Vegan Thai Red Curry

4.58 from 350 votes
45 minutes
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This Vegan Thai Curry recipe is spicy, delicious, healthy and versatile!  Vary the veggies and add tofu or chickpeas for protein. It’s the perfect, satisfying veggie-packed meal that delivers comfort in every bite.

Excellent recipe! I have it on rotation for my monthly meals. The hubby loves it and everyone who has tried it is a huge fan. Thank you!

 
Vegan Thai Red Curry in white enamel cast iron skillet with black serving spoon.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Has this ever happened to you?  You buy a bunch of vegetables that look so beautiful and so fresh and then… Gasp! You have to do something with them or else! Vegan Thai Red Curry is what to make when you have an abundance of vegetables!

That’s how this recipe was born but now it’s one of my go-to’s when I want something healthful, light and flavor-packed!

This vegan Thai curry is:

  • Healthy! Loaded with so many vegetables, it has to be!
  • Versatile! Vary the veggies and add tofu or chickpeas for protein if you like. Swap out the cauliflower for broccoli, sweet potatoes for the Yukons, baby kale for spinach, etc.
  • Easy!
  • Make-ahead! Perfect for meal prep, Vegan Thai Red Curry reheats easily in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Gluten-free!

Let’s make it!

Vegan Thai Red Curry in white bowl garnished with fresh basil.

How to Make a Vegan Thai Red Curry Recipe:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this vegan Thai red curry recipe along with how to prep. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

But of course, use whatever vegetables you have that need to be used!

Ingredients for Vegan Thai Red Curry in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Oil: Use canola, coconut or your favorite.
  • “Fish” Sauce: I’m referring to a vegan “fish” sauce. If you’re not vegan, use conventional fish sauce. Either way, conventional fish or vegan “fish” sauce adds depth and umami to the curry.
  • Red Curry Paste: This may be controversial because I cook for a living, but I no longer make my own red curry paste. I don’t care for average grocery store red curry pastes because I find them wimpy with no heat.  I discovered Maesri at a local international food market and I don’t see a reason to make my own anymore!  It’s vegan, spicy, full of authentic flavor and inexpensive!  Make your own red curry paste if you like or use Maesri!
  • Diced Tomatoes: I like to use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for another level of flavor.
  • Vegetable Broth: Kitchen Accomplice is great to have in your refrigerator when small amounts of vegetable broth are needed so you don’t have to open an entire carton or can.
  • Coconut Milk: If you’re counting calories, use reduced-fat coconut milk however the curry will be thin. Regular full-fat coconut milk helps to thicken it.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to soften.
Onions in white enamel cast iron skillet.
  • Add the carrots, red bell pepper and potatoes and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often so the potatoes don’t stick to the pan.
Process shot of onions, red bell pepper and potatoes.
  • Add the red curry paste, garlic and ginger and give it a stir.
  • Add the coconut milk, tomatoes and vegetable broth.
  • Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. (The potatoes should be close to done.)
Process shot with coconut milk and vegetable broth added.
  • Add the cauliflower florets. Cook another 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender and potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
  • Add the baby spinach by the handful and stir after each addition until wilted.
  • Add lime juice and salt or vegan “fish” sauce to taste.
Vegetable curry in white enamel cast iron skillet being stirred with white spoon.
  • Garnish the red curry with fresh Thai basil leaves.
Vegan Thai Red Curry in white enamel cast iron skillet with black serving spoon.

Vegan Thai Red Curry is a spicy, healthful, delicious vegan dinner you won’t feel guilty about!

Serve with brown or white jasmine rice.  Delish!

Vegetable curry in white bowl with rice garnished with fresh basil.

Chef Tip:

  • Save time for a Thai red curry with vegetables by buying the vegetables already prepped or by visiting the store’s salad bar. Keep in mind, however, you’ll be paying extra for the convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is red curry paste vegan?

