Thai Yellow Curry with Chicken — Better-than-takeout yellow curry is EASY and ready in 25 minutes!! Healthy comfort food with the PERFECT amount of heat and lots of textures and flavors in every bite! Impress your friends and family and make this DELICIOUS curry at home!!
Easiest Thai Yellow Curry Recipe
No need for takeout from your local Thai restaurant when you can make an authentic-tasting curry this good in 25 minutes at home. The curry is hearty yet healthy comfort food that’s layered with Thai-inspired flavors and is naturally gluten-free.
I could drink the coconut milk broth or prepare it as a soup – it’s so good and it keeps the chicken so juicy and moist. I used full fat coconut milk but have used lite in previous curry recipes and it may not be quite as rich, but it’s still great.
There’s natural sweetness from the sweet Vidalia onions, carrots, and the coconut milk, the lime juice add the perfect acidic notes to balance the flavors.
I love all the textures and flavors in every bite from the tender carrots, wilted spinach, and of course the perfectly juicy chicken.
What’s in the Yellow Curry?
For this yellow chicken curry recipe, you’ll need:
- Boneless skinless chicken breast
- Sweet Vidalia onion
- Ground turmeric (essential to impart a bold yellow color)
- Ground ginger
- Yellow curry paste
- Coconut milk
- Shredded carrots
- Fresh spinach
- Brown sugar
- Lime juice
We enjoyed this both on it’s on as well as served over jasmine rice. Basmati rice or naan would be my other serving suggestions.
How to Make Thai Yellow Curry
Simply add the onion and oil to a large skillet and sauté until softened. Add the diced chicken and cook until no longer pink inside (about 5 minutes.)
Add the spices and garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the curry paste, carrots, and coconut milk and let the mixture bubble away until the liquid is reduced. The remaining ingredients are then stirred in and the curry is ready to serve!
A Note About the Spice Level
To really deliver a punch of yellow curry flavor, I used this Mekhala Organic Yellow Curry Paste.
With the Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, I use a full 4-ounce jar for my typical red curry recipes and don’t sense much heat.
However, with the Mekhala Yellow Curry Paste, half of a 3.5-ounce jar was plenty to sense a fair amount of heat. We love heat and I was pleasantly surprised the kind of punch this curry paste packed. It’s not spicy if you use a teaspoon but if you use half the jar like I did, the heat creeps up on you.
If you’re heat-sensitive or don’t like your food as spicy, start with 1 to 2 teaspoons and work up from there. You can always add more, but you can’t undo it.
Can I Add Other Veggies?
The great thing about curries — which is totally different in this context than ‘curry powder’ and here I mean of mixture of vegetables and protein in a sauce — is that you can add whatever vegetables or legumes you like.
- Bell peppers
- Sweet potatoes
- Frozen peas
- Kale rather than spinach
- Basil rather than cilantro
- Or whatever you have in your produce drawer or freezer
I think of curries as a stir-fry-meets-soup, and there are no rules with what to add to either those in my book. Enjoy all the wonderful flavors and dig in.
Tips for Making Yellow Chicken Curry
You can use full-fat or lite coconut milk to make this recipe. Just make sure to use coconut milk that comes in a can and not the kind in a carton.
If you’d like to keep this recipe vegetarian or are short on time, you can add a can of drained chickpeas in place of the diced chicken. The curry will cook up faster but still be packed with protein.
If you like this yellow coconut curry with chicken, make sure to check out Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma), which is very similar, but with cashews for extra awesomeness.
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- 3 tablespoons olive oil (coconut oil may be substituted)
- 1 medium/large sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, diced small
- 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 to 4 tablespoons Mekhala Organic Yellow Curry Paste, or as desired
- one 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (use full-fat for a richer/thicker result but lite may be substituted)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 to 3 cups fresh spinach, loosely packed (2 to 3 heaping handfuls)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice, optional but recommended
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh cilantro or to taste, finely chopped for garnishing (basil may be substituted)
- 1 to 4 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed; optional and to taste
- salt, optional and to taste
- rice (jasmine or basmati) or naan, optional for serving
- To a large skillet, add the oil, onion, and sauté over medium-high heat until the onion begins to soften about 5 minutes; stir intermittently.
- Add the chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is done; flip and stir often to ensure even cooking.
- Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir frequently.
- Add the curry paste, coconut milk, carrots, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium, and allow mixture to gently boil for about 5 minutes, or until liquid volume has reduced as much as desired and thickens slightly.
- Add the spinach, pepper, and stir until the spinach has wilted.
- Taste the curry and add the optional but recommended lime juice (brightens the flavor of the dish), cilantro, optional light brown sugar (balances the heat), optional salt (I did not add any because the curry paste has salt in it), and add extra of any of the spices already used or more curry paste, if desired and to taste.
Storage: Curry will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Adapted from Thai Chicken Coconut Curry.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 705Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1409mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 5gSugar: 16gProtein: 51g
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Originally posted April 27, 2020 and reposted July 21, 2021 with updated text.