A simple, weeknight recipe for Instant Pot Thai Curry Chicken, that can also be made on the stove top! Bursting with delicious Thai flavors this recipe can be made in 35 minutes! Serve it over rice, quinoa or rice noodles – and save the amazing leftovers for lunch!
You can be deeply involved with everything, but still not be identified with it any more.~Sadhguru
Here’s a quick Instant Pot recipe that can also be made on your stovetop – Instant Pot Thai Curry Chicken! I combed through the fridge and gathered what veggies I could find, and added them to the pot too. I don’t know about you, but this always feels so gratifying, using up all the strays. Things like bell pepper, potatoes, zucchini, snow peas… all work well!
Making this Instant Pot Curry Chicken on the stove top, only adds another 5-7 minutes of cooking time- which honestly, I find just as easy, if not easier, but either way, you’ll have a super flavorful meal, full of lean protein and healthy veggies on the table in no time flat.
And the leftovers make for a delicious lunch. 😉
Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks. Feel free to use boneless, skinless breasts or thighs (see notes for different pressure cooking times). Thighs tend do do better in and instant pot- not drying out as easily, but if using breasts, see notes.
While this is cooking, I had a small pot of quinoa cooking on the stove.
There is a little sautéing in the beginning, but after that, it’s basically dump and go.
A note about veggies – some veggies take longer than others to cook! So veggies, like bigger chunks of potatoes or sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, broccoli, or any longer cooking veggies, I’ll cook right along with the chicken.
Shorter cooking veggies like snow peas, cauliflower, asparagus, bell pepper, etc…. I add to the instant pot right after the chicken is cooked, cooking on the saute function for just a few minutes- keeping them crisp and vibrant.
Before I start the Instant Pot Curry chicken, I’ll usually start a small batch of rice or quinoa, to keep the overall cooking time short.
Serve the fragrant and flavorful Instant Pot Curry Chicken up in bowls with lime, bean sprouts and fresh basil. So simple and easy!
If using chicken breasts- they will need a little time to “re-absorb” the moisture it looses when pressure cooked. See the recipe notes! So I find this is always better, the next day, perfect for meal prep – making ahead for the busy work week. Make a batch and keep it in your fridge!
For more easy, ethnic, instant pot recipes….. make sure to visit here!
Read recipe notes for the stovetop version.
If you try it, please rate it and add your comments and adaptions below!
Instant Pot Thai Curry Chicken
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
- Category: Chicken, Instant Pot
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Thai
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 shallots, chopped ( or 1 onion)
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped ( or use ginger paste)
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into one inch pieces.
- 2–4 tablespoons thai red curry paste (I like this brand) or use Mae Ploy. (Thai Kitchen will work in a pinch)
- 1 x 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 cube chicken bouillon (or sub ¼ teaspoon salt, or more fish sauce)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, coconut sugar or alternative sweetener ( please don’t leave out)
- 4 kefir lime leaves ( optional- see notes)
- optional veggies (4 cups) small cubed sweet potato or potato, thinly sliced carrot, cauliflower, bell peppers, snow peas, asparagus or even fresh pineapple chunks! ( see notes for cooking options)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- garnishes – lime wedge, bean sprouts, ¼ cup fresh basil (a must) and Thai basil really elevates this!
Set your grain to cook on the stove. Quinoa is fastest!
Set Instant Pot to saute function. ( Alternatively, you can cook this all on the stove in a heavy bottom pot or dutch oven. See notes!) Heat oil and add shallot, ginger and garlic, and saute until fragrant and golden, about 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, stir, and just give a quick sear, just 2-3 minutes. Add red curry paste ( I like about 3 tablespoons for medium spicy), cook one minute, then add coconut milk, chicken bouillon cube, fish sauce, brown sugar and optional kefir lime leaves. Give a stir to combine. At this point, add any veggies that need longer cooking- like potatoes, parsnips, carrots or eggplant (cut into larger, 1 inch chunks).
Pressure Cook breasts on high pressure for 7 minutes (thighs will need 9 minutes). Manually release and set back to saute function. Simmer sauce down a bit to reduce it, and add any quick cooking veggies- snow peas, bell peppers, asparagus and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until veggies are just tender, yet still bright and snappy. If using breasts see notes.
Add lime juice. Taste, adjust salt and heat (add more curry paste for more spicy).
Serve over your grain, topping with fresh basil, lime wedge and bean sprouts!
If using chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, letting the chicken “re-absorb” the flavorful sauce will help the chicken breast to not be dry – the best way to do this is naturally release pressure (slow release) and let the chicken sit on warm setting for a while. It will plump back up! Think of pressure cooking as squeezing the moisture out of what you are cooking, like squeezing a sponge. Things like chicken breast will need a little time to re-absorb the sauce to not only for flavor, but for moisture. Chicken thighs have higher oil content, so do not dry out as much in the instant pot.
THIGHS: cook chicken thighs pressure cook for 9 minutes.
STOVE TOP : If cooking on the stove top, season chicken with salt and pepper and sear in oil, in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, until most sides are golden (they will finish cooking in a later step). Set aside. In the same pot, add more oil if necessary, saute the shallot, garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the red curry paste (starting light, you can always add more) and fry 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and bouillon cube.
Add your veggies and chicken back into the pot, along with the kefir lime leaves. Cover and simmer on low until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through, 5-10 minutes. Season with the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Adjust salt. Add more curry paste if you like! Find the happy balance. It may smell fishy initially, but, it will dissipate, and you won’t taste it when the right balance is there. Also, keep in mind, the saltiness will mellow substantially when served over the rice. You want this flavorful!
STOVE TOP: A note on veggies – if cooking bigger chucks of “longer cooking” veggies,(carrots, potatoes) you may want to “steam” them a bit first. Right after you add the curry paste, add a ½-1 cup of water, and add your veggies, cover and steam, for a few minutes, until fork tender or al dente), uncover, cook a couple more minutes letting most of the water evaporate, then add the coconut milk and continue with recipe. Hopefully this makes sense. Not all veggies cook in the same about of time, so just think about this. 😉
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