Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

I don’t know about you but I tend to do a lot of the same type of stuff in the slow cooker, and I sometimes forget that it can do more (way more) than beef stew and BBQ pork sandwiches (which are all unquestionably delish). Today’s coconut curry pork is a perfect example of opening my eyes to bold, new flavors in the ol’ slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

This meal is so crazy delicious, I don’t even know where to start. I’m a curry lover through and through with a particular affinity to coconut curries (a few of my faves here, here and here) but even for someone on the fence with coconut curry dishes, this is a winner. Not only is it completely hands-off (no pre-cooking, just toss it all in the slow cooker with a few little minor pre-whisks), it proves that a slow cooker can make mean work of a unique, traditionally stovetop dish.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

This is definitely one of my new favorite meals. In fact, as I type this post, I’m remembering when I made this last, I popped the leftovers into the freezer. Sweeeeeet. It makes me so very happy when I can look forward to lunch instead of dreading the hunt for food (lunch is my least favorite meal to think about, BTW).

I hope you try this. It may already be in your wheelhouse (curry lovers unite) and won’t require much selling, but if not, I’m encouraging you – and even nudging and pressuring you a bit – to take one teensy tiny little step into new territory. I think you’ll be very happy with that decision. Easy and ridiculously delicious – that’s kind of a match made in heaven.

Pressure Cooker Fans: I haven’t tried it but I’m suspecting this meal works great in a pressure cooker. If you want to experiment, cut the pork roast into 1- to 2-inch pieces, follow the recipe instructions and combine the same ingredients in the pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 15 minutes for stovetop pressure cooker and 18 minutes for electric pressure cooker (if you want to keep the roast whole, cook at high pressure for 30-35 minutes or longer – about 15-18 minutes for every inch it is thick). Naturally release the pressure. Lightly shred the pork; stir in the lime/cornstarch mixture and simmer until slightly thickened. If you try it, report back!

What To ServeRoasted broccoli or Roasted curried cauliflower
Fresh or grilled pineapple

One Year Ago: White Chocolate Oatmeal Craisin Coconut Cookies
Two Years Ago: Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Quinoa Bites

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

Yield: Serves 6-8

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

I feel like I tend to overtalk curry powder but I'll say it again: my favorite curry powder is the Sweet Curry powder from Penzey's spices. The flavor is amazing (it has converted several non-curry lovers) and worth keeping on hand. If you don't have it, feel free to use a curry powder you have, keeping in mind the flavor is really going to come through so use a brand you like (and that isn't too spicy if you don't like heat).

As for pork, I've made this with boneless pork loin and also a boneless pork shoulder - the pork shoulder was slightly more tender since it isn't quite as lean as a pork loin but ultimately, the cut of pork will probably be quite versatile here. You want a pork roast that will get nice and tender and shred well.


  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork roast (see note above)
  • 1 large red pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (see note above)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro


  1. Spray the insert of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add the pork, red pepper, and onion. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the coconut milk, garlic, brown sugar, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours (exact time will depend on the size of your pork roast).
  2. When the pork is tender, use two forks and coarsely shred the pork in the slow cooker into pieces. Mix the cornstarch and lime juice together in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker to high and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  3. Serve over cooked potatoes, rice or quinoa.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Rachel M, a reader who sent it to me with rave reviews

73 Responses to Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Pork

  1. Kat says:

    I was just wondering last week how I was going to convert one of your curry dishes to the slow cooker! Just looking at the ingredients, it reminds me a lot of your coconut curry soup (which I made last week and it was a HUGE success). I’m making this for sure. I’ll probably add diced potatoes and carrots (because that’s how I grew up eating Japanese style curry, now curry doesn’t feel quite like curry with out them ☺). One question. The last pork shoulder roast I cooked put off a ton of grease. Would that make the curry greasy? Could you skim it off before thickening?

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely skim off the grease – but you also might look for a leaner cut. Pork loin or pork tenderloin are leaner than pork shoulder/butt roasts (but sometimes tend to be not quite as lean).

