This Thai Red Curry recipe is packed full of flavor, veggies, and will become a new favorite. It’s easy to customize and is made in one pot for mess-free cooking.

Looking for more Thai recipes? Try Drunken Noodles, Yellow Curry, Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps, or my popular Pad Thai!

A pan filled with homemade Thai Red Curry, ready to serve.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Veggie Packed: I modeled this red curry after one I had in Oregon at a fantastic little restaurant called Buttercup Ice Creams and Chowders. It was packed with veggies, and I wanted the same here, using leeks, yam, cabbage, bell pepper and snap peas. It’s easy to serve as a Vegetarian red curry, or add shrimp or chicken for extra protein.
  • Easy to Customize – Feel free to use your favorite veggies you already have on hand, and you can also use tofu for a vegetarian option.
  • One Pot Meal: All made in just one pan for the easiest clean up. Anyone can make this chicken red curry recipe!

How to make Red Curry:

Sauté Vegetables: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for a few minutes until softened. Toss in yams, cabbage, bell pepper and snap peas and sauté over medium-high heat.

Leeks, yams, cabbage, bell pepper, and snap peas being sautéed in a stainless steel pan for the best Thai Red Curry recipe.

Add Curry Paste: Reduce heat to medium and dump in ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 3 minutes. Add chicken, if using. *Here’s a homemade red curry paste recipe.

Sautéed vegetables with ginger, garlic, and curry paste being added.

Pour in Chicken Broth: Stir in chicken broth. Mix cornstarch with the coconut milk, and then add to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through.

Chicken broth being poured on top of vegetables mixed with curry paste.

Fry Shallots: Add 3 Tablespoons oil and sliced shallots to a small skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently the entire time, for several minutes until they begin to get golden. Once they start to get barely golden brown, remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

Sliced shallots being fried in a little bit of oil to serve with Thai Red Curry.

Finish Curry: Stir in fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice (and shrimp, if using). Simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in Thai basil leaves.

Easy red curry in a large pan topped with Thai basil leaves, ready to serve.

Serve: Top red Thai curry with fresh cilantro leaves and fried shallots before serving. Serve as a soup, or serve over hot cooked jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles, or cooked spaghetti squash.

Homemade Red Curry served on top of white rice, ready to enjoy.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Store red curry in the fridge for 3-4 days. Rewarm on the stove before serving.

To Freeze: Place in freezer safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Serve as a soup, or serve over hot cooked jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles, or cooked spaghetti squash.

Recipe Variations:

  • Veggie Substitution Ideas: broccolini, green beans, zucchini, mushrooms and carrots.
  • Tofu: If you’d like to add tofu, I suggest air frying or baking it first, and then stir in towards the end.
  • Curry Paste: Spice level of curry paste varies by brand, so start with less and add more, for more heat and bold flavor. I prefer Mae Ploy Brand and use 1-2 tablespoons. If using Thai Kitchen brand, I use the entire 4oz container for a mild/medium spice curry.

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Recipe

A pan filled with homemade Thai Red Curry, ready to serve.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 40 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Tablespoons oil , canola, vegetable or coconut oil
  • 1 leek , chopped (the white and light green part only)
  • 1 yam , small, peeled and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup cabbage , chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 cup snap peas , halved
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1-6 Tablespoons red curry paste*
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons cornstarch*
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice , about 1 small lime
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast , chopped or ½ lb uncooked shelled shrimp
  • 1 cup Thai basil leaves , loosely packed

Fried Shallots:

  • 2 shallots , sliced very thinly into rounds
  • 3 Tablespoons oil , canola, vegetable or coconut oil

Garnishes

  • fresh cilantro
  • hot cooked rice , jasmine or white rice, optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for a few minutes until softened. Add yams, cabbage, bell pepper and snap peas and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for 3 minutes. Add chicken, if using.
  • Stir in chicken broth. Mix cornstarch with the coconut milk, and then add to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender (and chicken is cooked through).
  • Meanwhile, add 3 Tablespoons oil and sliced shallots to a small skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently the entire time, for several minutes until they begin to get golden. Once they start to get golden brown, remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • To the curry, stir in fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice (and shrimp, if using). Simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in Thai basil leaves.
  • Top with fresh cilantro leaves and fried shallots before serving.
  • Serve as a soup, or serve over hot cooked jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles, or cooked spaghetti squash.

