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.

Thai red curry in a bowl with jasmine rice, bean sprouts, lime and Thai Basil.

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!

  1. 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!
  2. It’s adaptable! Use what veggies or protein you like! Chicken, shrimp, tofu, or all veggies- your choice.
  3. 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
  4. The leftovers make for a delicious lunch and get more even delicious with time.
Red curry in a pot

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!

Best brands of Red curry paste

What is the Best Thai Red Curry Paste?

Not all brands of red curry paste are the same! We love making a big batch of our homemade Thai red curry paste and freezing the extras. Or use store-bought for the fastest preparation.

By far, the Best brand of red curry paste I’ve had is this Maesri 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)

In a Dutch Oven or heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the shallot, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. See recipe notes for Instant Pot Version.

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.

Add the coconut milk,  bouillon cube, fish sauce and brown sugar. Stir to incorporate and bring to a gentle simmer. 

Add the chicken. Thinly slice the chicken and season with salt. Add to the pot with the lime leaves.

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.

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.

What to serve with Thai Red Curry?

 Thai red curry in a bowl.

Serve the fragrant Thai Red Curry in bowls over rice with bean sprouts, lime and fresh basil.

Red Curry Faqs

What is Red Curry made from?

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.

Is Red Curry the hottest Curry?

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.

What is the difference between red curry, green curry and yellow curry?

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.

More Thai Recipes you may like

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Thai Red Curry

Thai Red Curry (Stovetop or Instant Pot)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 45 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at home
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: dinner, easy dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot, stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai


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!


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon oil- olive, coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass, finely chopped (or use lemongrass paste)
  • 26 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)
  • 12 tablespoons fish sauce (I like 2)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, coconut sugar or alternative sweetener
  • 68 kaffir lime leaves
  • 12 tablespoons lime juice to taste.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Optional Garnishes – lime wedge, bean sprouts, The basil or regular basil, Thai chili flakes


  1. If making jasmine rice, start it cooking it now.
  2. Prep the protein. Thinly slice the chicken and season with salt. Or make crispy tofu and set aside.

  3. 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.

  4. 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! 

  5. Ladle over the rice, top with bean sprouts, Thai Basil and lime wedge. Serve with Thai Chili flakes. 


Instant Pot Instructions: 

  1. 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.

Tofu: you can add cubes of raw firm tofu to the simmering curry sauce, or make this crispy tofu for a little more texture. I like the crispy tofu

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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  1. I have always had great luck with Sylvia’s recipes. They taste wonderful, are fairly straightforward and never disappointing! I keep kefir leaves in the freezer, and will have to do the same with Thai basil – that was all that was missing in this recipe for me. Delightful and Delicious! Not spicy at all, just flavourful!

  2. Just ate leftovers for breakfast…dinner was a bit of a zoo last night so hadn’t added the basil until this morning. The melding with the added basil tipped it over the top. It did taste a little sweeter than I expected but didn’t have kefir lime leaves. I wondered if that would have changed the profile much? Next time I’ll either get the leaves or use a little less sugar.

    1. Hi Gina! Yes, the Kaffir leaves add a lot of flavor- but feel free to cut back on the sugar. You can always add more to taste at the end. 🙂

  3. Great recipe. The instructions was easy to follow. I made this on the stovetop and used 2 Tbs of the red curry paste and the family loved it. Thanks Sylvia!

  4. This is VERY VERY good and easy! Made this for my roommates last night and it was a huge hit. I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste in a pinch and it was still delicious. Highly recommend.

  5. As always, your recipes are perfect! I used parsnips, cauliflower, carrot, mushrooms, bell pepper and jalapeno. We didn’t find it all spicy with 4 Tbsp of the curry paste, so we added sambal olek to our bowls at the table. It was so delicious! Thank you!

  6. This was really delicious, and a breeze to make! Everyone rated it a “keeper”. I couldn’t source the Kaffir in time, so used lime zest, which was fine, but have since ordered the real deal.
    I appreciate that your recipes are so adaptable, because I cook for many people with dietary limitations, so thanks for all the healthy and delectable options.
    **Question- have you frozen this and how did it turn out?