  2. Sheree L says:

    This is right up my alley. I LOVE curries of all types. Just wondering how this would work out with boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of pork. Any words of advice on adapting the recipe? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Sure! I’d definitely try that. I think you might be able to cook for an hour or so less time – I find that boneless, skinless chicken breasts tend to dry out in the slow cooker if cooked on low longer than six hours.

      • angie says:

        I have the cooks illustrated slow cooker cookbook. Most of their chicken recipes use either, chicken thighs.. boneless and skinless or boned in chicken breast, searing the chicken breast, then pulling off the skin.

      • Sheree L says:

        Just finished eating this made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and wanted to report back. I cooked it on low for about 4 hours & it worked just fine. Probably not as tender as pork, but hubby and I loved it! He said it was the “best ever!” I used McCormick’s Hot Madras curry powder because we like a little kick. To help lower the calories even more, I served it over cauli-rice (finely chopped up cauliflower, nuked for about 5 min). Delish 🙂

  3. Alicia says:

    Is that pineapple I see in the picture? I didn’t see it in the list of ingredients.

  4. Emilee says:

    I just got back from a big grocery trip. But now I want to go back to the store to get a pork roast for this recipe. It looks delicious and just the kind of thing my husband and I would love.

  5. Laurel says:

    My husband is going to flip over this recipe. He loves curry. I’m flipping over curry in the slow cooker! Happy happy day!!

  6. Melanie says:

    Are you kidding me???!!! I JUST put in a pork roast for carnitas tonight (your recipe, of course), but now I want this!! I LOVE curry, and this looks awesome! It’s a good thing we just butchered a pig this fall and have a bountiful supply of pork roasts sitting in the deep freeze, because this is going on my menu plan for next week. I have an insane love of coconut milk, sugar, and curry together in anything. I currently use Watkins brand curry (as un-authentic as you can get, I’m sure), but I’ll try your brand next time. I’ll report back when I make it, but for now, I’m crossing my fingers that I love the carnitas tonight (first attempt at your recipe).

  7. Chrystalyn Trimble says:

    Mel, where do you get the curry bend you suggested? I looked on Amazon and it seemed crazy expensive. But I’d love to find one we love! It looks sooooo amazing!

  8. Mary P says:

    Would love to order the sweet curry, and enough other things from Penzey’s to get free shipping. What are your favorites from there? Or do you have a blog post on that somewhere in the archives?

    • Mel says:

      Wow, so many great things from there. I love the California basil, Mexican oregano, their signature cinnamon blend (it’s the only ground cinnamon I use). Chili powder, sweet and smoked paprika, dutch-process cocoa, whole nutmeg. I also love their Sandwich Sprinkle, herbs de provence, bay leaves, dried shallots.

      • Bren says:

        I didn’t even know about Penzey. Thanks for the introduction and so grateful for a curry powder recommendation. I’ve been looking for a good one. This looks delish!

      • Sheri says:

        Thank you for the list. They have opened a store in the SLC area (Draper) so I am going to try their spices.

      • Angela says:

        Thank you so much for these suggestions! I was about to ask you myself! Making this recipe today. = )

    • Jodylbs says:

      I don’t use many spice blends but their northwoods seasoning is something I wouldn’t want to live without! We use it on roasted veggies and on meats when not planning for anything in particular.

  9. Pauline says:

    And here I was wondering what to do with a pork roast I have in the freezer. And I just so happen to have all the ingredients on hand, including broccoli for the side. Thanks for mentioning quinoa to serve it on….great idea. Many thanks from your fellow curry-lover!

  10. Ellen says:

    I’ve tried curry dishes, and then tried them again… I want to love it, but haven’t found the right recipe I guess. I’ll give this’n a go, looks great!

  11. Julia says:

    Went out and bought the ingredients for this is soon as I saw it, love curry! Cooking away and it smells phenomenal, can’t wait to taste it!

