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Spicy Coconut Ground Chicken

This 20-minute recipe pairs ground chicken with spices, hot chili paste, honey, and coconut milk to make a protein option that’s loaded with flavor. With 27 grams of protein and just 230 calories per serving, this chicken is perfect for meal prep. 

And as an added bonus, there’s no vegetable chopping or prep required! Just throw everything in the pan, give it a stir every now and then, and get ready for a treat! 

I’ll run you through the recipe below and answer a few ingredient substitution questions along the way. You can find a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post and a comment section below that. If you have any additional questions about this recipe, drop ’em there. 

chili coconut ground chicken over rice in a bowl beside air fried broccoli and sesame seeds

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Step 1: Cook the ground chicken with paprika, garlic powder, ground ginger, salt, and optional ground coriander. 

There’s not much to say about step 1. I opted for dry spices for convenience but if you want to use fresh garlic and ginger (you little show pony), I say go for it. You could also skip the ground coriander and add some fresh cilantro when serving. 

A little bonus tip for this recipe is to be sure and brown your ground chicken. Like I mentioned in my turkey sausage breakfast skillet recipe, browning the meat creates an extra layer of flavor. And speaking of ground turkey, it will work fine for this recipe.

If you’re having trouble finding ground chicken in your grocery store, you may be able to ask the meat department to grind you some from fresh chicken breast. It’s worth a shot! You could also go with whole chicken breast or thighs by using my spicy coconut pressure cooker pulled chicken recipe.

Step 2: Add gochujang (or a hot chili paste) and honey to the cooked ground chicken.

Gochujang is a spicy and slightly sweet chili paste that’s common in Korean dishes (like my Korean-Style Ground Beef). You can find gochujang in most grocery stores these days but if you’re having trouble finding it, other hot chili pastes should work okay.

If you want to wing it without any chili paste, you’ll probably want to add some more spice via chili flakes and something like soy sauce for the umami. While I’ve been told sriracha is not a viable replacement (and I totally agree), it’s better than nothing if you want to try this recipe without a grocery run. You could also try something like Swerve brown sugar + a hot sauce like I used for my low carb firecracker ground chicken.

As for the honey, substitutions might include brown sugar (or zero-calorie Swerve Brown like with my Nashville Hot chicken nuggets), maple syrup, sugar free pancake syrup, or worst case—granulated sugar. 

I wouldn’t recommend omitting the honey (or some type of sweetener) altogether as it will help balance out the spice level and flavor profile. 

Final Step: Add coconut milk and cook until magical.  

This step is entirely up to you and how you plan to serve your ground chicken. As you can see in the photos, I went with a thicker mixture to serve over rice. If you wanted to reserve some liquid, you could remove from the heat after 4-5 minutes (top right photo below)

There’s no right or wrong here. Though if you’re tracking your nutrition intake, the weight of your four servings will vary slightly with more/less liquid remaining.

If you need accuracy, I always recommend weighing your finished recipe and dividing the total weight by the number of servings you’d like. You can learn more about this in my guide on how to use a food scale for cooking.

How to Serve Your Ground Chicken

I’m curious to see how creative readers get with this recipe but until then, the easiest pairing will be some type of rice. If you wanted to reduce the carbs, I have a few ideas to spruce up boring cauliflower rice.

And then there’s always the option of slightly lower carb rice products like Right Rice or Banza’s chickpea rice. In fact, I used the cilantro lime Right Rice in my ground chicken and rice enchiladas. Be sure to let me know what you come up with for pairing ideas. That’s all the notes I have for you. Bone apple tea! 

spicy coconut ground chicken in a bowl

Spicy Coconut Ground Chicken

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A 20-minute recipe for ground chicken cooked with spices, gochujang, honey, and reduced fat coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken (97% lean)
  • 1 Tbsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt (1/4 tsp table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp (60g) Gochujang or Comparable Hot Chili Paste
  • 2 Tbsp (42g) Honey
  • 13.5 oz can Light Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Instructions

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat with nonstick cooking spray. Add the ground chicken to the skillet and mix the dry spices together in a small bowl. Add the mixed spices to the chicken and use a spatula to stir everything together. Fully cook the chicken until no pink remains.
  2. Add the chili paste and honey to the cooked chicken, stirring until evenly incorporated.
  3. Add the coconut milk and stir until you can no longer see any white from the milk. Continue cooking for 8-10* minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

*You can reduce or extend the cook time after the coconut milk is added depending on how you plan to serve the chicken. If you plan to serve over rice and want some liquid remaining, remove from the heat sooner.

Nutrition Information Notes

  • Serving size may vary depending on how much you reduce the coconut milk.
  • Nutrition facts do not include any rice—ground chicken only.
  • Each serving has 6 WW SmartPoints (blue plan).
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Servings Serving Size: 5 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 10gCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 27g

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Brandie Casassa

Tuesday 13th of April 2021

Delicious recipe! I used ground Turkey that was super lean and the flavor plus sauce makes it incredible juicy and flavorful! Even good as leftovers

Susan

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

This was yummy. I was skeptical because of only dried ginger/garlic and I usually use fresh, but took a leap of faith and tried it. Used a tiny bit more ginger/ garlic than called for, and fresh cilantro in addition to the dried coriander. Also garnished with green onions and sriracha, and added a bag of frozen peas to the cooked meat at the end.. Next time I’ll dial back the honey slightly, but that is a personal preference/sensitivity. My 4 picky/opinionated eaters (husband and teenagers) had no complaints, which is rare. Would definitely make again. Thanks for a fast, easy recipe idea.

Mason Woodruff

Wednesday 17th of March 2021

Great idea adding the peas. Thanks for trying this one out and the feedback!

Christine

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Made this tonight and it was ok. The sauce did not thicken and was almost like water. I used asparagus in with the cooked chicken and sauce, served over jasmine rice. I’d give it a 7/10.

Mason Woodruff

Sunday 17th of January 2021

The sauce should definitely thicken. Don't be afraid to crank that heat next time!

Stavan Desai

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Hi - what are you thoughts on omitting or replacing the coconut milk (maybe chicken broth)?

Mason Woodruff

Monday 11th of January 2021

It would work, but the coconut milk is partly the star in this dish. It's got both flavor and some fat content that makes the chicken rich and creamy. If you're coconut averse, though, go with broth or even some heavy cream (if you wanted to keep some fat in the recipe).

Annette

Saturday 10th of October 2020

I was craving something new and was scrolling thru to see what recipes I could try with ingredients I had on hand. This smelled AMAZING while cooking and was a huge hit with my kids as well!!! Ive made this a few time with caulirice in place of regular rice. Def one of our favs! Thanks for creating this!

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