Saturday, June 3, 2023


Yummy, easy Chicken Curry with Green Beans

Welcome to this week’s RV Recipe Improv Challenge, where I take three random ingredients suggested by an reader and turn them into a delicious, small-space-friendly recipe. This week we will make Chicken Curry with Green Beans, an easy recipe to prepare for a satisfying, somewhat exotic entrée.

Thanks go to Carol K. for this week’s ingredients suggestion. Carol challenged me to come up with a recipe using these three ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Onions
  • French beans (green beans)

A rich coconut milk-infused curry served over rice came immediately to mind. Of course, you could also serve it over noodles. And while it may sound exotic, cans of coconut milk are handy items to have stocked in your RV pantry for dishes like this, for smoothies, or even for a milk substitute in a pinch.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days. This curry also freezes well if you have room in your freezer.

Chicken Curry with Green Beans options and substitutions

As always, my goal with this column is to keep you from running to the store for missing ingredients. Likewise, here are some substitutions for this recipe’s ingredients.

With the exception of the coconut milk and the curry spices, this recipe is pretty adaptable to a wide variety of options. Although when it comes to curry powder, there are a wide variety of options. When I tested this recipe, I combined Penzeys Hot Curry Powder with their Garam Masala blend.

You can use whatever kind of curry powder you like or have on hand. When at home I sometimes make my own blends, but this is far too much to carry on the road, so I buy one or two good quality curry powders and call it a day.

I also added extra turmeric for more yellow color and its extensive health benefits. This is optional, but if you have it on hand, why not throw a 1/2 teaspoon or more in?

Be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe. Light coconut milk would make the sauce too watery.

Even with full-fat coconut milk, this is not a thick curry sauce but coats the rice well. If you prefer it to be thicker there are some options:

  • Add 1 cup of diced potatoes to the mix with the green beans
  • Cook 1/4 cup of lentils with the simmering curry
  • Add 2 tablespoons or so of tomato paste to the simmering pot


Chicken: Substitute small pieces of cooked beef or pork loin, shrimp, or firm tofu.

Lime juice: I like the flavor best with lime juice, but if you don’t have any limes on hand try lemon juice or a mild vinegar such as rice vinegar or white wine vinegar.

Coconut oil: While coconut oil adds a great flavor to this recipe, you can use any other mildly flavored cooking oil.

Green beans: Substitute your favorite veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, etc. Or add a mixture.

If you do use green beans, use fresh for best results, cut into about 2-inch pieces. You can substitute frozen or canned green beans, but add these near the end of cooking.

Chicken stock: Substitute vegetable stock or water.

Rice: Serve over noodles instead or even over zoodles (low-carb zucchini noodles).

Toppings: I did not have any on hand and did not want to defeat my own purpose and run to the store, so my photos lack this. However, you can add additional flavor and a touch of green by topping the bowls at serving time with minced cilantro, fresh basil, minced green onion, or even minced fresh mint (use a light hand with this one as it can easily overpower the dish).

Chicken curry with green beans ingredient challenge

Chicken Curry with Green Beans Recipe

Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups green beans (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Add chicken, lime juice, salt and pepper to a bowl or large zip-top bag and mix well. If you have time, refrigerate for as many as 4 hours in advance. If you didn’t plan, just do this as your first step and let the chicken marinate as you prepare the onions and beans. The recipe will still be delicious as the lime juice is incorporated.

In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Increase heat to high, add chicken, and sauté, stirring occasionally until starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes.

Lower heat to medium-high, stir in curry powder followed by coconut milk. Stir until all the solid fat in the coconut milk has melted. Stir in chicken stock and green beans. Bring to a simmer, lower heat, cover, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

Please submit three random ingredients to Cheri and see what she makes with them! Use the form below. It will be fun!

Previously in Cheri’s improv RV recipe challenge:


Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard
Cheri Sicard is the author 8 published books on topics as diverse as US Citizenship to Cannabis Cooking. Cheri grew up in a circus family and has been RVing on and off her entire life.


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