  7. I’ve been loving all of your recipes lately – my new favorite site! I made this in the instant pot and it was great. Lately I have been not loving chicken though and would do it all veggies next time. Would you recommend following the recipe the exact same just without the chicken in the instant pot? Or am I better off just simmering the curry sauce on the stove and adding quick cooking veggies all at the end?

    1. Thanks Kaitlin. Yes, I would do it on the stove- that way you can control the “doneness” of the veggies.

  8. I have made this many times, and we always like it, but I made it this time with broccoli, potatoes, and carrots, and half all cut in big chunks, along with chicken tenders and thighs, and my boyfriend is insisting I write down that combination because he thought it was the best ever. I had the kefir lime leaves and used lite coconut milk. The broccoli got mushy and made for a delicious thick sauce.

  9. I actually have a question before I try this recipe. I do not have an instant pot. I have a pressure cooker when I make soup. There was chicken and something else that you said that you put in the pressure cooker. Do you need to put any liquid in the pressure cooker with the chicken. I
    The recipe looks wonderful. I don’t want to make any mistakes.

    1. Hi Renetta- I have never used a “real” pressure cooker so not sure here. My guess is yes, you would need to add liquid. It is possible to follow the instant pot directions using your pressure cooker? Sorry I wish I could be more help.

  10. This recipe is so good and easy! I’ve made it 10+ times and it’s always consistent and tastes like the restaurant. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  11. This was so simple and delicious! The family loved it. I made it on the stovetop and used bell pepper, broccoli and carrots for the veggies. Will definitely make this again and try other combinations of add ins.

  12. I really like this recipe – i like just dumping whatever frozen vegetables i have with this recipe. However i have found that it ends up very watery, and I don’t know why that is. Is it supposed to be that way?

    1. I wonder if the frozen veggies could be the issue? What if you tried adding only ⅔ can of the coconut milk and see if that helps?

  13. Delicious,I cant imagaine how much more so with the thai basil.Unfortunately, I didnt have basil. Will make again when my garden is thriving with basil.This was my 1st recipe of yours, I am looking forward to trying more, Thank You.

  14. Hi,

    You never say at which temperature setting to saute. My Instant Pot has “Less” “Normal” and “More.” I’m a pretty experienced cook but new to Instant Pot. I sauteed on Normal and wasn’t getting quite the sear on the chicken that I wanted. Do you call for “More?” Thanks.

    1. Hi Brian, your instant pot is way more advanced than mine. 😉 Mine only has one setting for sauteing. I just sear until golden.

        1. Beth, I ordered some dried ones, tried them and they actually work pretty good. I used a couple of extra.:)

  15. Hi! In your instructions when you say “manual release” does that mean quick release? So I don’t let it release by itself correct?

  16. I give this 5 stars for flavor, but 4 on the cook times. We used chicken breast, sweet potato, carrots, Chinese eggplant, baby bok choy and snow peas. We put the sweet potato, carrots and eggplant in with the chicken as instructed. After 7 minutes under pressure, 10 minutes more on default “warm”, then a quick release, the veggies were obliterated. So… I’m thinking that we’d put those in at the simmer point before the quick cooking ones OR steam them briefly in microwave before simmering all veggies…. That or we may just do stovetop version. Also, I’d keep the rice to the side (not under the sauce) and omit the sprouts (I didn’t think they belonged).
    Again, the flavor is phenomenal and we’d do it again… Just with some revisions.
    Thanks for yet another tasty recipe!

    1. Hi Mary, I see the confusion with the recipe ( veggie timing) and adjusted it. Please reread before making again. 🙂

  17. It was delicious. I made it for my mom and she loved it! Could I sub a white fish for chicken?

  18. This is delicious! My kid ate it all and actually liked it. I made it on the mild side but it was still full of flavor.

  19. About to make this meal. If I don’t have chicken bouillon do you recommend adding chicken stock or will that made it too watery?

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