Fresh flavors meet comfort food…
I’m not sure about you, but Spring is a complicated season for food cravings. (Especially here in Minnesota!) By the beginning of March, the promise of warmer, sunnier days is just within reach…but there are still a few weeks of cold, snowy weather to endure. The calendar makes us crave the light & fresh flavors of summer but the weather necessitates warmth & comfort for a little bit longer. What’s a gal to do?!
That’s exactly how this Thai Green Curry with Gingery Chicken & Veggies came to be. With a creamy coconut green curry sauce, bites of gingery chicken, & tons of different veggies, it’s a dish that’s always satisfying this time of year. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love it too.
Thai green curry is the perfect marriage of bright, fresh flavors & cozy comfort food. Plus, this recipe is totally loaded with good-for-you veggies and you can throw it together in 45 minutes or less.
The springtime dinner conundrum solved. ♡ Read on to learn more about this Thai Green Curry Chicken, or jump straight to the recipe & get cookin’!
Talking about Thai Curry! Red vs Green curry, etc.
Let’s chat curry for a second! It’s is truly a global dish. There are different variations in countries & cultures throughout the world – India to Jamaica to South Africa to Japan to Thailand. Thai curry, which is my personal favorite, is often made by simmering curry paste in coconut milk with proteins & veggies, & it’s served on noodles or with rice. There are many varieties of Thai curry, though. Two of the most popular here in the States are red curry & green curry.
Red curry vs green curry: The differences between red & green curry come from differences in the ingredients used in the curry pastes themselves. Red curry paste gets its color from dried red chilis & is flavored with plenty of other aromatic ingredients like shallot, garlic, Galangal, & spices. If you love red curry, be sure to check out this Red Curry with Ginger Turkey Meatballs or this Vegan Butternut Squash Red Curry.
What is Thai green curry made of? Green curry paste is made with similar aromatics, but its vibrant color comes from green chilis & herbs like cilantro & Thai basil. I find its flavor to be uniquely fresh & bright, which is what makes it the perfect dish for Spring!
Green Curry Key Ingredients
Among the many reasons why you’ll love this recipe is the fact that it’s filled with good-for-you ingredients: chicken for lean protein, hearty veggies, & some flavorful pantry staples.
You will need:
- Chicken – You can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts in Thai green chicken curry. I’m partial to thighs since they are juicier & richer in flavor than breasts, but use whatever you love most.
- Veggies a-plenty! – While onion & bell pepper are pretty commonly found in Thai-style curry, I like to add even more veggies to this Thai green curry with broccoli, sweet potato, & spinach. Feel free to use whatever hearty veggies & leafy greens you love most or happen to have on hand!
- Aromatics – Plenty of garlic, fresh ginger, & green curry paste give this green curry its bold flavors.
- Coconut – 3 forms: coconut oil, full-fat coconut milk, & light coconut milk for a perfectly light + creamy consistency.
- Limes – Just a little bit, to brighten up the flavor of the green curry.
Best green curry paste ⇢ As the foundational flavor of the dish, it’s so important to use good curry paste when you make curry because not all curry paste is created equally. A good curry paste is loaded with complex layers of flavor. You can DIY it & make homemade green curry paste or you use store-bought, which is exactly what I do!
A word of warning: the brands available in most conventional grocery stores taste pretty bland & leave much to be desired. (Honestly, who wants bland curry?!) In my opinion, the best green curry paste is Maesri. It is made with real-food ingredients, rich in flavor, & only mildly spicy. I use Maesri curry paste exclusively in my kitchen. You can find it in most Asian food stores, or just order it online.
How to make Thai Green Curry Chicken – a 3-part recipe:
This Thai green chicken curry recipe has a couple of moving parts which all contribute to creating a delicious creamy curry with juicy chicken & perfectly textured veggies. You just need a Dutch oven, a sheet pan, & about 25 minutes to cook it all up.
It’s easiest to think of this recipe in terms of its 3 key components: hearty veggies, curry veggies, & the coconut green curry chicken.
- Roast the hearty veggies: Roast the sweet potato & cauliflower on a sheet pan until tender with crispy edges. Why ⇢ It may seem like a pain to cook these veggies separately but it’s not without reason! Roasting them prevents them from getting soggy or mushy, which is exactly what would happen if you simmered them in the coconut green curry sauce instead. Don’t skip the roast!
- Cook the curry veggies: Cook the bell pepper & onion in a little coconut oil until softened slightly & transfer them to a plate. Why ⇢ Cooking the curry veggies on their own helps ensure they have a perfectly tender-crisp texture & prevents them from getting soggy or mushy in the coconut green curry sauce.
- Thai green curry chicken – Toss cubed chicken with plenty of garlic & ginger, then cook in coconut oil to build a nice sear. Add in the green curry paste & cook for a couple of minutes to toast, then add in coconut cream & coconut milk. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. Why ⇢ Toasting the curry paste helps wake up its spices, while the combination of coconut cream & milk creates a perfectly luscious creamy curry sauce.
What to serve with Thai green curry:
Once the Thai green chicken curry is thickened & creamy, all that’s left to do is quickly finish the curry & serve:
- Finishing touches for the green curry ⇢ Stir the veggies & a handful of greens into the Thai green chicken curry, then squeeze in some fresh lime juice to brighten up the flavor.
