Slow Cooker Coconut Basil Chicken

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Slow cooker coconut basil chicken with the most amazing and creamy sauce made with basil, ginger, garlic, and coconut milk.

226 CAL 4g CARBS 6g FAT 33g PROTEIN 2

What's that you say? Creamy coconut basil sauce spiked with lime and a touch of spice? I think I'm in love. Given my deep and unabiding obsession with the mixture of basil and coconut, I would (and do!) eat this sauce on almost anything — noodles, brown rice, quinoa, veggies, and especially this slow cooker chicken breast.

Why? Well, for starters, the flavors in the sauce deepen as they cook and chicken just happens to be the perfect vehicle to absorb and capture all that flavor. Plus, there is only about 10 minutes of prep time on your part and then all the actual magic happens in the slow cooker, while you're off doing other fun things.

Coconut basil chicken breast cut into sliced with a creamy sauce and salad.

How can I customize this Crockpot Coconut Basil Chicken?

Depending on your preferences, there are a few tweaks you can make to the sauce to make it exactly what your craving.

  • If you love Thai curry, consider adding some green curry paste.
  • If you like a sweeter sauce, add some brown sugar or honey.
  • Love cilantro? Add some fresh cilantro to the mix along with the basil.
  • Play with the amount of spice by adding jalapenos and up the ginger if that's your thing.
  • If you want to add some veggies to the mix without any additional cooking, just add them to the slow cooker. For heartier veggies like squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or carrots you can add them from the start. For quicker-cooking veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, pea pods, zucchini, spinach, or bok choy, add them in the last 30 minutes of cooking so they stay crisp.

You get the idea, just taste the sauce as you blend until you have a sauce you love. Then, get the right ingredients in the slow cooker either in the beginning or toward the end to eat the exact chicken dish that you'll love to devour.

Side Dish and Serving Ideas

I like to serve this dish in a variety of ways:

  • Over rice is the most obvious choice, and the way I serve it most frequently. White, brown, wild, or even cauliflower rice will work great under or mixed into this Thai chicken dish.
  • You can eat this chicken all by itself or with extra veggies for a hearty stew of a meal.
  • There's no shame in pairing this delicious, nutritious dish with a piece of baguette, French bread, or dinner rolls.
  • You can shred the chicken and use tongs to help drain off some of the sauce as you add it to a hoagie roll. Top with Sriracha or another chili pepper sauce for a yummy, Thai-inspired sandwich.
  • Try adding the shredded chicken to a whole wheat tortilla and topping with your favorite add-ons for an Asian taco feast.

Crockpot coconut basil chicken breast cut into slices on a plate with a green salad.

What makes this Coconut Basil Chicken Healthy?

This dish isn't only delicious, it's good for you too!

  • Chicken is a great protein source and it's low in fat and calories. Protein is filling and helps to repair and rebuild muscles.
  • Lite coconut milk is lower in saturated fat than its full-fat counterpart. Coconut milk contains MCTs, which have been linked to weight loss, as well as a lipid called lauric acid, which can help support the immune system.
  • Basil contains vitamins that your body loves, like vitamins K, A, and C. It also provides magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, and manganese. Essential oils are also made from basil and are used to treat infections, cuts, and wounds.
  • Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It has been known to help with digestion and upset stomachs, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also lower your blood sugar and lower your chances of heart disease.
  • Spicy peppers like jalapenos are thought to help with weight loss because of their capsaicin (the chemical that makes them hot). Capsaicin is also a known anti-inflammatory and can help clear stuffy sinuses. They can also help lower your blood pressure and can help cells fight off free radicals and heal themselves.
  • Garlic is good for your heart and also has antibacterial properties. It's low in fat and calories and contains a lot of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, plus manganese. It can also make your hair and skin healthy.
  • Citrus fruits like limes are also immunity-boosters. They are good for your heart, can help prevent kidney stones, make your skin glow, and also help your body absorb iron when taken with foods that contain iron.
  • Spices such as turmeric, cumin, curry powder, and cinnamon add a lot of flavor without adding any calories, fat, or cholesterol. They have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help shorten the length of colds, allergies, and other minor illnesses.

This recipe was originally shared in 2015 but has been updated with new photos and tips.

The Recipe
Slow cooker coconut basil chicken on a plate with creamy sauce and salad on the side.

Slow Cooker Coconut Basil Chicken

Adapted from
226 CAL 4g CARBS 6g FAT 33g PROTEIN 2
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 14 oz. lite canned coconut milk
  • 2 cups fresh basil (loosely packed)
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 1 jalapenos, chopped (or more to taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

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Add the coconut milk, basil, ginger, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice, turmeric, cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, and cinnamon to a blender. Blend until combined.


