5 Minute Coconut Curry Sauce Recipe

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This simple, dairy-free coconut curry sauce without curry paste is so tasty and savory that I could (and DO) eat it by the spoonful. This rich, flavorful sauce has everything you need: sweetness, a bit of tang from the lime juice, and an amazing curry flavor. Round that all out with a smooth, creamy texture and you’ve got your new go-to sauce recipe!

Instead of using curry paste, this recipe uses curry powder and has no added sugar. It’s SO sweet and packed with flavor – you’d never guess anything was missing!

curry sauce on chicken and rice, topped with cilantro

How this recipe came to be

My husband and I love flavorful recipes. So when we started searching the internet for a flavorful (and simple) curry sauce, we always ended up adding a lot more flavor to make it what we wanted.

We love curry, so we tried a LOT of recipes over the years. And with each recipe, we tweaked and tweaked until we found the absolute perfect curry sauce recipe.

Eventually, I wrote down the recipe we had created so we could have this sauce on repeat. Perfection!


  • Saucepan – If your nonstick pans have started flaking, I recommend updating your nonstick saucepan to a cast iron or stainless steel option to make sure you don’t ingest any toxic nonstick stuff on accident.
  • Stirring spoon – I love these wooden spoons, and they are available for a great price right now too!

Key ingredients to make this recipe

coconut curry sauce ingredients on wooden table

Now that we’ve gathered our tools and ingredients, it’s time to make some delicious coconut curry sauce!

Using rotating sauces with your meals

My secret to cooking quick and simple, healthy meals is having a delicious sauce recipe that incorporates tons of flavor (without hours of cooking over the stove).

When I meal plan dinners for the week (with this template), they typically consist of:

  • Protein (meat or beans)
  • A couple of vegetables
  • A small serving of carbs
  • A delicious homemade sauce

I use the same basic ingredients in multiple meals throughout the week, and just change out the sauce for a completely different flavor. This formula works great for our family!

The sauce makes or breaks the meal!

In the case of this simple curry sauce….it’s a family favorite!

How to make 5 minute coconut curry sauce recipe

step 1 - curry powder and coconut oil in pan
step 2 - add coconut milk, turmeric powder and heat
Overhead view of coconut curry sauce in jar

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil (we like coconut oil for this recipe) and curry powder until fragrant.

Cook for about a minute and add the coconut milk and turmeric.

I like my curry sauce a little thin (for drizzling), so I don’t reduce it much. If you’d rather have a thicker curry sauce (without much liquid), just reduce it until you achieve your preferred consistency.

A word of caution: if you heat the mixture on too high of heat, the coconut milk may get a strange texture. Stick with the low heat.

If you know you like REALLY thick curry sauce, I recommend buying coconut cream instead of coconut milk for this recipe.

Once you have the curry powder and coconut milk mixed together, turn off the heat, add the lime juice, coconut aminos, and fish sauce.


  • Coconut Milk: If you want to make this sauce without coconut milk, you have options – heavy cream (2 parts cream, 1 part water), or whole milk will give you the creaminess you’re looking for. Other dairy-free milks will be more watery than canned coconut milk, so you may need a thickener (see below).
  • Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos is a great soy-sauce replacement. It’s made from coconuts and has a sweetness that you just can’t get with soy sauce. You can use soy sauce in place of coconut aminos in this curry sauce, but the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Curry powder: I always have curry powder on hand, so that’s what this recipe uses. If you do not have curry powder, you could probably swap for curry paste (although I have not tried this variation).
  • Fish sauce: If you’re looking for a vegan curry sauce, I recommend omitting the fish sauce all together (or use a vegetarian fish sauce like this one).

Recipe variations

Spice Level

The spice level of this sauce depends on the curry powder you’re using. I personally think it’s pretty mild (and we use mild yellow curry powder.

If you’re looking for more spice, I recommend adding your favorite hot sauce or cayenne powder, to taste.

Thicker sauce

If you’re looking for a thicker sauce, you can either use coconut cream (also in a can) instead of coconut milk OR add a thickener like:

  • corn starch
  • tapioca flour (my personal favorite)
  • arrowroot flour
  • all purpose flour

I’d start with 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing it in over heat.

How to use curry sauce?

Obviously, you can use this sauce in a traditional curry with rice, veggies, and meat (or beans). This coconut chickpea curry dinner recipe uses this sauce.

coconut curry with rice in bowl
Coconut chickpea curry

You can also do a self-serve style and set the jar of curry sauce on the table at dinner.

Pour it over a bowl or plate of food and use as much as you like! This approach works great if you have picky eaters at the table. They can use as much, or as little, of the sauce as they’d like.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

Does coconut curry taste like coconut?

It has a slight coconut flavor to it. As someone who doesn’t like the flavor of pure coconut, I love this curry sauce.

Can I use canned coconut milk for curry?

I prefer canned coconut milk (or coconut cream) for this recipe. If you use coconut milk from the carton the sauce will be very runny. Canned coconut milk (or cream) gives a delicious creaminess.

What does coconut curry taste like?

This coconut curry sauce tastes a bit sweet, with savory spice flavors as well. I love how the lime juice makes the flavor just POP so well.

How do I thicken the sauce?

This sauce can be simmered for a couple minutes to thicken a bit. If you’d like it thicker, you can use 1 tsp of thickener (flour, tapioca, arrowroot, cornstarch, etc).

Looking for more delicious homemade sauces?

