This vegan red Thai curry with vegetables will make you feel like you are at your favorite authentic Thai restaurant right in your own kitchen! It's packed with veggies, coconut milk, and perfectly blended herbs and spices. You can add tofu or any vegan protein that you like. Best of all it's made in 1 pot in less than 30 minutes! It's hard to believe that something that tastes so good can be so quick and easy to make!
This vegan Thai red curry recipe is simply delicious, quick, and easy to make, and tastes like authentic Thai curry! I love that it's vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free so nearly everyone can enjoy it.
Coconut curry is great for casual dinner parties too! Just keep a pot of the curry sauce warm and let your guests serve it over their choice of rice or rice noodles!
🧾 Ingredients and substitutions
- Vegetables - Onions, red bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, mushrooms, green beans, sweet potato, and kale are all great choices. You just need about 3 cups of whatever veggies that you choose.
- Oil - any neutral flavor oil to lightly fry the vegetables.
- Coconut Milk - A can of full-fat coconut milk works best. You can use light coconut milk, however, it won't be as rich and creamy. (You can also use coconut cream for a very rich sauce).
- Vegetable Broth - to make the sauce more liquidy and account for some evaporation while it simmers. (You can use water if you don't have broth.)
- Thai Red Curry Paste - You can find Thai brand red curry paste in most grocery stores. I find that it is not as spicy and flavorful as I would like, so I use Maesri red curry paste that I find at my local Asian market or order from Amazon. (If you use the Thai brand curry paste, you may need more than 2 tbsp to get it flavorful enough).
- Pineapple - Either fresh or canned. An optional, yet delicious addition to the spicy, savory curry sauce. The sweetness of the pineapple just balances out the flavors. You can also use cooked butternut squash or sweet potatoes to add sweetness to this dish.
- Ginger - (Optional)about 1/4 inch of the ginger root freshly ground with a Microplane.
- Garlic - fresh minced garlic adds lots of flavor.
- Fresh Herbs - Cilantro and fresh basil (Thai basil leaves if you have some) add color and a burst of fresh flavor to this dish and are highly recommended.
- Salt - for flavor.
- Soy Sauce - or tamari for umami flavor.
- Lime Juice - adds acidity to balance out the sweetness. (optional).
- Protein - (Optional) If you want to make this a more filling meal, you can add pan-fried tofu, baked tofu, crispy fried tofu, or even a vegan "chicken" to the sauce.
- Rice or Rice Noodles - to serve the vegetable red curry sauce over top. White rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, rice noodles, bean thread noodles, or sweet potato noodles all work well.
🔪 Helpful tools
- A medium-sized pot - or large skillet to cook the veggies and make the sauce.
- Spoon - to stir the sauce and serve it over rice or noodles.
- Microplane - for grating ginger if you choose to add it.
Step 1 - Cook your choice of rice or noodles according to the package directions.
Step 2 - Saute sliced onions in a little oil until slightly translucent.
Step 3 - Add cut vegetables of choice, sprinkle with salt, and continue to saute them for about 3 minutes.
Step 4 - Pour in a can of coconut milk, broth, red curry paste, minced garlic, and freshly grated ginger. Stir well and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
Step 5 - Add the pineapple cubes (Or cooked squash or sweet potato - optional to add sweetness).
Step 6 - Add pan-fried tofu, crispy fried tofu, vegan chicken, or other protein of choice if desired.
Step 7 - Stir well and simmer on low for about 10 more minutes.
Step 8 - Add a tsp of soy sauce and a squeeze of lime juice or some rice wine vinegar for a little acidity.
Step 9 - Top with fresh basil and/or cilantro and serve over rice or noodles.
👩🏻🍳 Pro Tips
- If you choose not to add pineapple or another sweet vegetable like butternut squash or sweet potato, then add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the sauce for added sweetness.
- If you want the flavors to blend more, you can simmer the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and red curry paste covered over very low heat for 30 minutes before adding to the veggies or store the simmered sauce in the fridge for up to 3 days before pouring over sauteed veggies.
- Adjust the spice level by adding more or less of the red curry paste. The spiciness will vary between brands and even different batches of the same brand, so you may want to start with a small amount and keep adding until it suits your taste.
