Thai Red Curry
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This Thai Red Curry with chicken and vegetables is easy, flavorful, and dinner ready in 30 minutes or less. It’s healthier than takeout, and easy to make spicy or mild.
We frequent a family-owned Thai restaurant here in Cache Valley called Thai House. Our favorite thing to order is the house special curry and potstickers. The food is inexpensive and so good!
As much as I love to eat out, or order takeout from this restaurant, I wanted to re-create our favorite Thai curry at home.
My most favorite Thai foods have peanut sauce or sweet chili sauce like these Thai Turkey Burgers or these Thai Chicken Enchiladas. This red curry has peanut butter in the sauce and of course coconut milk — another favorite ingredient used in Thai recipes.
Classic Thai red curry is more soupy, but my kids like it better thickened up. Hence the saucy texture you can see in the pictures. This doesn’t change the flavor profile at all. You can, of course, leave out the cornstarch slurry that thickens it.
We’ve also made this recipe in the slow cooker with success. I’ll share those tips in the notes of the recipe card.
Thai Red Curry
Traditional red curry is a popular Thai dish consisting of red curry paste cooked in coconut milk; often paired with meat (or tofu) and vegetables. It’s packed with flavor and easy to make.
Don’t let the ingredients list intimidate you! The list might seem long, but this Thai Red Curry uses common/easy-to-find ingredients from a typical grocery store.
Here’s a list of the ingredients and flavors that quickly marry together in this wonderful dish.
- Aromatics – onion, garlic, and ginger.
- Sweet & Creamy – brown sugar, peanut butter, and coconut milk.
- Savory & Acidic – soy sauce, lime juice/rice vinegar (or some of both) chicken broth, and fish sauce. (Do NOT skip this, it doesn’t taste fishy – I promise! And I do not like seafood.)
- Spices – red curry paste (which actually isn’t that spicy), sriracha, and crushed red pepper for a spicy kick.
- Protein and Vegetables – chicken, carrots, bell pepper, and broccoli. (Customize with your favorites. Just keep in mind the different cook times.)
The best part about this recipe is that it’s a one pot meal and literally comes together in 30 minutes or less. Have your rice ready to serve it with. Sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, or crushed peanuts make a great garnish.
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp ginger paste
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp red curry paste
- 2 Tbsp lime juice/rice vinegar (or 1 Tbsp each)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 (14oz) can lite coconut milk
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 tsp (+) sriracha, to taste
- 1/4 tsp (+) crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch + 1 Tbsp COLD water, optional for thickening
- Cooked rice
- Optional garnishes: sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts
- Heat a large (cast iron) skillet over medium heat. Once hot, melt coconut oil across the bottom of the pan. Add onion, carrots, and cubed chicken. Season generously with salt and a little pepper. Cook 3 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger paste, and red bell pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes more, until chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the brown sugar, peanut butter, red curry paste, lime juice/rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, coconut milk, chicken broth, sriracha, and crushed red pepper.
- Simmer 10 minutes, until carrots are tender and sauce reduces and thickens a little bit. Add the broccoli florets the LAST 4-5 minutes of cook time.
- If a thicker sauce is desired, mix 1 Tbsp of cornstarch and 1 Tbsp COLD water, and whisk into the simmering sauce the last minute of cooking. Taste and adjust the salt and sriracha to desired taste and heat level.
- Serve with hot, cooked rice and garnish with sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, or crushed peanuts.
*THAI RED CURRY PASTE: Look for it in the Asian section of the grocery store. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
*FISH SAUCE: Also in the Asian section. Don’t worry – it does not make the sauce taste like fish; it just makes it saltier and adds lots of deep flavor. Don’t leave it out!
*GINGER PASTE: I love to buy the Gourmet Garden brand in a tube from the fresh herbs section of the store.
*SLOW COOKER: To make this in the slow cooker, omit the coconut oil, and add all the ingredients except for the broccoli florets and cornstarch slurry (cornstarch + water). You will add those the last 30 minutes of cooking. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked and carrots are tender.