Easy Paleo Crock Pot Chicken Curry with Peppers and Cabbage

In a Curry Anyone?

There are few things I love more than my Crock Pot, and coconut milk is one of them. Magical things happen when you add flavors such as curry paste to coconut milk and then cook meat in it. I decided that I needed to try a new device to soak up some of that flavor. I personally eat more cauliflower than the average person does, and cannot justify “ricing” cauliflower on a daily basis. Bring in the cabbage. Yes, cabbage. When thinking of Asian cuisine and cabbage, I often think of a pickled side dish that tastes great with chili sauce. In this instance, I decided to shred some cabbage and drop it into the Curry Pot. Turns out the cabbage was a total win. It adds some great texture to a dish that otherwise is a bit more of a soup dish. This just may be the high point of my week, and I’m totally OK with that!


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds of boneless chicken thighs – I pick these over chicken breasts because I find them tastier, and they are often cheaper.
  • 1 or 2 cans of coconut milk – I used 2 cans because Trader Joe’s has them for 99 cents and I love coconut milk more than you know. One could get away with a single can if it is pricey for you, yet you will simply have a thicker curry
  • Curry paste – Types and amounts obviously vary. I use the paleo-friendly brand Thai Kitchen, and used about 3 tbsp of their Red Curry.
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of cabbage. You could use more if you wanted to.

Instructions (this is easy):

  1. Turn your crock pot on before you start your prep, and get a head start.
  2. Pour your coconut milk into your Crock Pot and add your curry paste. Make sure you stir until dissolved in the coconut milk. Some recipes will call for you to do this in a sauce pan first, yet I really would rather not do more dishes than I have to.
  3. Cut your chicken thighs into 1″ cubes. Don’t be fancy. Just cut them up and dump them into the pot and stir.
  4. Cut your red and green peppers into similar 1″ cubes. Dump into pot and stir.
  5. Cut your onion into similar chunks, you get the idea.
  6. Cut your head of cabbage in half, and quarter the half you are going to use. Simply cut the wedges into thin strips and then break apart with your hands. This is much easier than using a grater, and you can always chop the cabbage to your desired shape. I personally wanted longer pieces. Add the cabbage to the top of your pot and again stir, trying to coat the cabbage with the coconut milk. It is fine if the cabbage is not submerged, it will cook down.
  7. Cover and let cook on low for 4 hours. This recipe should take about 10 minutes of combined prep and cleanup time, and is very cost effective. Like I said, this is quite likely the high point of my week, and I’m totally OK with that.
  8. I chose to garnish mine with some scallions and red chili sauce. This is totally unnecessary, yet I am a huge fan of red chili sauce on most things.


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  1. Lotte says:

    Hi, this sounds really delicious! Could you please explain to me what red chilisauce is, please. In Sweden it’s something very like ketchup with lots of suger.
    Love the site, by the way:)

    1. Barn says:

      Red Sauce is probably a hot sauce called Sriracha. Its available at ANY asian grocery store or in the Asian food aisle of an american store. It might also be available on Amazon.

  2. Ricky says:

    I don’t own a crock pot but I do have an enamel cast iron dutch oven. Do you have conversion times for saying cooking in a crock pot on low for 10 minutes would be equal to how much in a dutch oven in the oven?

    1. Lisa says:

      I often cook crock pot recipes in the oven. 220* seems to approximate the crock pot low setting.

      Many pans used in the oven don’t seem to hold in moisture as well as the crock pot, so I usually seal with foil then place the lid on top of the foil. (Lay a sheet of foil across the pot, then put the lid on to press the foil into the correct shape. Remove the lid and crimp the foil tighly in place, then put the lid back on.)

  3. Jenni says:

    I tried this tonight and it was really yummy! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  4. Aaron says:

    This is an EXCELLENT food item. Just BE CERTAIN to not let it boil in the slow cooker. My cooker, even on “keep warm” is too hot and will eventually boil – which ruins the coconut milk completely.

  5. Jason says:

    Aaron, what size and brand slow cooker do you have?

  6. Shaleen says:

    Thanks so much for this recipe!!! I began eating paleo several months ago, and was saddened to find that the couple times I have ordered my favorite curry from our favorite Thai restaurant, I end up feeling really gross afterward. But not tonight! This recipe means I can enjoy Thai curry again!!!! And it was super easy!!

  7. Lilly says:

    Love this recipe! By far is my favorite on your site!!

  8. Allie says:

    This was excellent! I used about 2T. green curry paste in lieu of red, hoping for something milder for my young kids, and it was perfect. My 6 year old inhaled it, and my “raised on Chef Boyardee” husband liked it, too!
    What kind of chili sauce did you use? I could definitely use more spice next time.

  9. Rachel says:

    Can I use the yellow dry curry powder and if so should I use the same amount? Also is there any way to find calories per serving on all these recipes?? Thanks so much!

    1. Jason says:

      I would highly recommend purchasing some Indian curry paste. The inclusion of the lemongrass and garlic with the spices brings a flavor much different from a dried curry powder.