Easy Pizza Sauce With Tomato Paste

Best Homemade Peanut Dipping Sauce

Creamy Cilantro Lime Mayo

5 Minute Basil Walnut Pesto

No Cook Honey Barbecue Sauce

How to save this recipe

To save this recipe digitally, you can save this recipe to Pinterest, to your browser bookmarks, or save to one of the many other amazing meal planning apps that you might use.

For my paper and pencil people, print it out and save it to your meal planning binder (or recipe binder).

organize your recipes with this meal planning binder video and pdf
coconut curry cream sauce with turmeric

5 Minute Coconut Curry Sauce

Yield: about 2 cups
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

A sweet and delicious coconut curry sauce. Perfect for dinner tonight!


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lime


  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat oil and curry powder for about a minute.
  2. Add the coconut milk and turmeric and heat until reduced to your desired thickness. I typically only cook it for a few minutes before taking if off the heat.
  3. When it's as thick as you'd like, turn off the heat and add the lime juice, coconut aminos, and fish sauce. Stir until combined.
  4. Store in an air tight container in the fridge. It should keep for about a week.


  • To thicken the sauce: This sauce can be simmered for a couple minutes to thicken a bit. If you'd like it thicker, you can use 1 tsp of thickener (flour, tapioca, arrowroot, cornstarch, etc).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/4 C
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 144Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Don’t forget to Pin & save this for later!

turmeric & coconut curry sauce
coconut curry sauce text on screen with close up of chicken with rice and yellow curry sauce in white bowl

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  1. My husband loves curry and eats it regularly… he said this is the best sauce he has ever had. I like how simple it is to make!

  2. I am a huge curry fan, but I had to give it up because the only version I knew of was made from a very processed packaged product. Then I found this homemade recipe. Not only was it extremely easy to make, but it was SOOO good. It is one of my favorite meals to serve for people since I like it so much and it makes me look good ;). I have used it a couple different ways: (1) With cauliflower rice and other stir fry veggies; (2) With chicken tenders… I dip the uncooked chicken in the sauce and then put it in my air frier (yum!).

    1. Hi there! I would recommend omitting the fish sauce to make this vegan, and adding a little more salt at the end until it tastes how you like it. Thanks for your comment. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Way too much turmeric for me. It tasted so bitter! I’m going to add fix it by making another batch to combine it with, minus the turmeric. I knew I should have stopped at 1/2 tsp.
    Otherwise it was not as good as other curry’s I’ve made.

    1. Jennifer, If you want to balance out the bitterness, add more lime juice. When I make it it’s not bitter because the limey-ness (not sure that’s a word) really rounds it out. Hope that helps!

  4. So good and so happy to have found this! My husband loves curry and I used to use a packaged sauce, but due to my own diet changes could no longer eat those sauces and even if I could, I will never go back to store bought. This is so much better and so easy to make!

    1. Hey Terry! What kind of coconut milk were you using? And how thick did you want it? A few ideas: sub coconut cream for coconut milk, or add a bit of thickener if it’s still not thick enough. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi! Coconut aminos mimic the flavor of soy sauce and is a great substitute, I hope that helps. ~michelle

    1. Thanks for your comment! I hope you find a way to make it just how you like it! For more flavor, I’d recommend adding more lime juice, curry powder, or whatever you think it needs (you know your taste preferences best). For a thicker consistency, I’d recommend coconut cream or a thickener (tapioca, arrowroot, etc.). Good luck!

  5. Hi! I was wondering something when you say Curry do you mean Indian curry or Chinese Curry. I have a pocket of dry yellow Chinese Curry can I use that?

    1. Hey Kathy! Thanks for your question. When I say “curry powder” I’m referring to the Indian curry powder. I’d be curious how the Chinese curry powder would taste, as I haven’t tried it!

      1. Lee, You can definitely substitute soy sauce for the coconut aminos. Soy sauce is saltier, and coconut aminos has more sweetness. I’d start with using 1 Tbsp of soy sauce and taste it to see if it needs more salt or not. This will be a personal preference for you. Also, I’d add a bit more lime juice to account for the missing coconut aminos sweetness. Hope this helps!

  6. Just made this. Love it! I needed to substitute the lime juice for some lemon and orange juice ( due to allergies) I used avacado oil ( no coconut oil on hand), used kikomen soya sauce ( sweeter than China lily), then added a bit more curry powder to taste. This comes out more savory than sweet but perfect for putting over left over vegetables and rice for my work food!! Thank you for a wonderfully quick sauce.

  7. This is probably the 6th curry sauce recipe I’ve tried and the first one I’m saving. Hands down, it is the best one. Absolutely delicious, with layers of flavor I can’t get enough of. Thank you so much!!

  8. As the kids would say, this sauce SLAPS! I omitted the extra turmeric because my curry powder already listed turmeric as one of the first ingredients. I doubled the recipe to feed a crowd at a campsite on the night it was our turn to make dinner; I used about 2.5x the curry powder called for and doubled the rest of the ingredients. I used one can of canned coconut milk and one can of coconut cream and the texture was perfect. About 2.5 minutes of cooking time in I was concerned because it tasted pretty bitter. 2.5 minutes later, having reduced the sauce and added the lime juice, the bitterness was completely gone. Then I threw it in my vitamix to make sure it was really well combined and emulsified. I combined the sauce with roasted carrots, potatoes, chickpeas and onion as base vegetables (and served some curry-marinated chicken on the side for meat eaters). We froze the curry sauce with veg in vacuum sealed packs then did a very easy reheat by throwing the bags in a pot of boiling water before serving. It froze and reheated impeccably and was a nourishing and tasty meal for a bunch of weary campers at the end of a long day of desert adventures. 11/10 would make again – like, tomorrow night in fact!

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