This easy Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe is scaled down in size but not in flavor. Combining coconut milk, chicken broth, coconut sugar and lime to a store-bought curry paste welcome flavor complexity that is just as good as take out – it’s so good you can add any combination of vegetable and have a delicious curry for two ready in 30 minutes.
For a streamlined Thai red curry dish, eliminate homemade curry paste and pick up a jarred variety; it contains many of the hard-to-find ingredients required for homemade, and I found just a small amount packs a punch.
A little chicken broth cuts through the richness of the coconut milk, while easy-to-find Thai staples such as coconut sugar, found in most grocery stores (I found it at Cub!), lime juice and cilantro offer a welcomed complexity.
Blooming the curry paste in oil allows its flavor to fully develop, a technique that removes any raw flavor or dustiness from the paste and intensifies its flavor. Then stirring in a little extra toward the end of cooking guarantees a deep flavor.
This flavorful sauce is so good you can mix and match any vegetables making a new curry dish every time! Have fun being creative.
To use the remaining coconut milk when making curry for two, I add it to my quinoa or rice (see the recipe card for instructions) to serve with this curry along with a side of naan.
What you'll need
Let’s quickly review the key ingredients you will need.
For the Thai Red Chicken Curry Recipe:
- Coconut quinoa or rice – as a “use up” strategy for the left-over coconut milk, add it to your quinoa or rice. See the recipe card for how to make coconut quinoa.
- Coconut oil or olive oil – we will use the oil to bloom our curry paste, a technique that intensifies the store-bought curry paste.
- Onion, fresh ginger and garlic – provides the aromatic base bringing depth to our jarred curry paste.
- Coconut milk – coconut milk delivers a creamy, savory richness. Please use a full fat coconut milk – you won’t regret it!
- Chopped or sliced vegetables – you will want about 3 cups total of any combination of vegetables. Consider red, orange, green or a mix of bell peppers. Add some greens like spinach or a Tuscan kale. Include carrots or use sweet potatoes during the fall and winter months. One of my favorite combinations is 1 cup of peppers – a mix of red and yellow, ½ cup of spinach or kale and ½ a cup of cubed sweet potatoes. You will find this combination in the recipe card.
- Thai red curry paste - one of the best curry pastes I have found is Maesri, found in most grocery stores in the Asian food aisle, Asian markets or you can buy from Amazon.
- Chicken broth – a little chicken broth cuts through the richness of the coconut milk. If you want to keep this vegetarian you can use a vegetable broth or water.
- Kosher salt
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Freshly squeezed lime juice and lime zest
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cook quickly or if you are short of time you can use rotisserie chicken from your grocer’s deli or skip the chicken and keep it vegetarian.
- Garnishes: handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, optional red pepper flakes, chopped peanuts, sriracha or chili garlic sauce
See recipe card for quantities.
Coconut Quinoa Ingredients
When cooking Thai Red Chicken Curry for tow, I always have half a can of coconut milk left. Our use up strategy? Add it to your quinoa or rice! Here is what you will need:
- Coconut milk – when cooking for two, I always have half a can of coconut milk left. Use it in your quinoa or rice.
- White quinoa - Not a quinoa fan, rice is traditionally served with currys.
- Agave nectar or honey (optional)
Buying Thai red curry paste
The best Thai Red Curry Paste I have found is a brand called Maesri. Other brands tend to have less complexity to their flavor and are often too sweet.
Sold in small cans found in large grocery stores, it’s often the cheapest. If you have difficulty finding it, try an Asian an grocery market or you can order it on amazon.
Tips to make jarred curry paste better
Store bought curry paste lacks the freshness of freshly made curry paste but makes up for this by not having to buy hard-to-find spices when making from scratch. Combining full-fat coconut milk and chicken broth to store–bought curry paste results in a flavorful and amazing curry.
First, Warm a 10” cast iron or skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent.
Now we will bloom the curry paste with oil. Simply sizzle the curry paste, ginger and garlic with the hot onion and oil until you begin to smell their fragrance. This will not take very long any where from 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Adding the fresh aromatics of onion, ginger and garlic packs a punch.
How to make this recipe
Alright, now that you have made your curry paste better by adding aromatics, let’s finish the dish.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in broth, coconut milk, and potatoes, or carrots scraping up any browned bits. Cook until potatoes are just tender.
Add your other vegetables such as bell peppers and kale. Cook until fork-tender.
Stir in the chicken and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through. Be careful not to overcook or the chicken or will dry out.
Remove the pot from the heat and season with sugar, tamari and lime juice. Stir in lime zest and salt to taste.
If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more lime juice, or for more spice add ¼ teaspoon of curry paste. Need to tone down the spice? Add a bit more coconut sugar.
Divide quinoa and curry into bowls and garnish. Enjoy!
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This flavorful sauce is so good you can mix and match any vegetables making a new curry dish every time that is amazing. You will want about 3 cups total of vegetables, here are a couple of my favorite combinations:
- Equal mix of red and yellow peppers + carrots + kale
- Equal mix of red and yellow peppers + sweet potatoes + kale
- Not a kale fan? Swap out kale for spinach or chopped basil or cilantro.
Looking for other weeknight recipes for two? Try these:
For dessert consider one of these options for two:
Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe (For Two)
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- 1 ½ tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 small white onion sliced thinly in half-moons (about ½ cup)
- Pinch of salt more to taste
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste such as Maesri
- 1 ½ tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger ,about a 1-inch nub of ginger
- 1 clove garlic ,pressed or minced
- ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 7 ounces regular coconut milk , about ½ a can
- 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar ,turbinado sugar or brown sugar
- 1 small sweet potato peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about ½ cup or ½- lb)
- ½ red bell pepper ,sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
- ½ yellow ,orange or green bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
- ¾ cups packed thinly, sliced kale (tough ribs removed first) , preferably the Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur variety
- ½ pound boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts , trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces or purchase a rotisserie chicken for short cut. (optional) Or skip to keep it vegetarian.
- ½ tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Coconut quinoa or rice
- handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, pepper flakes, chopped peanuts, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 7 ounces can coconut milk about ½ a can
- ½ cup white quinoa rinsed in a fine mesh strainer
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)
- Warm a 10” cast iron or skillet with deep sides over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry paste, ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
- Stir in broth, coconut milk, sugar and potatoes, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until potatoes are just tender, 12 to 14 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and kale. Cook until the bell peppers are fork-tender, 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in chicken and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Add to a medium saucepan over medium heat and toast for 3 minutes. Add coconut milk and ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is light, fluffy and the liquid is absorbed. Set aside until serving.
- Remove the pot from the heat and season with tamari and lime juice. Stir in lime zest and add salt (about ¼ teaspoon), to taste. If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more lime juice, or if it is too spicy add a bit more coconut sugar. Divide quinoa and curry into bowls and garnish. Serve, passing the cilantro, peanuts, sriaracha or chili garlic sauce.
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Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.