Thai Chicken Curry

I’m over-the-moon, giggly-girly giddy to tell you about today’s Thai Chicken Curry! It’s one of those special recipes we all want and need more of in our lives: a healthy, one-pan dinner that’s dead simple to prepare yet so outrageously tasty, it will leave you wowed by your own kitchen prowess. Ready in about 45 minutes (more than half of which is hands off) this Thai coconut curry recipe is fast enough for a weeknight but special enough for company.

Easy ONE PAN Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk recipe. Filled with authentic red Thai curry flavor, not too spicy, and the coconut milk sauce is to die for! Serve with rice for a fast, healthy weeknight dinner.

The first time I made this Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk, I was worried I would find it lacking, because my expectations for it were especially (bordering on unrealistically) high. Not only do I want you to find the very best recipes here, but also I’ve eaten my way through copious amounts of authentic Thai chicken curry in Thailand, so I know exactly how fabulous it can be.

Could a recipe that is as easy to prepare with such a short list of ingredients as this Thai Chicken Curry live up to my self-induced hype?

Forget “live up to.” This recipe BLEW ME AWAY. Meet one of the best Thai Chicken Curry recipes you will ever make at home (and it was even better than some of the curry I ate in Thailand, believe it or not)!

Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk

How to Make Thai Chicken Curry (The Easy Way!)

Whenever I’m working on a recipe for the first time, I’m tempted to rifle around my pantry to throw in a little of this, followed by a dash of that. After all, isn’t more, well, more?

Not this time.

I know cooking Thai food at home can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it, but the ingredient list here is short, approachable, and you can find every one of the (few) ingredients you need at your local grocery store.

Yes, yes, I realize Thai food purists will (correctly) point out that authentic Thai curry has many more things added to it than this recipe does. For our purposes, I love that this easy version of Thai Chicken Curry can quickly come to life in your kitchen, no access to specialty ingredients required.

The chicken curry recipe prep is a breeze, and the final effect is deeply rewarding: a rich, not-too-spicy, yet-oh-so-flavorful thick coconut sauce that’s brimming with ginger, garlic, and authentic Thai chicken curry flavor.

When you read this Thai Chicken Curry recipe, you’ll see how straightforward the steps are:

  • Season and brown the chicken.
  • Sauté the vegetables, Thai red curry paste, and spices.
  • Add the coconut milk.
  • Pop into the oven.

Um, that’s it.

What you won’t see is how the flavors bloom and develop together. I was eating this sauce out of the skillet with a spoon, and the chicken was perfectly browned and juicy.

The Pretty Dish Cookbook

I owe this whiz of chicken skillet dinners to a lady I have long admired, Jessica of the beautiful blog How Sweet Eats.

This Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk recipe is from the pages of Jessica’s latest cookbook, The Pretty Dish, and if the rest of the recipes in it are even a fraction as delightful as this Thai red coconut curry chicken, then we are all in for a fabulous 150+ pages of stellar eating and drinking.

Cooking this Thai Curry Chicken recipe—which wowed me in every way if you can’t tell already—and paging through The Pretty Dish was especially meaningful to me because Jessica’s blog is one of the very first I ever followed. Nearly six years ago, when I first clicked “publish” here at this corner of the internet, I hardly knew what a blog was, let alone that other people, cool people I’d like and admire and even meet in person one day, could be doing the same crazy thing.

I have a vivid memory of typing “what are some food blogs” into a Google search bar. How Sweet Eats was one of the first names I came across.

This is going to sound borderline creepy in that special way only blogging can, but as soon as I visited Jessica’s blog, I became lost in her writing and, a few hours later, felt like I had made a friend. Her voice is warm and authentic in a way that’s rare to find online. “If only we could meet in real life!” I thought.

Fast forward a few years and a few hundred recipes later. I have had the pleasure to spend time with Jessica “in real life.” She’s just as personable, kind, and genuine as I (and everyone else who reads her lovely blog) imagined she would be. I’m honored to be sharing her book with you today, and I do hope you will buy a copy, because it’s incredibly special. The recipes feel fresh and creative yet are totally, absolutely doable.

Case in point: Thai Chicken Curry. Can you chop vegetables and stir coconut milk? YOU CAN MAKE THIS RECIPE!

