Salmon Coconut Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas

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Salmon Coconut Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas is an easy one-pot meal that cooks in under 30 minutes!

Salmon Coconut Curry with chickpeas
Salmon Coconut Curry with Chickpeas

Seared salmon skin adds an extra dimension to this one-pan dinner: rich flavor and crispy texture. The salmon then braises in a velvety coconut-curry sauce, which is the perfect pairing for the fish, spinach, and chickpeas. For more seafood curry recipes, try my Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp with Basil and Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Curry Sauce.

salmon on a plate with spinach and chickpeas

Salmon is my favorite fish! I have TONS of other wonderful Salmon Recipes in the archives. This salmon coconut curry recipe is very nutritious and so delicious! It uses light coconut milk, which instantly cuts calories. Plus, salmon is full of protein and heart-healthy omega 3s. Chickpeas are a good source of fiber, and spinach is full of vitamins and minerals.

How do you make coconut curry from scratch?

This curry is Indian inspired, made with madras curry powder. It cooks quickly and all in one pan, making it an excellent choice for an easy dinner on a busy night.

  1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and put in the skillet skin-side down. Cook for five minutes until the skin is crispy and then remove from the pan.
  2. Sautee onions, garlic, chili, and ginger for two minutes. Add in the chickpeas and curry powder and cook for two minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk, spinach, and salt. Cover the pan and cook another two minutes.
  4. Return the salmon to the skillet skin-side up and cook for about five minutes until the fish is done.

Salmon Coconut Curry Variations & Tips:

  • Swap spinach for kale, swiss chard, or mustard greens.
  • Make it Whole30 by swapping chickpeas for potatoes.
  • To ensure the salmon’s easy release from the pan, make sure to let the skin fully caramelize before attempting to move the filet.
  • Sub shrimp for salmon and cook for less time
  • Use a white fish like cod if you’re not a fan of salmon.
  • If you don’t like spicy foods, omit the Fresno chili.

salmon in a skillet with spinach and chickpeassalmon on a plate with a fork, spinach and chickpeas

More Curry Recipes You’ll Love:

Salmon Coconut Curry with chickpeas
Print WW Personal Points
4.93 from 51 votes
Did you make this recipe?

Salmon Coconut Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas

453 Cals 41 Protein 23.5 Carbs 20 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
Seared salmon with spinach and chickpeas in a creamy coconut curry sauce is an easy one-pot meal that cooks in under 20 minutes!


  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce skin-on salmon filets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced (about 1 small)
  • 3 peeled garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 2-inch piece peeled ginger, grated
  • 1 large Fresno chili, finely diced
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
  • 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 5 ounces baby spinach


  • Season both sides of salmon with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Set aside on a plate.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add salmon to the pan, skin-side down, and cook without disturbing until skin is crispy, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Return to the plate (skin-side up) and set aside.
  • Add remaining teaspoon of oil, then add onions, garlic, ginger, and Fresno chili pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  • Add chickpeas and curry powder and continue to cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add coconut milk, stirring, to release any browned bits stuck to the pan.
  • Stir in spinach and 1/2 teaspoon salt . Cover the pan and cook 2 minutes until spinach wilts.
  • Add the salmon, skin-side-up, and cook until fish is done, about 5 to 6 minutes.



Serving: 1filet, 1/2 cup veggies, Calories: 453kcal, Carbohydrates: 23.5g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 7.5g, Cholesterol: 94mg, Sodium: 275mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 1.5g
Keywords: one pot salmon recipe, salmon coconut curry, salmon coconut milk curry

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  1. Delicious!!  Will definitely make again. 

  2. This recipe was excellent. I served over basmati rice, which increased our carbs of course, but it was so delicious. I didn’t have a Fresno chili, so a used some chipotle paste that I had in the refrigerator. Great flavors!

  3. Not my best shrimp recipe.  I love your recipes but not this one.  

  4. This was so good and filling. Great flavor! And it was so easy and fast to make.

  5. Absolutely fantastic and so easy!!! Another winner😊

  6. I dislike curry, what would you use in place of curry?

  7. Took me forever to try this recipe but it was sooo good! I had to sub 1/2 seeded jalapeño for the fresno pepper since I couldn’t find one (though I’d increase it next time). I also would increase the curry since I served it over basmati rice. Highly recommend!!

  8. Pretty tasty. Felt like it was missing something.. maybe some lime juice or other acid? I also would probably add some red pepper next time. Also, if I made it again I would add/wilt the spinach last, after the salmon is cooked. It got a little slimy. All in all, this was a quick dinner that I would probably make again.

  9. Delicious! Easy to make and really inexpensive ingredients. My hubby said that was it was delicious and beautiful that it should be something to make for guests.

  10. My curry powder is on the brown side so this wasn’t the prettiest, but the taste was delicious! I used shrimp and subbed macadamia milk as I’m allergic to both dairy and coconut. I doubled the amount of curry powder as we like a lot of flavor. This was super tasty!

