Healthy Chicken Katsu Curry

Learn how to make Healthy Chicken Katsu from scratch with this paleo and gluten-free spin on the traditional Japanese curry recipe. A hearty, mildly spicy chicken dinner that can be served with rice or low carb with cauliflower rice. 

overhead shot of two bowls of healthy chicken katsu curry

Paleo Katsu chicken curry – a delicious and healthy spin on a traditional Japanese dish.

What better way is there to unwind after a long day than with a flavorsome Japanese katsu curry? Wait, curry and Japan? YES, this is a thing! Curry was introduced to Japan by the British over 100 years ago, and has since then become one of the country’s favorite dishes to eat at restaurants and make at home. Nowadays, you can find different types of Japanese curries ranging from mild to hot.

This “mild” curry is an easy paleo and gluten free spin on traditional chicken katsu curry recipe that combines a thick veggie-packed curry sauce with a crisp baked chicken cutlet. Guys this one has quickly become a favorite ‘fakeaway’ meal for me and I know you will love it just as much.

The mild Japanese curry sauce is such an easy one and it is packed full of flavor despite being super mild in taste.  I mean, crispy crunchy almond flour breaded chicken breast paired with a rich and tangy curry sauce – what’s not to love?

What does katsu curry sauce taste like?

The taste is of the curry sauce is unlike any curry you will ever try. Quite unique, with a bit of tartness and saltiness from the soy sauce, but it’s sweet and a bit fruity at the same time thanks to a base of caramelized onion, apples, garlic, and carrot. As we use potatoes as a thickener, we can get away with adding just a bit of cornstarch or arrowroot flour for thickening.

a serving of healthy paleo chicken katsu curry served with cucumber and a mild curry sauce

I based the crispy chicken part for this Chicken Katsu Curry recipe on my favorite chicken schnitzel recipe.  A healthier, lighter version of a traditional schnitzel that you can make on any given weeknight. It’s that easy and you can feel good about eating it, too.

Rather than deep-frying the chicken, I baked it in the oven. With all that delicious sauce, it just begs to be served on a bed of rice or cauliflower rice. You can pair this healthy Japanese chicken dinner with steamed basmati rice if you are not following a low-carb diet, or use cauliflower rice instead if you want to keep this paleo!

How to make Healthy Chicken Katsu Curry:

picture collage demonstrating how to make chicken katsu curry sauce in a saucepan

Make the Curry Sauce: 

Step 1Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, once it begins to shimmer, add the onion and cook until softened, approx. 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger during the last minute.

Step 2- Add the grated vegetables and apple, along with the curry powder and fry for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Pour in the stock and soy sauce, then leave to simmer for 20 minutes over low heat. Blitz the sauce either with an immersion blender, or in a proper blender until smooth, and season to taste. This is a key point for Japanese curries, they are generally always served blended smooth.

While the curry is cooking, start with the chicken. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a bit of oil. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Smack each piece a couple of times with the bottom of a frying pan to flatten them a bit. I would advise putting a layer of cling wrap on top of the chicken first. This helps us give the chicken a surface that’s easier to bread, as well as relieve a bit of stress.

Prepare three large bowls/stations: one with cornstarch, one with beaten eggs, and one with almond flour, salt and paprika, mixed together.

How to make Japanese Chicken Katsu:

picture collage demonstrating how to bread chicken in almond flour to make healthy chicken katsu curry recipe

Step 3 – Place all breasts in cornstarch and toss until they’re all well covered.

Step 4 & 5– Then one by one, dip each piece into the eggs, then the almond flour mixture. Press down so it sticks and makes a thick layer. Wash your hands between each piece so the mixture doesn’t clump.

picture collage demonstrating how to bake crispy chicken for chicken katsu recipe

Step 6 – Place the coated piece on a prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces.

Step 7Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of your oven (or until it reaches between 150-155°F), then move the baking sheet closer to the top element and broil for 5-8 minutes (depending on your oven, by now you should have hit the minimum 165°F for chicken) or until it’s lightly golden. It won’t get as golden as fried chicken schnitzel, it’s normal. Let the chicken cool a bit and slice into thick pieces.

overhead shot of healthy paleo chicken katsu curry served with rice and mild Japanese curry sauce

Assembly

Arrange some rice onto 4 plates, pour curry sauce over one half of the plates, and top with breaded chicken in the middle.