Easy, creamy One Pan Thai Chicken Curry. Simple, healthy, Whole30 chicken recipe!

More About Making Thai Red Curry Chicken

  • You can make this Thai Curry Chicken with chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or keep your entire household happy like both Jessica and I do by using a mix of both.
  • The star flavor-maker in this Thai red chicken curry recipe is Thai red curry paste. Curry paste is available in the Asian food section of most major grocery stores or online here.
  • If you’d like to make the Thai chicken curry green, you could swap the red curry paste for green curry paste (not yet tested and it will have a very different flavor, but I suspect it will be quite tasty).
  • The same is true for Thai yellow chicken curry: use yellow curry paste instead of the red curry paste.
  • I insist you use full-fat (not light) coconut milk. I promise the boss sauce will be worth it. I like to swap in light coconut milk anytime I can, but it just isn’t the same here.
  • As written, this recipe is Whole30 compliant! It’s also Paleo. (For more Whole30 chicken recipes, check out my Harvest Chicken Skillet, Whole30 Chicken Salad, or many of these Whole30 recipes).

The Difference between Red Curry and Panang Curry

  • Panang curry (also called as Penang or Penaeng curry) is a red curry that originates from Penang, an island located off the west coast of Malaysia. It is usually less spicy than traditional red curry because of the fact that it uses fewer red chiles. Panang curry also includes coconut cream and peanuts, thus making it sweeter than other Thai curries.
  • This red curry isn’t strictly one or the other. It’s not overly spicy by any means, but it has a distinct Thai flavor I think you’ll love!

Serving and Storing Thai Chicken Curry

  • We served ours with rice, and it was delicious. Jessica also suggests dipping the sauce with sourdough, which, after trying the sauce, I am 1,000% certain would be outstanding.
  • To make reheating leftovers easier, I diced up the extra chicken and then mixed it in with the rice.

More Delicious Recipes with Thai Red Curry Paste

Tools to Make Thai Chicken Curry

  • All you really need is a killer skillet. I used this one; this brand is also excellent. For an affordable, high-quality option, check out this one.
  • The Pretty DishObvi. I love this cookbook and am so happy it brought this yummy recipe (and so many others) into my life.

The Best Thai Red Chicken Curry

Last, a note Jessica, this Thai Chicken Curry’s recipe author: Congratulations on your book! Thank you for being your creative, positive, one-of-a-kind self and for inspiring so many of your fellow bloggers (this one included) to do the same. I’m so happy our paths crossed, in blog life and in real life too.♥

Easy ONE PAN Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk recipe. Filled with authentic red Thai curry flavor, not too spicy, and the coconut milk sauce is to die for! Serve with rice for a fast, healthy weeknight dinner.
4.96 from 21 votes
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Thai Chicken Curry

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Easy ONE PAN Thai Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk recipe. Filled with authentic red Thai curry flavor, not too spicy, and the coconut milk sauce is to die for! Serve with rice for a fast, healthy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts — or thighs (or a mix!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 red bell pepper — thinly sliced
  • 1 leek — thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk — (14 ounces) (do not use light or the sauce won't thicken properly)
  • 3 tablespoons torn fresh cilantro
  • Prepared brown rice or sourdough for serving

Instructions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper.
  2. In a large, ovenproof skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the bell pepper, leek, garlic, and ginger, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste. Cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring often. Slowly pour in the coconut milk while stirring to combine. Return the reserved chicken to the skillet.
  4. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear (my smaller breasts were done closer to the 15-minute mark). Top with cilantro. Serve with rice and fresh sourdough bread for mopping up the sauce if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Thai
Keyword: Easy One Pan Recipe, Thai Chicken Curry

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 4), including sauce) — Calories: 541, Sodium: 757mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g, Protein: 34g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

78 comments

  1. THANK YOU!!! you are the sweetest. so glad you liked the chicken. thank you for your support! xoxo

  2. So in love with Jessica’s book – I made the butternut squash queso and it was amazing ? 

  3. Never met a one-pan dinner I didn’t like ;)

  4. I made this last nightfor dinner to rave reviews. Thank you so much!!!

  5. I just made this for dinner tonight and absolutely loved it – so flavorful without being too spicy! Easy, delicious, and healthy – wins in my book :)

    • Hooray! I’m so glad you enjoyed the curry, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for taking the time to review the recipe!

