Real Vegan Thai Green Curry With Gluten-Free Options

Green curry
The Spruce
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
607 Calories
17g Fat
97g Carbs
27g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 607
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 663mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 97g 35%
Dietary Fiber 22g 80%
Protein 27g
Calcium 422mg 32%
*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.)

Enjoy an authentic and delicious Thai green curry recipe for the vegetarian palate. It includes all of the authentic trimmings—lemongrass, coriander seeds, green chilies, galangal, makrut lime leaves, coconut milk—without the meat. Instead, it uses meat substitutes: wheat gluten or tofu, take your pick.

This recipe is vegan, and you can also choose to make it gluten-free. Any way you cook it, it is such a tasty meal, you'll tend to forget just how healthy it is.


Click Play to See This Vegan Thai Green Curry Recipe Come Together


  • For the Green Curry Paste
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (sliced finely and minced OR 3 tbsp. frozen or bottled lemongrass)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander (ground)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 to 3 green chilies (sliced, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup shallot (or purple onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 inches fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 makrut lime leaves (fresh or frozen, snipped into thin strips with scissors or substitute 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice)
  • 1 loose cup cilantro (chopped fresh coriander leaves and stems)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Handful fresh basil
  • For the Stir-Fry
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or faux-chicken stock)
  • 2 makrut lime leaves (or substitute 2 to 3 bay leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cups tofu (medium-firm sliced into cubes, or another protein source e.g. chickpeas)
  • 1 small sweet potato (cubed)
  • 1 small zucchini (sliced)
  • Handful of snow peas
  • Garnish: fresh basil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (for frying)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vegetarian green curry ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Place all of the "green curry paste" ingredients in a food processor or blender.

    Green curry ingredients in blender
    The Spruce 
  3. Add 1/3 can coconut milk (or enough to blend the ingredients) and process well.

    Blended coconut milk and green curry
    The Spruce
  4. Heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in oil and add the processed paste. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes).

    Curry paste cooking in a wok
    The Spruce
  5. Add stock along with the lime or bay leaves.

  6. When the sauce comes to a gentle boil, reduce heat to medium-low or just until you get a nice simmer.

  7. Add sweet potato plus tofu or wheat gluten.

  8. Simmer 7 to 10 minutes, or until the sweet potato is soft enough to pierce with a fork.

  9. Add bell pepper and zucchini.

    Vegetables in curry paste in wok
    The Spruce
  10. Stir and continue cooking for 5 more minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked but still retain their color and form.

    Vegetables and curry paste cooking in a wok
    The Spruce
  11. Reduce heat to low and add about 1/4 cup more coconut milk. Stir to dissolve and do a taste-test. If it's not salty enough, add more soy sauce or salt. If it's too salty, add a little fresh lime or lemon juice. If it's too spicy, add more coconut milk until you reach the desired taste.

  12. To serve, transfer to a large serving bowl or individual bowls. Sprinkle generously with fresh basil. Accompany with Thai jasmine-scented rice or easy Thai coconut rice.

    Green curry with vegetables
    The Spruce
  13. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Fish sauce is normally used to flavor green curry. If you eat fish, using fish sauce instead of soy sauce will give you a greener-looking curry paste.
  • If not, Thai Golden Mountain Sauce is an excellent vegan substitute for fish sauce. For a nice rich flavor, try using equal parts soy sauce and Golden Mountain sauce to equal a total of 3 to 3 1/2 tablespoons.
  • The vegetables listed in the recipe are not your only options. Other vegetables that will work include broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, chopped spinach, green beans, eggplant, squash, and zucchini. This should give you plenty of options to take advantage of the season's best produce, no matter what time of year it is.
  • Make this dish gluten-free by selecting a wheat-free soy sauce, stock, and using chickpeas as your source of protein.

Gluten-Free Options

It's easy to ensure that this dish does not include gluten; you just have to choose a few ingredients wisely. The biggest culprit is the soy sauce, so be sure to look for a brand that is wheat-free.

You do also have to be careful about the stock. In general, the majority of vegetable stock is going to be gluten-free, but some may include a wheat-based yeast extract. Faux chicken stock may contain gluten as well. Check the packaging on any new brand of broth you try. It's also easy to make your own vegetable stock, which will give you peace of mind because you know what's in it.

Keep in mind that some flavored tofus may include ingredients that contain gluten. In most cases, plain tofu should be gluten-free. Tempeh is an alternative to tofu, but you need to read the labels as some include wheat.

Chickpeas are another safe protein source for gluten-free diets and a fantastic choice for this dish. Just remember to soak dried chickpeas overnight first.

Other gluten-free and vegan "meats" are available. Explore your local stores to see what's available. Who knows, you might just find a new favorite protein.

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