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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 previouscurry recipesand 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.
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.
- 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 fromThai Chicken Coconut Curry.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 705Total Fat: 39gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1409mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 5gSugar: 16gProtein: 51g
More Easy Curry Recipes:
ALL OF MY 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.
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What makes Thai curry yellow? ›
Turmeric is the vital ingredient that gives this curry its yellow hue. Yellow curry is the mildest and often made with coriander, cumin, lemongrass ginger, garlic, and yellow or red chili. In addition to coconut milk, this curry has a rich taste with sweet and mild flavors.Is yellow Thai curry healthy? ›
Yellow curry with plenty of vegetables is likely to be high in vitamin A and vitamin C. Dietary cholesterol raises your cholesterol levels, and chicken curry has 33 mg of cholesterol, or 10 percent of the daily value. Only animal-derived foods contain cholesterol, and vegetarian yellow Thai curry is cholesterol-free.Is yellow Thai curry spicy? ›
However, because it's so creamy, yellow curry is usually only a mild/medium on the spice scale; meaning it's not very spicy. Thai green curry is the spiciest, followed by red curry coming in at medium/hot. If you want to ramp up the spice factor in your yellow curry, you can always add more chilies!What is Thai yellow curry called? ›
Kaeng lueang (Thai: แกงเหลือง), which directly translated means "yellow curry" in Thai. This dish is called kaeng som or "sour curry" in southern Thailand. It is a sour curry that is lighter in color than kaeng kari, but spicier and sharper in taste.Is yellow curry hotter than red? ›
Although all three colors may be spicy-hot depending on the chef, normally green is the mildest and red the hottest with yellow falling somewhere in between.Which type of Thai curry is healthiest? ›
Best: Jungle Curry
Most Thai curries are made with creamy coconut milk, but this one uses water, broth, or stock, so it's lower in calories and fat. Order the tofu, chicken, or seafood version with brown rice for extra fiber.
Being that curry powder is packed with spices like turmeric, coriander, and chili pepper, it's no wonder that this seasoning has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory benefits ( 1 ). Turmeric, one of the main spices in the blend, contains a pigment called curcumin.Is curry good for losing weight? ›
A CURRY is often viewed as a treat but experts have confirmed it could be good for you, and help burn off calories. Cayenne pepper, an ingredient used in many curries could help people shed the pounds. This is because a powerful compound in the spice could improve the body's ability to to burn fat.Can you lose weight eating Thai food? ›
Thai food is fairly healthy and good for weight loss. In fact, many Westerners tend to lose between 3% and 5% of their body weight in 1-2 months if they switch from Western foods to Thai foods.What is the mildest Thai curry? ›
The sweetest, and mildest, of all the curries, this Indian-influenced dish includes potatoes and gets its distinctive flavour from a pairing of tamarind with roasted and finely ground spices. It includes both coconut milk and coconut cream, making it very rich and creamy.
Which Thai curry is most spicy? ›
Green Thai Curry is considered the hottest of all curries that will give you that burning but tasty flavor all over your mouth.What colour is the hottest Thai curry? ›
Made from young chillies, basil and coriander to give it its vibrant colour, the Thai Green Curry is considered the hottest, and is a fond favourite for those who adore Thai food.What is yellow curry sauce made of? ›
What is yellow curry paste made of? It's a combination of rich, earthy spices and seasonings often found in curry. This includes turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Some other notable ingredients are shrimp paste and dried red chiles for heat.What is best Thai curry? ›
Of all the Thai curry types, the Panang curry is definitely a crowd-pleaser. If you don't want anything too spicy, the Panang curry is an excellent choice. While the Panang curry also contains coconut milk and spices, the peanut sauce adds more balance to the flavor.Is massaman curry same as yellow curry? ›
Massaman curry is a type of yellow curry but isn't exactly the same as Thai yellow curry. The paste used in Massaman curry starts off as Thai yellow curry paste but extra, sweeter spices are mixed into this to create the Massaman flavour.Which Thai curry is sweet? ›
Massaman curry: Masaman curry is one of the sweetest styles of curry. It's a Thai style, but is also influenced by many varieties of Indian curry. Rather than spices, most of masaman curry's flavor comes from cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, according to Traveling 9 to 5.Is yellow curry milder than green curry? ›
The ingredient that gives this Thai curry variety its characteristic yellow hue is of course turmeric. While Thai yellow curry combines a whole range of fragrant, fresh herbs and dried spices, it's much milder than its green and red cousins, because there's usually not as much chilli.Is Thai curry good for weight loss? ›
Worst: Red or Green Curry
Thai curries are usually made with a hefty dose of coconut milk, and that won't do your diet any favors. One cup of the creamy milk packs in 400 calories. It also has 36 grams of saturated fat -- more than three times the recommended daily amount.
Tomato-based or dry curries like tandoori, madras, jalfrezi, rogan and bhuna dishes; plain rice, roti, poppadums.
Today's Thai curry recipe packs a nutritional punch while being a very satisfying and fulfilling meal. Coconut oil and coconut milk are some of the few plant sources of lauric acid, also found in human breast milk, that enhance brain function and the immune system.
Why is yellow curry yellow? ›
"Yellow curry is yellow due to the presence of turmeric in the paste whereas green curry is green due to the green chilies in the paste," she wrote. "The ingredients traditionally used in both curries are also different."What is the difference between yellow and red curry? ›
Red curry pastes are made with dried red chiles; they're pretty fire too, but not quite so much as green pastes. Yellow curry pastes are colored by turmeric and Indian-style curry powder; their spice level is relatively mild.What's the difference between yellow and green curry? ›
Green Curry uses fresh green chilis and is bright and herby from fresh cilantro root and makrut lime leaves. Massaman Curry is mild in heat and loaded with spices found in Indian cuisine like cinnamon and cardamom. Yellow Curry draws on turmeric and dried curry for a rich, savory flavor and yellow color.Is massaman curry same as yellow curry? ›
Massaman curry is a type of yellow curry but isn't exactly the same as Thai yellow curry. The paste used in Massaman curry starts off as Thai yellow curry paste but extra, sweeter spices are mixed into this to create the Massaman flavour.