Notes

Curry Paste: You can make the curry paste from scratch, or I use the Mae Ploy Brand, which is very bold so I use 1-3 Tablespoons. Spice level of curry paste varies by brand, so start with less and add more later, for more heat and bold flavor. For example, if using Thai Kitchen brand, I use the entire 4oz container for a mild/medium spice curry.
Cornstarch: I love to serve this as a soup so I only add 1 teaspoon cornstarch, but if you want the broth thicker to serve over rice, add 2.
Veggie Substitution: broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and carrots.
Tofu: If you’d like to add tofu, I suggest air frying or baking it first, and then stir in towards the end.
Make Ahead Instructions: Store red curry in the fridge for 3-4 days. Rewarm on the stove.
Freezing Instructions: Place in freezer safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave. Serve as a soup, or serve over hot cooked jasmine rice, cauliflower rice, zoodles, or cooked spaghetti squash.
Recipe Inspired by Buttercup Ice Creams and Chowders in Nehalem, OR

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 11gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 171mgPotassium: 1220mgFiber: 7gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1891IUVitamin C: 49mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 3mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was really good and packed with fresh delicious vegetables. This was my first time using leeks and I need to find some more uses for them because they were great. Easily makes it into the rotation. I had to use a simmer curry sauce because I couldn’t find paste at the local market, so this probably suffered in the heat department. I’ll have to search out some different paste or incorporate some Thai red pepper to bring the heat!

  2. This recipe is a new favorite, though I have to admit I felt a little nervous about putting cabbage in curry.
    I did have to make some substitutions- carrots (instead of sweet potatoes), zucchini, red pepper instead of green. Even though my husband doesn’t like cooked carrots or zucchini he loved this dish and really felt the curry itself covered the flavors he usually finds officious. I think this dish has potential to be a great “use up whatever vegetable is left in the fridge” kind of dish. Next time I want to use cauliflower.
    I used 3 T. of Thai Kitchen red curry and it was mild enough for my kids to eat.
    I was out of cilantro and could not find Thai basil, which was a real shame; however, the dish was still delicious! It will only be better when I have everything on hand!

  3. 5 stars
    I LOVED this curry! I made a few changes so I can’t totally speak for the original recipe, but for anyone else who’s in my boat as a poor college student and wants to simplify the recipe a little, here’s what I did:
    1. I substituted the leek for regular yellow onion (probably not nearly as yummy, but apparently you can only buy two packs of leeks and they were expensive…)
    2. I totally thought I had chicken in the freezer, but I didn’t, and the dish turned out great vegetarian! (So if you don’t want to spend extra money on chicken, you don’t have to)
    3. I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of fish sauce to use one teaspoon, so I used worcestershire sauce instead since I already had some.
    4. I couldn’t find cilantro at the store for some reason, so I used some cilantro stir-in paste that I had in the fridge and that worked great.
    Also, I added kosher salt at the end because I like salt and the recipe doesn’t call for any 🙂
    I served it over brown rice and my husband and I both loved it! The fried shallots were my favorite part. They added great texture! I will definitely make it again!

  4. 5 stars
    Very flavorful curry with so many veggies! This was delicious! We had it with shrimp and I used regular basil because that’s what I had on hand.

  5. 5 stars
    Loved it! Never really cooked with sweet potato except during the holidays. A defo hit with the family. Thank you for sharing, Lauren.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night. Having everything chopped and ready before you start helps it come together smoothly. We both really enjoyed it.

  7. 4 stars
    Thai food is one of my husband’s favorites so I made this for him. He rated it a 4.4 out of 5 stars and loved it!!!

  8. I made this yesterday, and it was fantastic. It is definitely a keeper. It took longer to prepare than prep time listed, but definitely worth the wait.

  9. 5 stars
    Our class of 18-21 year old Post High students made this recipe. All the chopping was challenging for them but the results were worth it. It was so tasty and they all loved it and gave it 5 stars. We plan to use up ingredients to make another batch to put in the freezer.

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