This Vegetable Thai Red Curry recipe is my go-to for a quick and easy, Thai-inspired meal at home. It’s very easy to make, takes less than 30 minutes including prep time and can be mixed with rice, quinoa, rice noodles, zucchini noodles or just enjoyed on its own. This curry is vegan, gluten-free, oil-free and refined sugar-free or can be sugar-free.

Overhead shot of a bowl of vegetable red curry with cilantro and lime on the side on a white background.

Ingredients for Vegetable Red Curry

Here’s what you’ll need to make this simple, Thai red curry:

  1. Red curry paste. I use Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, pictured below, since it doesn’t contain any fish sauce or anchovy paste, plus it just tastes great.
  2. Vegetables. I used broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and carrot in this curry but we’ll go over other veggies that work below.
  3. Coconut milk. You’ll need 1 can or light or full-fat coconut milk. We’ll talk about the different between the two below.
  4. Seasonings. The red curry paste does most of the work as far as seasoning this dish but I also add soy sauce (use gluten-free tamari if needed), coconut sugar and lime for extra flavor.
Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and Lite Coconut Milk against a grey background.
To keep this recipe vegan, look for a red curry paste such as Thai Kitchen that does not contain fish sauce or anchovy paste.

How to Make Easy Thai Red Curry

This curry is very easy to make in one pan in less than 30 minutes. Let’s go over the steps to making it. Before you start, chop up all the veggies so you’re ready to go.

1. Sauté the onion and garlic.

The first step is to sauté the onion and garlic for 6-7 minutes until they soften and become fragrant. If you’re using fresh ginger, which is an optional ingredient, you can add it now as well.

Sliced onions and garlic in a skillet with a wooden spoon.
Start by cooking up the onions and garlic. You can use oil, water or broth to saute.

Do I need oil to sauté the onion and garlic?

Nope. To keep this dish oil-free, just add a little water or vegetable broth to the pan with the onion and garlic. If you prefer to use oil, add 2 tsp of olive, avocado or coconut oil to the pan.

2. Add the red curry paste.

Next is to stir in the red curry paste. Add 3 tbsp to the onions and garlic, mix well and cook for another few minutes.

Onions and garlic with red curry paste in a skillet with a wooden spatula.
Mix in the red curry paste and cook for a few more minutes.

2. Add the coconut milk and carrot.

Next is to add the sliced carrots and coconut milk. Since the carrots take a little longer to cook, add them first and let simmer for a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies.

Sliced carrots and onion in a skillet with coconut milk and red curry paste.
Add the coconut milk and carrots before the rest of the veggies to give the carrots a few more minutes of cooking time.

Should I use light or full-fat coconut milk?

I typically make this recipe with light coconut milk so it’s a little easier on the calories however, full-fat coconut milk will make the dish creamier, thicker and richer.

For a special occasion or more authentic Thai red curry, I’d recommend going with full-fat coconut milk. Day to day, I use light coconut milk to reduce the amount of fat in the dish.

Do I have to add the carrots separately?

No. If you want to add all the veggies at once, totally fine. The carrots will just be on the crunchier side when the other veggies are done, or the softer veggies will be slightly over cooked. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If I’m being lazy, I just throw everything in at once.

What if I’m not using carrots?

No problem. If you’re not using carrots, just add the coconut milk and the rest of the veggies all at once.

4. Add the rest of the veggies.

Once you’ve simmered the carrots and coconut milk for a bit, add the rest of the veggies and give it good stir. You’ll simmer all this for about 10 minutes and that’s about it!

Zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli and carrots in a skillet with red curry sauce.
Add the rest of the veggies and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Can I Use Different Vegetables?

One of my favourite things about this recipe is you can toss in any vegetables you have on hand making it an excellent meal for the end of the week when you need to clean out the fridge.

The recipe calls for broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini and carrot but you can also use:

  • mushroom
  • eggplant
  • snow or snap peas
  • bamboo
  • potato
  • sweet potato
  • cauliflower

Nutrition Tip: Mix in a few big handfuls of spinach at end of cooking to boost the nutritional value of this recipe!

5. Season and serve.

The last step is to stir in some additional flavourings. You’ll need soy sauce, coconut sugar and lime. Once you’re done this, the curry is ready to serve!

Quick Tip: To keep this recipe gluten-free, make sure you use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Vegetable red curry in a skillet with coconut sugar being mixed in with a wooden spoon.
Stir in coconut sugar, lime juice and soy sauce.

What to Serve Red Curry With

I recommend serving this curry over brown rice or jasmine rice to soak up all the delicious, creamy red curry sauce. While you can eat the curry on its own, it’s best served over one of the following:

  • rice, quinoa or another whole grain of choice
  • rice noodles
  • red lentils
  • zucchini noodles
  • cauliflower rice

How to Add Protein

To increase the protein in this dish, add any of the following:

  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • edamame
  • chickpeas
  • lentils
  • seitan

I usually go with tofu for added protein. You can either add baked or pan-fried tofu or just mix raw tofu right into the curry, like I did in this curry recipe. For instructions on making baked tofu, check out this recipe.

Toppings for Thai Red Curry

I love serving this curry topped with:

  • lime
  • cilantro
  • peanuts or cashews
  • chopped green onions
Overhead shot of vegan red curry with rice and tofu against a white background.

Vegetable Thai Red Curry Recipe

You will love this simple red curry recipe. It’s:

  • ready in less than 30 minutes
  • made with simple, every day ingredients
  • vegan and oil-free and can be gluten-free and sugar-free
  • makes a full meal when served with rice and your favourite protein
  • packed with vitamin A, C, potassium and other nutrients

More Vegan Curry Recipes

Loving this red curry? Here are some more simple recipes to try:

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Overhead shot of a bowl of vegetable red curry with cilantro and lime on the side on a white background.

Vegetable Thai Red Curry

  • 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, Thai

This vegetable red curry is easy to make, customizable to whatever veggies you have on hand and perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Serve with your favourite rice or other whole grain.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced (2 cups, 225 g)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 400 ml can coconut milk (light or full-fat)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 large or 2 small red peppers, sliced (3 cups, 290 g)
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced (2 cups, 225 g)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds (2 heaping cups, 350 g)
  • 2 heaping cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp organic sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan, sauté the garlic and onion in 2 tbsp of water or vegetable stock. If you prefer, you can cook in 2 tsp of olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil.
  2. Add the curry paste, stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the coconut milk and chopped carrots and simmer lightly over medium heat for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir to combine. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes until all the veggies are tender.
  5. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar and lime.
  6. Serve with rice or another whole grain of choice. Optional toppings include peanuts or cashews, fresh lime juice, cilantro or green onion.

Notes

Nutrition facts are for light coconut milk.

Keywords: vegan red curry, easy, quick, healthy, oil-free, gluten-free

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 187 calories
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Sodium: 398 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Fiber: 8.5 g
  • Protein: 6 g

This recipe was updated August 2019 with new photos and additional information. The recipe did not change but the blog post was completely rewritten to include more detailed instructions and tips for recipe success.