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Thai Red Curry Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

When I was a kid, the only curry I had ever tasted was the yellow sort you use in Indian cuisine. But in the last few years, Cook’s Illustrated introduced me to Thai red curry paste and OOH I love this way more than yellow curry.

thai red curry paste

So delicious! And the bottle usually says something about it being spicy, but I never think it’s very hot at all. And neither do the spice-averse people that I feed, so you can trust that this is not going to burn your tongue.

I initially tried this recipe a while back because it uses coconut milk, and I was always looking for dairy-free recipes for Sonia. But I liked it so much, I am still making it even though I am not feeding Sonia every night.

Sweet potatoes on a cutting board.

That’s how you know a dairy-free recipe is good: you want to eat it even if you can have dairy!

My theory on that is the same as with gluten-free foods…the cuisine that is naturally dairy or gluten-free is always, always tastier than the dishes that are modified to be free of dairy or gluten.

Anyway, my last Hungry Harvest box contained a bag of sweet potatoes, so I put this on the menu, and then it occurred to me that I should share the recipe with you.

wooden cutting board.

Things I like about this recipe:

  • it’s pretty quick to throw together
  • it uses chicken thighs, which are nearly impossible to overcook
  • it tastes great leftover
  • it includes cilantro, lime, and red curry paste, all of which I adore
  • you can prep a lot of it ahead of time if you wish

Kristen chopping a sweet potato.

This recipe’s main components are chicken thighs and sweet potatoes, and I often get those ready earlier in the day.

I also sometimes prep the green onions, cilantro, and limes; that way when it’s dinnertime, I can get this onto the table really quickly.

prepped curry ingredients in glass containers.

I got this recipe from Dinner Illustrated (full review of that cookbook here), and the only change I’ve made is to use the whole can of coconut milk. The original recipe called for a cup, and then I was left with an awkward amount to use up.

Now I just dump the whole can in and it seems to work fine.

Sauteed chicken in a skillet.

If you don’t have fish sauce, you can use soy sauce instead. And the recipe calls for topping the curry with peanuts, but I never have done that, due to Sonia’s peanut allergy.

While I skip the peanuts, I do always top my curry with scallions, cilantro, and lime wedges because they take the curry from good to awesome.

Scroll down for the printable recipe!

Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This quick meal is naturally dairy-free!


  • 1 pound sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce


  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts (optional)


1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

2. Trim fat off chicken; cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with curry paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

3. Heat oil in large skillet until shimmering; add chicken and cook 3 minutes, or until chicken is browned (it doesn't need to be cooked all the way through yet).

4. Stir in coconut milk, fish sauce, and potatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until chicken is done and potatoes are tender.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, top with cilantro, peanuts, and scallions, and serve over rice, with lime wedges on the side.


You can prep the chicken (I mix the chicken chunks with the seasonings) and cut the sweet potatoes ahead of time; just refrigerate until you're ready to cook.

I used full-fat canned coconut milk; you could try using lite canned coconut milk, but I would not use the coconut milk that comes in refrigerated cartons.

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 667Total Fat 41gSaturated Fat 24gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 208mgSodium 888mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 6gSugar 9gProtein 49g

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Sunday 19th of June 2022

Making this now for our Father's Day dinner. I have some Thai basil growing in my garden, so that is being added in, too. It smells so good!


Monday 20th of June 2022

Ooh, I bet basil would be very delicious in this!

Vicki Frederick

Thursday 16th of June 2022

Sounds delicious, and very similar to the one I make: We use tofu instead of chicken.

I think you would really like the other recipes on this site. Thanks for all your wonderful and inspiring posts!


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

That recipe looks really good, I’ll have to try it. Have you ever had Japanese Curry? It is super easy to make and so delicious. In a pan just saute some onions, lightly cook some meat if you want it, then add chunks of red potatoes and carrots with water and simmer until the vegetables are tender and meat cooked through. Then add S&B golden curry mix and stir until thickened. Serve along side rice. S&B is my favorite brand and I like the Hot kind although it isn’t spicy just very flavorful. It an inexpensive dish and even if you choose to add meat it would be a very modest amount.


Thursday 16th of June 2022

Sonia was telling me about that golden curry mix recently...I should try it.


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

The best, and most frugal thing, about curries from ANY country is that you can load them up with veggies and legumes beyond the written recipes. It is such a great way to use vegetables that might otherwise go bad, and who doesn't need more veggies in their diet? No one is gonna call the Thai curry police if you throw in some cauliflower or chick peas or a handful of shriveling cherry tomatoes. Or zucchini, or greens, even lettuce. These recipes were born from frugality and the best way to honor their origin is to use what you have, even if it isn't technically authentic. Covid and food shortages have made my life difficult, but I've become a better and more adventurous cook, and I am thankful for that.


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

We LOVED this! It was mild enough for this not-spicy fan. The peanuts and lime did take it up a notch! I threw in Asparagaus because we had it, I can see adding spinach or zucchini when we have lots of that. All the kids enjoyed it with some naan. That is high praise!


Thursday 16th of June 2022

@Kristen, I saw it this morning...and I have no meal plan for the week yet. I'm trying to find ways to use up lots of veggies from our box we got last week and more we were getting today! I had a sweet potato I needed to use up & I knew I was getting the aspargus and cilantro today, so this was perfect! (I was going to add zucchini as well but I forgot.) I pulled out some frozen chicken and it's so hot, that thawed quickly. :) I already had plans to run by the store so grabbed the red curry paste. It was perfect to chop everything and then leave the directions for my son to saute/assemble while I had an evening meeting. I came home and all said it was good, so it's going in the "Make Again" file. I'm just thrilled we're branching out from Tex-Mex. :)


Wednesday 15th of June 2022

Ok, I am impressed you made this already!

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