This Thai Zucchini Curry is a fast, flavorful Thai dish loaded up with healthy veggies and your choice of protein, bathed in a fragrant red curry coconut sauce. Serve over Jasmine Rice. Vegetarian-adaptable.

Zucchini Curry is a delightful dish made with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk. It’s a quick and easy dinner - the perfect meal for end-of-summer produce. Make this with chicken breast or Crispy Tofu.

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This Thai Zucchini Curry recipe is the perfect way to use up all the end-of-summer zucchini and summer squash in your garden right now. Keep this vegetarian with crispy tofu, or add chicken breast to the simmering coconut broth- either way we think you’ll love the flavors here! The creamy curry sauce is made with coconut milk and red curry paste, infused with kaffir lime leaves, fragrant and delicious! Serve it over Jasmine rice or try these different types of Thai Rice!

Ingredients in Thai Zucchini curry 

ingredients in zucchini curry on a big cutting board.
  • Protein. Use any of your favorite proteins. Beef, pork, shrimp, fish, or crispy tofu are perfect. If using seafood or tofu, cut the cooking time to about 2 minutes.
  • Red curry paste. Use store-bought red curry paste or try our homemade red curry paste . Add more paste towards the end of the cooking for more heat and flavors.
  • Coconut milk. Use the full-fat coconut milk with no sugar added.
  • Zucchini. Use any type of zucchini or summer squash. 
  • Onion. Red or sweet onion work great for this recipe. 
  • Bell peppers. Use any type of mild to medium. Sweet red peppers, banana, bell, cherry, and purple peppers are perfect. 
  • Cherry tomatoes. Any tomatoes will work great too. Cut the larger tomatoes into 1-inch pieces before cooking.
  • Sugar. Any sweeteners will work great for this recipe! Palm, brown sugar, coconut, honey, agave, or any of your favorites.
  • Fish sauce. Start conservatively and add more to taste. Some fish sauce brands are saltier than others. Or use vegan fish sauce
  • Kaffir lime leaves. They add a unique flavor and fragrance to the curry and are difficult to find substitutes for. Slice them or keep them whole. They can be found in the Asian market in the frozen section. 
  • Thai basil. I hope you love Thai basil as much as I do. Feel free to add a little extra if you are obsessed like me! More on top, too, for garnish. Sub regular basil if you need to.

How to make zucchini Curry 

Step one. In a heavy bottom pot, saute the shallot in oil until fragrant and tender. Add the red curry paste and fry for one minute to enhance its flavor. Stir in the coconut milk, add the fish sauce, brown sugar, lime leaves, and the bouillon cube and mix until combined.

Step two. Add the sliced, salted chicken and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is opaque, stirring occasionally. Do not over boil- keep at a gentle simmer.

Step three. Add the vegetables; onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and a splash of water.  Turn the heat to medium and cook until the veggies are tender-crisp.

vegetables and chicken in a curry sauce in a pot

Step four. Once the chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender-crisp, taste. Season with a little lime juice, more fish sauce if needed, or more red curry paste until it’s flavorful and punchy, keeping in mind, the rice will mellow this out a lot.

fish sauce added to a zucchini curry in a pot

Step five. Turn the heat off, add half the basil, stir well, and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

basil added to a pot of zucchini curry

Serve over jasmine rice with more basil and lime wedges.

Expert Tips

  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes are delicious here, but be sure to add 4-5 minutes of cooking time if using the more firm potatoes. 
  • Pumpkins and winter squash are amazing for this recipe! Use kabocha, acorn, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. Add a few extra minutes of cooking if using a more firm pumpkin or squash.  Use a fork to test and ensure a fork can easily poke through the flesh.
Vegetable Red Curry is a delightful dish made with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and chicken or tofu. A healthy, flavorful 30-minute dinner.

Vegetable Curry FAQs

Can the Vegetable Curry be made vegan?

Yes. Use crispy tofu instead of chicken ( or just add more veggies), seek out vegan red curry paste, and use salt, veggie boullion and/or soy sauce instead of fish sauce to create depth.

What other vegetables can go in Vegetable Curry?

Great vegetable options to add to the dish are snow pea pods, carrots, broccoli, mushroom, cauliflower, kale, and fresh baby corn. This is a very flexible recipe you can easily adjust and adapt with most vegetables in your refrigerator.  

