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This Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes is a fusion of Thai flavors. It’s the perfect bowl of warming comfort food that’s full of color and flavor. Made with chicken breasts or thighs, spices, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and creamy coconut milk. It’s cozy, creamy, just perfectly spicy, and filled with vegetables. Finish each bowl off with steamed rice, herbs, and plenty of lime.

Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes |

And here we are, the first recipe of the new year. I’m not sure I’m ready for another full year of recipes (when you start to think about it…it’s a lot of recipe). But ready or not I’m excited, especially for the recipes I already know I have coming.

I wasn’t sure what to post today, I had some options, but this ended up feeling like a good fit. It’s healthy, but cozy. And since we’re enjoying below freezing temps here, I decided that this is what I’d want to be making today.

Plus, I love the colors, the flavors, and the fact this is pretty simple to make.

Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes |

The details – start with seasoning the chicken

The spice mix on the chicken is key to the flavor. It’s a mix of turmeric, ginger, and black pepper. Toss the chicken with the spices. Then, if you can, let the chicken sit in the spices to take on ever more flavor. You don’t have to do this, but an overnight hang in the fridge does add a little more flavor to the dish.

That’s really the only “prep” step.

Next, sear the chicken in a big dutch oven style pot and get it a little crispy. Then pull the chicken out and in goes everything else. Sauté the vegetables, bell peppers, shallots, and garlic, and add chili flakes to taste. Then toss in the sweet potato and pour over the coconut milk.

I love adding a couple tablespoons of fish sauce too. I highly recommend this, but you can use soy sauce as well.

Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes |


When everything is in, just cover the pot and let the chicken slowly cook in the coconut milk. It doesn’t take too long, about 25 minutes or so for thighs, shorter if you’re using breasts.

The the coconut milk is obviously creamy and flavorful. But it also prevents the chicken from drying out and creates super tender pieces of chicken.

Since this is such a saucy dish, I love to make a big pot of steamed rice and serve the chicken over the rice. Then top the chicken with lots of Thai basil, lime juice, and salty peanuts for a nice crunch…so delicious!

This one is simple, healthy, and delicious. It’s the perfect (non-boring) recipe to really kick off the new year!! Oh and lastly, while it’s not traditional to Thai cooking, a side of fresh, warm naan is especially delicious with this creamy curry sauce.

Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes |

Looking for other healthy dinner recipes? Here are my favorites: 

30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles

Healthier Italian Wedding Soup with Lemon and Garlic

25 Minute Thai Black Pepper Chicken and Garlic Noodles

Lastly, if you make this Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 547 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Toss the chicken with the turmeric, ginger, cumin, pepper, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil. Let sit 5 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
    2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Pull the chicken out of the pan.
    3. To the pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the peppers, shallots, garlic, and chili flakes, cook 3 minutes, then toss in the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to low. Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Slide the chicken and any juices on the plate into the milk. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt.
    4. Divide rice between bowls, then spoon the chicken and sauce over the rice. Top with basil, peanuts, and lime juice.
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Coconut Milk Braised Black Pepper Chicken with Sweet Potatoes |

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  1. Made it tonight – delicious and perfect for this unusual stretch of cold weather here down south. Would love some advice though Tieghan, I too frequently suffer from lack of depth/color which I fear impacts the flavor. Thinking my sear technique might be missing something. Any help you can offer?