      I usually do not want to promote calorie counting with my readers, as most that eat a Paleo template learn that it is not necessary. The body is not a bomb calorimeter. You could always enter the recipe amounts in a nutrition tracking site or software. I may include nutritional info in the future as I am getting enough requests, yet it is something I am on the fence over. I say just get some curry paste and eat this with a side salad until full, and be happy!

  10. Cindy says:

    I would probably do this in a pressure cooker (if I get one to replace the one I blew up–haha, I didn’t blow it up…maybe), or just boil the chicken for 30-40 min, debone and shred and then cook it all in a dutch oven. Of course, if you have all day, the crock pot is ideal. πŸ™‚

    I’m wondering about the carb content. Is there an accurate count somewhere? I’m not good at those math things. πŸ˜‰

    1. Jason says:

      A pressure cooker is still on my wish list. One day it shall make my slow cookers envious.

      I don’t post calorie or carbohydrate content on recipes where I feel they are not of a concern. You could always enter the ingredients into fitday and then determine your serving size. This is one of my favorite lazy recipes, the cabbage really makes it. Hope you enjoy it too!

  11. patty says:

    I have made this and it was epic!!

  12. Tanya says:

    I’m thinking of trying this with fish… I know four hours would def be too long though. I assume that timing was just to make sure the chicken was cooked and figure if I let the sauce cook for a while (30 mins?) and then add the fish it would be okay, or perhaps I am way off… What do you think?

    1. Jason says:

      Fish and seafood don’t fit the “set & forget” style of slow cooking that other proteins do. The best way is to have your broth/soup/sauce reach the crock pot’s simmer point and then add your seafood while are your are around to check on it, usually before serving. Check out this shrimp curry recipe of mine below, and definitely let me know if you experiment!


  13. Chad says:

    This one is awesome! simple to make and the family loved it. Can’t wait to make it again, thank you!

  14. Kenzie says:

    I made this last night and used the 3 recommended table sppons of red curry paste. Upon first bite I added entire bottle of thai kitchen red curry paste, great flavor & easy recipe! Thank you

    1. Jason says:

      I get down with my curry that way too, glad you enjoyed it.

  15. Jennie says:

    I made this last night and I really like it however, it wasn’t as sweet as typical coconut curries I’ve had. When you make this recipe, does it taste sweet to you?

    1. Jason says:

      This recipe comes out savory and spicy for me (I add more spices often). I don’t typically expect a curry to taste sweet, yet you could try adding more bell peppers for that effect perhaps?

  16. Gaby A. says:

    Looks good, and for a lazy guy like me who hates cooking, I can’t wait! Question, I’ve heard for slow cookers, it is better to brown the meat a bit before putting it in the cooker. Is that an issue in this case?

    1. Jason says:

      No need to brown the chicken, but browning them quickly in the pan definitely won’t hurt. Just don’t cook them too much!

  17. Dawnette says:

    Sounds Delish! Would this be 21DSD approved? I would think so, but want to be sure. I’m making Smoky Pulled pork this weekend also, but Love Thai curry!

    Thank you!

    1. Jason says:

      Totally 21DSD approved! They even shared this recipe on their FaceBook page today. Hope you enjoy this and the pork as well!

  18. Vitoria says:

    I used lower fat coconut milk cans instead of full fat. Trader joes and whole foods has been bare bones since the new year. Next time I will use full fat for it to be more creamy and add another spoonful of curry. Regardless, this dish turned out very tummy and look forward to making it again.

    1. Jason says:

      Turned out very tummy, nice!

      1. Vitoria says:

        Hahaha I didn’t realized that. Yummy and Tummy! Delicious.

  19. Victoria says:

    I was at TJ’s to get coconut milk and mine only sells it by the carton (Next to the almond milk, soy milk, etc). Am I purchasing the right thing?

    1. Jason says:

      No, TJ’s sells coconut milk in cans (14 ounce I believe) that are labeled as “light coconut milk.” As far as I know all of their stores carry this nationwide, just ask someone there to help locate it for you.

      1. Jenn says:

        But is there a reason to use the canned over the carton?

        1. Jason says:

          Only because of ingredients. Your coconut milk label should contain only coconut milk or perhaps water also. Some of the drinks sold in cartons contain sugars and additives.

  20. liv says:

    This was good and super easy . I used the whole jar of red curry paste which was about heaping 3tbsp anyway . I also added few thai bird’s eye chili pepper for some extra kick . Definetly a keeper and will make it again next time , Maybe will add carrots and peas πŸ™‚ thank you !

  21. Lisa says:

    Made this for lunch today & it was a big hit with the entire family. It had lots of liquid, so we ate it as soup. We all added salt at the table; I guess we’re a salty family.

    After lunch I put the leftovers back in the pot and added red curry powder (because I ran out of curry paste), salt, a lot more cabbage, and let it cook a couple of hours. DeLISH.

    Someone above said not to let it boil. Mine boiled and didn’t seem to harm my (full fat, canned) coconut milk at all.