  6. Are these calories including rice?

  7. Mike Marturello Reply

    Erin:
    I was reading the recipe then the nutrition information. Where are the carbs coming from? Is it the rice?
    I am trying to reduce the carbs as much as possible (Keto) and would like to make this recipe but the carbs seem a bit high. In advance, thanks for your feedback.

    • Hi Mike- the carbs are coming from the vegetables and coconut milk. I would recommend looking into those ingredients and adjusting as needed to fit your diet! I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  8. Can you use a cast iron skillet?

  9. I’d like to make this but don’t like coconut, what substitution would you suggest for the milk? I was thinking almond milk but wasn’t sure if it would thicken enough.

  10. I made this last night and we LOVED it! Any suggestions on how to make it a bit spicier?

    • Hi Shona, you could try adding in a serrano or Thai chile in with the other sauteeing vegetables, or add a bit of cayenne powder to your taste! Other brands of curry paste may also be a little spicier if you want to experiment. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Hi this looks so delicious!! I can’t wait to make it! Do you know the amount of fat per serving? I only see carbs and protein? Thanks! 

  12. Going to make this for my moms birthday tomorrow :) Any suggestions for using cut up chicken breast/thighs in this instead of whole? Thanks so much 

    • Hi! I would actually recommend leaving them whole to cook them so that you get the nice outside sear and they cook up nice and juicy when the dish finishes in the oven. You could then dice them and toss them back into the sauce once they are finished so that the recipe is easy to serve for a crowd. Happy birthday to your mom, and I hope everyone loves it!

  13. Can we make the same on the stove top ?

  14. Also please help me what is thai curry paste? Is there a recipe for it or do we buy ready made?

    • Hi Jessina, it’s a premade curry paste that I find in the international or Asian aisle of my grocery store. The brand I used is Thai Kitchen.

  15. I want to make this delicious looking dish for dinner tomorrow. I don’t have an oven proof pan though. Will it work he same to transfer all to a baking dish?

    • Crystal, you can experiment with that! You might need a bit longer in the oven since you’ll be starting the chicken baking in a cold pan. Be sure to use a thermometer to check for doneness. I hope you enjoy it!

  16. This recipe is the bomb!!!! I could eat it every meal for the WHOLE whole30!!!!!! SERIOUSLY!!!! Do you have anymore in the same vein and yes i have also done the indian curry shrimp !!!!!!!AWESOME AF!!!!!!!!!!!🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  17. I think I am going to give this a try. What I liked is it has chicken pieces in it. I seen so many that said “authentic” but had boneless chicken breast (which I somewhat questioned). I found it interesting that your photo looks like it has scallions in it, not leeks. Also, I usually see cilantro in Mexican dishes, I would think Thai basil or sweet basil would be more authentic to the dish.

  18. This dish def looks like it’s worth the hype! 🙌🏻

  19. The flavor is as vibrant as the color!

  20. I love Thai flavors and this recipe was easy and delicious!!! Can’t wait to make it again!

  21. My new favorite dinner!

  22. Hi Erin. When it comes to slicing the leeks, which direction to you slice them? Lengthwise, or so they look circular??

    • Hi Carrie, check out the video! I slice the leek in half lengthwise and then cut thin half moons. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  23. This is really good! A new favorite in my house!

  24. I’m totally in love with these flavors! 

  25. Umm…YUM!! This is definitely happening tonight! Thanks so much!

    • I hope you love it, Lesan!

      • This was AMAZING! I ran out of red curry paste (only about 1 tbs left) and used about two tbs of curry powder. It was so good!! My 7 & 5 year old children loved it, too. We ate it over fresh green beans and my hubby ate nearly an entire loaf of homemade bread with his. Thanks again, this was an easy weeknight dinner that did not disappoint!

  26. I cannot wait to try this Thai chicken curry recipe. Pinning this one. Many of your recipes (or in this case Jessica’s) make it to my Pinterest boards. This one sounds so easy and delicious. If Jessica’s food blog is anything like yours…it is a winner!

