Authentic Thai green chicken curry is easier than you think. Not just easier but quicker than you think too and seriously tasty. Serve over rice for the perfect family dinner.
- It’s quick and easy!
- It tastes out of this world amazing.
- All cooked in one pan and loaded with veg.
- Use homemade curry paste or jazz up some store-bought.
- Rich yet light and relatively healthy.
This classic Thai green curry is a comforting, flavoursome and nutritious family dinner, you’re going to love. Juicy chunks of chicken thigh bathed in a spicy coconut sauce and filled with your favourite vegetables. It’s quicker than takeout and tastes just as good (if not better) than your local Thai restaurant.
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What is Thai green curry?
A favourite at Thai restaurants, Thai green curry (gaeng keow wan or kaeng khiaw wan) is a fragrant and richly flavoured coconut-based curry. The colour comes from using green chillis and is differentiated from a red curry (which uses red chillies) in this way.
The balance between the heat of the green chilli and the cooling creamy coconut milk is where the real genius of this dish lies and undoubtedly why it’s loved the world over. While green curry is not traditionally the hottest Thai curry (often red curry can be hotter and jungle curry is super spicy), it’s easily adjustable to taste.
Ingredients you’ll need
This recipe has been written so that you can use store-bought paste or homemade curry paste. If you’ve ever tried a real green curry paste from scratch, you’ll know that paste in a jar doesn’t quite have the same punch of freshness but they still work well.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Chicken: I use skinless boneless chicken thighs for this recipe. They have more flavour than breast and tend to be juicier. You can certainly use chicken breast if you prefer, just be extra careful not to overcook it.
- Thai green curry paste: To keep this recipe quick, use green curry paste from a jar. There’s no judgement here. While jarred pastes can never give you the fresh and vibrant flavour of a curry paste made from scratch, they’re still convenient and flavourful. If you have the time, definitely try making it from scratch too. For jarred versions, I most often use Ayam green curry paste. Maesri is another popular brand and all brands taste different – for instance Ayam is quite sweet while Maesri is quite salty.
- Flavour boosters: Onion, fresh garlic and fresh ginger all add more bold flavour to this green curry. Use fresh if possible as they have a better flavour.
- Vegetables: This recipe is great for loading up on vegetables and you can use whatever you have on hand. Most often, you’ll see it with things like snow peas or green beans, bean sprouts and capsicum (bell pepper). I also love adding a handful of baby spinach right at the end.
- The green curry sauce: The sauce is made up of a base coconut milk and chicken stock. The classic Thai balance of sweet, sour and salty comes from sugar, lime juice and fish sauce.
If you love Thai food as much as me, check out my post on essential Thai ingredients.
How to make Thai green chicken curry (step-by-step)
It’s mind-blowing how quickly you can make something that has such a massive flavour punch. Thai green curry chicken is easy and also versatile. You can pump up the spice as much as you like and add whatever veg you have in your fridge.
Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.
- Onion and chicken: Start by cooking some onion and chicken in a hot pan until the chicken is sealed and the onion softening.
- Add the serious flavour: Now add the curry paste, garlic and ginger and cook it for a minute or so until it gets nice and fragrant. Cooking the curry paste like this really intensifies the flavour.
- Start the sauce: Pour in the coconut milk and stock to get the sauce started, along with the beans and capsicum. Bring that to a simmer and you want to see it thicken just slightly.
- Season and balance: Season the sauce with fish sauce, sugar and a little lime juice. Thai food is all about balancing salty, sweet and sour flavours so add what the recipe suggests, then taste the sauce. If you want more salt, add fish sauce. For more sweetness add a little sugar and for more sourness add lime juice to taste. You can balance this sauce until it’s perfect for your palate. How amazing is that?!!
- Finish it off: Now just add those bean sprouts, followed after a minute by the spinach and you’re ready to serve.
Is this green curry very hot?
