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!!
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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!
Love Thai Food?
Try making chicken pad Thai next! It’s just as easy as making homemade curry, and my recipe tastes just like what you’d find in a restaurant.
A Note About the Spice Level
To really deliver a punch of yellow curry flavor, I used this Mekhala Organic Yellow Curry Paste.
Unlike the Thai Kitchen brand of Red Curry Paste or Green Curry Paste that I’ve used in the past for respective red and green curry recipes, the Mekhala packs way more heat per tablespoon.
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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Yellow Thai Chicken Coconut Curry
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!
- 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
More Easy Curry Recipes:
Yellow Chicken Coconut Curry (Chicken Korma) – An EASY Indian recipe you can make at home in 25 minutes that tastes like it’s from a restaurant!! Chicken, cashews, and spices are simmered in coconut milk for the WIN!!
Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors!! Low-cal, low-carb, and HEALTHY but tastes like comfort food!!
Green Thai Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY, one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and tastes BETTER than from a Thai restaurant!! It’s healthy comfort food that tastes AMAZING!!
Coconut Lime Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry – An EASY, one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and tastes BETTER than a restaurant!! Juicy chicken and tender sweet potatoes simmer in a lime-scented coconut milk sauce that tastes AMAZING! Healthy comfort food!!
Sweet Potato and Chickpea Coconut Curry – An easy one-skillet curry that’s ready in 30 minutes and is layered with so many fabulous flavors! Healthy comfort food that tastes amazing!
Chickpea and Kale Thai Coconut Curry – An easy one-skillet vegan curry that’s ready in 15 minutes and has amazing Thai-inspired flavors! Low-cal, low-carb, and healthy but tastes like hearty comfort food!
Cauliflower, Chickpea, and Chicken Coconut Curry – An EASY, one-skillet curry that’s ready in 20 minutes and tastes BETTER than a restaurant!! The Thai-inspired coconut milk broth makes this healthy comfort food taste AMAZING!!
Originally posted April 27, 2020 and reposted July 21, 2021 with updated text.
I made this recipe but I made it with tofu instead of chicken and it turned out delicious 😋 very flavorful.
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad it turned out great with tofu!
This is one of my family’s most favourite dishes. I don’t have to play with the spices at all but you can if you need more zip or zing. I don’t use the spinach but add red & orange pepper, broccoli and zucchini. Served with jasmine rice it’s the perfect bite!!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad you it’s one of your family’s favorites!
I made the recipe and it was pretty good. This was the first time I’ve made curry and I’m not sure exactly what went wrong. The curry had a decent amount of spice/heat but didn’t have the depth of flavor that I wanted. It was a little watery so maybe letting it boil longer would be better, but I’m just not sure why it had the heat factor and not as much flavor and depth.
Depth of flavor comes from simmering things properly and by sweating down the onion in the beginning, making sure your garlic, ginger, turmeric, etc. are all fresh and high quality. They give depth, whereas the curry paste will give heat.
Also this is huge, most people are scared to salt their food at home properly. This is the #1 issue for lackluster food IMO. You need to add a bit more salt. And make sure to add the lime juice. It all works in harmony.
Thanks for trying the recipe.
Let it reduce a bit more. When I cook it I let it simmer slowly for about an hour, just so you can get the flavour you want and the consistency
This recipe gets 5 stars. My father in law took me to try curry for the first time about a month ago, and I have been looking for a recipe to make it ever since(it’s one of his favorites). Tried this recipe exactly as it is, and went for 4 tablespoons of the curry paste. Same kind/brand mentioned in the recipe.Father in law loved it, and it will be made more often in our home now.Thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad that you used the same kind and amount of curry paste and everyone loved it and that it will be on repeat for you!
Hi, I followed your recipe to the letter. Only added a can of bambu-shoots. It was delecious!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!Big hug, Mike
Thanks for the 5 star review and I am glad this was delicious! Bamboo shoots are an excellent idea and addition.
Thank you for this recipe! I am now addicted to making curry on chilly rainy nights. I have made this a few times now; used chicken and chickpeas tonight. Love it!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is your new favorite especially on chilly rainy nights! Sounds great with the chickpeas, too!
Great recipe. I’ve made a lot of online recipes – this one deserves upper 4’s rating, not sure why it doesn’t. I added all the optional ingredients except salt (which are all pretty standard and everyone should do anyway!) with the addition of ~1-2 tsp fish sauce, which I also think is a good standard everyone should do.Cheers
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad it was great for you!
Can I use curry powder as a substitute for the yellow curry paste? If so, how much powder do you suggest?
It really will not give you the flavor, at all. Curry paste (Thai) and typical curry powder (Indian) tend to be really different.
Awesome recipe. Very good. Serve it to some friend they loved it. Will definitely do it again. Thanks.
Glad this was awesome and that your friends loved it and will make it again!
I have tried a lot of curry recipes online, your recipe is booked marked. So far it’s my favorite, thank you very much for sharing it with us! I am a flight attendant and I food prep for when I’m gone, so many FAs compliment the smell and how good it looks, they all ask me how I made this and I send them you recipe. Again, thank you!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad this is your favorite curry recipe! Thanks for sharing my site/links with your FA friends!
Amazing recipe, absolutely loved it and so did the family!! I definitely will be making it again someday. I made a few revisions to it as I went because of personal preference. I added half the amount of cilantro and I cooked the chicken for 20 minutes. I tried cooking it for 5 minutes/until cooked but it was rubbery so I let the chicken sit in the pot at medium/medium-low heat until it relaxed, became soft again, and finished cooking. Quick question, how many cups is one serving?
Thanks for the five star review and glad it was amazing!
To be honest I am not sure exactly based on cups. It serves 4 people IMO so whatever 1/4th of the recipe is, that’s how many cups are in a serving.
This looks wonderful also and thanks for clarifying how spicy the yellow curry paste is. I am familiar with the red and green but didn’t even realize there was yellow!
It’s a pretty new-to-me product as well. It could just be this particular brand, not sure, but being that it ‘behaved’ so differently and dramatically spicier than any other curry paste I’ve used, I felt it was worth the mention, especially since I love spicy food and this was plenty for me.
If you can get your hands on that paste, it’s totally worth it and I think you would really enjoy this version. Very similar to many of my other ones but with the yellow (spicier) twist.