  12. Allyson says:

    LOVE curry anything! I don’t do sugar right now, do you think it will work without the brown sugar?

  13. Davy Yee says:

    Made this today. The house smelled so good! And the dish was so yummy. My mother in law (who does not eat much) had a second helping and took some leftovers home with her. Thank you for another wonderful meal!

  14. Jennie P says:

    This is in the crock pot right now. Can’t wait for dinner!

  15. Charmaine Puzey says:

    I literally just pulled pork out to make pulled pork in my crock pot when I saw this. Gonna change it up. Thanks Mel.

  16. Summer Jenkins says:

    Do you think you could substitute chicken?

  17. Jane says:

    I love all of your other coconut curry recipes, and I’m sure this one is great too. I’ll be trying it soon.

    They all work well in the Instant Pot and they are also great in a tagine.

  18. Katie Sommer says:

    Did you mash the potatoes Mel?

    • Mel says:

      I steamed the yukon gold potatoes and then just lightly mashed them (but didn’t add any cream or butter since the gravy from the slow cooker soaks right in).

  19. Carrie says:

    We had this last night and it was delicious! My 8 year old had 3 servings. I threw in parts of a red, yellow, and orange pepper. Love Penzey’s curry! While eating it I definitely wanted some homemade naan to go with it. So if you have time, that would be a great side!

  20. Tami says:

    Delish! Wanted to report that I made this in my electric pressure cooker. I live at 4700 ft, so I added a couple minutes to the cook time. I used pork sirloin tip roast, and it came out tender and flavorful, even with half the amount of brown sugar. Thank you, Thank you!

  21. Tami says:

    Forgot to mention that I cut the pork roast into approximate 2-inch pieces.

  22. Lesa says:

    Have you tried the new “Now Curry” from Penzeys? The sweet was my fav too, until they came out with that. It has a little kick to it, but not too bad. Much more complex flavor. If you are a curry fan, it’s a must-try. I have pork very similar to this on my meal plan for Sunday!

  23. Cara says:

    I have Penzey’s “The Now Curry.” Are you familiar with it? Do you think it would taste good in this dish?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried the Now Curry but someone else commented that they love it (it has a little kick to it) so it’s definitely worth a try.

  24. Karen says:

    Oh no! I added the lime juice and corn starch at the beginning this morning with the other ingredients. Is it ruined? :/

  25. Andria says:

    I made this for dinner in my electric pressure cooker. I doubled the recipe to share with a neighbor and it turned out fantastic. I cut up the pork and cooked it for 30 mins since I had 4 lbs of meat. We didn’t shred the pork because I had cut it up. It was delicious! Thank you!

  26. Sam says:

    Im making this for dinner Sunday night, I cant wait! Hope you enjoyed the red lentil coconut curry soup recipe!

  27. Ashley C says:

    Would you recommend searing the roast first?? Going to make it tomorrow….

  28. Liz says:

    This looks delicious, I’m going to give it a try too, but I’m wondering if you’ve tried freezing the leftovers and how they turned out?

    Love your website, I’ve been following you for years and every recipe I’ve tried has been fantastic. Thank you so much!

  29. Sarah says:

    I made this Friday, and it was awesome! I don’t use a slow cooker so I put it in my dutch oven at 275 for four hours. I didn’t thicken it b/c all I had on hand was regular coconut milk. I also added two jalapenos for more heat! So, so yummy!

  30. M says:

    I did this in the Instant Pot last night and it came out delicious. I followed your recommended times exactly, then at the end switched over to sauté mode to let the gravy thicken a bit. Tossed in some kale for good measure to add some veggies, and ate. It is so good.

  31. Ruth says:

    So, I cooked this on high for 4.5 hours and my pork tenderloin was 2.5 lbs. Sadly, it turned into mush. The flavor was still GREAT, though! Is there anything I can do to make the leftovers more crispy? I hate to see it go to waste! :(. Thank you in advance!!