More Thai recipes you may enjoy

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I truly love sharing what I know about making tasty Thai food and bringing a little bit of my Thai culture to your kitchen. Food is a huge part of Thai culture, and we genuinely believe that sharing and eating food makes a meal more enjoyable.  I hope this recipe brings great delight to your heart and home!

~ Suwanee

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Zucchini Curry is a delightful dish made with Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and chicken or tofu. A healthy, flavorful 30-minute dinner.

Vegetable Red Curry

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.7 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Suwanee | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner, curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai


This Vegetable Red curry highlight summer zucchini and is a delightful dish made with Thai red curry paste and coconut milk. It’s a quick and easy dinner – the perfect meal for end-of-summer produce. Make this with chicken breast or Crispy Tofu.


Units Scale
  • 1 pound chicken breast (or make crispy tofu, or see list of protein options above)
  • 1 shallot
  • one tablespoon oil
  • 23 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 14-ounce can of coconut milk, full fat, do not use light.
  • 1 chicken boullion cube, or veggie bouillon cube (or sub 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 12 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 12 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 pound of zucchini or summer squash, sliced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Lime juice to taste
  • Fresh Thai basil, divided


  1. Set jasmine rice to cook, if using. 
  2. Slice the chicken thinly and season it with salt.
  3. In a large Dutch Oven, saute the shallot in oil until fragrant. Add the red curry paste and fry one minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk, bouillon cube, fish sauce, brown sugar and lime leaves, stir until well combined.  
  5. Add the chicken and simmer gently for 3-4 minutes stirring.  
  6. Add the vegetables; onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini, and loosen with water or broth if needed. Turn the heat to medium and simmer until veggies are tender-crisp.
  7. Add a squeeze of lime, taste, and adjust seasonings- add more fish sauce, red curry paste for extra heat or brown sugar until happy. Stir in half the basil leaves.
  8. Turn the heat off, and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve over Jasmine rice with a lime wedge. 
  9. Leftovers will keep up to 4 days in the fridge.


  • If making with crispy tofu- make this first, then add it in at the end to gently warm through.
  • You can leave out the protein and add 2 more cups of veggies. 
  • Potatoes, pumpkins and winter squash are amazing in this recipe! Use kabocha, acorn, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash. Add a few extra minutes of cooking if using a more firm pumpkin or squash.  Use a fork to test and ensure a fork can easily poke through the flesh.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 428
  • Sugar: 10.3 g
  • Sodium: 818.7 mg
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 19.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.2 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 31.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 85.4 mg

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  1. Thank you for this delicious recipe Suwanee! I’ve never made a red curry before but glad I did. For me, it was a last minute decision to make it, so in trying to hurry it up, I didn’t have everything ready in advance except for the vegetables. I only made a half recipe. I accidentally used 1/2 cup of vegetable broth (instead of just adding the paste), but that worked well because I then added some chopped Kiri squash (from my fall garden) so it had a chance to cook in the broth. I did use a full fat organic coconut milk with gum. I had the kaffir lime leaves (yum), didn’t have a fresh lime but I did have about 8 kumquats so I chopped those up small (it worked!) and used fresh sweet basil as I didn’t have any Thai basil. Everything was cooking too long, (due to my lack of mis en place), but it worked out just fine and reduced to the perfect consistency. I added a little bit of chopped cooked chicken which worked very well. My husband doesn’t like spicy food, so despite only using 2 teaspoons in the half recipe, it was still too spicy for him so I had to add some honey and more coconut milk to his bowl. LOL! We both loved the layers of flavors and I want to try shrimp next time. I can see how adaptable this recipe can be. I’ll be making this again and again! Thank you all!

  2. This is one of my favorites!!! So easy, comes together fairly quickly and is delicious. The saffron I use comes from Trader Joes – so I don’t expect a big bang from that product, knowing what it takes to harvest saffron. . . .In the end, the soup is delicious. . .I added mushrooms to the vegetable mix. I use Fish Boat fish sauce which is light and flavorful without an overwhelming fishy flavor and 100% natural. For the Boullion, I added small portions of Better than Bouillion to amp it up where necessary. I did not have Thai basil so had to use my traditional basil but did have the Kaffir lime leaves. For the brown sugar, I used “Swerve” 0 calorie brown sugar. Definitely a dish I will make again. (I’m not certain I am able to use name brands in my comments, so feel free to edit, where necessary – thank y ou for an amazing recipe. ★★★★★

  3. Delicious!! It was a bit soupy, but with the rice was actually perfect! Loved it! ( so did my husband who is a meat and potatoes guy!)

