You know dinner was good when you want to eat it for breakfast. Speaking of, it’s 10 am and I’m writing with a happy belly.
This Thai red curry made a fantastic meal last night and perhaps an even better breakfast this morning. It’s warm, comforting, and perfect for cool days. It’s a little rich, too, but so full of vegetables that it doesn’t feel too indulgent.
I’ve been meaning to try a red Thai curry based on my green curry for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally did. It’s the best curry I’ve ever had, restaurant versions included! Yeah, I said it.
Bonus? You should be able to find everything you need for this simple curry at a well-stocked grocery store.
Watch How to Make Thai Red Curry
Thai Red Curry Tips
- The secret to making amazing Thai curries is to use plenty of aromatics, like onion, ginger and garlic.
- Choose full-fat coconut milk for its richness (you won’t regret it!).
- Stirring in just a little bit of rice vinegar and sugar adds tons of complexity.
- Readily available store-bought Thai red curry paste adds characteristic Thai flavor and, bonus, the Thai Kitchen brand is vegetarian. You can make your own if you’re so inclined, though.
- Feel free to change up the vegetables, as long as you slice them so they’re all pretty small and about the same size. You could try broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, diced butternut or sweet potato (which will probably require a longer cooking time), sliced zucchini and/or yellow squash.
Please let me know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments. I love to hear from you.
If you enjoy this hearty dinner recipe, be sure to check out my cookbook for more!
Thai Red Curry with Vegetables
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
This Thai red curry recipe is so easy to make at home! It’s much tastier than takeout and healthier, too. Feel free to change up the vegetables (you’ll need about 3 cups total) and skip the kale if you want a more traditional Thai curry. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free for all to enjoy. Recipe yields 4 servings.
- 1 ¼ cups brown jasmine rice or long-grain brown rice, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- Pinch of salt, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (about a 1-inch nub of ginger)
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
- 1 yellow, orange or green bell pepper, sliced into thin 2-inch long strips
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into ¼-inch thick rounds (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste*
- 1 can (14 ounces) regular coconut milk**
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups packed thinly sliced kale (tough ribs removed first), preferably the Tuscan/lacinato/dinosaur variety
- 1 ½ teaspoons coconut sugar or turbinado (raw) sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce***
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice
- Garnishes/sides: handful of chopped fresh basil or cilantro, optional red pepper flakes, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- To cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rinsed rice and continue boiling for 30 minutes, reducing heat as necessary to prevent overflow. Remove from heat, drain the rice and return the rice to pot. Cover and let the rice rest for 10 minutes or longer, until you’re ready to serve. Just before serving, season the rice to taste with salt and fluff it with a fork.
- To make the curry, warm a large 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 ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, while stirring continuously.
- Add the bell peppers and carrots. Cook until the bell peppers are fork-tender, 3 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, water, kale and sugar, and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peppers, carrots and kale have softened to your liking, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat and season with tamari and rice vinegar. Add salt (I added ¼ teaspoon for optimal flavor), to taste. If the curry needs a little more punch, add ½ teaspoon more tamari, or for more acidity, add ½ teaspoon more rice vinegar. Divide rice and curry into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, if you’d like. If you love spicy curries, serve with sriracha or chili garlic sauce on the side.
Recipe adapted from my Thai green curry recipe.
*Red Thai curry paste: Look for it in the Asian section of the grocery store. I like Thai Kitchen brand, which is vegetarian. Not all brands are (they can contain fish sauce and/or shrimp paste).
**Coconut milk: For rich and creamy curry, you need to use regular (not light/reduced fat) coconut milk that contains guar gum. My favorite is Native Forest Classic. The varieties without guar gum (which are becoming more widely available) aren’t nearly as creamy, even though their fat content is the same.
***Make it gluten free: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari instead of regular soy sauce.
If you want to add tofu: I’d suggest baking it first and adding it with the coconut milk in step 4. If you add raw tofu, it will soak up too much of the liquid, and baking it greatly improves the texture, anyway.
Update 8/10/2016: I tweaked this recipe a tiny bit to make it richer and more flavorful (decreased water from ¾ cup to ½ cup, and increased tamari to 1 tablespoon and vinegar to 2 teaspoons). I also updated the post with better photos!
If you love this recipe: Be sure to check out my other Thai-inspired recipes here! Don’t miss the Thai pineapple fried rice.
Fabulous! Proportions are perfect, tastes just like the red curry at my favorite Thai restaurant!
Hooray! That’s great, Chisti!
A go-to recipe for me! So flavorful and delicious.
I love to hear that, Kelly! Thank you for your review.
I love this recipe so much and have been making it once every other week or so for the last two winters. I omit the sugar now and haven’t noticed a difference.
I love to hear that, Lo! Thank you for your review.