Not all red curry pastes are vegan; some may contain shrimp paste or fish sauce. Maesri brand red curry paste IS vegan so you can use it here or in all your vegan recipes.

What is red curry paste made of?

The Maesri red curry paste label states the following ingredients: Chili pepper, garlic, shallot, salt, lemongrass, sugar, kaffir lime, galangal and spices (coriander seed, cumin and cardamom).

Can a vegan Thai red curry recipe be made ahead of time?

Yes! But be sure not to cook the vegetables so they’re super soft since you’ll reheat this dish. A vegan red curry can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.

Be sure to check out my other vegan Thai meals…

More flavor-packed vegan dinners:

Join the FROM A CHEF’S KITCHEN MAILING LIST to get all the latest posts and more!

Vegan Thai Red Curry in white enamel cast iron skillet with black serving spoon.

Vegan Thai Red Curry

4.58 from 350 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
This Vegan Thai Red Curry recipe is spicy, delicious, healthy and versatile!  Vary the veggies and add tofu or chickpeas for protein. It's the perfect, satisfying veggie-packed meal that delivers comfort in every bite.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Vegetarian / Vegan Entrees
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6
Calories 383 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil - or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion - halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots - halved lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick on the diagonal
  • 1 medium red bell pepper - seeds and membranes removed, thinly sliced
  • 8 small Yukon Gold potatoes - (baby potatoes) sliced
  • 1 can (4-ounce) red curry paste - or to taste and tolerance
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15-ounce) coconut milk
  • 1 can (15-ounce) diced fire-roasted tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 small head of cauliflower - cut into florets
  • 1 container (5-ounce) baby spinach
  • 1 large lime - juiced
  • Salt or vegan “fish” sauce - to taste
  • 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves - or regular basil, coarsely chopped plus more for garnish
  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice

Instructions
 

  • Heat canola or coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or saute pan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the carrots, red bell pepper and potatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often so the potatoes don't stick to the pan.
  • Add the red curry paste, garlic and ginger and cook briefly, 30 seconds.
  • Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes. (The potatoes should be close to done.)
  • Add the cauliflower florets. Cook another 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender and potatoes are easily pierced with a knife.
  • Add the baby spinach by the handful and stir after each addition until wilted.
  • Add lime juice and salt or vegan "fish" sauce to taste.
  • Garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves.
  • Serve with cooked jasmine rice.

VIDEO

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  Almost any vegetable can be used in this curry.  Add tofu or chickpeas for protein.  Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes.
REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS:  Can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 1284mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4260IU | Vitamin C: 98mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




131 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Absolutely delicious but way too soupy–and that was leaving out the broth. I made some substitutions (based on what I had in the kitchen) but none would have caused the soupiness. So, green onion for the white/yellow onion, 1 lb cleaned, cooked shrimp for the cauliflower, 1/2 juiced lemon instead of the lime, 1/2 teaspoon red curry paste instead of the entire jar (that stuff is hot!) and no broth. Next time I will cook down the coconut milk before getting started. Maybe it’s supposed to be soupy?

    1. Hi, Carole, Thanks so much for your feedback and question. If you left out the broth, that would leave only coconut milk. Perhaps it was the brand of coconut milk? Some brands do seem to be thinner than others. I’m not aware that thickeners are used in Thai cuisine. Glad you enjoyed it overall and glad you used the amount of red curry paste that fits your taste. Thanks again!

      1. 4 stars
        I used Native Forest Unsweetened Classic Organic Coconut Milk, 13.5 fl oz, 2 cans.

        Thoughts?

        Thank you!!

        P.S. Not sure why the software is requiring my Re-Rating and Re-Entering my info since it is a reply to your reply to me?

  2. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe! We freeze leftovers in containers for my husband to take out of town for work. I’m adding it to my menu for the next couple weeks and am going to try throwing it all in the crockpot before work. Hoping I love it just as much as the stovetop version!