  32. Anne says:

    LOVED THIS!! I’m always looking for another way to cook the pork roasts I get from Costco and this was perfect. I served it over baked potatoes and the family gobbled it up. I’ve loved having it for lunch the last couple of days too. Thanks for another great recipe!

  33. Lindsay says:

    We made this in Saturday. OH. My! Seriously delicious! thanks for the great recipe!

  34. Danielle says:

    This was really good. Used panang curry paste that I got at a Chinese store and it made it even better than the first time I made it using regular (McCormick) curry.

  35. Kathy says:

    Was going to make bbq pulled pork when I came accross this recipe – sounded so good. I loved that it was really easy to make, and it smelled so good when we came home last night from work! But to be honest, the smell was much better than the taste. Having made other curries with bold flavors (not slow cooker), this was a bit of a disappointment. Not sure if others who tried this found the same thing. Everyone seemed to be raving about it, so our expectations were high. Sorry Mel.

  36. Anna says:

    We loved this recipe! We used the leftovers to make tacos. We put the meat on corn tortillas and then served it with coleslaw and diced mangoes. It was so yummy! Thank you!

  37. Melissa C says:

    This was pretty tasty. Not my 6 year old son’s favorite but the rest of liked it!

  38. Ruth Heggenes says:

    Hey Mel, I have some thick pork chops from Costco I need to use in my freezer. Do you think this would work for them?

  39. Jason says:


    I had to share that this has become the family’s most requested recipe so far in 2016. It is a clear winner and I wanted to share the small adjustments we made to make it vegetarian-friendly.

    First is the meat replacement (obviously). We use a package of Delight Soy ( soy patties in place of the port. I just stack them, cut in half and then make thin slices (as thin as I can get). I just toss this into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. I suspect that you could also replace with tofu but it wouldn’t be nearly as good.

    The second is that we add in a sweet potato (or two if they are small). I peel and cube them up into a medium-sized chunk. These tend to break down a little which lends some good texture to the pot and they complement all the flavors very well.

    The rest of the directions as directed. Its simple to assemble and worth the wait. The whole house smells fantastic (which isn’t always the case when curry is involved)! Thanks for the recipe and for the blog. You always deliver the goods!

  40. SJ says:

    So yummy. I used chicken breast, and forgot to add the lime juice and corn starch at the end, but it was still great! Thanks for the recipe.

  41. Sarah says:

    This was amazing! all 4 of my kids (even my 3 year old!!!) gobbled it up and had seconds. I was nervous because although my husband and I love curry I wasn’t sure how it would go over with the kiddos. So happy to have found a winner for the slow cooker. I have had some pretty epic fails in my quest to find crock pot meals for the nights my kids have activities and can not wait one more minute to eat when we get home. I’m going to try your lasagna this week, hoping for the same fantastic results. I would love to see more slow cooker meals from you!

  42. Lindsey G says:

    I tried this with pork chops today, on high for about 5.5 hours, and it worked great. I didn’t have lime juice, so I used lemon juice. (I also added some coriander seed. I find my grocery store brand of curry a bit bland. I’ll have to search out some other options.)

    I loved that I just threw it all in the slow cooker with no other prep. Often with pork chops I will sear ahead of time, but it’s nice to know that when I do really need something tasty to throw together quickly, this will work! I’m definitely adding it to my meal rotation.

    (Also, I made the mistake of putting the lemon juice in at the beginning! The milk curdled a bit during the cooking process, which I’m wondering was due to the lemon juice, and I was worried about how it would turn out, but other than looking a bit funny, it tasted just fine.)

    Does anyone know how long curry powder is good for? When giving my cupboards a good clean out a while back, I found some from Fiji that a friend must have given me about 10 years ago!!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Lindsey – I think “they” say that spices should be used within a year but I’ve used some older than that. They lose a little potency and probably don’t have the same punch as time goes on.

  43. Bev says:

    How do you think this would work as a frozen slow-cooker meal?

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