Tips & Variations:

  • The sauce is definitely worth making a triple or even quadruple batch of for freezing in portions to pour over rice, cauliflower rice or to use as a dip, for anything!
  • For a vegetarian version, make this with tofu instead of chicken or try slicing sweet potato and par-boiling them for a few mins before draining, patting dry, rubbing with olive oil and pressing into the coating instead of the chicken. You can bake the potatoes like the chicken or shallow fry them in a little coconut oil.
  • I like serving this with cucumber and carrots but you could also go for steamed greens, charred asparagus or green beans. 
  • If you want to go on full Japanese, serve this with a halved boiled egg. Another great traditional addition would be pickled ginger.

Healthy Chicken Katsu Curry

Learn how to make Healthy Chicken Katsu from scratch with this paleo and gluten-free spin on the traditional Japanese curry recipe. A hearty, mildly spicy chicken dinner that can be served with rice or low carb with cauliflower rice. 

Course dinner, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword chicken katsu curry, Japanese curry recipe, paleo chicken katsu
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 913 kcal

Ingredients

Curry Sauce

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 red apple peeled and grated
  • 1 small potato or ½ sweet potato peeled and grated
  • 2 carrots peeled and grated
  • tbsp curry powder
  • tbsp coconut aminos or light soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups 300 ml chicken stock

“Breaded” Chicken

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1⅓ - 1½ cups almond flour depending on the size of the chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ tsp paprika

Everything Else

  • 4 cups cooked rice to serve
  • Carrots and cucumbers cut into ribbons, to serve - optional

Instructions

Curry Sauce:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, once it begins to shimmer, add the onion and cook until softened, approx. 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger during the last minute.

  2. Add the grated vegetables and apple, along with the curry powder and fry for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

  3. Pour in the stock and soy sauce, then leave to simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.

  4. Blitz the sauce either with an immersion blender, or in a proper blender until smooth, and season to taste. This is a key point for Japanese curries, they are generally always served blended smooth.

Breaded Chicken:

  1. While the curry is cooking, start with the chicken. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with a bit of oil.

  2. Slice chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Smack each piece a couple times with the bottom of a frying pan to flatten them a bit. I would advise putting a layer of cling wrap on top of the chicken first. This helps us give the chicken a surface that’s easier to bread, as well as relieve a bit of stress.

  3. Prepare three large bowls / stations: one with cornstarch, one with beaten eggs, and one with almond flour, salt and paprika, mixed together.

  4. Place all breasts in cornstarch and toss until they're all well covered.

  5. Then one by one, dip each piece into the eggs, then the almond flour mixture. Press down so it sticks and make a thick layer. Wash your hands between each piece so the mixture doesn’t clump.

  6. Place the coated piece on a prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack of your oven (or until it reaches between 150-155°F), then move the baking sheet closer to the top element and broil for 5-8 minutes (depending on your oven, by now you should have hit the minimum 165°F for chicken) or until it's lightly golden. It won't get as golden as a fried chicken schnitzel, it's normal.

  8. Let the chicken cool a bit and slice into thick pieces.

Assembly

  1. Arrange some rice onto 4 plates, pour curry sauce over one half of the plates and top with breaded chicken in the middle.

Recipe Notes

  • The sauce is definitely worth making a triple or even quadruple batch of for freezing in portions to pour over rice, cauliflower rice or to use as a dip, for anything!
  • For a vegetarian version, make this with tofu instead of chicken or try slicing sweet potato and par-boiling them for a few mins before draining, patting dry, rubbing with olive oil and pressing into the coating instead of the chicken. You can bake the potatoes like the chicken or shallow fry them in a little coconut oil. 
  • I like serving this with cucumber and carrots but you could also go for steamed greens, charred asparagus or green beans. 
  • Another great addition would be pickled ginger.
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Chicken Katsu Curry
Amount Per Serving (1 /4)
Calories 913 Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat 43g66%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 156mg52%
Sodium 1285mg56%
Potassium 1008mg29%
Carbohydrates 89g30%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 13434IU269%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 221mg22%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried my healthy chicken katsu recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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Chicken Clean Eating Dairy Free Gluten free Main Dishes Meat Paleo Paleo/Primal Recipes
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