Add the chicken to the slow cooker. Pour the sauce over top. Cook for 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 226
Calories from Fat 52
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 74mg
Sodium 479mg
Total Carbohydrate 4g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Slow Cooker Coconut Basil Chicken
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Marsha Gainey
February 2, 2023 - 03:17
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Proved a great, light dish for cleaning out the fridge of some produce that was going bad (okra, mushrooms, celery, spring onions, carrots). I used dried basil and ginger as was as garlic powder because I didn't have fresh. I used a quarter of a seeded, diced jalapeno. The flavors were fresh and light, even using the dried spices. It was a colorful, pretty mix in the crockpot and on the plate. Served with brown jasmine rice.
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September 19, 2021 - 07:14
Is this to be cooked on low or high in the crockpot?
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September 20, 2021 - 14:25
Normally I cook chicken breasts on low in the slow cooker so they don't dry out. They normally take 3-5 hours depending on the thickness of the chicken.
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September 12, 2020 - 07:08
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I can't get enough. I have had 2 dinner parties and tonight a third....serving this delicious
Recipe. I do put half lite coconut milk and half full fat
Makes it a little creamier for me. It will stay in my repertoire
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February 22, 2020 - 07:54
Will this last 5 days in the refrigerator for lunches? Or should I freeze individual portions?
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December 31, 2019 - 18:07
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Made this tonight in my new slow cooker. We loved the flavor - had it with couscous - but the "sauce" was thin, more like a jus. How can I get it to thicken some? Will definitely make it again, but don't know if I should leave the top off for a while to let it reduce or to add some cornstarch or something. What would you suggest?
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November 19, 2019 - 19:14
Can you cook this using an instant pot? If so, how long do you recommend cooking for it?
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January 11, 2019 - 11:22
This looks delicious! Any idea approximately how much of the sauce would constitute a serving? The recipe says 6oz per serving, but I'm assuming that includes chicken?
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January 10, 2019 - 10:26
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My family loved this, although I used only 1/2 of the cumin and turmeric and the juice of only one lime. Also, my family doesn't like spicy so i left out the jalapeno and didn't have curry powder. I have pick people, lol, but they devoured it!
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Karen Nolan
January 2, 2019 - 10:45
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Do you cook 4 hrs on high or low? I’m new to using a slow cooker. Thank you very much.
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January 2, 2019 - 11:26
I like to cook it on low to ensure chicken breasts don't dry out. Every slow cooker is a little different but I find my chicken is always tender and cooked through at 4 hours on low. Faster cooking slow cookers may even be done in 3 hours.
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September 16, 2018 - 08:14
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A keeper!!! This is the third time I’m making it! Doubling the sauce is a good loves being co-mingled with jasmine rice.
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Amanda Counts
June 12, 2018 - 05:23
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Wow, this sauce is amazing! Just used my immersion blender to get the sauce ready for the slow cooker. Definitely making this one again.
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May 31, 2018 - 11:25
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Thank you so much for posting this AMAZING recipe! I usually have to go gluten and dairy free directly after childbirth, and this has been a fantastic go-to meal!
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Jordan Bartkowiak
July 20, 2016 - 16:56
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One of My favorite recipes
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Deanna Bond
May 10, 2016 - 05:39
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very good I followed recipe except didnt have turmeric and it was fine as is! I loved it and kid ate it too
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Kriston Crisler
February 22, 2016 - 21:33
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It looks like goop when it's cooking but it tastes delicious! Kristen has knocked it out of the park with every recipe I have tried so far! Thank you so much Kristen!
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Norma W
January 14, 2016 - 16:12
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These recipe is DELICIOUS! If you are looking for something healthy and that hits the spot - look no further! I am pretty new to this website and have already had success with a few recipes - this one is no different. Kristen is spot on when she said the basil sauce is to DIE for - next time I make this recipe, I will double the "sauce" part so I can put it a generous amount on brown rice and veggies. The only tweaks I would personally do is add a bit more spice for my taste - other then that, this is a GREAT recipe. Thank you Kristen for such awesome and innovative recipes!
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Sallie Hanson
November 22, 2015 - 20:03
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Two friends separately made this dish ... both guys, so the likelihood of them reviewing is minimal, so thought to let you know both said "Yummy". I'm going to give it a try. Suggestion, option to print would be good!
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Tiffany Kienitz
September 11, 2016 - 16:43
Please specify high or low in recipe instructions. I saw 4 hours , so assumed on high, but the sauce broke down. While very tasty, it did not come out the way I expected in texture. Thank you for all your lovely recipes and meal plans!
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October 19, 2015 - 11:42
I would just recommend checking it at 4 hours to make sure it is fully cooked. In my slow cooker, 4 hours is plenty of time for chicken breast to cook fully but it could depend on the size/thickness of the breast you are using. You could also cut them in half or in chunks if your slow cooker usually cooks a little slower.
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October 19, 2015 - 10:09
All slow cookers can be a bit different but I find it comes out best when I cook it on low.
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