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My twist on a classic Filipino dish, One Skillet Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken. Pan seared chicken braised in a soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, and bay leaves, a classic Filipino recipe that’s both easy and delicious. I added coconut milk for just a touch of creaminess to this sweet and tangy adobo sauce. This is best served over steamed rice with fresh avocado and a side of beans. The perfect healthy dinner, any night of the week.

overhead close up photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

It’s no secret, but I truly love a good skillet dinner. When things are as hectic as they are right now, I turn to skillet recipes just about every other night. I feel like everyone’s on the same page…easy, tasty, healthy..ish weeknight dinners. You’re with me on this, right?

100% yes. With family in town for the Burton-US-Open, and not much time to spare, this adobo chicken has been on repeat. Since I’ve been making it so often lately, I figured it needed to be shared. Because that’s just what I do.

So here’s the story. My brother’s girlfriend is Filipino. Over Christmas, she told me I needed to make a good adobo chicken…among other dishes…which will be coming shortly! Oddly, I’d never made adobo chicken before, so I immediately tried out a few recipes. Over the last couple months I’ve perfected my version of adobo chicken (and I’m working on a few other Filipino recipes too).

Spicy Turkey Taco Salad with Baja Dressing | #tacos #salad #avocado #healthyrecipes #mexican #easyrecipes

Even though I’ve been making this chicken for weeks now, I am still so excited about the recipe.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar, adobo is a Filipino dish that can be made with pork or chicken. I believe pork is traditional, but I’m going with chicken. What’s really most important here is the sauce…the sauce is always the most important.

Traditionally, adobo sauce is made with soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic, and bay leaves. The chicken is braised slowly in the sauce until it is tender and falling apart. It’s super simple, but also so delicious.

Me being me, I of course had to adapt the recipe a bit to make it my own. I made two simple additions that really make all the difference. I swapped out the brown sugar for honey and added in creamy coconut milk. The honey adds a nice touch of sweetness, but it’s not over powering. Plus, I love that it makes the dish lower in sugar content too. The coconut milk gives a hint of sweet coconut flavor and makes for a super rich adobo sauce. It also helps to tame the tanginess from the vinegar, while making the sauce a little creamier.

Trust me, this sauce is a game changer.

overhead photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

Best part? This is so easy to make. Start by pan searing the chicken (I prefer breasts over thighs, but use what you love). This will give the chicken its color and lock in those juices. Then add the adobo sauce and let the chicken slowly cook in the sauce. While that’s happening, I highly suggest making some rice, slicing up an avocado, and warming the beans.

You cannot serve adobo chicken without a side of rice. I recommend this sesame rice, which is very much my go-to. If you’d like to add a vegetable, roasted asparagus, broccoli, and sautéed peppers would all be delicious pairings.

And guys? That’s kind of it. Like I said, it’s really a very simple recipe, but do not let that fool you one bit. Everyone in my family has agreed, they could easily eat this once or twice a week and still not be sick of it. The chicken is extra tender, and the sauce is mouth wateringly good…sweet, tangy, and a touch coconutty.


overhead close up photo of Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken

If you make this Filipino coconut adobo 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 also tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

One Skillet Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 620 kcal

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



  • 1. Season the chicken all over with black pepper. In a large glass measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, honey, and 1/4 cup of water.
    2. In a large skillet with sides, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, working in batches if needed. Sear on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side.
    3. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the soy sauce mixture. Add the bay leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, uncover and cook another 10-20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thickening slightly. If the sauce is thickening too fast, add ¼ cup of additional water. If the sauce is not thicken, simmer an additional 10 minutes. It's better to have more sauce than less sauce.
    4. Remove the bay leaves and discard. Serve the adobo over rice and top with green onions and squeeze of lime juice, if desired
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Filipino Coconut Adobo Chicken on plate with rice

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  1. Hello! What could you sub for the white vinegar? Would rice vinegar be good or apple cider vinegar? Thank you in advance!

  2. I’d love to make this, but wow, your comments vs your recipe are indeed confusing!

    The recipe specifically states:

    combine the soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, honey, and 1/4 cup of water.

    But your comments in reply to others confusion say:

    “there is no coconut milk in the adobo sauce mixture. You are only using the coconut milk to make the coconut rice.”

    This recipe is for chicken adobo- so how are you saying there’s no coconut milk in the sauce? I’m sure this is why others had issues with the sauce color, too. Maybe you could at least link to your “other” recipe for clarification?

    1. Hi Debra,
      So sorry for any confusion, you can go ahead and follow the recipe as written and add the coconut milk in step 1. I hope you love this dish! xT

  3. You really need to do more research about the culture you are taking recipes from. “Your twist” isn’t anything new or original – different regions of the Philippines have their version of adobo and adobo sa gata from Central Luzon adds coconut milk to their recipe. Love that you promoted Filipino food, hate that you’re trying to take credit for originality which feels a lot like appropriation.

