Thai Red Curry With Chicken Recipe

Thai Red Curry with Chicken Recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 75 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
576 Calories
31g Fat
44g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 576
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 17g 86%
Cholesterol 95mg 32%
Sodium 1067mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Protein 37g
Calcium 179mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This aromatic and sumptuous classic Thai recipe can be made mild to red-hot, depending on your spice-o-meter. It starts with a homemade Thai red curry paste which is easily put together with your food processor or blender. Add coconut milk, chicken, and vegetables, and you have a heart-warming curry dish that will awaken your senses and boost your mood. This dish would traditionally have been simmered over a fire or stove-top, but we've adapted it to be cooked in the oven, allowing you to get on with your day. (Feel free to use the traditional method if you prefer, simmering the dish in a wok or pot on the stove, instructions for that are included below the recipe). 


  • 1 pound pieces of chicken (thigh or breast)
  • For the Red Curry Sauce:
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, minced (or bottled/frozen prepared lemongrass)
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-size piece ginger, grated
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 fresh red chilies, sliced (or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup or tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder (or more, depending on how spicy you want it (North American chili powder from the supermarket)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander ground
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (or 1 extra tablespoon fish sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Other Ingredients:
  • Optional: 1 to 2 cups eggplant, chopped
  • 2 makrut lime leaves (or substitute bay leaves)
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (or add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon to the sauce)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into small chunks
  • 1 handful fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Thai red curry with chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Set chicken pieces in a fairly large casserole dish.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process well.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Pour the curry sauce over chicken.

    Pour curry sauce over chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Add chopped eggplant (if using), plus makrut lime leaves/bay leaf and cinnamon stick, mixing everything into the sauce.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350 F. Note: if you prefer more sauce, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup good-tasting chicken stock. (*If you prefer to cook this curry on your stovetop, see instructions below.)

    Thai red curry
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 
  8. Remove dish from oven. Add the bell pepper and tomato, stirring them into the sauce.

    Remove chicken from oven
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Return curry to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until both chicken and vegetables are well cooked.

    Return curry to oven
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Do a taste test, looking for a balance of flavors. If not salty or flavorful enough, add up to 1 tablespoon more fish sauce. If too salty, add more fresh lime juice. If too sour, add a little more brown sugar. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If not spicy enough, add a few fresh-cut chilies or dried crushed chili.

    Add peppers
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  11. Transfer curry into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle generously with chopped fresh basil and coriander, and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice.

    Add basil
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variation

Stovetop method: To cook this curry on your stovetop, simply combine sauce and chicken pieces (plus lime leaves and cinnamon) in a wok, deep frying pan, or large pot. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables and continue simmering another 15 minutes, or until both vegetables and chicken are cooked. Follow the recipe above for finishing the dish.