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Thai red curry chicken and dark leafy greens

With Thai red curry paste and coconut milk in your pantry, this chicken with broccoli and spinach becomes a quick and easy go-to meal.

In a pinch, on the days when meal planning is at the bottom of my list, I go to my go-to recipes. Well, they're not so much recipes; they're basic combinations of ingredients I know work well together, to which I add whatever I find in my refrigerator. Like omelets and soups, Thai red curries fall into that go-to category. I've always got a tub of red curry paste and a few cans of coconut milk, fish sauce and a lime or two. To that, I'll add a protein (chicken, beef, turkey, tofu) and vegetables (onions, peppers, mushrooms, greens). As often as not, I make this particular Thai red curry with chunks of chicken breast and as many dark leafy greens as I have on hand. Broccoli and spinach do the honors here, but other good combinations would include bok choy, kale, arugula or chard. You can swing the balance of flavors by adding more lime, or more brown sugar. And of course, you can always toss in another spoonful of curry paste to heat things up a bit.

Thai red curry chicken, with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and peppers, makes a quick and easy go-to dinner.

Thai red curry chicken and dark leafy greens {gluten-free}

From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, onion, red curry paste, coconut milk, lime, fish sauce, light brown sugar, fresh black pepper.

Serves 4-6.


2 tsp vegetable oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (defrosted if frozen), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
3 cups broccoli florets, cut in half
4 oz sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy brand)
1 13-oz can coconut milk
2 tsp brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tsp fish sauce
8 oz baby spinach leaves
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper, to taste


In a heavy sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the chicken, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown slightly. At this point, the chicken will not be cooked through. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

Add the onion, and cook for 2 minutes, until it is just translucent. Add the red pepper, broccoli and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes. The vegetables will not be cooked, but they will not be raw, either.

Stir in the curry paste, and let it "toast" for a minute or two to release its fragrance. Then, pour in the coconut milk, and stir well. Return the chicken to the pan.

Let the mixture come to a simmer, so the liquid is just bubbling around the edges of the pan. If necessary, reduce heat to low to maintain the simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Then, stir in the brown sugar, lime juice and fish sauce, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the spinach to the pan, and gently stir, folding the hot liquid over the spinach, until it wilts. Taste, and add black pepper if needed.

Serve hot, over rice. Can be made a day ahead.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes to make with your tub of Thai red curry paste:
Slow cooker Thai red curry turkey, from The Perfect Pantry
Thai red curry turkey meatballs, from The Perfect Pantry
Salmon choo chee, from The Perfect Pantry
Thai red curry with kabocha squash, from Eat, Live, Run
Chicken breasts with cilantro and red Thai curry peanut sauce, from Kalyn's Kitchen

Thai red curry chicken with any combination of dark leafy greens, from The Perfect Pantry.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, and vegetables is always a delicious combination!

Kalyn, I probably make a curry like this at least once a week, with whatever vegetables I have in the house.

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