Enjoy this creamy, rich, and aromatic Thai Chicken Curry recipe at home with just one pan, simple ingredients, and in under 30 minutes.
Other simple, flavorful weeknight meals we love are this yellow chicken curry and Instant Pot butter chicken.
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I’m here to tell you, there’s absolutely no need to rely on restaurants or takeout to achieve a delicious Thai chicken curry worthy of praise by all who try it.
I love making Thai food at home like Instant Pot Thai chicken soup and Thai chicken butternut squash soup because it’s so easy!
For this Thai red curry chicken recipe, I decided to make it with coconut milk and Thai red curry paste.
It is ever so slightly sweet and wonderfully rich without weighing you down. It is savory, highly aromatic and moderately spicy.
This Thai coconut curry chicken is also one of those healthy dinners that taste indulgent while remaining light and easy.
Ingredients for Thai Chicken Curry
One of the best things about this Thai chicken curry recipe is that it contains mostly kitchen and pantry staples.
- Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs diced into 1.5-inch pieces.
- Canned coconut milk: Use full-fat coconut milk for rich and creamy results. Also, refer to my FAQs on choosing the best brands.
- Curry paste: I use Thai Kitchen red curry paste. Depending on whether you want your Thai chicken curry recipe mild or spicy, you can even increase the amount of the curry paste used. So, everyone can enjoy it. You can even swap out the red paste with yellow curry paste or green curry paste and follow the same recipe.
- Tomato paste: I use low sodium tomato paste. If yours is not, add less salt.
- Ginger and garlic: Classic aromatic additions to Thai recipes. You can use 1-2 teaspoons of dried ginger if that’s all you have.
- Kaffir lime leaves: Used for authentic Thai chicken curry flavor and are sweet, savory, and citrusy. They may be hard to find in some grocery stores but are available in most Asian supermarkets. Substitute with fresh basil leaves or omit.
- Oil: I use avocado oil for its healthful fats, mild flavor, and high smoke point. Swap with another cooking oil if preferred.
- Maple syrup or honey: To balance the savory and spice.
- Salt and pepper: To season the dish.
- To garnish: You can use fresh cilantro or Thai basil, and lime as a garnish.
I skipped lemongrass on purpose to see if this Thai chicken curry recipe would still be amazing. And it is! However, if you can buy lemongrass, then feel free to bruise and chop it and add to the curry.
How to Make Thai Chicken Curry
Here is a quick overview how to make Thai chicken curry recipe. Full recipe card is located below.
- Sauté garlic and ginger for 30 seconds, continually stirring, in a large skillet.
- Add the cubed chicken breast and cook for 5 minutes. It doesn’t have to be cooked through at this point.
- Add the remaining ingredients: Coconut milk, red curry paste, tomato paste, maple syrup, kaffir lime leaves, salt and pepper. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Garnish Thai chicken curry with fresh basil or cilantro, and possibly sliced chilies, then squeeze fresh lime juice on top. Ready to serve!
Tips for Best Results
Here are my top tips for the best Thai coconut curry chicken in the world!
- Canned coconut milk naturally separates into cream on top and liquid at the bottom. Don’t worry, this is normal. Just add it to the pan, and it will eventually melt.
- Don’t skip the aromatics: You might think you can get away with just using the red curry paste, but the extra ginger, garlic, and kaffir lime leaves really boost the flavor.
- For yellow or green Thai chicken curry: Simply swap out the curry paste and omit the tomato paste. Note that yellow curry paste is usually the most mild and rich option, and green curry paste is the most spicy.
- Vegetables: If you want to add even more nutrients, then feel free to add in veggies like bell peppers, mushrooms, mini corn, sugar snap peas and zucchini. Make sure to choose vegetables that take similar time to cook.
- For a lighter meal: You can swap out some of the coconut milk for low sodium vegetable broth instead. It will affect the flavor but is enjoyable.
What Do I Serve Thai Chicken Curry with?
Traditionally, Thai chicken curry is served with steamed white rice or jasmine rice. However, you can also enjoy it with Instant Pot quinoa or Instant Pot brown rice.
Serve with Indian flat bread like Naan or with egg noodles in a deep bowl.
For a low carb option, serve with spaghetti squash noodles, zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice or alone.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Transfer any Thai chicken curry leftovers to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freeze: Freeze in freezer-safe containers for 2-3 months. Allow Thai red curry chicken to thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: To enjoy this chicken curry warm again, reheat by simmering on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. You may need an extra splash of coconut milk or chicken broth.
Whether you want a mild, medium, or spicy Thai chicken curry, here is a helpful guide on how much spice to add. For very mild curry, add 1 tablespoon. For mild-medium curry (aka kid-friendly but with a kick) add 2 tablespoons. I usually add this much. For spicy curry add 4 tablespoons.
Use full fat coconut milk for truly creamy results. My favorite brands include 365, Thai Kitchen, Trader Joe’s, and Compliments. It has smooth, creamy consistency without small lumps. Also try to buy coconut milk without guar gum and preservatives, in BPA-free cans.
