This homemade Thai red curry recipe is so easy, you won’t even think about ordering takeout tonight.
One of my favourite take-out dishes is Thai red curry with chicken and pineapple. I used to order it all the time from a local mom-and-pop restaurant, but sadly that placed closed down a while ago. Moxie’s used to have a half-decent version too, but I feel like every time I eat there now I’m disappointed in my meal…
I realized that I’d have to figure out how to make this dish at home, since I no longer had any good take-out options. I went out and bought a bottle of Thai red curry paste (more on this in a moment), and set out to recreate the dish in my own kitchen.
This recipe is pretty much a one-pot meal, except that you do have to take ingredients in and out of the pot so you’ll end up dirtying a bowl or plate in addition to the pot.
The reason I chose to write the recipe this way is to avoid overcooking the chicken, while still giving it a chance to brown a bit. I don’t know about you, but I find chicken breast to be extremely bland and boring, and while this Thai red curry sauce is pretty tasty, I still prefer to get some colour on my chicken before mixing all of the ingredients together.
A Note About Thai Red Curry Pastes:
I realize that curry enthusiasts will be horrified at the idea of using a pre-made curry product. I understand why – it’s hard to beat the flavours of fresh spices. That being said, I also appreciate the convenience of the pre-made product, so I decided to make the bottled curry paste work for me.
It is important to note, though, that the level of spiciness can vary greatly from brand to brand, and you may not like as much spice as I do. I’ve outlined my recommendations for the 3 most common brands that I could find in the photo above. Try adding a small amount of paste to the pan, and then taste it. If it’s not flavourful enough for you, add a little bit more. Keep going until you find the amount that works for you.
This Thai red curry dish is spicy, but it’s favourful too. The best part is that you can easily adjust the flavours in this dish to suit your preference. So, if you really want a burn-your-face-off level of heat, you can have it!
I like to make this with fresh pineapple, but I buy the pre-cored stuff from the supermarket because I don’t want to deal with peeling and coring a whole pineapple during the week. If you want, you can try this with canned pineapple, but I’d make sure it’s either canned in water or be sure to drain off any syrup before adding it to the dish. Sugary pineapple might not be so tasty!
The last little tip was actually suggested by a reader named Eric. Make sure to shake (or stir) your coconut milk before adding it to the dish! Coconut milk tends to separate in the can, with the water sitting on top of the milk solids. I like to open the can, throw it into a bowl, give it a good stir, and then measure out what I need. The leftovers get wrapped and put into the fridge to be used another day.
If you try making this dish at home, let me know how it turns out!
Thai Red Curry with Chicken and Pineapple
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion , thinly sliced
- 1 cup red bell pepper , cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 3 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 1½ pounds boneless chicken , cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 cups fresh pineapple , cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1½ tablespoons Thai red curry paste* , adjust amount to taste
- 1 can , 14 oz coconut milk
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 small red Thai chile , finely sliced, optional
- 1- inch knob fresh ginger , grated
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon mushroom soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 8 fresh basil leaves
- salt , to taste
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet oven medium-low heat.
- Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Empty the content of the pan into a bowl, and set aside.
- Place the pan back on the heat, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
- Once the pan is hot, add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides, without cooking it fully. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, then return the onion mixture to the pan.
- Add the pineapple and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the curry paste, stir to combine it with the other ingredients, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the coconut milk, chicken stock. Simmer the sauce until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Taste the sauce. Add the ginger and chile, if using.
- Add the sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, basil and salt. Cook for another few minutes. Taste again to check the seasoning.
- Add the chicken, and cook until the meat is no longer pink. (Be careful not to overcook the chicken.)
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