This easy Instant Pot Thai chicken curry recipe is loaded with lean protein and vegetables to make a standard, nutritious dinner at home within 15 minutes of pressure cooking. The chicken is simmered in a spicy, creamy coconut-infused curry sauce to enhance the signature flavors of Thai cuisine.
Is Thai Chicken Curry Good For You?
Thai chicken curry is a popular dish of Thai cuisine. The authentic dish is usually made by simmering juicy chicken pieces in a spice-infused curry sauce, served alongside a vegetable mix of choice.
Nowadays, there are many versions of Thai chicken curry around the world. Each varies by the chef and the region where it’s being served.
Therefore, the choice of spices and seasonings is totally up to personal tastes. However, the two must-have ingredients in a Thai chicken curry — besides chicken as the star of the dish — are the curry paste and coconut milk.
Today’s Instant Pot Thai chicken curry calls for no exotic and special ingredients, only skinless, boneless chicken thighs, carrots, green peas, and a wide range of fresh herbs and spices. Therefore, this curry is a wholesome dish that’s comforting, packed with nutrients, and suitable for family meals and weekend gatherings.
Is Thai Curry Spicy?
It’s actually a matter of personal taste and heat tolerance. In the making of this Instant Pot Thai chicken curry recipe, the spice level is toned down in comparison to the authentic dish.
We find this dish medium spicy but not extreme, but some may find it too much for their taste.
If you’re unsure, it’s best to start with small amounts of spice enhancers and perform a taste test after each step. Stop when it reaches your desired spiciness, or add more after pressure-cooking until you’re satisfied.
You can also add more coconut milk to reduce the spice level.
Main Ingredients for This Dish
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
We chose skinless, boneless chicken thighs for this recipe as they retain their juiciness and flavor well during pressure cooking. You can replace chicken thighs with chicken breasts, but note that chicken breasts are leaner and cook faster, so be careful not to overcook.
If you cut the chicken larger than bite-size, add a few more minutes of cooking.
- Thai red curry paste
Thai red curry paste is one of the key ingredients of this dish, as it delivers a special aroma and flavor of Thai cuisine. There is a wide selection of Thai red curry paste on the market that you can find at Asian grocery stores.
Not all brands produce the curry paste at the same level of spiciness, so if you’re unsure, start with a tablespoon and add more when you taste the broth if desired. If you can’t find Thai red curry paste nearby, green curry paste is a great alternative.
- Coconut milk
Another key ingredient in this Thai chicken curry is coconut milk. We suggest you stick to full-fat coconut milk as we did — light coconut milk is different in taste and will probably reduce the richness and creaminess of the curry.
To prevent the coconut milk from splitting during pressure cooking, add it to the pot after releasing the pressure and just before portioning out to serving plates. Give it a quick stir so it melds well with other ingredients, then turn off the heat.
An additional amount of coconut milk can also be added to fix a curry that is accidentally too spicy.
Carrots and green peas are our only choices of vegetables, as we wanted to make it all about chicken and curry rather than a stir-fry dish with heaps of greens.
You can switch them with your favorite veggies or add more if preferred. There’s a wide range of possibilities for substitution, such as green beans, sweet potatoes, bok choy, zucchini, and cauliflower.
- Seasonings and spices
The seasoning mix for this chicken curry is a combination of garlic, red curry paste, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, galangal, cumin, coriander, curry powder, chicken broth, tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, brown sugar, and white pepper. Besides the Thai red curry paste, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and ginger are must-have ingredients.
Fish sauce is an essential ingredient to produce a deep umami flavor for any Asian-style dish, and this chicken curry is no exception. The combination of shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger adds an extra layer of flavor and a tangy and herby undertone to our dish.
If you are not used to enjoying curry with rice, you might need to reduce the amount of fish sauce a little bit so it won’t be overly salty.
If you love this recipe, this Thai Chicken Curry is a traditional version.
