This easy Thai Yellow Curry is made with chicken and vegetables and served over steamed rice. This recipe can easily be made vegan or vegetarian! 

Did you know there are over a dozen Thai inspired recipes on TBFS?  This one honestly ranks in my top five next to Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps and perfect Pad Thai.

Thai yellow curry in a bowl with white rice.

I feel like I have a duty to make sure people know how EASY some of their favorite International foods are to make from home! We’re talking fridge to table in about 30 minutes! If you love “better than take-out” recipes as much as I do then you should definitely take a peak at my favorite ThaiChinese, and Korean recipes.

Ingredients in Yellow Curry:

Yellow Curry paste. Most local grocery stores only carry red and green curry paste (why is that?!), so I buy mine from Amazon or a local International foods market. I like the Mae Ploy Brand best, or you can make yellow curry from scratch if you’d like. A good yellow curry paste is the most important ingredient as it will give the sauce most of the flavor!

Chicken. Sometimes if I’m in a time crunch I use rotisserie chicken meat and add it at the very end.

Vegetables. I add onion, carrots and potatoes, but you could add whatever veggies you like!

Coconut milk. Use canned coconut milk, and not the refrigerated kind. You could substitute another kind of milk, like almond milk, but it you’ll want to add more cornstarch in the recipe to thicken the curry sauce.

Ginger and garlic. Fresh of both of these is definitely preferred so you get the best flavor, but dry can be substituted if you’re in a pinch. Use ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger and  ½ teaspoon garlic powder.

Cornstarch. Mixed with some coconut to thicken the curry sauce.

Fish sauce, lime juice and brown sugar. These ingredients all enhance the flavors in the sauce.

Hot cooked rice, for serving. We also like to serve yellow curry over  zoodles or spaghetti squash!

A marble board with the ingredients for yellow curry including curry paste, coconut milk, chicken, potatoes. onion, carrot, lime, ginger, garlic, fish sauce and brown sugar.

How to make Thai Yellow Curry (step-by-step):

  • Cook onions.  Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add vegetables.  Add the carrots, potatoes, ginger, garlic and stir well.
  • Add curry paste. Saute for 3 minutes.

Chicken pieces, potato and carrot sautéing in a pan and the yellow curry paste added.

  • Add coconut milk. Add 1 ½ cans of coconut milk to the pot. Stir cornstarch into remaining ½ can of coconut milk and add to the pot.
  • Boil then simmer. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Adjust the thickness of the curry by adding more water to thin, if needed.

Yellow curry with chicken in a saucepan with a wooden spoon.

  • Add flavor.  Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar and lime juice. Simmer 5 more minutes.
  • Serve over rice, zoodles, or even. spaghetti squash!

Possible Variations:

Vegetarian yellow curry:  Omit the chicken then either add extra vegetables, or substitute pan fried tofu.

Vegan yellow curry: Make homemade yellow curry paste, substitute vegetables or tofu for chicken, and leave out the fish sauce.

Additional vegetable options: red bell peppers, zucchini, bamboo shoots, baby corn, cauliflower.

Red or Green Curry Paste: Yellow curry paste is the most mild of the three and each type has a different flavor and is made with different spices.  Feel free to substitute red or green paste for this recipe if that’s what you have on hand.

A spoon in a bowl full of yellow curry served with white rice.

Serving, Reheating, and Storing:

For best results, store yellow curry separately from the rice.  Store both in air-tight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Reheat in the microwave.

This yellow curry recipe also freezes well for 2-3 months.  Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.  Cook rice fresh for serving.


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Thai yellow curry in a bowl with white rice.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 50 mins
Add to Meal Plan



  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 large onion , chopped
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 medium gold potatoes (or about 10 baby gold) ½’’ cubed
  • 1 large carrot , thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Tablespoons yellow curry paste *or homemade curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 27 ounces coconut milk (2- 13.5 ounce cans)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Hot cooked rice , for serving (white, jasmine, brown)
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or siracha and serve over rice


  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute for a few minutes until softened. Add the chicken, carrots, potatoes and cook for a minute or two. Add ginger, garlic and curry paste and saute for 3 minutes.
  • Add 1 ½ cans of coconut milk to the pot. Stir cornstarch into remaining ½ can of coconut milk and add to the pot.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are cooked through. Adjust the thickness of the curry by adding more water to thin, if needed.
  • Stir in the fish sauce, brown sugar and lime juice. Simmer 5 more minutes.
  • Serve with any type of rice (white, brown, and jasmine are my favorites) or over zoodles, spaghetti squash or quinoa.


Storing and Freeing Instructions: 
For best results, store the yellow curry sauce in a separate container from the rice.  Store both in air tight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  Reheat in the microwave.
Freeze curry in a freezer-safe container for 2-3 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.  Cook rice fresh for serving.
*For homemade curry paste, check out this recipe.


Calories: 640kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 31gFat: 48gSaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 298mgPotassium: 1277mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 4813IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 10mg

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About The Author

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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe! Making the curry paste was well worth the time and I have a ton to freeze. You know it’s good when the husband has seconds. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this and enjoying every bite of it! I made mine vegetarian and added lots of different veggies. It’s going to be my new favorite recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of the best cooking blogs that I have ever stumbled across!
    Thank you for the beautiful design of your blog. The easy to follow recipes, the descriptions of alternatives and where best to buy the supplies.
    I can’t wait for my Thai ingredients to arrive and make Thai yellow curry – on of my favorite dishes.

