Thai Red Curry Chicken
with squash / cauliflower rice
This spicy, savory Thai-style curry is loaded with colorful vegetables and tender bites of chicken. The curry has plenty of flavorful broth so you'll want to serve it with cauliflower rice for soaking up the sauce.
Smarts #1: Although we love kabocha squash (a hearty variety that is often used in Southeast Asian cuisine) in this curry, any type of squash will work well here.
Smarts #2: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.
- Onions, medium - 1/2, sliced
- Bell peppers, any color - 1, sliced
- Squash, kabocha - 1 lb, cubed (sub butternut squash, acorn squash, or zucchini)
- Red curry paste - 1 1/2 Tbsp (sub green or yellow)
- Fish sauce - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Thai basil (opt) - 8 leaves, chiffonade
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Coconut milk, light - 1 cup
- Cauliflower - 1 lb, chopped
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Cauliflower rice - Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in butter. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add butter. Saute cauliflower in heated butter for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Bell peppers / Squash - Prep as directed. Combine onions and bell peppers. Store squash separately. (Note: If using butternut squash, check out this video for how to peel and cube butternut squash. If using kabocha squash you can leave the peel on; the peel will soften as it cooks.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make soup base - Whisk together red curry paste, fish sauce, and honey. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Cube chicken. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Limes / Basil (if using) - Prep as directed.
- Heat a Dutch oven or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and then onions and peppers. Saute until nearly soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add chicken and saute to get it started cooking, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Fold in soup base and cook until fragrant, ~1 minute.
- Pour in stock, coconut milk, and squash. Stir everything to combine. (Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t fully cover the vegetables.)
- Cover the pan and reduce heat so it stays at a low simmer. Cook, covered, until squash is tender, 8 to 12 minutes (depending on size and type of squash). (Note: Be careful that the curry doesn’t boil or the chicken could turn tough. Keep reducing heat as needed.)
- Taste and season with some more curry paste if you’d like it more spicy or some more fish sauce if you’d like it more savory / salty.
- If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Serve curry over cauliflower rice with lime wedges on the side and basil on top. Enjoy!
I liked this but had extra of some things so the proportions were a bit wrong. If there was a recommendation to thicken up the sauce a bit I would have tried that. Still very tasty and satisfying!0 Helpful
Too much liquid. I subbed out squash for asparagus. Maybe the squash absorbs a lot of water? It would have been great without the added broth. With it was diluted.0 Helpful
I love a good coconut curry, so this was a welcome addition to my week’s menu. I added some fish sauce and cornstarch to thicken a little. I also added more red curry paste, the full can of coconut milk, and threw in some shrimp (so made this pescatarian). Like others, I used butternut squash instead of kabocha.0 Helpful
Delicious! Kabocha squash was a BEAST, though. Next time I'll do butternut squash, as it's much easier to cube.0 Helpful
The kabocha squash was life changing! Hard to chop but so so yummy. The recipe was a huge winner, so delicious. Made with green curry paste instead of red, I think it would have been amazing either way. Only change, would use chicken breast instead of thigh next time.0 Helpful
Love chicken curry!0 Helpful