So easy and tasty, this healthy Thai Coconut Milk Grilled Chicken is a perfect example how every day, simple flavors can take plain old chicken to delicious new heights.

This Thai {inspired} Coconut Milk Grilled chicken definitely falls into the category of:

Recipes I’ve Been Holding Out on Sharing.

Don’t be mad.

A white platter filled with grilled chicken, sprinkled with cilantro.

I wanted to wait until there was no longer snow on the ground to share it.

Not that I’m above grilling in the snow, of course.

In fact, we basically survived the snowpocalypse earlier this year because I willingly traipsed out on the back deck in sub-zero temps and blizzard-like conditions at least weekly to grill this chicken.

Grilled chicken made summer not feel so far away. And I’m no dummy; I recognize when food can become therapy, and I run with it.

But I also realize that not everyone views January as an ideal time for grilling. Now that the weather has warmed up to a balmy 55 degrees where I live, I feel comfortable getting this recipe out there.

A white plate with sliced grilled chicken and a green salad and slice of lime on the plate.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we really do make this Thai coconut milk grilled chicken all the time.

Even though the chicken obviously has a Thai-inspired flavor profile, it totally belongs on a backyard grilling menu right there with the classics (like grilled pork chops, kebabs, and other favorite grilled chicken recipes).

And if you’ve fallen in love with this Grilled Lime Coconut Chicken, you’ll absolutely adore today’s recipe. Similar…but different enough to allow you to have room in your heart for both.

The flavors are subtle and perfectly balanced, and it seems as though marinading in coconut milk + fragrant spices is the secret to amazingly juicy chicken.

One time, probably mid-December when we had a few cousins over, I doubled this recipe using 4-5 pounds of chicken tenders and was sure we’d be eating leftover coconut milk grilled chicken for days.

Boy, was I wrong.

I have never seen tender, tasty chicken devoured so quickly. Even though manners were (somewhat) enforced, I was still shocked at the rate this delicious chicken was gobbled up.

It’s easy to see why it has become a family favorite.

Serve this delectable Thai Coconut Milk Grilled Chicken with this 5-minute Thai Peanut Sauce for dunking and alongside this chopped Thai salad, and you might have one of the most delicious meals on the planet staring you in the face.

A white plate with sliced grilled chicken and a green salad and slice of lime on the plate.

A quick note about grilling:

If you don’t own a grill or it’s still too cold or you’re a little scared, don’t panic – I’ve included some alternate ideas for how to cook this deliciously flavorful Thai Coconut Milk Chicken.

Personally, I grill everything on my Camp Chef pellet grill. I’ve waxed poetic about it before, but it’s amazing.

I love this grill so much and have been known to engage innocent bystanders in a one-sided conversation about how much that pellet grill means to me while they stand there awkwardly figuring out how they got into this situation. <–no one is paying me to say this, btw, I’m just a big fan.

One Year Ago: Turkey and Brown Rice Taco Burritos
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Thai Coconut Milk Grilled Chicken

4.67 stars (99 ratings)


  • 1 (14-ounce) can light or full-fat coconut milk
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 pounds chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, garlic, brown sugar, salt, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cilantro.
  • Place the chicken in a gallon-size ziploc bag; pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and press until the marinade coats the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat a grill to medium-high.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess marinade drip back into the bag.
  • Grill the chicken until cooked through (time will depend on thickness of chicken – about 5-6 minutes per side for chicken breasts and 2-3 minutes per side for chicken tenders).
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.


Alternate Cooking Methods: if you don’t have a grill, this chicken could be cooked on a grill pan, pan-fried in a skillet or or broiled in the oven. I’ve even thought about tossing the chicken and marinade into the Instant Pot for 7-8 minutes high pressure and see how that goes (haven’t tried that yet, though). 
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 242kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 97mg, Sodium: 812mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g

Recipe Source: inspired by recipes from Serious Eats and in this cookbook by Chrissy Tiegen