Classically, green curry is not incredibly hot but does have a good hum of heat that’ll make your taste buds tingle. I would say this recipe has a mild spice level – you definitely know there’s chilli in there but you probably won’t work up a sweat (unless you aren’t used to eating chilli). If you like it more spicy, just add another 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste.
What to serve with green chicken curry?
The wonderful thing about this dish is the chicken and vegetables are already in there, all cooked together. Just serve it over some simply steamed jasmine rice with a scattering of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) or Thai basil and sliced chilli. Add a lime wedge to the side so everyone can adjust to taste.
If you don’t feel like rice, add some naan on the side. Not the same cuisine, no but does it work perfectly? Yes it does!
- Meat: This comforting Thai curry is so loved with chicken but it works equally well with steak, fish or shellfish (prawns are fantastic – just like my Thai Panang curry with prawns).
- Vegetarian: You can easily make this recipe vegetarian too! Swap the chicken for tofu, mushrooms or even chickpeas. Use soy sauce in place of the fish sauce and vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock.
- Vegetables: Feel free to use whatever veggies you have in your fridge – most will work in a green curry and they don’t even have to be green. Zucchini, eggplant, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, edamame, frozen peas – you name it, they’ll work beautifully in this.
Just to prove how simple this is to make, I made it for my lunch just days ago in 15 minutes, using frozen veg and pre-cooked prawns. I also used my own freezer stash of homemade green curry paste.
Yield and storage
This recipe serves 4, generously.
It’s great for making ahead too and the spiciness actually seems to increase on day 2. Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
More recipes you’ll love
- Thai Panang curry with prawns
- Thai fish cakes
- Lime coconut chicken
- Thai satay chicken
- Chinese prawn fried rice
- Crispy Asian chilli beef mince
Did you try this Thai green chicken curry recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 500 g boneless skinless chicken thighs, roughly sliced bite-sized pieces
- 1 small red onion sliced (or 2 shallots)
- ⅓ cup green curry paste or more, to taste (notes)
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 400 ml canned coconut milk
- ¾ cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 1 medium green or yellow capsicum (bell pepper), sliced
- 150 g green beans, sliced into 2 inch lengths
- 2-3 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- 1 small handful fresh bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 big handful baby spinach (optional)
- fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves
- Red chilli, sliced
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Large frying pan or skillet
- Heat oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat, then add the chicken and onion. Saute for 5-6 minutes until the chicken is sealed all over. It’s not cooked through at this point and that’s fine.
- Make a gap in the centre of the pan and add the curry paste, ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the coconut milk, stock, capsicum and beans. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 4-5 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Add the fish sauce, sugar and squeeze in a little lime juice (saving half the lime for serving). Give it a good stir for 30 seconds and taste. Adjust to taste: Add fish sauce for more salt, sugar to balance saltiness and tang and more lime if it needs more tang.
- Add the bean sprouts and cook for another 1 minute to soften. Stir in the spinach and remove from heat.
- Serve over rice, with coriander, sliced chilli and wedges of lime on the side.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Is it very hot? I would say this recipe has a mild spice level – you definitely know there’s chilli in there but you probably won’t work up a sweat (unless you aren’t used to eating chilli). If you like it more spicy, just add another 1-2 tablespoons of curry paste.
- Vegetables: You can use any vegetables you have on hand.
- Chicken: You can swap the thighs for breast (though thighs have more flavour and are juicier). You can also swap it for steak, fish or prawns.
- Vegetarian option: Swap the chicken for tofu, mushrooms or a tin of drained chickpeas. Swap the fish sauce for soy sauce and use vegetable stock.
- Can it be made ahead: Yes, it can and will actually be spicier a day or two later.
- Consistency: If you thicken the sauce too much just add a little more stock to the consistency you like.
- Make it even quicker: Skip the raw chicken but cook everything exactly according to the recipe up to (and including) step 4. Once the sauce tastes right, add 3 cups of thawed frozen vegetables and 2 cups cooked shredded chicken or cooked prawns. Give it a minute or two for everything to heat through and serve. This takes around 15 minutes tops!
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