    1. Hi, Pamela, Thanks so very much and so happy you love this recipe! Please let me know how it works in your slow cooker; I haven’t tested it that way yet. Thanks again!

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I have it on rotation for my monthly meals. The hubby loves it 🙂 and everyone who has tried it is a huge fan. Thank you!
    Question – would I be able to sub the canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes? I have already done this as it’s cooking right now lol, but just wanted to get your input. I realized I don’t have any on me and fresh tomatoes were all I had.

    1. Hi, Anabel, Thanks so very much and thanks for your question! There’s plenty of sauce in this recipe so you can certainly substitute fresh tomatoes for canned tomatoes. You might want to save whatever juice is on your cutting board from chopping the tomatoes to add to the sauce. Thanks again and glad you enjoy!

    2. 5 stars
      Bursting with fresh Flavor! I’m trying out a plant-based diet and this meal is one that meat won’t be missed! I used rice noodles instead of rice! Love it!!

  4. 5 stars
    This was outstanding. I added tofu. I wasn’t sure how my kids would do with the curry paste, so I only did 2 oz.

    1. Hi, Erin, Thanks so very much and glad you all enjoyed! Tofu is a great addition and glad you adjusted the curry paste level to your tolerance. Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Ruth, Thanks so much for your question. Yes, you can freeze it, but with all those vegetables, it could be watery after thawing it out. I would suggest reheating on the stovetop. Thanks again and let me know how it turns out.

  5. Looks amazing and will try it tonight. But you need to work on accurate nutrition information. This is vegan and there is no cholesterol in any non animal products. So when you say it contains cholesterol, that simply cannot be accurate.

    1. Hi, Niel, Thanks so much! I’m in the process of converting all my recipes to a different recipe program for this very reason. I went ahead and converted this one for you! Thanks again and hope you enjoy!!

  6. I almost followed this recipe, and it was delicious! Then I added the curry paste, and it was even better! : )

  7. 3 stars
    Thanks to the other comments, I doubled the amount of curry paste but did green curry paste for the second one. At first, it tasted tomato soup-like, but then I added a ton of red pepper flakes, cilantro, basil, and one jalapeño. That kicked it up a lot and made the flavor much deeper.

  8. 4 stars
    Being an experienced cook I modify this a little bit but I must tell you it was absolutely excellent the base is a great idea I fire roasted in a cast iron pan some cherry tomatoes which I ever so gently cascaded on top as opposed to mixing in I opted the ginger and the fish sauce but it’s absolutely fabulous thank you so much for this recipe

    1. Hi, Julia, Thanks so much for your question. I would start with a teaspoon or so as you can always add more; add to taste. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  9. 5 stars
    My husband loves coconut, so this was a no-brainer. I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned. This was delicious! I am saving on my notes so I can make again!!!!

  10. Just made this – thought it was really good. I made a few changes based on what I had sitting around – sweet potatoes instead of carrots and potatoes, thai chili peppers instead of red bell pepper, and just 1 can of coconut milk with a bit of water (it was a small head of cauliflower), green beans instead of spinach – but if I had had all of the recipe ingredients on hand I would have used them instead and I bet it would have been even better.

    1. Hi, John, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! Love that you made it based on what you already had on hand as I’m definitely that kind of cook, too! Thanks again!

  11. BTW for those of us who are limiting our use of oil, i find it’s perfectly acceptable to use a little water in the pan to sauté the onions rather than oil.

  12. Turned out pretty good. Not as thick as I thought it would be. We only used 2 Tbsp of curry paste as ours can get quite hot. We add it in a little at a time and taste as we go. Next time I will salt the onions and potatoes rather than wait until the end for better depth of flavor. Reading the comments above I truly think that lightly salting a couple of vegetable layers will provide the necessary flavor impact but taste as you go. You can’t remove the salt once it’s added. Our batch turned out to be quite large. So I think tomorrow’s leftovers will be fantastic as the flavors soak into the vegetables. Plus the starches will likely thicken the sauce a bit.