Very tasty! Used the veggies I had on hand. I used the full fat coconut milk without guar gum, so left out the water. Added extra lime and chili crisp for serving.
Great to hear, Amanda! I appreciate your review.
I love this recipe! Easy, cheap and fun to make. I make it at least every other week.
I’m happy you enjoyed it, RK!
Five star Thai restaurant quality good! The flavours and texture are perfect. Thank you so much for sharing with us. So simple to do, finger licking delicious!
Hooray! I’m excited to hear that, Sandra. Thank you for your review.
LOVED this recipe!! Such good flavor, I added roasted broccoli and sweet potato and topped it to give a different texture to the curry. Great leftovers as well – this will become a staple of mine! :)
I’m glad you love it, Maddie!
This dish was delicious. I think I would really like adding the baked tofu. I actually have left overs and may add even though it’s not at step 4. Will make again.
Great to hear you plan to make it again, Surae! I appreciate your review.
Hello! Do you have the nutrition info?
Hi Sam! The nutrition information is below the notes section of the recipe.
I commented on this earlier but I just had to add that I added Chickpeas to this recipe the next day and OMG it really took it to another level! Thanks again for this staple
Thank you for your review, Surae! I appreciate it.
Delicious!! loved every bit of it! I omitted kale and added baby corn and tofu to it. The recipe had perfect proportions.
Great to hear AG!
Superb recipee, I used “cauli” and pac choi. I have frozen half the can of coconut for next time. Cheers.
Thank you, Tony!
Delicious!! loved every bit of it! I omitted kale and added baby corn and potatoes. Loved every bit of it. Thanks for the detailed recipe with exact measurements
Great recipe. I made it with Mae Ploy red curry sauce. I skimped a little on the carrots and bell peppers and made up for it with chickpeas. Came out great. Thanks!
Great recipe. I made it with Mae Ploy red curry paste (in my opinion it’s much superior to Thai Kitchen). I skimped a little on the carrots and bell peppers and made up for it with chickpeas. Came out great. Thanks!
You’re welcome, Randall!
Made this for my vegan girlfriend. She enjoyed it very much. I used lime juice instead of the vinegar because I had them on hand and I really enjoyed the slight lime flavor that came with the acidity.
Great to hear, Lance! I appreciate your review.
Any substitutes for full fat coconut milk? Avoiding saturated fats. Thanks
My go to curry recipe. Better than the local restaurant, and often I roast broccoli and zucchini in oven and add to the pool just for fun.
Wonderful to hear, Ambre!
Terrific recipe! I used the veggies I had on hand and it turned out perfectly.
i love this, made it so many times and so easy. i always add a load of spices because i find it’s never spicy and authentic enough, but the proportions and veggies are perfect.
Are there any substitutes for coconut milk in this recipe?
You could try heavy cream. Let me know what you think!
Made this for dinner tonight cuz its cold outside and was craving red curry and OH MY GOD! So easy so good and so flavourful! I pretty much followed recipe but used soy sauce instead of tamari/coconut aminos and a little bit of date syrup instead of sugar.
Love this recipe! We make it in the instant pot and add sweet potatoes and it’s wonderful.
Delicious! I used Japanese eggplant and mushrooms in addition to the carrots and peppers, turned out great!
This has become a weekly habit for me. I take my leftover veggies from the week and use them in this recipe. So, so good! Thanks for sharing!
This has been my go to curry recipe since I finished the pct in early December!! It’s perfect. The only things I add are fish sauce, a creamy cilantro lime dressing (when I have it), sunflower seeds and chili crisp on top!!!! So good!
Thank you, Matthew!
This is the best recipe I’ve ever made. Thank you!! Would it withstand freezing so I could have it on hand when I need comfort food?
Hi! I believe others have frozen this and didn’t mind the results.
Have already made this several times. Tastes amazing. Admittedly, we have altered the recipe just a touch (don’t bother with the sugar since we’re trying to cut back on that sort of thing) but it still comes out great. Finding this recipe has been so helpful.
Great to hear, Tara! Thank you for sharing.
This was INCREDIBLE! I had totally different vegetables other than the onion, and it was still incredible! I forgot the water and if was rich and oh so delish!
Great to hear you loved it, Tiffany! I appreciate your review.
Unbelievably delicious and EASY!
Great to hear, Alyssa!
Made this tonight and my wife and I loved it! So fresh and delicious!
Great to hear, Josh!
My all time favorite thing to make and eat!
Oh my gosh, this is so incredible! I have been trying for YEARS to fid a recipe that actually tastes like the Thai takeout we love and it always falls way short but this one is SPOT ON! Thank you so much for sharing. I bought your cookbook the next day and cannot wait to try some more great vegetarian dishes.
Hooray! I’m glad you loved it, Victoria.