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Thai Vegetarian Coconut Curry

This Thai Vegetarian Coconut Curry recipe is an easy, flexible Thai curry recipe that transforms boring weeknight dinner into an exciting meal!

Vegan Thai red curry in a bowl on a red background

So I’ve had this love/hate relationship with Thai curries for a while now. Our rocky history goes something like this:

Age 0-18: Hate (due to a faulty assumption that all Thai food contained peanuts).
Age 18-23: Love (discover the perfect Thai restaurant at college, may or may not have contributed to my Freshman 15).
Age 24.2: Love (go to Thailand, learn to cook authentic Thai curry at a little cooking school in Chiang Mai).
Age 24.5: Hate (come home, realize that I, in fact, suck at cooking Thai curry from scratch).
Age 24.6 Love (come to the realization that using store bought curry paste is not cheating, learn to make this Thai Vegetarian Coconut Curry, proceed to eat it for dinner at least 2x a week from then on out).

How’s that for a love story? And in continuing the saga, I’ve revamped this old post with some new photos and more clear instructions. Because I can’t stress enough how much this recipe satisfies those Thai coconut curry takeout cravings (in less time than delivery would take) (and more healthfully) (and it’s just so good, you have to try it, k?)

Vegan Thai red curry in a bowl on a red background

Ingredients in this Thai coconut curry recipe

  • Flavor Makers: Shallots, ginger, and curry paste lay down a foundation of serious flavor.
  • Coconut Milk: Use canned coconut milk here! Full and low fat both work.
  • Broth: Vegetable broth keeps things flavorful while thinning out the rich coconut milk.
  • Seasoners: Soy sauce, honey, and chili garlic sauce balance out the salty, sweet, and spiciness of this curry!
Making Thai red curry in a wok on a red background
  • Veggies: I love crunchy veggies in this coconut curry, like cabbage, carrots, and snap peas. You could also use broccoli, bell pepper, cauliflower, bamboo shoots (or whatever veggies you have in your fridge!)
  • Tofu: We’ll saute it until crispy and throw it in at the end.
  • Rice Noodles or Rice: Finally, the starch! You can go the noodle route or the rice route here. If you’re in the noodle camp, you can use rice noodles, ramen, or udon. If you’re going with rice, white or brown rice work, as well as quinoa or cauliflower rice.
Vegan Thai red curry in a wok on a red background

We make this Thai coconut curry recipe all the time (we’re talking weekly dinner rotation, folks). It’s so flexible to whatever you happen to have in your fridge and quick to whip up on weeknights. I hope you’ll love it as much as we do!

(PS: If you love this Thai coconut curry, you’ll also love this Chickpea Tikka Masala, this Coconut Kidney Bean Curry, or this Banana Thai Curry! And here is how I meal prep this recipe.)

Vegan Thai red curry in a bowl on a red background
Vegan Thai red curry in a bowl on a red background

Weeknight Vegetarian Coconut Curry

This Vegetarian Coconut Curry recipe is an easy Thai curry that transforms boring weeknight dinners into a meal worth getting excited for!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Soups
Cuisine: American, Thai
Keyword: coconut curry, thai curry, vegan curry, vegetarian coconut curry, vegetarian curry
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Time: 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 386kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 4 votes


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil 15 mL, or any high heat oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 2 14-oz cans full-fat coconut milk 414 mL each
  • 1 tsp vegetable bouillon the equivalent of 1 cup, no water added
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce 30 mL, or tamari for GF option
  • 2 Tbsp honey 30 mL, or sugar for vegan option
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce 30 mL
  • rice noodles (4 oz) or rice (1 cup dry)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil 15 mL, or regular high heat oil
  • 1 14-oz block firm tofu 400 g
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot 50 g
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage 50 g
  • 1 cup snap peas 50 g


  • Curry: Heat oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium/high heat. Add shallots and ginger, cooking for a few minutes until shallots are translucent. Add curry paste and cook a few minutes more, until fragrant. Add coconut milk, bouillon, soy, honey, and chili garlic sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and let simmer while you prepare the rest.
  • Starch: Prepare rice or rice noodles according to instructions on package.
  • Tofu: Drain and pat tofu as dry as possible with paper towels. Cut into bite-sized cubes. Heat oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium/high heat, then add the tofu. Cook until sides are slightly browned, then add in a few spoonfuls of your curry soup. Cook for a minute or two, until curry has evaporated, then remove tofu from pan.
  • Veggies: Add carrots, cabbage, and snap peas to the pan the tofu was just in, and stir fry over medium/high heat until colors are vibrant, about 3 minutes.
  • Serve: Combine curry soup, tofu, rice/noodles, and vegetables in a the pan, or assemble in individual serving bowls. Optionally top with Thai basil and sesame seeds.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.9g | Protein: 13.8g | Fat: 24g | Sodium: 1081mg | Fiber: 5.3g
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Here’s how I meal prep this curry!

Thai red curry in a meal prep container with red background
Close up photo of Coconut Curry recipe
A photo from when I originally posted this recipe!

Hi, Iโ€™m Sarah!

Showing you how to make easy vegetarian recipes, one ingredient at a time. Read more

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Comments (9)

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  1. Donna says:

    Sarah, first thanks so much for all your recipes….Q I’m wanting to try this this week and wondering if I can leave the garlic chili sauce out of it…I just looked at it on amazon and it looks spicy. I think i could handle the red curry paste …i personally don’t mind a little bit kick but not smoking LOL…What’s your opinion/advice? Is this dish super spicy?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hey Donna! Yea you can definitely leave it out if you don’t like overly spicy things. The dish isn’t super spicy, but the chili garlic sauce adds a bit of kick. And if it’s still too spicy for you in the end, just balance it out with a bit more coconut milk and/or vegetable broth. It’s a really flexible recipe so just find what works for you and go with it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by!

    2. Donna says:

      TY TY TY!! I’m making this one evening this week.

  2. Raegan says:

    Hi! I am wondering how crucial it is to add in the Tofu? I am trying to go wheat, dairy and soy free. Would you recommend adding something else instead to make it a little more filling? ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Raegan! It’s not super crucial, the recipe is quite flexible ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps you could try chickpeas instead? Just use the same seasonings on chickpeas and saute them in a pan until a bit crispy. I bet it would be really nice!

  3. Elena says:

    Sarah, I love this recipe. I’ve made it twice and both times so good! Thank you for this recipe!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      You’re very welcome! Once you find the perfect curry paste and amount to put in (because it totally varies by brand), this can be SO tasty. We also make it quite often ๐Ÿ˜€ Happy you enjoyed it!

  4. Silvana says:

    Hi Sarah
    I just made this recipe for lunch today, and everybody loved it!!. I wanted to put a straw in the broth, and just drink it as fast as possible!.
    Very flavorful, and healthy!๐Ÿ˜€
    Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Yay, so happy to hear Silvana! I just made this recipe last week and the tulip-man nearly did the same, saving all the juices for the end to drink like milk in a cereal bowl, hahah. ๐Ÿ˜€