Curries are one of my go-to quick healthy meals. In this Thai red curry recipe, chicken and vegetables are simmered in a creamy coconut milk sauce. This healthy one pot Thai dish is ready in 30 minutes, making it a perfect weeknight meal.
Thai curries are made with curry paste that often includes chili peppers, garlic, shallots, galangal (Thai ginger), lemongrass, and coriander. Coconut milk and lime juice are then added to make the curry sauce. If you like Thai curry I highly recommend keeping some red and green curry paste in your pantry. You can find it in most grocery stores in the Asian food section. Thai curry dishes are really easy to make if you have the right ingredients on hand.
To make this Thai red curry, start by sautéing onions, minced garlic, and ginger. You then add the curry paste. Start with 2 tablespoons of red curry paste. If you want it spicier add an additional 1-2 tablespoons. Despite the red color, Thai red curry pastes are not super spicy. If you want even more spice you can add some red pepper flakes or a diced serrano chili.
Next, you add the coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. I really recommend using full-fat coconut milk since this will give you the best flavor and texture. However, you can use reduced-fat coconut milk if you strongly prefer that.
Fish sauce is a basic condiment in Thai cooking. It’s made from fermented fish (usually anchovies) and salt and has a pungent flavor. I promise you though that it doesn’t make your curry taste fishy. Instead, it gives it an extra umami flavor. The few times I’ve made Thai curry without it because I didn’t have any, it tasted like something was missing, so I highly encourage you to try it.
After you make the curry coconut sauce, you add the chicken and vegetables and cook them in the sauce. Cooking the chicken in the sauce keeps it moist. I’ve tried cooking it first and then adding to the sauce at the end to heat it up, but I found that it starts to get dry that way.
If you want to make this dish vegetarian you can definitely use tofu or tempeh in place of the chicken. Also, feel free to use whatever vegetables that you’d like. Eggplant, sweet potatoes, or zucchini would also work well in a Thai curry.
Once the chicken and vegetables are cooked, add some freshly squeezed lime juice to finish everything off. Serve with rice and you have a hearty meal!
Curries make good leftovers. If you make extra, store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Vegetables
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2-4 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 8 oz. green beans, cut in half (~2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced, then half the slices
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 13.5 oz. can of coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free option)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic and ginger and saute 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the curry paste. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
- Turn the heat up to high until the sauce starts to simmer and then reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure it is cooking evenly.
- Add the green beans and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the lime juice. Serve with rice.
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