🥘 How to make it in a crockpot
This red Thai curry is a great dish to make in a crockpot. It can slow cook all day, allowing the spices to absorb through the sauce. It's perfect for those days when everyone is eating at different times, or you just want to get it ready ahead of time. Your red curry sauce can just be warm in the crockpot waiting to be served over rice or noodles.
- Add the veggies of your choice, a can of coconut milk, water (plus an additional 1/2 cup water or broth), red curry paste, salt, and pineapple (optional) to your crockpot.
- Stir well, cover, and turn to low for about 3 hours.
- Add fresh cilantro and/or Thai basil and a squeeze of lime and turn to warm until you are ready to serve over rice or rice noodles.
❓ Frequently asked questions
The most commonly found red Thai curry paste is the Thai Kitchen brand which is vegan. The Maesri brand Thai curry pastes are also vegan. Some may contain fish sauce, so be sure to check the label if you are using a different brand.
Thai curry paste contains all the herbs and spices that you need to make your curry taste authentic like red chilies, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves.
Many restaurants put fish sauce in Thai curry, so you will have to ask. Some restaurants are able to leave it out if requested, but you should always check with the wait staff. Vegan Thai curry can be hard to find, which is why I prefer to make it at home.
🥡 Storage and reheating
One of my favorite things about this dish is that it's great for meal prep! It tastes even better the next day after the flavors have time to blend, so it works great to make a big pot for dinner and then prep lunches for the rest of the week.
Refrigerate: The Thai red curry will keep well in the fridge for 3 - 5 days in a sealed container.
Freeze: Red curry freezes well and can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheating: Reheat the curry in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes or reheat in a pot on the stovetop until warm.
🌟 More Asian-inspired meals
📌 Be sure to follow me on Pinterest for new vegan recipes!
Vegan Red Thai Curry
- 4 cups rice or rice noodles cooked according to package directions
For the red Thai curry sauce
- 1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil (like canola oil for frying veggies)
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cups vegetables of choice (broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, bell peppers, kale,
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pineapple (cubed) (or another sweet vegetable like butternut squash or sweet potatoes)
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk (full fat) or coconut cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (or water or pineapple juice)
- 2 tablespoon red curry paste (use 1 tbsp for mild or up to 3 tbsp for extra spicy)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 inch fresh ginger grated
- 1 1/2 cups fried tofu (optional) or vegan "chicken" strips or other protein of choice.
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice or rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil and/or cilantro
- Cook your choice of rice or noodles according to package directions.
- Saute sliced onions in a little oil until slightly translucent.
- Add cut vegetables of choice, sprinkle with salt, and continue to saute them for about 3 minutes.
- Pour in a can of coconut milk, broth, red curry paste, minced garlic, and freshly grated ginger. Stir well and simmer on low for about 10 minutes.
- Add the pineapple cubes (Or cooked squash or sweet potato - optional to add sweetness).
- Add pan-fried tofu, crispy fried tofu, vegan chicken, or other protein of choice if desired.
- Stir well and simmer on low for about 10 more minutes.
- Add 1 tsp soy sauce and a squeeze of lime juice or some rice wine vinegar for a little acidity.
- Top with fresh basil and/or cilantro and serve over rice or noodles.
- If you choose not to add pineapple or another sweet vegetable like butternut squash or sweet potato, then add 1 tbsp of brown sugar to the sauce for added sweetness.
- If you are making this in a crockpot, use an additional 1/2 cup of water to account for the moisture that will evaporate.
- If you are using canned pineapple, save the juice from its can and add it to the curry sauce to replace the water.
- To make mild curry sauce use 1 tbsp or even less if you don't like spicy food.
- To make a spicy curry sauce add up to 3 tbsp of red curry paste to the sauce.
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vazilyn poinsetta says
I teach vegetarian cookery and I really enjoy your recipes. They are easy. My students are 5th graders. Some vegetarian recipes have a ton of ingredients. When I get your emails I open them. There are not many (100 plus) that I always open.
Thank you Vaziln! I'm so happy that you and your students enjoy my recipes! I used to teach high school health and did a lot of cooking with my students in that class. It amazes me how little some of them know about cooking with vegetables. It's so great that you are giving them a good foundation. 🙂