enough pan(s). A large roasting pan or just last night we cooked a larger amount of chicken and I used a large rimmed baking sheet which worked well.

  16. 52

    Lisa says

    Thank you! This is by far my favorite recipe. I cook this so often now, that I have it bookmarked on Safari on my iPhone. I would love it if you posted this recipe on, as I’m basically using that app to learn to cook. 😉

  17. 53

    R says

    Hi, I rarely comment on people’s blogs but this is soooo good that I wanted to thank you! Really easy and delicious every time, have made it about 4 times since I discovered it around a month ago. I like adding mushrooms with the chicken. Thank you!

  18. 55

    Judy Flynn says

    Way too much fresh ground pepper in the recipe! It really ruined the sauce, all you could taste was its heat. Start with 1/8 of a teaspoon rather than a full one. I tripled the amounts of coconut milk, citrus and brown sugar in an attemp to save it. I’ll cook it tomorrow and find out if the attempt was successful.

    I wonder why there aren’t more reviews? Lots of questions and comments on the cooking pans but, few reviews.

    • 56


      We happen to love fresh black pepper so it’s perfect for our taste. I’m glad you adapted it to your preference. I do hope it turned out to your liking!

  19. 57

    Jenny says

    Loved this! Baked it in cast iron the first time and I’m grilling it as I type. The first time, I didn’t marinate it and it was amazing. This time, I marinated it 24 hours so I’m expecting great things! This is going to be a standby at our house.

  20. 62

    Crystal Emory says

    I have my chicken marinating now. Thanks for the recipe!! Can’t wait to try it.

  21. 64

    Kathy Mcvey says

    This has been marinating for about 4 hours and I am going to try it for dinner tonight. It sounds amazing! I will let you know how it turns out. Don’t you love how other people tell you what is wrong with your recipe? Your are very gracious! Thank you for sharing your talents!

  22. 66

    Georgann E. Putintsev says

    I decided to use a whole can of coconut milk & 12 chicken legs. Instead of using Brown sugar, I used 1 TBS of Curry, 1 TBS of Tumeric, 1 TBS of Ginger, 1 TBS of Basil and let that soak over night & I then added Raisins (for sweetness) , sliced carrots (same size), quartered brussel sprouts, and 1/2 onion for added texture & VEGGIE’s. And put that whole mixture into a deep pan into the oven at 325 for 20 min’s, reduced down to 300 for remaining 20-25 min’s.
    I later added some chopped fresh celantro and almonds on the top dish, while it was cooling and plating the Rice.
    Side of rice with cup of fresh herbs (celantro & dill), raisins, and chopped dried (turkish/brown) apricots and some paprika seasoning for color. There was plenty of sauce to go over the rice. And the chicken just fell off the bone… very tasty.

  23. 68

    sam says

    I’m beyond thankful I found this heavenly dream of a recipe on pinterest. Given I was out of my mind tired and unsure how this recipe would come out, I decided to only whipped up a small batch. I believe it took me a total of 5 mins to mix the marinade and coat my chicken before quickly throwing my Dutch oven in the oven. About 35-40 mins later I pulled my chicken out of the oven (mind you my house is filled with the smell of deliciousness) waited about 15-20 mins for cool off, tried my first piece and was in utter bliss! I cannot believe how flavorful the chicken came out without having marinated my chicken overnight! The testament of approval came when my fiance arrived home from cross fit and devoured his plate of food! I will be making this at least 2-3 times a week! My fiance and I are always looking for quick healthy meals! Thank you for this recipe!

  24. 70

    Carrie says

    I have sweetened coconut milk and skinless chicken breast on hand. Could this recipe still work?

    • 71


      Are you talking about sweetened coconut milk that comes in a carton and is refrigerated? If so, that is not the same kind of coconut milk that is listed in this recipe, and while it may work it won’t turn out the same.

        • 73

          Carrie says

          Not refrigerated. I have it leftover from a cupcake recipe and don’t know what to do with it. Have chicken to cook and looking for something new.

          • 74


            I’ve not used sweetened coconut milk before for this recipe so not sure how it would turn out. If you try it let me know how you like it!

  25. 77

    Unique says

    I do not have a cast iron skillet o dutch oven…could I use a pyrex or something to that nature? Looks amazing!!!

    • 78


      Yes. You can use any type of baking dish for this recipe. Since a cast iron skillet or dutch oven conduct heat differently there may be more liquid remaining in the dish, but you can always use that to make an incredible sauce!

  26. 80

    CG says

    I still can’t believe how much my little girl LOVED the chicken. She even asked for seconds!!!! I am so shocked and in love with this recipe – THANK YOU so much.

  27. 82

    Kareena says

    This is such an amazing reciepe filled with spot on flavors. Totally adding this to our weekly menu.

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