A flavorful sauce that is easily made paleo or nut-free provides tons of flavor in this quick and easy Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw! Keto and full of nutrients to power your brain, this recipe is perfect for summer dinners or make ahead lunches.
Sometimes when it’s hot, I just don’t feel like turning on my stove. This recipe is perfect for those times or when you need to get a summer dinner on the table in 15 minutes. You can use leftover chicken or precooked chicken to make this Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw, so no cooking is needed! Just mix up the sauce, toss in the chicken and veggies and you have a delicious, low-carb dinner on the table in minutes!
This Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw is also a great recipe to make ahead for lunch. Protein, fiber, healthy fat and lots of nutrients will give your brain the afternoon boost it needs.
How Will the Ingredients in this Recipe Boost Mood and Brain Function?
This Thai Peanut Curry Chicken Slaw may be low in carbs but it is rich in nutrients that support the brain!
- Protein to Make Neurotransmitters: The tiny substances in our brain that help to regulate our feelings, focus, motivation and memory are called neurotransmitters. They are made with the help of vitamins and minerals, but they start with amino acids, the building blocks of protein. The chicken and peanut butter in this recipe both provide ample protein for the brain to make neurotransmitters.
- Nutrients to Make Neurotransmitters: A long list of micronutrients is needed to convert amino acids to neurotransmitters. Vitamins C, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6, B12, and folate are abundant in this recipe along with the mineral iron [source]. Choline is also used to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a role in learning and memory [source].
- Nutrients to Make Energy: Our brain needs a lot of energy to do all the amazing things that it does, and a lot of nutrients are needed for our brain to make that energy, including vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and the mineral manganese [source]. Chromium is also critical for the body to be able to use glucose for energy and broccoli is a great source [source].
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) Provide an Alternative Source of Energy: Although the brain typically relies on glucose for energy, it can also use ketones. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), a type of fat in coconut oil, can be converted to ketones, which can significantly boost brain function [source].
- Broccoli Includes a Special Compound with Amazing Benefits: A unique feature of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower is a compound called sulforaphane. Research has shown that this compound has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities [source, source]. It may even help the brain produce new brain cells, a process that keeps the brain “young” with the help of something called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (“BDNF”) [source]. Perhaps these benefits are why research has shown sulforaphane to be helpful for everything from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to depression, schizophrenia and autism [source, source, source, source]!
Recipe Steps, Tools and Ingredients
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- Broccoli slaw: you can purchase shredded broccoli and carrots in a bag at King Soopers (Kroger), Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and many other supermarkets. If you cannot find it, coleslaw mix can also be used, or you can shred your own broccoli using a food processor attachment or mandolin. I purchased a mandolin on Amazon for around $20 and I love it! It has a couple of different settings to shred or julienne, which is what you need for this recipe.
- Chicken: of course, you can cook chicken in your oven, pressure cooker or grill and slice it to use in this recipe. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or precooked slices of chicken breast meat. These are great options if you’re trying to avoid turning on your stove when it’s hot outside or quickly prepare lunches for the week!
Steps to Make Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw
This recipe is so easy to make that it’ll only take you 15 minutes to get dinner on the table or lunches prepped for the week!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients for the sauce and mix together, either in a large bowl with a whisk or in a blender.
Step 2: Gather the ingredients for the slaw. Cook the chicken in your oven, Instant Pot or on a grill, if you are not using precooked or leftover chicken. Slice the red bell pepper and scallions, and shred the broccoli stalk, if you are not using a bagged broccoli mix.
Step 3: Toss the slaw ingredients in the sauce. Top with peanuts for some extra crunch, if you’d like. Enjoy!
Substitutions for Special Diets
This recipe can easily be made Paleo, nut-free and gluten-free:
- Paleo: SunButter (or a comparable sunflower seed butter) can be used instead of peanut butter, and coconut aminos can be used instead of soy sauce. Just be sure to read my notes after the recipe. Coconut aminos are typically much lower in sodium, so you will likely have to add more salt to the recipe.
- Nut free: SunButter can be used instead of peanut butter here, too. If nut allergies include coconut, gluten-free soy sauce (tamari) can be used instead of coconut aminos.
