Thai red curry sounds kind of exotic, but don’t worry, it’s easy to make, and even easier to love! Chicken and veggies are quickly sautéed and then cooked in a creamy coconut milk and Thai red curry paste sauce. Served over rice, it’s filling, comforting and delicious.
This Thai red curry recipe is for Day 3 of weeknight meal plan #1.
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If you follow the meal plan (which I will explain in detail in the 5th post in this series), you will be using the same lime chicken you made for your chicken tacos in this recipe, and the same coconut rice that you prepared for the sriracha salmon.
If you’re making this recipe on it’s own, you’ll just cook the chicken in the curry! I promise it’s still a super quick meal that you can get on the table in 30 minutes, easily. The sauce is mild, creamy, and pretty kid-friendly. You can add some minced jalapeno if you do want more of a kick. The spice level may also vary with the brand of Thai red curry paste you use (this popular brand is not too spicy), so proceed with caution.
You’ll notice that I’ve listed a couple of ingredients – kaffir lime leaves and fish sauce – as “optional”. Kaffir lime leaves can be hard to track down outside of Asian markets, and this curry will still taste great without them. That said, if you make Thai food regularly, they are definitely worth hunting down, and you can find dried ones here.
Now…fish sauce. This ingredient is quite easy to find in most grocery stores (or, of course, here), and definitely does add great flavor to this dish. If you have it on hand, definitely go for it. That said, if you don’t have any, and it just sounds weird to you, or not like something you’d use again, I say don’t bother. I’ve made this Thai red curry with and without it and loved it both ways.
If you’re a stickler for authenticity though, you might disagree. For me, there’s a time and a place for authenticity and that time is not at 6:00PM on a weeknight when I need to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes before the famished toddler has a meltdown. But definitely do as you will!! I’m behind you either way :).
Thai Red Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, sliced into strips (see note)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 Kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Plain or coconut rice for serving (see note)
Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and cook until lightly browned, but not quite cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate. *If using the lime chicken as described in the notes, you will simply add it to the curry at the end to warm it up
To the skillet, add the onion and sauté until softened. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute.
Add the bell peppers and zucchini, and continue cooking until softened, about 4-5 minutes longer.
Stir in the red curry paste and lime leaves, and stir-fry for another minute. Add the coconut milk, sugar fish sauce and lime juice and stir until well combined, Add in the chicken and simmer for 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Serve over plain or coconut rice (see note), and sprinkle with cilantro.
*If you're following the meal plan, you'll be using this lime chicken. For this recipe, slice the cooked chicken into 1-inch strips. *If you're following the meal plan, you'll be using this coconut rice.