This vegan panang curry recipe is easy to make with simple pantry ingredients like tomato paste, light coconut milk, peanut butter and curry powder. The vegetables can be customized as needed, it has tofu for extra protein and it can be served on its own or over rice, noodles or quinoa.

Healthy Vegan Panang Curry Tofu with Vegetables
Creamy Vegan Panang Curry with Tofu | Running on Real Food

What is Panang Curry?

Panang curry, also spelled phanaeng or panaeng, is a thick Thai curry with a sweet, salty and nutty peanut flavour. 

What is Panang Curry Paste?

Panang curry paste is traditionally made from chili peppers, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime, coriander root, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, shallot, shrimp paste, salt and peanuts.

We’re not going to get that complicated. Instead, this simple version of panang curry is created from light coconut milk, curry powder, tomato paste and peanut butter.

Panang Curry Ingredients

The main ingredients you’ll need to make this are:

  1. Light Coconut MilkI usually use light coconut milk in my curries for all the coconut flavour without as much fat. I also find full-fat coconut milk makes some curries almost too thick. Plus this recipe already has peanut butter in it so it’s doesn’t need the extra fat and thickness from the coconut milk.
  2. Tomato Paste. Tomato paste is the perfect concentrated source of rich, tomato flavour. Any canned tomato paste will do.
  3. Vegetable BrothCooking in vegetable broth adds more flavour than just using water however if you’re in a pinch, water will do just fine.
  4. Natural Peanut Butter. Make sure you use a good quality, natural peanut butter. The ingredients on the jar should be either just peanuts, or peanuts and salt. I like Earth’s Choice Organic Peanut Butter but there are plenty of other great options. If you can’t do peanuts, substitute almond butter.
  5. Curry Powder. Using curry powder is an easy way to add all the best curry spices to a recipe in one shot. Turmeric, coriander, cumin and ginger are common ingredients in curry powder. Some may contain fenugreek, chili peppers, black pepper and cardamom but the main ingredients are typically turmeric and coriander. No need to worry about exactly what’s in your curry powder, you can even use a homemade recipe if you prefer. I also added just a little extra turmeric.
  6. Vegetables. I used zucchini, red pepper, pepper and carrot in this recipe you can switch it up and use a different squash, sweet potato, any colour of bell pepper, broccoli, celery, eggplant or mushroom. You’ll also need onion and garlic to start things off.
  7. Tofu. I used plain, firm tofu in this recipe to boost the protein and add some extra texture and heartiness. Chickpeas would also be a good choice.
Vegetable Panang Curry with Tofu | Vegan | Running on Real Food
Tofu Panang Curry | Vegan | Running on Real Food

Vegetable Panang Curry

To make this delicious vegan curry, you’ll cook up the onion, garlic and carrot, then slowly add the rest of the ingredients until you have a thick and creamy sauce. Once it’s ready, serve it over basmati rice, brown rice, quinoa, noodles or another whole grain of choice.

For similar recipes, try my:

Recipe Nutritional Details

This recipe serves 6 and the nutrition facts are stated below as such. If you’d prefer larger servings, you can serve 4 for 448 calories per serving with 28 grams of carbs, 28 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein.


Tofu Panang Curry | Vegan | Running on Real Food

Vegan Panang Curry Tofu

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

This creamy vegan curry is easy to make in about 20 minutes. All you’ll need to make it is basic pantry ingredients plus some tofu and vegetables. It’s thick, creamy, full of flavour and amazing served over a bed of basmati rice ready to soak up all the goodness.



  • 1 white onion, diced (2 cups, approx. 300g)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (approx. 300 g)
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced (approx. 1 heaping cup)
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (60 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup (substitute coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice)
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter (100 g)
  • 1 packaged firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • rice or quinoa, for serving


  1. Add the diced onion, garlic and carrot to a skillet and cook over medium heat in coconut oil, water or vegetable broth until they’re starting to soften, 5-10 minutes. Add a splash more broth if it starts to stick.
  2. Add the zucchini and red pepper and stir to combine, adding a bit more broth as needed.
  3. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, turmeric and salt and cook for a few more minutes, stirring to combine.
  4. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk and simmer lightly until the carrots are tender and it’s thick and creamy, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally as it cooks.
  5. Stir in the maple syrup, peanut butter, cilantro and cubed tofu and cook for a few more minutes until the peanut butter is combined and the tofu is heated through.
  6. Serve over basmati, brown rice or quinoa.

Keywords: veggie panang curry, healthy, quick, easy, high-protein, vegetarian