  11. This recipe is so good! When I make it again and if I use potatoes, do you put them in raw or precook?

  12. Can I use ground ginger is I don’t have fresh available?

  13. My husband gave this his highest compliment: “don’t lose that recipe!”

  14. I’m not usually a fan of curry, but saw the reviews and wanted to try this. To my surprise, this was very good!  We have lots of salmon in our freezer from hubby catching lots of them in the summer. So I’m always finding new ways to cook them. Especially when they’re over a few months old in freezer. No fishy taste at all. I’m going to use this recipe often.  Very filling too!  Had with Asparagus too!  😋. Thank you. 

  15. Whoa, that was a great taste satisfying recipe! 🙂 I don’t like chick peas but I keep trying them. I was able to ignore that fact that they’re not my favorite since all the other flavors and textures were so awesome. I didn’t have any fresh spinach on hand but did use my frozen chopped spinach and that worked out wonderfully. Added all 10oz of it and it wasn’t overbearig.

  16. Quick and delicious!

  17. 12 points for green — that’s triple for blue. Is that right? Why is it so much more?

  18. Is there a meat (chicken? ) I can use instead of salmon?

    • Yes use any protein you’d like. this is very much like the coconut curry tilapia recipe. you can use any protein 

  19. So good! I added sweet potatoes and skipped the pepper. I think this would be delicious with chicken, too.

  20. Fantastic. I will definitely make this again!

  21. This was awesome! We loved it. Made it as written, with the exception of omitting a chili because our grocery store didn’t have any. I was generous with the ginger and added a little red pepper flake so it was plenty spicy! Will definitely make again. 

  22. This salmon was absolutely delicious!!!   The skin on the salmon was crispy and perfectly cooked!   The flavor and richness of the curry was spot on as well!   My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed and thought it was one of the best salmon dishes we had eaten so thank you!!!

  23. Wow! This turned out amazing! I served this is a sweet potato and all I can say is, so good!! I will definitely be making this again!

  24. If I’m using a madras curry simmer sauce, how much would I use?

  25. So easy! So delicious! This will absolutely be a regular weeknight dinner moving forward! This recipe would also be delicious without the salmon as a vegetarian/vegan dinner- throw it over some rice or quinoa!

  26. Easy and quick to make so full of flavour 
    Can I freeze it ?

  27. Loved this recipe, easy to make and great taste

  28. Very balanced and delicious meal, pairs well with white rice. We will definitely be making it again!

  29. I just made this recipe and it’s such a star! I had no salmon so I used chicken breast but otherwise made it just as the recipe. It is so delicious and I will make this again and again. I am following itrackbites so I made rice to go with it – using half basmati and half cauliflower rice. I’m so glad there are leftovers!! Thank you so much for this beautiful recipe.

  30. This was so delicious and easy to prepare. My daughter wants to omit the salmon and make as a soup.

  31. Yum! I was looking for a lighter way to use up some walleye in the freezer and hit on this recipe…only because we’ve made your Fish Florentine so many times that it needs a break. I loved it (and was surprised by how filling it was), but for some reason it didn’t hit my husband the same way, so it was a polarizing dish in our household. At least that means I get all the leftovers!

  32. This dish is absolutely phenomenal. I made it with full fat coconut milk and didn’t have a pepper. I love that it uses chickpeas and I didn’t have to make rice. I also served it with naan on the side. It immediately went to our greatest hits meals!! 

  33. This is delicious! I used regular curry and red trout, because that’s what I had, but I thought it was perfect. It’s a big recipe though!

  34. Thanks for your reply, Tina. I love Gina’s flavors and didn’t want to overpower this with too large an onion. But, we love onion, so I didn’t want to skimp on it either. I found myself standing their wondering what I should do. I think I’d even appreciate an approximate amount as a guide.

  35. Awesome! So so satisfying!

  36. This was delicious! I put it over brown rice and it was a perfect healthy dinner. Adding this one to the rotation for sure!

  37. Delicious recipe. I used a jalapeno instead of fresno, regular curry and a dash of cayenne instead of madras, 4oz of salmon per portion vs 6and full fat coconut milk because the store was out of light.

    Next time I’ll use the right coconut milk and curry powder (if the store has it!) but any way it goes I know this will be once again to die for. I have something else planned for lunch today but I can’t stop thinking about this salmon!

    I make a lot of Skinnytaste recipes and this is definitely in the very very top tier.

  38. This is easy to make and absolutely delicious!

  39. I made this tonight, and expected my husband not to like it because he is usually not into curry meals.   But we both really liked it.  I didn’t have Fresno chili and used jalapeño.  Next time I may leave some more seeds in so it has some more kick to it.  

  40. Would it be possible to be given a dimension or approximate amount of what 1 small onion equals? Thank you!

    • I read something recently that really helped me.

      When a recipe says 1 small onion or 1 medium potato, anything like that without a measurement, it doesn’t really mater. If your “small” onion is really medium or large it’s gonna be fine. Just put in however much onion you think is the size of a small onion. Personally for me with this recipe it was 1 entire tennis ball sized onion. It tasted great.

      • A very long time ago, was told this:

        A large onion = 1 cup chopped or sliced
        A medium = 1/2 cup
        A small = 1/4 cup

        Have gone by this “rule” for many, many years, and it seems to work out just fine. Also works for peppers or any other item that calls for a size rather than actual amount!