  22. Dena says:

    Love this recipe! I added some Habenaro infused sea salt and some Thai spice blend I have that has ginger, lemongrass and garlic in it, which took it over the top! Making it for the second time in two weeks tonight. I could literally eat this every day and have been thinking about making a double batch so I can freeze some for a quick meal when I don’t have time to cook or haven’t planned ahead. Excellent recipe!

  23. Gail B says:

    Making this AGAIN! I loved it soooo much! I couldn’t find red so I used green curry paste.

  24. Rebecca says:

    Can you freeze this and throw in crockpot in morning?

    1. Jason says:

      I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how it works out for you.

  25. Sandra says:

    Hey Jason! First off, thank yo SO much for this recipe! Now, what additional pices do you add? I loved it, but my husband and I both thought it needed another layer. We couldn’t decide exactly what was missing; garlic, ginger, jalapeΓ±o? I would love your suggestions.

  26. Farilde says:

    I wonder how this would go with shrimp or maybe some lobster…. But delicious with chicken- THUMBS UP!!!!!

  27. Alexis says:

    I had to make this a little earlier than 4 hours today. I hope it doesn’t overcook. Wondering if I should turn it to keep warm before we leave. It will be in the crockpot about 6 1/2 hours.

    We love this recipe though and cook it often! We serve it over cauliflower rice. My husband is having a rough week at work. I just texted him that we are having this for dinner tonight and it brightened his day. πŸ™‚

  28. Ghost says:

    Hey there!

    Looking for a chicken curry recipe to use for my bone-in chicken thighs. Would you say that I’d be able to use this for it? I’ve got some frozen ones in the freezer, and I’d like to find something super tasty to use them in!


    1. Jason says:

      Yes this will work fine. Just remove the chicken before serving to pull the meat from the bones with 2 forks.

  29. Sarah says:

    Love this! I could eat curry every day and this is so easy.

  30. JB says:

    hi. i am wondering if this will be as good without the cabbage.. only bc i don’t have any? would i have to adjust any of the cooking time or ingredients?

    1. Jason says:

      Sure, you can try substituting some leafy greens, or extra veggies. If you just omit the cabbage, cut the cooking time down about a little, but it is probably not needed.

  31. Hillary says:

    This was a really wonderful recipe. I am usually not a cabbage fan but this recipe really made me love cabbage! I think I might have to try this over rices cauliflower in the future to not let the curry sauce go to waste.

  32. Jenn says:

    Really enjoyed this! I had to put almost the entire little jar of curry paste but I usually do for all curry recipes. Whole Foods also didn’t have any normal sized cabbage (seriously, the smallest they had was 7lbs) so I used pre-shredded cole slaw cabbage and it worked great too. I loved it and would def make it again. My bf said it was missing something but couldn’t tell me what he wanted in it, figures. πŸ™‚ Added sriracha and avocado at the end!

  33. Christi says:

    When using Coconut milk, are you supposed to shake the can? I am a Paleo beginner…

    1. Jason says:

      Yes. Shake the can well especially if a “full fat” variety. If for some reason the can was in the fridge, allow it to return to room temp and then shake.

  34. Nikki D says:

    I did this recipe with shrimp for a change. It is magnificent. Next time I’ll d the chicken. I used full fat coconut milk and the Thai Kitchen curry paste. I cooked it for about 3.5 to 4 hours.

  35. Erin says:

    Maybe I missed it but how much chicken stock does it call for??

    1. Jason says:

      No chicken stock, liquid comes from the coconut milk, the chicken thighs, and cabbage.

  36. Tiffany says:

    I love all your recipes and they are usually trust worthy. To avoid confusion, I think you should change the recipe to coconut cream, not coconut milk. At both Trader Joes and Whole Foods that is what it is called in the can. The carton is the only thing called coconut milk. Unfortunately, I followed the recipe the first time and used coconut milk. When it didn’t turn out I read the comments. I went and bought coconut cream instead and was able to remedy the recipe, but one mislabeled ingredient led to making an easy crockpot recipe to a frustrating stovetop fix recipe.

    1. Jason says:

      I must correct you here. The recipe does in fact call for a can of coconut milk. Trader Joe’s does in fact sell coconut milk in a can. They also sell coconut cream in a can, but this recipe does not call for it. It uses a can of coconut milk. The cartons of coconut milk you mention are usually a somewhat processed variant of the canned product that is diluted for drinking. I assure you that this recipe works out with a can of coconut milk, for me and many others. I am curious as to what didn’t turn out for you when using coconut milk? Perhaps it was because you used that stuff from a carton?

      1. Tiffany says:

        I only left a comment to try and prevent people from making my mistake, I wasn’t trying to be controversial. Maybe they label things different here in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t surprise me. It came out watery, tasteless, and almost greasy with the coconut milk from the carton. As I didn’t want to throw away all those ingredients and all the chopping, so after it was done cooking I drained the liquid, and put it in the fridge. Today I bought the coconut cream cans, and it now looks like the picture and tastes great. I would just say if someone has the choice only between milk or cream, go with the Coconut Cream.

  37. Kate says:

    I found this recipe this morning and made it today, following the recipe exactly. It was amazing and has now earned a place among my favorite crock pot recipes. My children loved it, too.

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