  4. I keep seeing comments about broth, but I don’t see any mention of broth in the recipe, only a bouillon cube. Am I missing something? Also, I thought it was worth mentioning that some people’s recipe came out soupy possibly because they are using coconut milk that doesn’t have any gums added to it.

    1. Hi April! Nope, not missing anything. We adjusted the recipe, and removed the broth to make it less watery -the zucchini releases a lot of liquid here.

  5. As usual this was fantastic!!!
    We will be making it many times again in the future!
    Thanks for the easily vegan adaptable recipes 😁. You are amazing!

  6. What can we use in place of lime leaves if we don’t have them locally available? How critical are they to the recipe?

  7. I am about to try this. The recipe card does not say when to add the kaffir lime leaves. In the introductory text, you say to add them in early with the coconut milk, but in the comments you say at the end with the broth (if any).

  8. Good recipe but mine never really thickened, with water coming from the chicken and then from the zucchini, so I cooked it out for a long time (luckily I had time to spare so no problem). If I made it again I’d probably use coconut cream and half the amount then add stock at the end if needed.

  9. Love this recipe! I could only find dried lime leaves. When is the best time to add them and how many would you recommend?

      1. I did. In retrospect, I could also have pureed some of the veg with an immersion blender. C’est la Vie!

  10. It is a little inappropriate for me to rate this recipe because I could only loosely follow it, but it is the best Thai red curry I have made at home. I bought your recommended curry paste several months ago, and this is the first time I tried it. Definitely think this paste is better than the one I can get at the grocery store. For my protein I used your ginger sesame baked tofu, and it is great and works well here! We’re leaving town for a week tomorrow and wanted to use up a bunch of veggies and this was a great way to put them to use (zucchini, mushrooms, cabbage, red onion and cilantro instead of basil). I noticed someone mentioned adding lemon zest in lieu of the kafir lime leaves, and think this might be good to add some acid/bitter (I didn’t have the lime leaves or the tomato). Think this would be great with some eggplant and/or winter squash as you recommended. I can imagine chicken or shrimp would be great too..or even some salmon! A flexible, nutritious, easy and delicious recipe. Thanks again Sylvia!

  11. First of all, I love your site and the articles accompanying the recipes. I have been eating plant based for a couple of months, and my husband is on a journey to reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce lipids. We are all about feeding the gut and protecting the liver. Feasting at Home is a veritable library of suitable, adaptable, delicious recipes. This was no exception. I made it according to your directions. Did not have Thai basil on hand so substituted chopped cilantro. This was SO good! My husband and I both loved it. It came together quickly and looked as beautiful as your picture. Can’t wait to fight over the leftovers tomorrow.

  12. This curry was delicious. I found the word, “meat,” in the first sentence, a typo for, “heat,” I am sure, confusing, however. I, also, made the 1 1/2C of broth ahead and even using only the 1/2C while cooking the chicken, the curry was very juicy and I was left with an unused cup of broth. Other than that, the curry was a success and praised highly by my Sweetie. Thank you for another good one, team.

    1. Really appreciate the feedback Martie- I found the issue and fixed it. 😉 Glad you were able to make this work for you!

  13. Another FABULOUS recipe from Sylvia! I made this last night minus the chicken. Took less than 20 minutes. Used lemon zest as it was the closest thing I had to lime leaves (worked great). Used stock instead of water. I’ve spent the morning forwarding this recipe to everyone I know.

  14. I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious. I did tweak it a bit. First of all unless I’m missing something it said to add the coconut milk twice, but nothing specific about how much. I cooked the vegetables separately so the chicken wouldn’t get overdone and tough. I like the suggestion of adding potatoes and will do that next time.

  15. This took me back to my travels in Thailand… delicious and easy to assemble. I used Mae Play yellow curry paste since that is what I had. Doubled the amount of veggies with zucchini and peppers and Thai basil from my garden. I served it over steamed yukon gold potatoes since that is what my husband requested. I’ll probably add the crispy tofu the next time I make this. Lovely recipe, thank you.

  16. Hi, thank you for the recipe. There are no specific instructions for when to cook/add the chicken. Do you add it with the vegetables? I’m looking forward to trying this one 😉

    1. Sorry about that Laurie- that step was missing in the recipe card for some reason. It’s in there now and thanks so much for pointing it out.

  17. When should I add the crispy tofu? Does it cook at all in the sauce or is it added at the very end? Thank you!


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