  41. Made this recipe even my 8 year old loved it!!! The only thing
    I did different is I baked the fish separately then I added to 
    the pan with the ingredients.

  42. Made this and loved it . So easy and delicious 

  43. My family said this was really good!  I still don’t have my taste buds back in working order a month after my quarantine ended, so I am not the best judge but I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy anything. Thanks COvid!  Really hard to adjust seasoning by taste with this affliction, but I’m so glad I have these go-to recipes to cook virtually taste blind and please the whole fam!  Always love your recipes. Thanks for all you do!!

  44. Hello! I’m cooking for one, I was thinking of cooking up two salmon pieces (dinner and lunch the next day) and freezing half of the remaining sauce for next time I eat this (and add salmon at the time of defrosting). Would the sauce freeze well?

  45. Would scallops work in this dish instead of salmon or shrimp?

    • Is there a way to make this a single serving? Perhaps cooking as described and reserving half the sauce for a second dish with a different protein the next day?

  46. Perfect tasting curry! Took me closer to 45 minutes to make. Subbed some Garam masala for the chili and added full fat coconut milk instead and it hit the spot in terms of creaminess, flavor, and satisfaction! I wasn’t so sure about the chickpeas, but it definitely added to the dish in a great way. 

  47. This looks good, but chickpeas are NOT going to happen! Suggestions for alternatives? Leave out? Black beans?

  48. Curious if the coconut milk is a key ingredient. It’s just not something I typically have. Thank you!

  49. Loved this dish. I loaded up on the spinach because I needed to use it up. I also doubled up on garlic and ginger, and I used a habanero pepper for my level of spiciness. I have always just dropped my fish pieces into the sauce to cook. This pre-crisping step made it taste pretty good! Will make it again for sure!

  50. SO good! Entire family loved it. It is a “redo Mom”!

  51. This was amazing

  52. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I omitted the pepper, but otherwise followed your recipe. I will definitely make this again.

  53. Anyone try this w chicken or tofu? My family won’t eat seafood 😞

  54. We think this is one of our favorite salmon recipes. We enjoyed it very much. I did use an unsweetened light coconut milk ( so delicious) that is thin so I can probably use a bit less next time. I used a poblano pepper as that is what I had on hand.

  55. I reduced the chick peas and served it over wild rice. Delicious!

  56. Made this last night. I used full-fat coconut milk. It was delicious! My 14 month old daughter devoured a full portion. I loved the crispy salmon skin. We just love your recipes and I always know they’re going to be delicious.

  57. This is very exciting because I just bought salmon today and have a massive amount of chickpeas I need to use before they go bad. I need to use frozen chopped spinach, any idea how much I would need to use in lieu of the 5 oz fresh baby spinach? Thank you

  58. Delicious. We didn’t have a pepper or garlic but went ahead with everything else. I used a bit of smoked paprika to make up for the smokiness of the pepper. My husband, the chickpea hater, gobbled this up!

    • This recipe was a hit. Highly recommend adding some cherry tomato halves near the end of cooking  for extra pops of flavor. 

  59. I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! Four thumbs up from all diners. Shopped at Trader Joe’s beforehand bc I like their BBQ Cut salmon. No Fresno peppers there, so I bought a jar of Trader Joe’s Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce and used one teaspoon. There is a lot of nice broth, so if you’re not worried about points, some crusty bread would be a nice addition. 

  60. We happened to have all the ingredients (except the pepper) on hand so we gave it a try. It was very good to my husband and oldest son and me but the younger 2 didn’t like it. We served with basmati to use the yummy sauce. I will definitely make it again. Fast, easy and good bonus: it is practically an everything on hand recipe.

  61. What can I substitute for the coconut milk? My dad can’t have that

  62. I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing!  Super simple and full of flavor!  The whole family loves it!

  63. This was so good and super comforting! These are mostly all ingredients I keep on hand, so it was perfect. Served over brown rice. Quick and easy!

    My only issue: Somehow it was over spiced. I had to cut it with a little chicken broth. Could have been my spice but it just overpowered (not spicy-hot, just too much). So be warned and maybe add slowly. 

    Btw I roasted the salmon while cooking the rest to ensure a crispy skin and just speed the process up. I also replaced the onion with scallions, and red chili with a jalapeño, as that’s all I had on hand tonight- it was perfect. 

  64. I only have salmon filets without the skin – would that change the cook time at all?

  65. Should the chickpeas be drained?

    • The recipe says washed and drained.  I made it to night.   I accidentally put the coconut milk in before the chickpeas.  It was still awesome!

    • Hi Gina, are the calories from the oil spray (that was used to cover the bottom of the pan to sear the salmon) included in the total calorie count ?

  66. This looks and sounds delicious. I have tried quite a few of your recipes, and use them to encourage our staff during fitness challenges. I have a problem though. My youngest son is allergic to coconut. So many recipes call for coconut oil or milk. What should I use in place of it? Heavy cream? Almond milk? Help a hungry momma trying to be healthy out!!