Cook/ Easy Weeknight

Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken

January 11, 2020 (Last Updated: August 31, 2020)

Last Updated on August 31, 2020 by Slow The Cook Down

Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken is an easy skillet recipe and perfect for a quick and tasty weeknight meal. Chicken is marinated and cooked with a coconut milk sauce for a flavorful curry like recipe with Indian influences. A simple 30 minute recipe that the whole family will love.

The cooked dish in a skillet on a wooden chopping board

I’m a huge lover of turmeric and I try to include it in lots of my food, it has an earthy bitter taste that I can’t get enough of, not to mention it’s amazing health benefits. If you love turmeric as much as me, be sure to check out my Chickpea & Spinach Curry and Ginger Turmeric Lemon Tea, two tasty recipes that help get the goodness in!

This easy weeknight meal is so flavorful and perfect to serve with rice and a side of green veggies for a well balanced meal. Super easy, it’s a great one to add to your weekly meal rotations.

How to Make Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken

  • First up, get the chicken marinating. Add the marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag along with the chicken breasts. Give it a good mix with your hands and place in the fridge for 30 minutes (photo 1).
  • Next, mix your sauce ingredients together and set to one side (photo 2).

Two shots to show chicken marinating and the mixed coconut milk sauce

  • Once the chicken has had time to marinate, heat a skillet and cook the chicken breasts for a few minutes on each side until golden brown (photo 3), then set aside.
  • In the same pan, add the veggies and cook for a few minutes until softened (photo 4).
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the pan (photo 5).
  • Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer (photo 6).
  • Cook for a few minutes, giving the sauce a few stirs, until the chicken is cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

Four process shots to show how to make the recipe

What does turmeric chicken taste like?

This chicken dinner is really well balanced in the flavor department (if I do say so myself!). The turmeric adds an earthy to the chicken, which is then balanced out by sweet and creamy coconut milk and acid from the tomatoes. It is a spiced dish, but not spicy in heat, so it’s great for the whole family. If you prefer your dinner a little spicier, add a chopped red chili when you cook the veggies in the skillet.

What do you serve with creamy tomato and turmeric chicken?

This is quite a saucy dish, so it’s perfect to serve on top of a bed of fluffy rice. I like to serve and extra bit of goodness too, in the form of a veggie side dish like steamed green beans or pak choi. If you are serving it up as part of a big feast, you can’t go wrong with some naan bread or poppadoms.

Lifting the cooked chicken breast out of the skillet on a spatula

What’s the best chicken to use in this recipe?

When it comes to chicken, wherever possible, buy organic / free run chicken that hasn’t been raised on antibiotics – it’s tastier, better for you and better for the environment. For this recipe I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts, but thighs would work just as well if you prefer those.

What’s the best way to marinate the chicken breast?

I like to use pouches or ziplock bags to marinate food, it’s super quick and easy and it means that the meat is fully coated in the marinade. Simple add everything right to the bag, squeeze the air out and use your hands to move the marinade around the chicken until it’s fully coated. I’ve just ordered these reusable storage bags for just this – much better for the environment compared to the Ziplock bags.

You can also mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and place the chicken into it to cover. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Allow the chicken to marinade for a good 30 minutes to allow those flavors to coat the chicken. You can keep the chicken marinading in the fridge for up to 12 hours, but 30 minutes will produce a good flavor.

 

Spooning the cooked vegetables over the chicken on a white plate

Can you make creamy tomato turmeric chicken ahead of time?

This dish is best served as soon as it is cooked, so that the chicken is perfectly juicy and tender. You can get ahead of your self by marinading the chicken and making the sauce ahead of time. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and you can reheat on the stovetop. Be sure to only reheat the chicken once though, or you might get ill!

Chicken in a thick and creamy coconut sauce

The sauce that this chicken is cooked in is hands down delicious! The base of it is coconut milk, so it has a delicate sweetness to it that works so wonderfully with the tomatoes and turmeric. For me, the sauce was the perfect consistency, but if you would like it thicker, remove the chicken once it has cooked and simmer the sauce a little longer. If you prefer it thinner, you can just stir in a little water.

If you love the taste of coconut milk, be sure to check out this collection of awesome Coconut Milk Recipes.

Turmeric Chicken on a white plate next to the skillet in which it was cooked

Top Tips To Make Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken

  • Use good quality chicken breast in this recipe, that hasn’t been raised on antibiotics.
  • Check that your turmeric isn’t stale before using it; rub a little between your fingers and it should release an aroma. If it doesn’t – buy some more!
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to give the flavors enough time to meld.
  • Take care not to overcook the chicken, or it can become tough.

For more easy chicken dinner recipes:

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The cooked dish in a skillet on a wooden chopping board

Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken

Creamy Tomato and Turmeric Chicken is an easy skillet recipe and perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Chicken is marinated and cooked with a coconut milk sauce for a flavorful curry like recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 583kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken marinade

  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 chicken breasts

For the sauce

  • 1 can coconut milk (400ml / 13.5oz)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • salt and pepper

To make the dish

  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut in half

Instructions

To marinade the chicken

  • Add all of the marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag along with the chicken breasts. Squeeze out any air and seal the bag. Use your hands to rub the marinade into the chicken breasts to fully coat them and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.

To make the sauce

  • In a large jug or bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and set to one side until ready to use.

To make the dish

  • Heat a pan on a medium high heat, once hot add the marinated chicken breast and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove and set to on side.
  • In the same pan, turn the heat down slightly and add the onion, red pepper, garlic and cherry tomatoes. Cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken breasts back to the pan and pour the sauce in. Turn the heat to high and let it come to a simmer.
  • Give the sauce a stir, and simmer for around 5-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (internal temp of 165ºf / 75ºc).
  • Sprinkle over some chopped green onion / spring onion and fresh cilantro to serve.

Notes

  • Use good quality chicken breast in this recipe, that hasn't been raised on antibiotics.
  • Check that your turmeric isn't stale before using it; rub a little between your fingers and it should release an aroma. If it doesn't - buy some more!
  • Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes to give the flavors enough time to meld.
  • Take care not to overcook the chicken, or it can become tough.
  • Nutritional values are an estimate only and based on one of two servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 592mg | Potassium: 1009mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2822IU | Vitamin C: 113mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 15, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    5 stars
    I made this this week and loved it! So easy, I mean I made it in a kitchen that’s currently a building site that’s how easy and quick it was!
    And, of course, super yummy.

    I made it vegan because I’m doing veganuary, so used vegan quorn pieces instead of chicken and soy sauce instead of fish sauce – so I imagine it’s even better when you use the chicken (especially since quorn is hard to marinate!)

    • Reply
      Slow The Cook Down
      January 15, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it Michelle! It’s a great idea to add a vegan or vegetarian protein, I bet tofu would work really well too!

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