Weeknight Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe, Simplified

Delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice #nutfree
Delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice #nutfree

I made Thai Red Curry Chicken at home with an easy to use jar of red curry paste. It was a simple and satisfying meal for a busy weeknight dinner.

Disclaimer: Please check that all ingredients are suitable for your allergies and be sure to ask your medical care team regarding any allergy related questions (I do not share medical advice). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Update (2/6/2023): When I first wrote this post, I recommended a product that has been discontinued. As a substitute, I use McCormick’s Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste and I updated the post and recipe to reflect this change.

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Let’s Try Thai Food Because Mommy Loves It

That’s the truth, I love Thai food but ever since our family has been affected by a severe peanut allergy, we are more cautious about eating out. Thai restaurants seem off-limits early in our food allergy journey due to my son’s sensitivity to nuts around him. Even if a restaurant could make a peanut-free dish for him, he could still have a reaction to people near him eating nuts.

As his allergies improved thanks to food allergy clinical trials, we could take him as well as his brother to a Thai restaurant and they were able to prepare their meals safely. I’m still very nervous about taking my kids to any type of restaurants with a lot of nuts. Learning how to make Thai food at home allows us to enjoy the cuisine and flavors safely and Peanut Free Pad Thai is one of my most requested and favorite recipes.

My other favorite Thai dish is red curry with chicken. An authentic recipe involves using a large mortar and pestle to pound Thai red chili, galangal, Kefir lime leaves, and lemongrass to make a paste. My personal objective is to see if my sons would like the flavors in a red curry.

Try Nut-Free Versions of an Unfamiliar Cuisine

One allergy mom tip is to share unfamiliar foods with your family, just keep your efforts allergy safe and simple. When I introduce my family a new cuisine or a new dish, I always opt for the easiest way first so that I don’t have to put in a lot of effort or buy a lot of new ingredients that might be costly or difficult to find.

If my family doesn’t like it, it’s no big deal we can move on. If they do like it, then I would work on improving the recipe or making it from scratch. Thai food lovers rejoice! I found a Thai red curry sauce in a jar that takes 10 minutes to make and dinner is on the table by the time the rice is ready.

Delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice #nutfree
Delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice #nutfree

McCormick’s Thai Kitchen

Since red curry sauce product which I wrote about originally was discontinued, I opted to try Thai Kitchen’s Red Curry Paste (affiliate), which does not contain peanuts or any of the top 9 ingredients. It’s super easy to find at major supermarkets and retail stores, affordable, and easy to check on allergens.

McCormick’s owns the entire Thai Kitchen line of products (affiliate link) and McCormick’s allergen labeling policy is to identify top allergens and take precautions to manage allergens.

I have checked out the red curry options at my local Asian supermarkets and I can’t decide on which ones to investigate further regarding allergen cross-contact. I would level up with a mortar and pestle plus the fresh chili and herbs at some later date.

Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to be spooned over freshly cooked rice.
Thai Red Curry Chicken is a fast and easy dinner idea to serve with rice and veggies.

Thai Red Curry Simplified

I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they are easiest to cook with but you could substitute with a different chicken part, pork, shrimp, tofu, etc. according to your preference. I adapted the recipe on the sauce packet by using less oil, substitute coconut milk with reduced fat coconut milk, and use milk instead of heavy cream.

One of my sons is allergic to bell peppers so I omitted it but it’s possible to use other preferred vegetables instead. The key is to put them in at the right time, put hard vegetables that take longer to cook in earlier and put soft tender vegetables during the last few minutes of simmering. Alternatively, you could use steamed or blanched vegetables which are already at the right texture.

I made the Thai Red Chicken Curry and served it over rice. My kids were ready with cups of milk in case the curry was too spicy for them. The curry was just mildly spicy. If you like your red curry to be very spicy, use an extra 1-2 tablespoon of the paste. I loved the flavor and our family enjoyed our meal immensely, we barely had enough leftovers for my lunch the next day.

Allergy Aware Curry Chicken

This recipe as written is free of peanuts, tree nuts (except coconut), egg, shellfish, fish, soy, sesame, wheat, and gluten free.

Since the Thai Kitchen’s Red Curry Paste is free of top allergens, you could omit the milk and/or coconut milk and swap with equivalent amounts of a neutral tasting dairy-free creamy beverage.

It is possible to make your own red curry paste if you can find ingredients such as red Thai chili, lemongrass, Kefir lime or leaves, galangal, whole white peppercorns, coriander root, and mash them with easier to find ingredients like garlic, ginger, etc..

If you have a seafood allergy, be aware that some red curry pastes products or recipes might use shrimp paste. It’s important to share this information with people who like this recipe but are allergic to shellfish so that they will know that red curry prepared by someone else might have their allergen.

Delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken is ready to eat with a bowl of steaming hot rice #nutfree
4 from 3 votes

Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe, Simplified

Make this delicious Thai Red Curry Chicken for a quick and easy weeknight dinner in less than 30 minutes! The recipe is nut free except for coconut.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Thai
Keyword Chicken, Thai Red Curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 484 kcal
Author Sharon Wong


  • 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¾ cup non-fat milk divided
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced
  • 6 chicken thighs boneless, skinless, cut up into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup blanched or steamed vegetables optional
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 scallions chopped into 1 inch pieces, separate whites and greens
  • 4 cups freshly cooked rice


  1. Add the red curry paste, hot water, and ½ cup milk into a small sauce pan, whisk, cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened, set aside.

  2. Preheat a large frying pan for 1-2 minutes on medium heat, add oil and onions, saute for 1 minute.
  3. Add chicken, saute for 5 minutes until no longer pink.
  4. Add cooked vegetables (if using), curry sauce, ¼ cup of milk, coconut milk, scallion whites, and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add scallion greens, stir, and serve over freshly cooked rice.

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About Sharon Wong 282 Articles
Welcome to Nut Free Wok, a blog about Allergy Aware Asian Fare. I hope that you will find my food allergy mom experiences helpful and enjoyable to read as I write about recipes, cooking techniques, Asian ingredients, and food allergy related awareness and advocacy issues. My professional experiences include education, teaching, and a little bit of science and computers. Thank you for visiting! ~Sharon Wong, M.Ed.


  1. 5 stars
    My last reaction to peanuts was as a teenager from green curry from our favourite Thai restaurant. They new about my allergies and we ate there at least once a month. We learnt about cross contact the hard way/ I found a peanut in my curry. Needless to say I haven’t been back even though they ask about me ten years later! It’s shame when a place you trusted is not as trust worthy as you had thought.

    We make curry at home too and it’s always a relief to know that the sauce contains no hidden allergens.

    • You can buy it online, there should be a link on the blog post. Go to foodireland.com and type “thai red curry” in the search box and you should be able to find it. I checked this morning and the single packages are out of stock but you can buy a 12 pack (that’s a lot, maybe share with a friend?).

  2. Hi, sorry to disappoint you. In the post, I do recommend that if you can’t use coconut milk, use a neutral tasting milk that you can have. It won’t taste like coconut milk but it will add a little bit of creaminess. Hope that helps!

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