Thai Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables


You guys HAVE to make this Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe!  I don’t beg often, so I hope you know I never cry wolf.  If you are a lover of Thai Food, you will be a LOVER of this warm, comforting, multi-dimensional Thai Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables!  Its a one pot wonder worthy of any weeknight or weekend and you should be able to find all the ingredients at your local grocery store!

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how to make Thai Red Curry Recipe

Thai Red Curry Chicken in a black sauce pan with wood serving spoon.


Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines with its depth of layered flavors that create a savory symphony in every bite.    I’ve created several of my restaurant favorites into takeout fakeout versions from Chicken Pad ThaiPanang Curry, Coconut Curry Chicken, Yellow CurryTom Kha Gai.  and now this INSANELY delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe!!!   (update, this Red Curry Chicken Recipe made my Most Popular Recipes of 2017!  AKA it’s a winner!)

Thai Red Curry Chicken with rice on a plate.

As I was looking at my other “Thai” or “curry”recipes,  many of them boast how quickly they come together in the title, “30 Minute Pantry Friendly Panang Curry,” “30 Minute Pineapple Red Curry Chicken Stir Fry,” “20 Minute Thai Red Curry Beef  Tacos” – so apparently Thai food is quick and easy?   YES IT IS!!!  Thanks to to the magical store bought Thai red curry paste that packs a huge flavor punch.  The premade red curry paste is comprised of finely ground coriander, peppercorns, Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro, shallot, garlic, and fresh chiles – all combined for you.  No wonder it adds tons of flavor with minimal effort.

Thai Red Curry Chicken in a black sauce pan.

The key to bringing the red curry paste alive and for its flavors to permeate the entire dish, is to saute it with plenty of onion, garlic and ginger.  We also stir fry our chicken, bell peppers and zucchini directly in the simmering red curry paste to infuse it with the dynamic flavors all before we add the coconut milk.  Feel free to change up the vegetables to whatever suits your mood or make Thai Red Curry Chicken – cleaning-out-the-fridge-style with whatever you need to use up. It will be the best use of miscellaneous veggies Ever.

Showing how to make Thai Red Curry Chicken sauteing in a pan.

To further the complexity of flavors, we also add Thai sweet chili sauce, and the classic cast of Thai food characters: soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, dried basil and a bay leaf.  Its a somewhat long list of ingredients, but most of them you are just dumping into the sauce. You might notice we are not using Kaffir lime leaves which are responsible for the distinctive earthy lime-lemon flavor in many traditional Thai Red Curry recipes, but this exotic ingredient can be very difficult to find, and I want you to be able to make this Thai Red Curry Chicken recipe AT ALL TIMES.  While there is no direct substitute for Kaffir lime leaves, it doesn’t mean other ingredients can’t be used to produce otherworldly flavors.  This Thai Red Curry Chicken achieves a wonderfully fresh citrus zing by playing up the fresh lime juice, bright lime zest and simmering the sauce with a bay leaf.  Done.

Close up of a Thai Red Curry Chicken in a black sauce pan.

Finally, my authentically blasphemous key to gorgeously, thick, silky red curry coconut sauce is to whisk our quality coconut milk (I like Chakoah)  with a little cornstarch.  The end result is a rich, luscious red curry coconut sauce that is soooo creamy, so infused with flavor all cradling your tender chicken and crisp-tender vegetables. All in 30 minutes.  And your house will smell incredible.  This Thai Red Curry Chicken might be as good as it gets.

Thai Red Curry Chicken on a white plate with bread and herb garnish.


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Close up of Thai Red Curry Chicken with rice and chop sticks.


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This less than 30 MINUTE Thai Red Curry Chicken tastes straight out of a restaurant! Its wonderfully thick and creamy, bursting with flavor, so easy and all in one pot! Definitely a new fav at our house!

Thai Red Curry Chicken

This 30 MINUTE Thai Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables is wonderfully coconut creamy, bursting with layers of flavor, incredibly easy and all made in one pot!  Definitely a new favorite at our house and better than any restaurant!
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts sliced into 1/4” slices then 2” pieces**
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced then chopped into 2” pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper thinly sliced then chopped into 2” pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 13.5 oz. can quality coconut milk (I like Chaokoh)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Asian/Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (like Mae Ploy)
  • 2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • sriracha to taste/Asian chili sauce (optional)


  • lime zest to taste
  • fresh basil
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime juice


  • Heat oil over medium high heat in large nonstick skillet. Add chicken, onion and red curry paste and cook just until chicken is no longer pink. Add bell peppers, zucchini, ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute.
  • Add half of the coconut milk. Mix remaining coconut milk with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and add to skillet along with all remaining ingredients (expect Garnishes).
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the vegetables reach desired crisp-tenderness. If you would like a thinner sauce, thin with water (I don’t do this). Discard bay leaf.
  • Garnish with additional optional fresh basil, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and Sriracha to taste. Serve with rice.