  4. This is a fantastic recipe. Easy to follow it turned out well. I loved it topping it off with fresh cilantro from the garden. Taste and aroma was wonderful. I was in heaven. Highly recommend. It is very adaptable.

  5. 5 stars
    After moving to a new city from a very international city with lots of amazing and authentic Thai food around every corner it was very difficult to find a good Thai restaurant to call our “Thai place”. In fact it was downright impossible. After trying many restaurants near and far we never found a good yellow curry. I searched for quite sometime online and even tried other recipes that seemed more authentic before stumbling upon this one but I am so glad I did stumble upon this one. This is the MOST authentic tasting yellow curry my husband and I have had since moving to our new city and even uses the curry paste (Mae Ploy) that was sold at our Thai restaurant in our old city that we loved sooo much! THANK YOU so much for this wonderful recipe. The flavors are amazing and the comfort it gives are invaluable.

  6. 5 stars
    This is so easy and so tasty. I like adding random extra vegetables to clean out the fridge and even my little kids (2-9) love it!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner last night, but realized as I was prepping the root I had was actually turmeric. I decided to leave out the ginger but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. So delicious, the flavor of the curry was really nice and I loved the subtle hint of lime. I thought how this recipe is a great base for green and red curries, and just substituting some of the veggies

  8. Hi! Any chance I could substitute green curry paste for yellow curry paste? Couldn’t find yellow curry paste at the three stores I went to 😔

  9. 5 stars
    Hi, I made this vegan by using yellow curry I bought on the Internet and adding tofu, orange bell pepper, and broccoli. This is the second time I’ve made it.
    Delicious! I’m going to try freezing some of it. I hope it turns out well. I love Thai food, but it’s hard to get vegan Thai coconut curry here. I’ve made red and yellow curry and plan to try green next.

  10. Basic and you have store-bought curry paste, I came here looking for FROM SCRATCH lol get back in the laundry room

    1. Hi Christopher, I probably should have just deleted your comment since it really adds no value to this post –but just wanted to point out my link to homemade curry paste within the post. I agree, if you have the time and can locate the ingredients, from scratch curry paste is awesome.

      1. 5 stars
        Kudos on taking the higher road here. It’s an excellent recipe, easily customizable, and thank you for the two versions- scratch curry or store bought. I like to do a mix of both and this recipe is delicious. The whole family enjoys it!

      2. 5 stars
        “Get back in the laundry room”…really?! I can’t decide if that’s a misogynistic AND racist comment, or “just” sexist… Christopher, you’re basic. Get back to your cave.
        In the meanwhile, I’m excited about trying this recipe, and was fully prepared to raid my spice cupboard to make the recommended and linked homemade curry paste recipe, but discovered I have ready-made in the fridge that needs used up. yay!

  11. “Tastes better from scratch” is false advertising when one of the “ingredients” of yellow curry is yellow curry paste. This is NOT from scratch and is not a recipe. It is simply a serving suggestion.

    1. I really shouldn’t bother to approve your comment since it adds no value to this post, but since it seems you didn’t take the time to read through anything I wrote about the recipe I wanted to point out my addressing this topic above, under the section about “curry paste” and included a link for homemade curry paste for those who want to take the extra time to make it.

  12. 5 stars
    My favorite (least favorite) is that every person commenting something negative is just a sexist man leaving a rude remark. I definitely don’t understand the point of leaving rude comments. Didn’t your parent’s teach you “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! Simple and easy and so good! I was so happy to come upon this recipe and will be using it all the time in the future

  13. 5 stars
    My family is super hyped for this recipe. We always get a yellow curry from the Silk Thai restaurant and we thought we wouldn’t find a replacement if we ever left the state. I whipped this up as an experiment and it’s very close to the restaurant flavor! The one thing I did make sure to add was a bit of lemongrass and Thai basil (essentials for any Thai recipe). Didn’t change anything else. My family insists I make this as a staple from now on.

  14. 5 stars
    This is a solid, tasty recipe. The sauce was a nice consistency. I’ve tended towards using chicken thigh meat as it’s a bit more forgiving w/regards to heat, and I find it richer in flavor than breast meat. I added some turmeric for color (I know there’s likely some in Mae Ploy curry paste and noted it was included in your “from scratch” curry paste recipe). The flavors were great, but I was wondering if you’d experimented with adding makrut lime leaves or lime zest in addition to the juice? Oh…I am a male chef, and hope my comment counterbalances the snarky comments of other commenters of my gender…sigh…

  15. 5 stars
    Ummmm. More please. The 5 star reviews from more than one or two people was the initial draw. My husband loves yellow curry and I wanted to find a recipe for him. HOME RUN. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!!! This recipe will save us a fortune b/c we don’t have to eat out anymore. Thank you sooooooo much for this recipe!!

  16. 5 stars
    Great recipe. The prep time took me much longer than 10 minutes, but that’s always the case for me. Thank you for sharing.