How to Make Thai Chicken Curry in the Instant Pot
This easy Instant Pot Thai chicken curry is loaded with lean protein and vegetables to make a tasty and nutritious weeknight dinner at home. Though the ingredient list might look long, it takes just 15 minutes of pressure cooking and basic cooking skills to make:
Sear chicken on the “Sauté” setting. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Sauté the vegetables in heated olive oil until fragrant.
Add the spices.
Return the seared chicken to the Instant Pot. Toss and stir with the curry sauce.
Add chicken broth.
Close the lid, seal the valve, and cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting.
Release the pressure and leave the lid open. Turn on the “Sauté” setting, add the green peas and seasonings. Stir constantly.
Add a slurry of cornstarch and coconut milk to the pot and stir until well combined. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
Portion out onto serving plates, garnish and serve hot with cooked rice.
How to Store and Reheat Thai Chicken Curry
Our Instant Pot Thai chicken curry is convenient for prep-ahead meal plans, as it can last up to 4 days in the fridge if stored properly in airtight containers or Ziploc bags. If frozen flat, it can stay well for up to 3 months.
To reheat, first, transfer the leftover portions to thaw completely in the fridge overnight. Next, warm them up in the microwave or cook them through quickly in the Instant Pot the next day before serving.
Side Dishes for This Thai Chicken Curry
Our Instant Pot Thai chicken curry is served on a bed of hot steamed rice, making it a great stand-alone meal. In place of white rice, you can also enjoy this curry with any carb of your choice, including brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or even rice noodles.
We decided to sneak more veggies into today’s meal by pairing this curry with a Thai mango salad.
Thai mango salad takes little time and effort to make yet is a delicious dish with a bold taste and vibrant color. With shrimps, fresh green mangos, and cherry tomatoes tossed together and assembled on a large serving plate, this salad is a feast for both your taste buds and your eyes!
|Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry||Main Dish||497||7.4 g||571 mg|
|Thai Mango Salad||Side Dish||256||2.3 g||226 mg|
|Total||753||9.7 g||797 mg|
But Wait, There’s More!
There are so many ways to whip up delicious meals with Instant Pot chicken that it’d be a shame not to learn a few more. We have lots of ideas you may love:
- Instant Pot Chicken Thighs Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew Recipe
Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry Recipe
- 12 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs chunked
- 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/4 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper divided
- 3 tbsp garlic minced
- 4 oz carrots cubed
- 4 oz yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tbsp shallot chopped
- 2 tbsp lemongrass chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger grated
- 1/2 oz galangal
- 1/8 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
- 2 oz green peas
- 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
- 1/2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coriander chopped
- 1/4 oz red chili chopped
- 3 cups cooked medium-grain white rice
- On the “Sauté” setting of the Instant Pot, add 1 tbsp olive oil and sear 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper for 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a bowl and set it aside.
- Add another 1 tbsp olive oil to the pot. Sauté 3 tbsp minced garlic, 4 oz carrots, and 4 oz diced yellow onion until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
- Continue to add 1 tbsp red curry paste, 1 tbsp shallots, 2 tbsp lemongrass, 1 tbsp grated ginger, 1/2 oz galangal, 1/8 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, and 2 tsp curry powder to the pot. Stir quickly for 30 seconds.
- Return the seared chicken to the Instant Pot. Toss and stir so the curry sauce is evenly coated.
- Add 1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth. Stir.
- Close the lid, seal the valve, and cook on the “Meat/Stew” setting for 5 minutes.
- Release the pressure, then leave the lid open and turn it back to the “Sauté” setting. Add 2 oz green peas, 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate, 1/2 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp ground white pepper to the pot. Stir constantly for a minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Add this slurry to the pot and stir until well combined. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn off the Instant Pot. Portion out the curry onto serving plates. Garnish with 1/4 cup chopped coriander and 1/4 oz chopped red chili. Serve with 3 cups of cooked medium-grain white rice.