Today’s easy Green Curry recipe is my lightened-up version of the coconut milk curry we love ordering from our local Thai restaurant. With fresh ginger, sweet potato, and kale in a warm (but not too spicy!) coconut green curry sauce, its flavor reminds me of the curries I cooked in Thailand.
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You really only need one ingredient to make authentic-tasting Thai green curry at home: Thai green curry paste.
Green curry paste is a blend of fresh spices, herbs, and aromatics like green chiles, shrimp paste, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, peppercorns, kefir limes, and cumin.
It tastes herbal, citrusy, and warm.
It’s thick like a paste, and a few spoonfuls will allow you to create authentic-tasting Thai recipes in your own kitchen.
Curry pastes are a quite labor intensive to make from scratch; fortunately, they are now widely available in the Asian section of almost any grocery store!
A Bit About Curry
“Curry” is a loose term for vegetables and sometimes meat, tofu, or seafood cooked in a richly spiced sauce. The sauce is often coconut-milk or tomato-based.
Red vs. Green Curry
While in Thailand, curry paste comes in several colors, here in the U.S. the two easiest to find are red curry paste and green curry paste.
Red and green curry pastes are used similarly in cooking but have very different flavor profiles.
- The red is more chile-forward, making it strong and spicy (perfect for Massaman Curry).
- The green has more nuanced citrusy, herbal notes.
- As you might expect, the two varieties create two differently colored curries: red for red curry paste-based sauces like Thai Chicken Curry, and green for a green curry coconut milk sauce like the one in this recipe (isn’t the color pretty?). In Thailand, you’ll also find yellow curry.
This curry uses green curry paste, but you can swap for the red if you prefer more heat.
5 Star Review
“This is the best curry I have ever had. I can’t believe I made it! It is so flavorful and warm and comforting. I just want to sit on the couch with a bowl and good movie. Also perfect quick delicious dinner for a Monday.”— Alexis —
How to Make Green Curry
My favorite nickname for this recipe is “green curry in a hurry” because it comes together in less than 30 minutes.
You can swap the chickpeas for just about any protein and use almost any vegetable in your produce drawer.
- Green Curry Paste. Green curry paste helps give this authentic green curry flavor. It adds citrus and herb flavors with a little sweetness and spice. Store-bought paste is just fine! You can find it any well-stocked grocery store: Kroger, Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s…or find it online here.
- Fresh Ginger. A fresh, zesty addition and key ingredient to curry recipes like this one.
- Light Coconut Milk. Helps give the curry richness and liquid without watering down the flavors. Using light coconut milk helps add less fat to the dish.
- Chickpeas. You can make a delicious, satisfying curry with lots of chickpeas. Protein-wise, I love making this green curry with chickpeas because they take exactly zero minutes to prep. Chickpea Curry lets the chickpeas shine!
- Sweet Potato. Sweet potato pieces add wonderful sweetness, texture, and healthy benefits to the green curry.
- Kale. Chopped kale blends seamlessly into the green curry and brings oodles of fiber and vitamins. You could make this into a spinach green curry if you prefer a more mild-tasting green.
- Broccoli. Another delicious and nutritious green veggie addition. This veggie is also a star in Pumpkin Curry.
- Onion. The second of the aromatics along with the fresh ginger.
- Lime Juice. Adds brightness and acidity. Squeeze a lime wedge at the end for a finish fling.
- Fish Sauce. A little fish sauce gives the curry an addictive note of umami and is key to its authentic taste. (It will not make the curry taste like fish!)
- Coconut Sugar. To balance the curry spice. Brown sugar works too.
- Greek Yogurt. Helps make this a super creamy green curry without any extra fat.
- Fresh Herbs. Serve topped with fresh basil leaves.
- Sauté the garlic, ginger, and onion in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Stir in the green curry paste.
- Add the coconut milk.
- Add sweet potato, kale, and chickpeas. Let simmer until the tender.
- Add broccoli.
- Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar. Let cool for a few minutes, then add the Greek yogurt. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat curry in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Plan Tip
Chop the vegetables up to 1 day in advance, refrigerating them in separate airtight storage containers.
Recommended Tools to Make Green Curry
- Dutch Oven. Ideal for making green curry.
- Citrus Juicer. The easiest way to juice a lemon or lime.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. When chopping lots of vegetables, this large cutting board is a game-changer.
Frequently Asked Questions
The green chilies in the green chili paste give green curry the hue of its namesake, plus the additional green toppings such as kaffir lime leaves, Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro, and lime.
If heat is what you are after, opt for red curry, which has a higher spice profile than green. The coconut milk will help tone down the heat.
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- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced (about 4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped (about 1/2 cup), or 1 shallot, chopped
- 5 tablespoons green curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
- 2 cans light coconut milk (14-ounce cans)
- 1 large sweet potato peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 heaping cups)
- 1 bunch kale stems removed and discarded, roughly chopped (about 4 loosely packed cups)
- 1 can reduced-sodium chickpeas (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
- 1 small head broccoli cut into florets (about 3 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from about 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce to make vegan, swap soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt to make vegan, swap a soy- or coconut milk–based yogurt or simply omit it
- Cooked brown rice for serving
- Chopped fresh basil for serving
- Heat a Dutch oven, large saucepan, or deep skillet over medium. Once hot, add the olive oil, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the curry paste and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk. Stir until the sauce is smoothly incorporated.
- Add the sweet potato, kale, and chickpeas. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes, until the sweet potato is somewhat tender but still has a bit of chew, then add the broccoli. Simmer 3 to 5 additional minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
- Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, and coconut sugar.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 3 minutes (this will ensure the yogurt does not curdle and gives the flavors a little extra time to marry). Stir in the Greek yogurt. Serve warm with rice and a sprinkle of fresh basil.
- TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Reheat curry in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- If you need the recipe to be gluten free AND vegan, use gluten-free tamari in place of the fish sauce (if gluten free is not a concern, you can swap for soy sauce).
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