Easy Thai Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables
This Thai red curry chicken and vegetables is a quick and healthy weeknight meal with authentic Thai flavors. Made with tender chicken breast and fresh vegetables, it’s ready in under 30 minutes with the help of store-bought red curry paste.
“I cooked your recipe yesterday and we found the tastes and the perfumes we met in Thailand, thank you very much!”Anne Sophie from France
Experience the bold flavors of Thailand in this quick and easy Thai red curry chicken dish, featuring red curry paste, coconut milk, and fresh vegetables. In just under 30 minutes, you can enjoy the fragrant and full-bodied taste that Thai curry is known for.
Coconut milk adds a unique richness and creaminess to this mild and slightly sweet curry, making it a favorite among many. Plus, this nutritious recipe uses ingredients that are likely already in your kitchen.
This Thai red curry with chicken is so easy to make at home using store-bought red curry paste that you’ll feel like a pro chef in no time.
My husband paid me the ultimate compliment when he tasted this curry and said it “tastes like Phuket,” the island in Thailand where we’ve enjoyed many delicious meals. He even declared that it beats any of our local Thai restaurant takeout options. This red curry recipe is definitely a keeper!
If you’re feeling adventurous, try out my Vietnamese chicken curry recipe for a slightly different take on Southeast Asian curry. Perfect for beginners and curry lovers alike.
Differences Between Thai Red, Green, and Yellow Curry
Thai cuisine offers a variety of curries, but the most common ones are red, green, and yellow.
- The green curry uses green chili, basil, and coriander to make the paste, creating its green hue, and is the most popular curry in Thailand.
- On the other hand, red curry paste uses a significant amount of red chili, giving it a yellowish-red color, and tends to be milder than green curry.
- Yellow curry stands out for its unique flavor and color, achieved by using turmeric and other spices in the curry paste. Despite containing less chili, it has a robust taste from the spices used.
For those starting with curries, Thai red curry is the best starter since it is the mildest in both spiciness and flavor.
Homemade vs Store-Bought Red Curry Paste
While homemade curry paste is undeniably delicious, it requires many exotic ingredients like galangal, shrimp paste, and fresh lemongrass that are not easily found in local grocery stores. However, these ingredients are readily available in Asian grocery stores.
On the other hand, when you want a quick Thai curry and don’t want to spend time searching for such ingredients, store-bought Thai curry paste is a convenient option.
Moreover, you can add more flavors to store-bought curry paste to make it as tasty as the classic homemade curry paste.
Recipe Tips and Advice
Before you get started, here are a few recipe tips that you will like.
- Mix coconut milk with chicken stock: Using coconut milk alone makes the curry way too rich and thick. Diluting with chicken stock brings the overall taste and thickness of the curry into balance.
- Protein: Use either chicken breast or chicken thigh. Beef or pork will be good, too. You can even try with shrimp (prawn) or fish if you are a seafood lover.
- Vegetables: I used bamboo shoots, green beans and tomatoes. Pumpkin, butternut squash, broccoli, carrot, chayote, and bell pepper are other great options.
- Want to make this Thai red curry vegetarian? Omit the chicken and use tofu or another plant based protein of your choice. You can use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock in the recipe.
- Chicken: Use boneless chicken breast or thigh for this recipe.
- Garlic and Shallot/Onion: These add savory flavor to the dish.
- Red chili: I use a red long chili in this recipe for a mild spiciness.
- Fresh lemongrass is recommended, but lemongrass paste can be used as a substitute (1 tsp).
- Red curry paste: Used a store-bought paste, such as Maesri brand.
- Bamboo shoots: Can be canned or fresh, but rinse thoroughly before using.
- Green beans: Adds some crunch and color to the dish.
- Tomatoes: Use Roma tomatoes for their firm texture.
- Coconut milk: Richness and creaminess to the curry.
- Brown sugar: A touch of sweetness to balance out the flavors.
- Kaffir lime leaves (optional): Citrusy fragrance and flavor.
- Fish sauce: Provides salty umami flavor.
- Thai basil (optional): Fresh and herbal note to the curry.
- Cilantro: Can be used as a garnish for some added freshness.
Vegetable Substitution Ideas
Don’t limit yourself to just the vegetables listed in the recipe. You can try this Thai red curry recipe with a variety of veggies such as;
Pumpkin, butternut squash, red bell pepper, broccoli, spinach, kale, carrot, eggplant, tofu, chayote, snap peas, or any veggies you like. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite!
How to Make Thai Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables
Step 1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot, add chicken slices and cook until no longer pink. Move the chicken to a plate.
Step 2. Heat the remaining oil, add shallot, garlic, and a crushed lemongrass stalk (white and pale green part only). Cook for 1-2 minutes until soft.
Step 3. Dilute the red curry paste with 2 tablespoons of chicken stock (or chicken broth) in a small mixing bowl and add it to the pot. Stir-fry for 30-60 seconds until the paste has lost some of its moisture.
Step 4. Return the chicken back to the pot along with bamboo shoots, green beans, and tomatoes. Add kaffir lime leaves if using.
Step 5. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock. Add the brown sugar and stir well. Bring the curry to simmer over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the green beans are tender and soft.
Step 6. Season with fish sauce according to your taste. Sprinkle Thai basil leaves, if using, and cilantro at the end.
Suggestions for Serving Thai Red Curry
Typically, people serve Thai curry with steamed white jasmine rice, but you can also serve it over Thai rice noodles. For those who prefer keto-friendly options, cauliflower rice would be a great substitute.
To add a refreshing taste, some people enjoy squeezing lime wedges into the curry, but this is optional and depends on personal preference.
More Thai Recipes
If you are a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, check these recipes below for more delicious Thai dishes.
- Light Thai Glass Noodle Salad (Yum Woon Sen)
- Quick Thai Beef and Basil Stir-Fry
- Classic Thai Beef Salad (Yum Nua)
- Thai Basil Fried Rice with Shrimp
- Crispy Thai Crab Cakes
Easy Thai Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables
- 1 lb chicken breast, diced into bite size
- 2 tbsp oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- 1 large shallot , chopped
- 1 fresh lemongrass (or 1 tsp lemongrass paste), smashed
- 5 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 cup bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
- 4 oz green beans, cut in half
- 2 Roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 5 Kaffir lime leaves, optional
- 2 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp chicken stock, divided
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil, optional
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot, add chicken slices and cook until no longer pink. Move the chicken to a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil, add shallot, garlic, and a smashed lemongrass stalk (white and pale green part only). Cook for 1-2 minutes until soft.
- Dilute the red curry paste with 2 tablespoons of chicken stock in a small mixing bowl and add it to the pot. Stir-fry curry paste and onion garlic mixture for 30-60 seconds until the paste has lost some of its moisture.
- Return the chicken back to the pot along with bamboo shoots, green beans, and tomatoes. Add kaffir lime leaves if using.
- Pour in the coconut milk and 1 cup of chicken stock. Add the brown sugar and stir well. Bring the curry to simmer over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until the green beans are tender and soft.
- Season with fish sauce according to your taste. Sprinkle Thai basil leaves, if using, and cilantro at the end.