Easy Thai Vegetarian Red Curry
Make this easy Thai Vegetarian Red Curry, loaded with healthy vegetables drenched in a delicious sauce of spicy curry paste and creamy coconut milk!
Foodie Love & Thai Vegetarian Red Curry Faves:
I don’t know about you, but I simply love trying cuisines from around the globe; fortunately for us, numerous incredible and unique restaurants featuring tastes from across the world have found homes in Kansas City. Unfortunately for us, for much of the week Cory and I work completely opposite hours, meaning we rarely have the opportunity to go out and actually try many of these fabulous places together.
However, we get out as often as time and budgets allow, and over the years, I’ve fallen madly in love with Thai curries. Panang, massaman, red, yellow, green… they’re all wonderful and unique, but rich spicy red curries, chock full of vegetables, with just a hint of sweetness are my favorites by far . Since many restaurants allow you to choose a protein (chicken, pork, tofu, etc.) or just go all veggies, I have the opportunity for a healthy, luxurious vegetarian meal out, which I love! Just like with our Better Than Takeout Hawaiian Fried Rice the next step, clearly, was to recreate such a decadent Thai vegetarian red curry at home!
Rich & Creamy Thai Vegetarian Red Curry:
Over the years Cory and I have tried many quick and easy curry recipes, but we’ve never found one we love. I wanted this Thai vegetarian red curry to have the same rich, decadent sauce that I adore in restaurant versions, and I realized that my favorite curries out had three things in common: the curries were spicy red curries, had coconut milk, and involved pineapples. As it turns out, many of the recipes we’d tried at home over the years either missed one of these key ingredients or simply didn’t have a sufficient amount.
I know ¼ cup of red curry paste may seem like a rather significant amount, but it provides such a spicy, rich flavorful base for the curry, and we found that adding any less than ¼ cup made the dish seem a little bland or completely devoid of spice. We’ve tried this amount with multiple curry pastes, including the most readily available (in our area anyway) Thai Kitchen red curry paste with great success!
Some red curry pastes actually have water as the first ingredient, which surprised me, and with some of those I actually found I needed a little bit more to get the prominent flavors I wanted and sufficient spice. Of course, you can certainly adjust amounts to your liking if you find the full amount too spicy! Just a little fresh ginger adds another little kick of flavor to the sauce, though you can use dried ginger in a pinch instead (just start with a bit less, as dried spices tend to be more potent).
Adding an entire can of full fat coconut milk (we often use Thai Kitchen’s organic coconut milk) makes this sauce rich and creamy, lending a decadent, luxurious feeling to this easy and healthy version of Thai vegetarian red curry! The final missing component for me in so many of these attempts turned out to be the pineapple, though, and I simply love the complexity it adds to the final sauce. It balances the spice of the curry and complements the coconut milk beautifully; it really was the key to my perfect, at-home quick red curry sauce!
Since in the last few years we have moved towards less meat and more vegetables in our diet (we feel better this way, and along the way, I’ve actually fallen in love with vegetables!), I wanted to load it up with tons of my favorite veggies (and some fruit too)! Our version is packed with mushrooms, carrot, zucchini, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and pineapple, and neither of us misses meat in this for even a second! This vegetarian red curry is healthy, tasty, easy to make, and best of all, incredibly satisfying!
Thai Vegetarian Red Curry Serving Styles & Dietary Considerations:
We personally tend to serve this particular Thai vegetarian red curry over brown rice or silky smooth basmati rice because, while we don’t generally eat tons of rice, we love the way the rice sops up that sweet and spicy red curry sauce! Of course, you can use any variety you like, or trade the rice for quinoa for a complete protein option. If you’re going grain free, try cauliflower rice, or switch it up entirely and add rice noodles instead, turning this into more of a Thai vegetarian red curry soup! No matter how you serve it, it’s amazing!
This dish is already both vegetarian and vegan, and you can easily keep it paleo by serving it over cauliflower rice (though I know some people on paleo diets incorporate rice and quinoa as well). If you aren’t sold on the fully veggie curry but want to keep it vegan or vegetarian, you could certainly add tempeh or firm tofu. Personally, I love it as is, but that’s the beauty of food and cooking: you can always adjust to fit your preferences!
Enjoy this Easy Healthy Thai Vegetarian Red Curry Tonight!
Thai Vegetarian Red Curry
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 25-30 Serves: 4
Thai Vegetarian Red Curry Ingredients:
- ½ lb mushrooms, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell (or half of each)
- 1 C, heaping, chopped fresh pineapple
- 8oz can bamboo shoots
- 1/4 C red curry paste
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp ginger, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 can (14oz) coconut milk, unsweetened, full fat
- juice of ¼ to ½ of a small lime, to taste
- pinch of salt
- Serve over rice, riced cauliflower, or quinoa.
- Add rice noodles or soba noodles for a Thai vegetarian red curry noodle soup!
- Cook your rice, cauliflower, quinoa, or noodles while you make the curry for timely prep!
Thai Vegetarian Red Curry Directions:
- Heat coconut oil in large wok or skillet over medium heat.
- Add ginger. Stir for about 30 seconds until aromatic.
- Stir in mushrooms. Cook for 3-4 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften.
- Add red curry paste, stirring to coat. Cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add carrots and zucchini. Cook 3-4 minutes.
- Add in bell pepper. Stir to coat.
- Add bamboo shoots, pineapple, and coconut milk.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or quinoa, per your dietary preferences, or add rice noodles for a healthy Thai vegetarian red curry soup! Of course, you can always just eat it without any accompaniments, though you may want to cook the dish for a bit longer to thicken up the sauce more. We like ours to have more liquid for the rice/quinoa to soak up! However you eat it, enjoy!
Looking for more healthy vegetarian recipes? Check these out:
- Better Than Takeout Hawaiian Fried Rice
- Zoodles with Sun Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto
- Roasted Veggie Pizza
- Jalapeno Bacon Chicken Pizza
- BBQ Almonds
- Chipotle Salsa
- Mango Jalapeno Salsa
- Roasted Hatch Chile Peach Salsa!
Do you have a favorite cuisine or dish that you’ve recreated at home? Or a favorite dish you’d like us to recreate? Let us know in the comments below; we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe to sign up for weekly healthy recipes and DIY projects delivered to your inbox and get a freebie, too! Get in touch any time: we’re on Facebook and Pinterest, or email us at Cory@oursweetlyspicedlife.com or Joelle@oursweetlyspicedlife.com.
As always, sweetly yours,