  27. I am truly a sucker for Thai flavors. Loving how easy this recipe is, and hands off at that. This sounds just delicious Erin!

  28. Made this over the weekend and it was phenomenal! I love Thai food, and we have several fine restaurants here in Rochester, NY that I visit routinely. This version of Thai Curry Chicken was as good, if not better, than any I’ve eaten. I made it per the recipe, except my three chicken breasts totalled 2.25lbs. which was not a problem at all. There was plenty of tasty sauce to go around. I cooked up 3 cups of cooked brown rice (1 cup dry, two cups water), and we took the remaining sauce and used it to finish up the remaining rice! I served a total of three people, but it would have been fine if there were four of us. The three of us were stuffed, and still licked out plates! I’ve already shared the recipe with friends, and the folks that ate it with me on Saturday are planning on making it again this week! Thank you for a keeper!

  29. Turned out great :-) Not too spicy and my littlest one at more than I’ve ever seen!  

  30. This was realllllly good.  I never like to alter a recipe especially when I am first trying it.  Unfortunately, I only only had green onions in my fridge.  I forgot to buy leeks at the supermarket, doh’!  It was still so delicious.  I am looking forward to making it again with leeks as intended :)  Oh and my two and four year olds, the pickiest eaters ever, ate it so that’s saying everything too.

  31. Ypu guys, this is SO good!! Great for my self confidance in trying to make different cuisines! My husband requested we have it once a week & my tiny people chowed it too! Another winner, thanks Erin!

  32. I made this for dinner two nights ago. It was so good I barely had any leftovers for my lunch. I will make this again next week. This is now my favorite curry recipe.

  33. This was so good!   I didn’t have a leek or cilantro and was still amazing.   I cooked it on the stove top and it was perfect.  Will make again next week!

  34. Marcia Pritchette Reply

    Can the coconut milk be substituted with anything?? Maybe heavy cream? I am allergic to coconut but this dish looks amazing! I can smell it through the picture!!

  35. How much fat is in each serving?

  36. I made this again but added lime zest and used carrots instead of bell pepper.  Also I added a fair amount of basil before putting in oven.  The flavours really worked!  The carrots got a bit too soft but didn’t matter much.  It was just a bit on the sweet side and wondering is there a way to lessen it.  I was thinking maybe a little bit of almond milk in place of some of the coconut milk might work.  Thanks!

    • Hi Yasir, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the dish! I have not experimented with the coconut milk, but if you decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  37. Thank you for the best Thai dish ever! I made a few adjustments after the first try. I removed the salt for the chicken and added hot pepper flakes, 1 tsp, and this gave it a kick, according to my tolerance and liking. This highly depends on the strength that individuals like a curry, as the Red Curry paste provides flavour but you need chilli or pepper flakes to privide the kick. 

    Thank you. The Best Thai Curry outside of Thailand! 

  38. 5-Stars! Wow, this recipe falls in the “comfort food” category! I made the recipe as written (with more ginger) and used a mix of boneless/skinless thighs & breasts. The thighs were the best. We also found ourselves adding a good portion of Siracha sauce to suit our taste, so we’ll add that to the sauce next time before baking. But as written, this is a full-flavored recipe that all age groups will love and is well suited to personal adjustments. It’s a keeper :) Tip: You can pre-slice/mince the peppers, leeks, ginger (I used at least 1 Tbsp) and garlic earlier in the day, cover and refrigerate. Then all you have to do is throw it in the skillet after searing the chicken. Then it’s super quick to pull together. 

  39. Hi,
    What other oil other than coconut oil can be substituted?
    Thanks, Karen

  40. When I added the coconut milk it separated. Is that the intent? Your photos made it look so much more creamy than mine. I added it slowly and stirred as you said. Any way to fix it?

    • Hi Mike, I haven’t had this happen before, and I’m not sure what the cause may be! I checked with a friend, who actually did experience this issue, and hers came together after it had cooled a little bit. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help! I hope you were still able to enjoy.

  41. This. Was. Amazing. 
    And it came together so quickly! I added more chicken and I served it over riced cauliflower! 
    It was just so flavorful. I can’t wait to make it again!

  42. I wonder why I don’t see a video? Making this tonight and would love to see it!

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