Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

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A fast and easy Thai chicken curry with coconut milk loaded with exotic flavors and healthy vegetables that you can enjoy any day of the week.

Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

Weekdays at the Gavin House mean quick meals that are delicious. A healthy meal is imperative, but I often find myself short on time after a long day at work. Stopping to grab takeout on the drive home sounds like the perfect shortcut, but I’ve got a go-to Thai chicken curry recipe made with coconut milk that is both quick and nutritious.

Making curry paste from scratch is the best way to enjoy the freshest and most intense fragrant flavors. But who’s got the time? Thankfully, I can pick up a bottle of Trader Joe’s curry sauce and make this meal before my boys get Hangry.

Chicken and vegetables simmering in red curry sauce and coconut milk

How to make Thai chicken curry

Three cooking methods are used to make this 30-minute meal: saute, stewing and steaming. I like to build flavor in the pan with sauteed garlic, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and chicken, then gently simmer in the red curry sauce and coconut milk. You can vary the amount of liquid. However, I like my curries on the mildly spicy and sweeter side, so I use an entire can.

To quickly cook the vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini are steamed while the chicken gently stews. Each veggie needs different amounts of cook time, but the extreme temperature of the steam tenderizes the ingredients very quickly.

Bowl of white rice and Thai chicken curry with vegetables

A variety of vegetables is essential because they provide tons of flavor and texture to the dish. I like to add zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, and sweet potato, but any vegetable will taste great!

Steaming is an excellent way to quickly cook your vegetables without the added fats and with minimal loss to all of the beneficial nutrients. You can also spice the dish up by adding some fresh Thai chili or jalapeno for a hotter kick. To make this Thai chicken curry a complete meal, serve with either brown rice or quinoa to make the dish even healthier.

If you’ve got the time, check out the instructions in the recipe section below on how to make a homemade curry sauce. If you like this meal, then you might also like my Thai-spiced shrimp with vegetable noodles or coconut curry chicken satay. The curry paste is extremely versatile, and you should give it a try!

What are the typical ingredients used in a Thai red curry paste?

During culinary school, I got the chance to make the most intense and delicious curry paste. It was a labor of love, grinding the ingredients with a mortar and pestle but the flavor was unforgettable! I used dried chiles, galangal, lemongrass, lime zest, cilantro roots, shallots, shrimp paste, black peppercorns, and vegetable oil. These ingredients are concentrated in flavor then balanced with sweet coconut milk, fish sauce, and fresh Thai sweet basil.

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Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

A fast and easy Thai chicken curry with coconut milk recipe loaded with exotic flavors and healthy vegetables that you can enjoy any day of the week.
Pin Print Review
4.06 from 87 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Thai

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup yellow onion, ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 ½ cups bell pepper, ¼-inch thick slices, about 2 peppers
  • 1 ½ cups mushrooms, ¼-inch thick slices
  • 1 pound chicken breast, sliced into ½-inch by 2-inch strips
  • 11 ounces red curry sauce
  • 13.5 ounces coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 cup carrot, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 cups zucchini, ¼-inch thick slices

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized pot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the pan is hot.
  • Add garlic and onions, sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes, until tender.
  • Add bell pepper, sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, sauté for 3 minutes.
  • Add chicken, sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until cooked through.
  • Add curry sauce and coconut milk to the chicken mixture. Bring to a boil then quickly reduce to a low simmer. Meanwhile, steam the remaining vegetables.
  • In a steamer, cook sweet potatoes (7 minutes), carrots (5 minutes), zucchini (3 minutes) or until tender (will vary with size).
  • Add steamed vegetables to the chicken mixture and stir to combine. Serve with rice or quinoa.

Notes

  • Want to create your own sauce? Simply add 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste, 2 tablespoon honey, maple syrup or brown sugar and 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional) to the pan, with one can coconut milk (13.5 ounces). Mix to combine and bring to a simmer with the chicken and sauteed vegetables.
  • To make a one pan curry (no steamer): In a medium-sized pot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the pan is hot. Add garlic and onions, sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes, until tender. Add sweet potato and saute for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and bell pepper, sauté for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, sauté for 3 minutes. Add chicken, sauté for 3 minutes until just cooked through. Add sauce and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through about 10 to 15 minutes.

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Nutrition Facts
Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 1297mg54%
Potassium 674mg19%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 15100IU302%
Vitamin C 153.5mg186%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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46 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. cheryl says

    Hi Jessica,
    What are the orange star shaped vegetables in your
    Thai Chix Curry w/ Coconut milk recipe picture and how do you make them?

  2. P dizzle says

    It was delicious! I made it with TJ’s stir fry frozen veggies and chicken plus tofu! Mmmmmm. A lovely employee at TJs told me about Zhoug Sauce which is amazing in combo with this, and it gives a nice kick. Thank you for this recipe! My husband even liked it and he hates veggies!!!

  3. Alex says

    This looks so good and I cannot wait to make it!! Question: how long can this stay in the fridge for? I am trying to do it for meal prep for the week and I am not sure if it will last that long??

  4. Sylvana says

    Can this be made in the slow cooker? And what would the steps be? I wanted to also thank you for all your wonderful recipes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I think this recipe can be converted into a slow cooker. You could microwave the onions, garlic, and bell peppers in the microwave with the onion until tender, then add it to the slow cooker. Then add the chicken, coconut milk, curry, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and carrot, cook on high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, low for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours. Add the zucchini and cook on high for another 30 minutes or until tender. Let me know how it goes!

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