- Gluten-free: keep it gluten-free with either coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce (tamari) instead of regular soy sauce!
This is low carb and keto no matter how you make it, but it is can also be easily adapted to Paleo, nut free or gluten-free diets. Just be sure to check out the notes after the recipe since those adaptations may change the amount of salt in the recipe.
Easy Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw
Whether you need dinner on the table in 15 minutes or an easy meal to prep for lunches, you’ll love this Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw! A drool-worthy sauce coats the low-carb ingredients that provide lots of nutrients to power your brain, making this deliciously doable brain food!A flavorful sauce that is easily made paleo or nut-free provides a ton of flavor in this quick and easy Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw! Keto and full nutrients to power your brain, this recipe is perfect for summer dinners or make ahead lunches.Click To Tweet
Other Recipes You Might Enjoy
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken with Paleo Option
- Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps
- BLTA Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Roasted Red Peppers
- Buffalo Blue Cheese Spaghetti Squash
- Chorizo Tacos with Radish-Jicama Slaw
Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw
A flavorful sauce that is easily made paleo or nut-free provides a ton of flavor in this quick and easy Thai Curry Chicken and Broccoli Slaw! Keto and full nutrients to power your brain, this recipe is perfect for summer dinners or make ahead lunches.
- 1 lb chicken cooked and cut into strips
- 12 oz broccoli slaw 1 package
- 1 red bell pepper sliced thinly
- 3 scallions slivered (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk I prefer full fat
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter or SunButter for Paleo/nut-free option
- 1 Tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste or comparable brand
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce see recipe notes above and below
- 1/2 tsp salt see recipe notes below
- 1/4 cup peanuts omit for Paleo and nut-free
Put all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth. Pour the sauce over the slaw ingredients.
Alternatively, whisk the sauce together in a large bowl before adding the slaw ingredients.
Toss until everything is evenly coated. Garnish with peanuts for some crunch!
- See "Substitutions for Special Diets" section above recipe for a full explanation of possible substitutions.
- Use 1/4 tsp salt if using regular soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce (tamari). Increase to 1/2 tsp for low sodium soy sauce or tamari, and increase further to 3/4 tsp salt if using coconut aminos. Remember that you can also add salt to taste at the table.
Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for convenience. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
A scientific review: the role of chromium in insulin resistance. (2004). The Diabetes educator, Suppl, 2–14. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15208835/.
Cognitive Function In-depth. Oregon State University: Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Retrieved from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/cognitive-function.
Henderson, S.T. (July 2008). Ketone bodies as a therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease. Neurotherapeutics, 5, 470–480. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nurt.2008.05.004.
Huang, Chao; Wu, Jingjing; Chen, Dongjian; Jin, Jie; Wu, Yue and Chen, Zhuo. (2019, June 15). Effects of sulforaphane in the central nervous system. European Journal of Pharmacology, 853, 153-168. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2019.03.010.
Kim, J., Lee, S., Choi, B.‐R., Yang, H., Hwang, Y., Park, J. H. Y., LaFerla, F. M., Han, J.‐S., Lee, K. W., and Kim, J. (2017). Sulforaphane epigenetically enhances neuronal BDNF expression and TrkB signaling pathways. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201600194.
Liu, Kayee. Sulforophane and its impact on depression. Amos Institute. Retrieved June 23, 2020 from https://amosinstitute.com/blog/sulforaphane-and-its-impact-on-depression/.
Singh, Kanwaljit, Connors, Susan L., Macklin, Eric A., Smith, Kirby D. Fahey, Jed W., Talalay, Paul and Zimmerman, Andrew W. (2014, Oct). Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (43), 15550-15555. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1416940111.
Shiina, A., Kanahara, N., Sasaki, T., Oda, Y., Hashimoto, T., Hasegawa, T., Yoshida, T., Iyo, M., & Hashimoto, K. (2015). An Open Study of Sulforaphane-rich Broccoli Sprout Extract in Patients with Schizophrenia. Clinical psychopharmacology and neuroscience : the official scientific journal of the Korean College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 13(1), 62–67. https://doi.org/10.9758/cpn.2015.13.1.62.