No. Curry powder is an Indian dry spice mix made with ground turmeric, ground coriander, cumin, and other spices. It is very different from Thai curry paste.
Transfer it to a glass jar in the fridge for up to 10 days. You can add it to borscht and many other recipes.
More Thai and Curry Recipes
- Thai chicken salad
- Thai crock pot chicken thighs with crazy good homemade Thai sweet chili sauce.
- Crockpot butter chicken
- Green lentil curry
- Pad Thai zucchini noodles
You may also love to browse these 65 healthy chicken recipes!
Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
- 2 lbs chicken breasts or chicken thighs cut into 1.5″ cubes
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inch ginger knob minced
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 14 oz can coconut milk full fat
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 3 oz tomato paste low sodium
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 5 kaffir lime leaves or basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt + more
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Cilantro and lime for garnish (optional)
- Preheat large deep skillet or wok on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. It burns fast.
- Add chicken sprinkled with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Doesn't have to be cooked through.
- Add coconut milk, curry paste, tomato paste, maple syrup, kaffir lime leaves (if using), salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Garnish Thai chicken curry with fresh basil or cilantro, and a bit of lime juice. Traditionally, Thai chicken curry is served with steamed rice. However, you can also enjoy it with Instant Pot quinoa or Instant Pot brown rice. For a low carb option, serve with cauliflower rice or alone.
- Store: Refrigerate chicken curry in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
- Freeze: For up to 3 months.
- Reheat: To enjoy chicken curry warm again, reheat by simmering it on the stove or in the microwave until heated through. You may need a splash of extra coconut milk or chicken broth.
- Canned coconut milk: Use full-fat coconut milk for rich and creamy results like Thai kitchen brand.
- Kaffir lime leaves: Used for authentic Thai chicken curry flavor and are sweet, savory, and citrusy. They may be hard to find in some grocery stores but are available in most Asian supermarkets. Substitute them with basil leaves, if that’s all you have.
- (Optional) Lemongrass: I skipped this on purpose to see if this recipe would still be amazing – it is! However, if you can source it, then feel free to bruise and chop it and add it to the curry.
This was fantastic used dried basil as that is what I had and I added maybe two tbls of plain yogurt as has a bit to use up …. family pretty much licked their dishes
Sounds like a hit with the family Carrie 🙂
This is such a delicious, easy, affordable, and quick recipe! I’ve been making a concerted effort to find healthy meals that taste good, are affordable, and stretch to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. As a single mom of two working two jobs, fast, easy, and affordable are a must. Being from south Louisiana, I am used to big flavor, and this recipe delivered. I made it as stated; however, I didn’t have the lime leaves and used honey instead of maple syrup (maple syrup is RIDICULOUSLY priced here). I also chose to add 3 tbsp. of curry since I love spice. Even my VERY picky child liked the flavors. This is definitely on my new dinner rotation!
Hi Tamatha! I am so happy that my recipes are enjoyed by your family. I love creating recipes that are healthy, but also affordable and easy to make. Take care!
I made this with the leftover turkey from thanksgiving, I added a half onion, and green beans almandine from thanksgiving leftovers also. Came out fantastic. Everyone loved it (wife and daughter and myself) and I had no leftovers. Than you for an easy recipe that was delicious. My oldest son put carrots in his and also said it was great. He is a few states away but we share recipes. His wife and kids loved it too. Will try the chick peas idea below next.
Hi Mike! What a great idea to use leftover turkey. So happy this was a hit. I love that you share recipes with your family too. Thanks so much for your feedback!
I absolutely love this tai curry chicken and so does my 18 month old! 🙂
So happy to hear this Sonja!
This is amazing! My kids love it! I want to make it for my freezer club. One of the families is vegetarian. Ideas on substituting tofu? Also, I add a bag of frozen peas to up the nutrition!
So happy everyone loved this Thai chicken curry, Julie! Great idea about the peas! Yes, tofu cubes or even canned chickpeas can be added to simmer in sauce for 10 mins or so.
Another winner!! The family loved it. Thank you for another fast, delicious recipe.
You are so welcome Alisabeth!
This recipe is one that we make at least once a week! I’m making it tonight again 🙂 It is so good that I usually make a double batch. Sometimes (if we’re lucky) there’s even enough left for lunch the next day lol! I never have fresh ginger or kaffir lime leaves so I use ginger paste from the produce department and basil from our garden. So good!!
Hi Anna! I am so happy that my curry recipe is part of your regular dinner rotation!
It was de-lish! The only thing is I made it with coconut cream (only thing I had in house), instead of coconut milk & it was very very rich. But…lol, I still ate 2 bowls!!
Amazing recipe… so simple and delicious…
You are welcome Sara!
My 4 kids licked the plates clean and asked for more…
That is music to my ears!
Who would have thought that thai red curry is a dish I would ever make myself! Thanks for the recipe!
Fantastic! Glad you enjoyed the recipe, Anu.