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This Thai Red Curry recipe is bursting with authentic Thai flavor and can be made in 30 minutes on the stove or in your Instant Pot! A quick and easy dinner recipe the whole family will love. Serve it with jasmine rice and save the amazing leftovers for lunch! Vegetarian-adaptable. Video.
You can be deeply involved with everything but still not be identified with it anymore.~Sadhguru
Thai Red Curry is full of bold and vibrant Thai flavors we all crave and love, while being incredibly easy to make. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner when time is short. The creamy coconut red curry sauce is the perfect vehicle for veggies and protein! Here you can choose chicken, shrimp, tofu- or use all veggies!
Thai Red Curry Video
Why You’ll Love this Red Curry Recipe!
- It’s fast and easy– and can be made in an Instant pot or on the stovetop! My preference is on the stove top- but you do you!
- It’s adaptable! Use what veggies or protein you like! Chicken, shrimp, tofu, or all veggies- your choice.
- Authentic Thai flavor! Use our favorite brand of store-bought red curry paste or make your own! Here’s our Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe
- The leftovers make for a delicious lunch and get more even delicious with time.
Thai Red Curry Ingredient Notes
- Protein: most typically made with chicken breast, this recipe can be adapted and made with crispy tofu, shrimp, or all veggies.
- Red Curry Paste: This store-bought red curry paste is easy and convenient to have on hand, but you can also make your own homemade Thai Red Curry Paste from scratch!
- Garlic, Shallots, Ginger and Lemongrass: We bump up the flavor when using store-bought curry paste, with these fresh ingredients.
- Veggies: Mot veggies work in this recipe but just keep in mind, some veggies take longer to cook, than others. Here are some suggestions: potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, snow peas, green beans, asparagus, and bell pepper.
- Coconut milk: I use a full fat coconut milk here for a thicker sauce, coconut cream also works well.
- Fish Sauce, Lime Juice, and Brown Sugar all work together to season and balance the curry, creating a savory, bright curry sauce!
- Kaffir lime leaves and Thai Basil– both elevate the Red Curry. I buy fresh kaffir lime leaves from out Asian market and then freeze them for quick meals like this.
*See the recipe card below for detailed measurements!
What is the Best Thai Red Curry Paste?
Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste comes in a close second. Thai Kitchen’s Red curry paste is probably my least favorite but works in a pinch if doctored up quite a bit.
How to make Red Curry (Step-by-step)
Add the red curry paste (starting light, you can always add more to taste at the end) and fry it in the pan for a minute to enhance its flavor.
Simmer gently on low, add veggies and cook until chicken is cooked through, roughly 5 minutes.
Season with lime juice. Adjust salt to taste. Add more curry paste if you like! Find a happy balance.
What to serve with Thai Red Curry?
- Jasmine Rice, Black Rice , Rice noodles, Quinoa or Brown Rice.
- Fresh Bean Sprouts
- Thai Basil or Regular basil
- Lime wedges
- Thai Chili Flakes
Serve the fragrant Thai Red Curry in bowls over rice with bean sprouts, lime and fresh basil.
Red Curry Faqs
Red Curry is a popular Thai dish made with a flavorful red curry paste that consists of red chilies, garlic, shallots, ginger, lemongrass and galangal.
Not necessarily. Red curry, green curry and yellow curry can each vary in levels of heat. Each can be made mild, and each can be made spicy.
The color of the chilies for starters. Red curry is made with red chilies, and green curry is made with green chilies. The spices vary as well. Yellow curry is made with yellow or red chilies with the addition of turmeric root for that vibrant golden color.
A simple delicious recipe for Thai Red Curry that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop! Make this with chicken, tofu or shrimp. Fast, healthy and full of incredible Thai flavor!
- 1 tablespoon oil- olive, coconut oil
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped (or use lemongrass paste)
- 2–6 tablespoons Red curry paste or make homemade Thai Red Curry Paste
- 1 lb protein: chicken breast or thigh, thinly sliced, or shrimp, or cubed tofu (or sub 2 1/2 cups more veggies)
- 2 cups veggies: bell pepper, zucchini, eggplant, snow peas, green beans, asparagus, etc.
- 14 ounce can full fat coconut milk, or coconut cream- do not use light coconut milk
- 1 cube chicken bouillon or veggie bouillon (or sub 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more fish sauce)
- 1–2 tablespoons fish sauce (I like 2)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, coconut sugar or alternative sweetener
- 6–8 kaffir lime leaves
- 1–2 tablespoons lime juice to taste.
- Salt to taste.
- Optional Garnishes – lime wedge, bean sprouts, The basil or regular basil, Thai chili flakes
- If making jasmine rice, start it cooking it now.
In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, lemongrass until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the red curry paste (start light, you can always add more to taste at the end) and fry for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, bouillon cube, fish sauce, sugar and kaffir lime leaves. Stir to incorporate and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the sliced chicken and veggies. Simmer on low until veggies are tender and chicken is cooked through, roughly 5 minutes. Add the lime juice. Adjust salt to taste adding more fish sauce as needed. Add more curry paste if you like! Keep in mind, the flavors will mellow substantially when served over the rice. You want this punchy and flavorful!
- Ladle over the rice, top with bean sprouts, Thai Basil and lime wedge. Serve with Thai Chili flakes.
Instant Pot Instructions:
- Set Instant Pot to saute function. Heat oil and add shallot, ginger, lemongrass and garlic, and saute until fragrant and golden, about 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 lime leaves. Give a stir to combine. Add chicken. (If using tofu, or shrimp, add after pressure cooking.) Pressure cook on high pressure for 6 minutes ( breast) or 8 mins (thigh). Manually release. Set back to saute function. Add chopped veggies (or shrimp or tofu) snow peas, bell peppers, and asparagus, and simmer for 3-4 minutes until veggies are tender, yet still bright and snappy. Add the lime juice. Taste, adjust salt, lime, sugar and heat to taste (add more curry paste for more spicy) keeping in mind that rice will mute the flavors a bit. You want it “punchy”! Serve over rice, topping with fresh basil, lime wedge and bean sprouts.
VEGGIES: Not all veggies cook in the same about of time, so just be intentional about when to add. For example, potatoes and carrots cook slower, so allow them to cook longer with the chicken. Quick-cooking veggies like snow peas, asparagus, and bell pepper can cook within minutes, so add towards the end.
Shrimp: Use peeled, deveined shrimp. The bigger the shrimp, the longer they will take to cook, but even large ones cook within minutes. Look for the pink color and the “C” shape. If they curl into an “O” they are most likely overcooked.
- Serving Size: with chicken breast
- Calories: 398
- Sugar: 7.1 g
- Sodium: 703.9 mg
- Fat: 24.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 17.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 16.4 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 29.6 g
- Cholesterol: 82.7 mg
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