- Serving ⇢ I love eating Thai curry with fluffy jasmine or basmati rice. If you want more coconut flavor, whip up a batch of coconut cilantro lime rice while the curry simmers. If you want to serve your curry with something other than rice, go with whatever you love most: quinoa, cauliflower rice, rice noodles, spiralized zucchini or carrots & so on. You can also definitely eat this Thai green chicken curry like a stew & without any grains, though I really like having some starchy goodness to soak up all of the curry.
- Optional toppings ⇢ I like finishing my bowl of curry with plenty of chopped cilantro or Thai basil, a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’re craving crunchy texture, toss in some chopped cashews & dive in!
The beauty of curry is its versatility! You can make any number of tweaks to Thai green curry recipe to suit your preferences, & it’ll still be delicious. A couple of quick ideas:
- Swap with seafood ⇢ Use shrimp in place of chicken, or serve your Thai green curry with roasted salmon or your favorite flaky white fish.
- Vegan green curry / vegetarian green curry ⇢ If plant-based proteins are your jam, chickpeas & lentils are both really satisfying options for this green curry. You could also serve your curry with crispy tofu – dice a block of firm tofu into 1/2-inch cubes then coat with 1 tablespoon cornstarch & roast at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden & crispy.
- Load up the veggies! This green curry recipe is already loaded with veggies, but you can really add in whatever else you love – snap peas, asparagus, eggplant, cauliflower, potatoes, butternut squash…the list goes on & on!
I can’t wait for you to try this Thai-Style Green Curry! It’s perfect when you’re craving something that’s both cozy & fresh at the same time, & I know you’ll love it as much as we do! If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!Print
Bright, fresh flavors meet cozy comfort food in this Thai Green Curry with Gingery Chicken & Veggies! Garlicky & gingery chicken thighs simmer with bell peppers & onions in a creamy coconut green curry sauce. Serve it up with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, & fluffy rice in 45 minutes or less!
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts), cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon grated)
- 1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 large sweet potato, diced into ½-inch cubes
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 large bell pepper, deseeded & thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided
- 1 4-ounce can Thai-style green curry paste
- 1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
- 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 6 ounces baby spinach or greens of choice
- 1–2 large, juicy limes, juiced
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- for serving, as desired: cooked rice (or quinoa, or cauliflower rice), Thai basil, cilantro, lime wedges, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easy clean up and set aside.
- Prep the chicken: Add the chicken, garlic, and ginger to a bowl, seasoning with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir to evenly coat the chicken in the garlic & ginger. Set aside.
- Roast the broccoli & sweet potato: Place the broccoli florets & diced sweet potato on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil over top & season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Toss to coat, then arrange the veggies in a single, uniform layer across the baking sheet. Once the oven is preheated, roast the veggies for 20-25 minutes, shaking the baking sheet halfway through, until the veggies are crisp around the edges & fork-tender. Remove from the oven & set aside.
- Cook the aromatic veggies: Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the thinly sliced onion & bell pepper, seasoning with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the veggies to a plate & set aside.
- Cook the chicken: If needed, add the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet or Dutch oven used to cook the aromatic veggies. Once hot, add in the prepared chicken. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, until browned around the edges & nearly cooked through.
- Build & simmer the green curry: Add the curry paste to the skillet, stirring to coat the chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes, allowing the curry paste to brown slightly. Add in the coconut cream & coconut milk. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the broccoli & sweet potato finish roasting. Just before serving, stir in the spinach & the cooked onion & bell pepper from Step 4. Once the spinach is wilted, stir in the lime juice. Remove from the heat.
- Serve: Serve the green curry & roasted veggies over rice (or quinoa or cauliflower rice). Finish with fresh cilantro, Thai basil, and extra freshly squeezed lime juice as desired. Enjoy.
- Recommended Thai green curry paste – Since it’s a key component of any curry dish, it’s so important to use really good green curry paste. Not all curry pastes are created equally! A good curry paste has rich, complex flavors. In my experience, the stuff that is sold in the “international” aisle at conventional grocery stores isn’t usually very good – please don’t waste your money on it! I solely use Maesri curry paste in my kitchen – it’s made with real-food ingredients, is rich in flavorful & only mildly spicy, & it does not contain shrimp paste or fish sauce so it’s allergy-friendly. You can find it in most Asian food stores, or just order it online. I highly recommend!
- Storage instructions: This Thai green curry with chicken stores really well; it’ll even get more flavorful as it sits! Transfer cooled green curry to an airtight container & store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Easily reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.
- 15-Minute Meal Prep: The majority of the prep time involved in this green curry recipe recipe is chopping veggies. Chop all the veggies in advance to get a head start on your curry – it’ll take about 15 minutes. Keep everything in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinnertime all you have to do is get cooking – so easy!:
- Chop 1 small head broccoli into bite-sized florets
- Dice 1 large sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes
- Thinly slice 1 large yellow onion
- Deseed & thinly slice 1 large bell pepper
- Optional: Dice 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Keywords: Thai green curry recipe, green chicken curry, chicken recipe, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy, easy weeknight recipe
Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Eat Love Eat