  4. 3 stars
    I have made hundreds of HBH recipes and don’t usually understand any criticism in the comments but had to come on and say that the sauce is way lighter in colour than the photos and not as sticky looking. After 15 mins simmering the chicken was done but the sauce was still very liquid so I removed the chicken to allow the sauce to reduce and then replaced it to warm through afterwards. The flavour was good but there is definitely something about this recipe that doesn’t produce the end result as shown in the photos!

    1. Hi Hannah,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback. Sorry to hear the sauce did not look as though you wanted it to. I do spend HOURS taking photos and making recipes perfect for my readers. Sometimes, things don’t always look like the photos that I took so much time do take. I think that’s okay! For a darker sauce, I would try simmering longer. I hope this helps! xx

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Either one will work well for you:) Please let me know if you give this recipe a try, I hope you love it! xx

  5. This was a hit! Actually made a huge batch of it for our Friendsgiving since we didn’t want turkey. Everyone loved it! Cooked it with some broccolini. Making it again as I write this. Thank you!

    1. Hey Lorena,
      Wonderful!!🎅 I love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT

  6. 5 stars
    I love this chicken adobo. When I lived on Guam I had Filipino neighbors that brought this dish to every social gathering. I loved this fast version. My husband and picky son gave it two thumbs up!

    1. Hey Briana,
      Awesome!! I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed! Thanks for making it and sharing your feedback:) xx

  7. 5 stars
    Family favorite. Went rouge and used an entire can of coconut milk which is more liquid than the recipe suggests. A little bit of corn starch and it was a perfect saucy chicken. Picky hubs who doesn’t like coconut milk (and a lot of other food) loved this recipe. Added pineapples too! So good. Will be putting this in rotation!

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xx

  8. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was tasty! I am curious though, what made the sauce look red in your photos? My final dish looked nothing like yours and I’m wondering if I messed something up! Mine was more of a creamy light brown sauce.

    1. Hey Christina,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear that it was a hit!! I really wouldn’t say my sauce is red, more brownish:) xTieghan

  9. 5 stars
    I followed the directions as they say, although I did forget to add the water. But I’m glad I did as it was very liquidy and I wouldn’t have wanted the extra water. It tasted great as it was, but mine looked much different than the picture. After reading the comments I do wonder if the coconut milk was not supposed to be part of the sauce but only in the rice. Either way though it was tasty.

    1. Hi Candace,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! The coconut milk is meant for the chicken. xT

  10. I cannot believe my tastebuds! This is so delicious. Thank you for making this adobo so accessible!

    I saw the video from January, 2022 showing a similar recipe with jalapeños included – so I made mine with one pepper (seeded, because I’m weak haha), and I used the coconut milk in the soy sauce mix. WOW! Yum. I will be making this again, and I will try it again with pineapple, too.

    Thanks again for the fabulous recipe!

  11. Made this and loved it!!! If I were to switch the honey for brown sugar how much brown sugar would you suggest I use? Thanks for all your recipes this is added to our list of favorites.

    1. Hey Rachael,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a bunch for giving it a go! You can use an equal amount of brown sugar. Have the best weekend! xxT

  12. Hi I’m a little confused because the video you posted the other day making this , you did not add coconut milk to the soy sauce batter ? I did follow this recipe but have a lot of liquid to thicken now . I’m sure it will still taste delish but I wasn’t sure which one to follow ? Thanks a bunch !

    1. Hey Noreen,
      So sorry, I really am not sure what you are referring to, there is no coconut milk in the adobo sauce mixture. You are only using the coconut milk to make the coconut rice. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

      1. Hi
        I just made the recipe and Noreen’s right. You should re-read the recipe you posted.
        In the ingredients, you mention :
        “3/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk”
        and after in the first steep, :
        “In a large glass measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, coconut milk, honey, and 1/4 cup of water.”
        The recipe with coconut milk isn’t just the same. Too liquid and probably not the same taste.

        1. Hi Catherine,
          Thanks for giving the recipe a try. Sorry you found there to be too much liquid, but you should be able to cook it down by simmering longer or you can add cornstarch. I hope this helps! xTieghan

          1. Sorry but do you read what we write ? There is an error in your recipe. We’re not talking about the recipe you posted on January 19, 2022 but the “almost the same recipe” you posted on March 6, 2019. The one above the comments here.

          2. Hi Catherine,
            Sorry for the confusion, I am human and have over 3,000 recipes on the site and respond to reader comments daily. This recipe is written correctly. Water is never in the “ingredient” list, but you will use coconut milk and water here, you can follow the instructions as written. The video Noreen is referring to from the other day was NOT this recipe, that’s why she is confused about the coconut milk. Again, all of the directions and ingredients for this recipe are correct. If you have any further questions please let me know. I hope you have a a fabulous weekend! xTieghan

      2. 4 stars
        Step 1 of your recipe says to combine the coconut milk with the sauce ingredients. People might have more success with the recipe if your instructions were corrected.

    2. Do add the coconut milk to the mixture and let it simmer to thicken. It will taste absolutely divine! I think it’s so tasty that i’ve already made this over 10 times 🙂