This Thai Coconut Lime Chicken has the creamiest and most vibrant sauce and is super easy to make in the Instant Pot. It is inspired by one of my favorite Thai soups, tom kha kai. This dish is full of coconut milk, fresh lime juice, and herbs. Serve the chicken over rice with extra sauce so the rice soaks up all its flavor. It does not get any better!
Growing up, my mom introduced us to many different cuisines, Thai being one. She always loved, what we would call, the coconut soup (tom kha kai).
And I know exactly why. It is creamy without being too rich and full of bold flavors, creamy coconut, lime, basil, fish sauce, and more. The perfect comfort food in my opinion.
This Thai coconut lime chicken dish was inspired by this Thai coconut soup. While the soup is traditionally made slightly different, the main flavor components are the same.
Since I have been loving to cook in my Instant Pot so much lately, I made this an instant pot recipe. But you can easily make this on the stove top. Hope you enjoy!! xx
- Creamy coconut sauce
- Dairy-free & gluten-free
- Can be made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot
- Full of fresh herbs
- Inspired by the bold flavors of Thai cuisine
- Great served over rice or vegetables
- Easy & healthy
- Coconut Milk: You must use canned coconut milk. The kind in the refrigerated section will not work.
- Ginger Paste: You can swap this for an equal amount of fresh ginger grated. Ginger paste can be found in the refrigerated produce section in most grocery stores. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s in the frozen section .
- Chicken Breast: Diced chicken thighs can also be used. They have a higher fat content so the sauce will have slightly more oil.
- Cornstarch: For a thick coconut lime sauce, use 2 Tablespoons. For a thinner sauce, only use 1 Tablespoon.
Helpful Equipment & Tools
- Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker: This is the exact model I use. I have the 8 quart Instant Pot that is great for cooking larger recipes as well as smaller.
- Premium Garlic Press with Soft Easy-Squeeze Ergonomic Handle: Pressing the garlic compared to mincing it releases more flavor. This inexpensive garlic press works great.
- Silicone Nonstick Mixing Spoons Set 2: These spoons are heat resistant and great for everyday cooking.
- Place coconut milk, spices, chicken, and veggies in the Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook on high.
- Thicken the sauce with cornstarch.
- Stir in the lime zest & herbs.
Step by Step
Step 1: Combine the coconut milk, salt, fish sauce, honey, ginger paste, and garlic in the Instant Pot.
Step 2: Place the chicken in the coconut milk. Sprinkle the onion and jalapeño on top of the chicken.
Step 3: Select “Pressure Cook” and “High Pressure” and set the timer for 10 minutes. Quick release immediately after the timer goes off.
Step 4: While the chicken is pressure cooking, whisk together the lime juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
Step 5: Once the pressure is released from the Instant Pot, select the “Sauté” mode. Pour in the cornstarch mixture. Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened. Turn the Instant Pot off.
Step 6: Stir in the lime zest, cilantro, and basil. Let the chicken stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Make Ahead & Storage
- Refrigerator: Store leftover Thai coconut lime chicken in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals until heated through.
- Freezer: Allow the coconut lime chicken to cool completely overnight in the refrigerator. Portion the chicken into freezer bags or airtight containers. Store in the freezer for 2-3 months.
- Reheating: Reheat the coconut lime chicken directly from frozen covered on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave until heated through.
- Add the cornstarch after pressure cooking. This is extremely important. Adding the cornstarch at the beginning will cause the food to burn and the pot will not come to pressure.
- Stir in the lime zest and herbs at the end. Pressure cooking the herbs and lime zest dulls their flavors. I find their taste is more prominent if you add them at the end.
- Serve over rice. The sauce is the best part of this Thai coconut lime chicken. I love to serve it over steamed rice so the rice can soak up all of the sauce. It is so yummy!
- The Thai coconut lime chicken is not spicy. See the variation section below to make the dish spicier.
- Stovetop: Place the ingredients in a pot over medium heat heat. Bring to a light boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the cornstarch lime mixture as stated in the recipe. Stir in the lime zest, cilantro, and basil.
- Spicy: Leave the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño intact for a spicier dish. You can also add red chili flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Lower carb: Serve the chicken over steamed cauliflower rice.
Thai Coconut Lime Chicken
- 1 can, 13.5 ounces unsweetened full fat coconut milk*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon ginger paste*
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1.5 pounds diced boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 inch thick*
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 jalapeño, seeds & membranes removed, finely diced
- 1 lime, juiced & zested
- 1-2 Tablespoons cornstarch*
- 1-2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1-2 Tablespoons chopped thai basil
- steamed rice
- chopped cilantro/basil
- Review all recipe notes and instructions before beginning.
- Combine the coconut milk, salt, fish sauce, honey, ginger paste, and garlic in the Instant Pot.
- Place the chicken in the coconut milk. Sprinkle the onion and jalapeño on top of the chicken.
- Select “Pressure Cook” and “High Pressure” and set the timer for 10 minutes. Quick release immediately after the timer goes off.
- While the chicken is pressure cooking, whisk together the lime juice and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Once the pressure is released from the Instant Pot, select the “Sauté” mode. Pour in the cornstarch mixture. Stir continuously until the sauce has thickened. Turn the Instant Pot off.
- Stir in the lime zest, cilantro, and basil. Let the chicken stand for 5 minutes before serving.