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This cozy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is quick and easy to whip up in about 30 minutes, it’s made with the yummiest Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite veggies and proteins.
Trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight?
This quick and easy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is always a winner. ♡♡♡
I’ve been eating much more chicken than usual during my pregnancy these past seven months (hello, lean proteins!) and this cozy Thai curry has turned into one of my favorite staples in our weeknight dinner rotation. It’s the perfect meal to clean out whatever veggies happen to be hanging out in the crisper drawer, it’s made with an ultra-cozy and flavor-packed Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it also makes for fantastic leftovers. (So as you can see below, I’ve written the recipe to make a large batch!) It’s also naturally gluten-free and only takes about 30 minutes to make!
Feel free to serve the curry over rice, noodles, quinoa, or with some crusty bread to mop up that delicious curry sauce. (I usually just make a batch of rice in the Instant Pot while preparing the curry.) And of course, if a chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to swap in whatever protein you love best. Or if you happen to have a split meat-eating/vegetarian household like ours, you can always just cook the chicken first and then serve it on the side as an optional add-in.
So simple and SO delicious…my favorite combo. Let’s make some chicken curry, friends!
Thai Chicken Curry Ingredients:
Before we get to the full recipe below, here are a few important notes about the Thai chicken curry ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
- Chicken: I just went with basic boneless skinless chicken breasts for this chicken curry, cut into bite-sized pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sautéed in olive oil. Feel free, though, to sub in any other cuts of chicken (or other proteins) that you prefer. We will cook the chicken first and then add it to the curry just before serving to avoid overcooking it.
- Veggies: Feel free to use whatever veggies happen to be hanging out in your fridge! I used a simple mix of onion, bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms for the batch pictured here. But any stir-fry-friendly veggies will work here.
- Ginger and garlic: If you can, I highly recommend using fresh ginger and garlic to make this Thai curry, which will really amp up the flavor. (You can either grate the ginger, mince it into small pieces, or slice it into thin long strips that you’ll then discard before serving.) Or if you’re in a pinch and don’t have access to fresh ginger, I’ve included an option to sub in ground ginger instead.
- Thai red curry paste: This is my hands-down favorite brand of Thai red curry paste. (We go through tubs of it at a record pace in our house!) But any brand of Thai red curry paste available at your local grocery store will work. Just note that different brands vary in terms of heat levels and spice combinations, so be sure to sample the curry and add more or less, to taste.
- Coconut milk: I also really recommend using full-fat coconut milk in this coconut curry chicken recipe, in order to have a thick, rich, and creamy broth. And if you’re looking for a coconut milk brand recommendation, this one is by far my favorite.
- Lime: I recommend adding lots of fresh lime juice to the broth to brighten up all of those rich curry flavors.
- Fresh Thai basil and cilantro: And topping this curry with lots of fresh herbs is a must, in my book. We always, always serve Thai curry with fresh cilantro in our house. And if you can get your hands on some fresh Thai basil, it adds so much amazing flavor to this dish too!
- Optional extras: I chose to keep the recipe list pretty simple for this Thai curry and find it is plenty flavorful as-is. But if you would like to add in some extra flavors, some fresh lemongrass (lemongrass paste is a nice shortcut), sugar (or any other sweetener that you prefer), fish sauce (for an extra umami kick), kaffir lime leaves (for a different aromatic lime flavor), or Thai bird chiles (or any other spicy chiles, for extra heat) are also great additions.
Possible Recipe Variations:
This Thai chicken curry recipe is quite flexible, so please feel free to experiment and customize the recipe however you might like! For example, you could…
- Use a different protein: Feel free to sub in steak, pork, shrimp, meatballs, ground sausage (pork, turkey, or chicken), or any other proteins that you would prefer here in place of the chicken.
- Use different veggies/greens: As mentioned above, just about any stir-fry-friendly veggies and greens will work in this curry, so please use whatever you have on hand!
- Use a different curry paste: You could also swap in Thai green, yellow, Panang or massaman curry pastes in place of the Thai red curry paste. But of course, keep in mind that different types of curry pastes vary significantly in terms of flavor, heat, and potency. So I say start with less and then you can always add more, to taste.
- Make it vegan: To make this a vegan curry, simply omit the meat and just use veggies. Or you are welcome to add in some chickpeas or your favorite vegan protein as an alternative.
- Make it spicier: To kick up the heat, feel free to add some sliced Thai bird chiles to the curry. Or you are welcome to add in some crushed red pepper flakes or any other kind of hot sauce that you prefer.
- Make it lighter: You can swap low-fat coconut milk in place of full-fat coconut milk. But note that this will completely change the creamy texture and rich flavor of the coconut curry sauce.
More Favorite Curry Recipes:
Looking for more cozy curry recipes to add to your repertoire? Here are a few of my faves:
This cozy Thai Chicken Curry recipe is quick and easy to whip up in about 30 minutes, it’s made with the yummiest Thai coconut red curry sauce, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite veggies and proteins. This recipe makes a big batch, so see below for storage instructions if you have leftovers.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
- fine sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 small white onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers, cored and thinly sliced (I used one red and one yellow)
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced into coins
- 8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
- 2 tablespoons grated or minced fresh ginger*
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Thai red curry paste (or more/less, to taste)
- 2 (14-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk*
- juice of 1 to 2 limes, to taste
- toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, fresh Thai basil, extra lime wedges
- Cook the chicken. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken generously with a few pinches of salt and pepper, then add it to the stockpot and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate and set aside. (I recommend prepping the other veggies while the chicken cooks, to save time.)
- Sauté the veggies. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the stockpot. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. (I prefer my veggies to stay slightly crispy, but you can cook yours longer if desired.) Add the garlic, ginger, and Thai curry paste and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Simmer. Add in the coconut milk and stir until the curry paste has evenly dissolved in the broth. Continue cooking until the curry just barely reaches a simmer. Lower heat to medium-lower to maintain the simmer, then cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, until the veggies reach your desired level of softness.
- Season. Add in the cooked chicken and the juice of one lime. Then give the curry a taste and season with extra salt, pepper, curry paste, and/or lime juice, if needed.
- Serve. Serve warm with rice, rice noodles, bread, or on its own. Garnish with lots of chopped fresh herbs on top plus extra lime wedges if desired. Enjoy!
Coconut milk: I recommend using full-fat coconut milk so that the broth is thick and creamy. Low-fat coconut milk can work if you prefer, but the broth will be considerably thinner.
Ground ginger alternative: If you don’t have fresh ginger on hand, feel free to add in 2 teaspoons (or more, to taste) ground ginger to the broth when you add in the coconut milk.
Storage instructions: Leftovers can be refrigerated in a food storage container for up to 3 days. If you have cooked rice or noodles to serve with the curry, I recommend storing them in a separate container (otherwise they will likely soak up all of the curry broth). Unfortunately, this broth does not freeze well, so I don’t recommend freezing leftovers.