**Chicken is much easier to slice if partially frozen. It will thaw quickly once sliced. You can slice your chicken and red bell peppers in advance for even quicker meal prep.

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  1. Laura says

    Third time making this and each time I do my husband tells me how amazing it is! I love how flavorful it is. I make it exactly as written. It’s has all the elements needed for the perfect bite, salt, acid, fat, and heat.. so perfect.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Laura, I’m so pleased it’s a repeat winner!

  2. Sarah J Campbell says

    Was quick and wonderful!!!

  3. Adriana says

    Could you substitute lentils for the chicken? Adding them after you add the coconut milk.

    • Jen says

      Hi Adriana, lentils take much longer to cook so I would only add cooked lentils if using.

  4. Kelsi says

    This looks delicious! Is there a nutrition breakdown of if?

  5. Cassady Stewart says

    This has become a staple over the last handful of years. It’s so comforting and full of flavors! We love this one at our house. I don’t make a lot of repeat recipes because I like to change things up but this has made it into our meal plan every month! Bravo!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much for the rave review Cassady! I’m so pleased this is a repeat favorite!

  6. Jessamy says

    Made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious but I think next time I will double the garlic and ginger – it felt like it needed even more flavour!

  7. Jillian says

    Yum yum yum! I was nervous with it being a red curry that it would be spicy but it wasn’t at all and was so flavorful! I added a couple small potatoes from my garden as well and it was *chef’s kiss*

    • Jen says

      That’s what I like to hear, thanks so much Jillian!

  8. Kate Free says

    Love the Thai Red Curry!!! Easy, and delicious!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much, I’m so pleased it was a it!

  9. Nabila says

    Made this today and it was absolutely delicious. I decided to do the velvetting technique not sure if that was necessary? And i seasoned it with garlic powder and rice wine. I then stir fried the veggies and later combined everything together the red curry paste along with the coconut milk etc.. i felt like it took me forever to make this meal lol but the flavor was phenomenal. It wasn’t spicy and it wasn’t sure what else to add at the end to turn up the heat ?

    • Jen says

      Hi Nabila, I’m so glad you liked it! The velveting technique isn’t necessary if using thinly sliced chicken and is more used in Chinese cooking, but it’s always tasty! To add heat, add your favorite chili sauce or chili garlic sauce like Huy Fong or Sambal Oelek or cayenne pepper or red chili flakes to taste.

    • Gijs says

      Can I just ask: I happened to find kafir leaves at my local store. What do I substitute that for? Just the lime juice? Thanks in advance!
      Grt Gijs

      • Jen says

        You would omit the bay leaf and lime juice. After you taste the curry at the end, you can decide if you want to add some additional lime juice. Enjoy!

        • Gijs says

          Sorry, I should have asked right away.. how many leaves would you recommend in this recipe if I substitute it for the bay leaf and lime juice? Around 1 pair (2 leaves)? Thank you!

          • Jen says

            Sorry I’m just responding, we moved a coupled days ago, so things have been crazy! I would use 4 leaves.

      • Nabila says

        Perfect thanks so much! Love all your recipes so much.

        • Gijs says

          Perfect! Thanks for the reply! I made this a few days ago and this is going in my favourites! Yum!!

          • Jen says

            I’m so pleased it was a hit, thanks so much!

  10. Joanna says

    This recipe was OUTSTANDING. It was so good. I followed the recipe exactly, since I now have my own permanent stock of “Carlsbad Cravings” ingredients. I felt like I was at a Thai restaurant, but 100x better. Love it!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Joanna, I’m honored it was restaurant quality! And I love that you have your own stock of repeated ingredients!

  11. Miriam says

    This is pretty good. I added a few different veggies. I also doubled the other ingredients items and kept the same amount of coconut milk ( I had double the amount chicken). I added lemon grass paste as it almost tastes like Tom Kha Gai to me.

  12. Sue says

    Bay leaves ?never heard of putting it in ThaiCurry!!!!!!!Geez! To each it’s own but Thai would never do that!

    • Jen says

      Hi Sue, it is a substitution along with thyme and lemon zest for kaffir lime leaves.

  13. michelle says

    Wow!! So good!! I used strips of beef I had on hand in the fridge that needed using instead of chicken. It was wonderful! I’m wanting to try chicken next. I used a mild red curry paste (Thai Kitchen) and it was not too spicy at all. I topped with fresh basil and it was as beautiful as it was tasty.

    • Jen says

      I’m so pleased you loved it Michelle and it sounds super tasty with beef!

  14. Megan Williams says

    This is my absolute favorite meal OF ALL TIME! I probably make it every two weeks! I just wanted to say thank you for sharing it. All your recipes are great.

    • Jen says

      WOW! I’m so honored that it’s your favorite! I appreciate you taking the time to let me know!

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