Thai Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables

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!

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!

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.

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
Prep Time: 18 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Garnish

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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

**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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156 Comments

  1. TERI C says

    This is a wonderful recipe! I doubled the sriracha, because we like spicy food. Will definitely make again.

    • Jen says

      Awesome, thanks so much Teri!

  2. Adriana Clark says

    Second time I have made this and it’s so good! I forgot to defrost chicken and used shrimp instead. Unfortunately, the shrimp ended up being overcooked because I started cooking them when the recipe indicates the chicken should be cooked (totally my fault because I know shrimp cook fast; I’m still a fairly new home cook) Anyway, at what stage would you recommend shrimp be added to prevent overcooking?

    • Jen says

      Hi Adriana, shrimp take 4-5 minutes, so I would add after you start simmering the sauce. I hope that helps!

  3. Chuck says

    It was WONDERFUl! Thanks for sharing. Found fresh Kafffir lime leaves at a local Asian market… they were AMAZING! Will definitely make again.

    Got any more good recipes!

    God Bless!

  4. Dianne says

    My first attempt at a Thai curry and it was delicious! Will definitely be making it again.

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that, thanks so much Dianne!

  5. Laurel says

    Wow! Wow! Wow!
    This recipe is fabulous!
    I didn’t have the orange bell pepper or zucchini, but subbed a green pepper and some snap peas. Also no tofu or chicken (that wasn’t frozen)–so used some cooked shrimp. Added the shrimp last–just to heat it through.
    The mix of ingredients worked beautifully with no one flavor overriding another.
    Thank you for the GREAT recipe.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Laurel for your awesome comment! I ‘m so pleased you will still able to make this red curry with substitutions and that it turned out so well!

  6. Sofia says

    This recipe was so forgiving, my first time making it. I made several variations and it still turned out amazing. I didn’t need to the brown sugar and I added oyster sauce instead of fish sauce. I made mine with prawn instead of chicken. My only suggestion to people who want to try out this recipe is to taste it before you add any ingredients. Hold back on ingredients like sugar, soy sauce and fish sauce. Add everything one tablespoon at a time and taste it each time you add a new ingredient . Good luck 😉 Thank you so much for the recipe !!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome, I’m so happy it was a winner! I’m guessing you didn’t need the brown sugar because you omitted the fish sauce – it definitely needs it to balance it if using.

  7. Susan Donohue says

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, flavorful recipe. I made it with shrimp, adding the shrimp when you suggested. Blew me and my guests away! Making it again tomorrow night for two of my friends. Thank you again for sharing your expertise! I look forward to making more of your recipes.

    • Jen says

      You are so welcome Susan, I’m so happy it was such a hit shrimp! And welcome to my site! I hope you have fuu exploring and hopefully find many new favorites!

  8. Debby says

    I so look forward to your recipe posts. You are by far my most favorite. In most of your Thai dishes you show the dish with round slices of a chili pepper (I presume) but no where is it ever listed in the ingredients. Could you please list what it is? Thank you.

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your kind words Debby! The chili peppers are just a garnish for aesthetics but feel free to add them if you like 😉

  9. Phil says

    I made the Thai red curry chicken last night and it is absolutely delicious, I will be making this on a regular basis it’s that good, the Mrs loved it and couldn’t get over how good it tasted. So to anyone who loves Thai food give this a go, you won’t regret it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the 5 star review Phil! I’m thrilled you both loved it so much!

  10. Ruth S Van Dyne says

    OMG, I made it last night and couldn’t stop eating it. Sooooo good! Have leftovers for two more meals and am looking forward to that….plus making your other Thai recipes Thank you so much for bringing memories of Thailand into my home.

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Ruth, I’m so happy you loved it! I’m also excited for you to try my other Thai recipes!

  11. Haley Dresser says

    First time making this recipe and it was absolutely lovely. Thank you for this!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Haley! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  12. Megan says

    This had great flavor! I followed the recipe exactly. For some reason, mine was more of a sticky sauce than a creamy sauce like yours appears. I haven’t really cooked with coconut milk before and mine was separated and I didn’t warm it to remix it before using in recipe. You think that may be why?

    • Jen says

      Hi Megan, I’m sorry your sauce was sticky, that is so odd! I can’t think why it would have been that way – perhaps accidently using too much cornstarch or the brand of coconut milk? Recombining the coconut milk before using shouldn’t be a factor, but you can definitely try it. I also recommend using Chaokoh coconut milk for super creamy sauce. good luck!

      • Megan says

        Ok, so I got your suggested coconut milk and tried again- huge difference! So so good! Thank you!!

        • Jen says

          YAY! I’m so pleased you actually purchased Chaokoh and that it worked! Thanks for following up Megan!

  13. sara says

    This was absolutely delicous, thank you!!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Sara!

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