Thai Red Curry Chicken
with squash / cauliflower rice
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 don't generally like tofu (I am trying more vegetarian recipes). I made this early to let the tofu sit in the sauce. That gave a great result. Two thumbs up for this and while my 6yo didn't like the components, she liked the rice "with the juice."0 Helpful
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