This Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry is a 30-minute meal idea made easy thanks to store-bought red curry paste, coconut milk and bell peppers!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – use coconut oil or any other neutral cooking oil.
- Yellow onion – white onion or shallots would be the next best thing.
- Garlic – freshly minced garlic is best but the jarred variety will work in a pinch.
- Red curry paste – you can make your own, but using a store-bought blend like Thai Kitchen is so much easier.
- Brown sugar – mix together white sugar and molasses to make your own brown sugar.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed or bottled lime juice would both work.
- Soy sauce – fish sauce, tamari or coconut aminos would be the best substitute here.
- Salt – to taste.
- Full-fat coconut milk – you can use low-fat coconut milk, but you’re curry won’t be as creamy.
- Chicken breasts – boneless skinless chicken thighs would also work but will increase the calorie count.
- Bell peppers – use any colour bell peppers of your choice.
- Cornstarch – potato starch or arrow root would also work.
- Cilantro – leave this out altogether if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
- Jasmine rice – or any other rice variety of your choice such as brown rice.
- Butter – olive oil or your favourite butter substitute will help make the rice nice and moist.
How to make Thai chicken curry
- Add the first 10 ingredients to the Instant Pot in order.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Make the rice.
- Mix together the cornstarch slurry.
- Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in the bell peppers.
- Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Mix in the cornstarch slurry.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
What’s the difference between Indian curry and Thai curry?
Thai curries are either red, yellow or green, with green curry being the spiciest. Indian curries are made from either red or green chili peppers.
Another difference between the curries is how they are spiced. Indian curries get their flavour from dry spices while Thai curries rely on the use of spicy curry paste. You can actually make Thai curry pastes at home with the right ingredients but it can take some time and effort to source the exact herbs and spices and then you have to blend everything up in a blender.
Using a store-bought red curry paste like the Thai Kitchen brand saves so much time and effort and will keep in the fridge up to a couple months for future curries!
Frequently Asked Questions
Thai curry is usually made with meat or seafood and a spicy curry paste. The primary ingredient in the sauce of this Instant Pot curry recipe is red curry paste. Most store-bought versions are not that spicy, so you can go ahead and use a generous amount. If in doubt, taste a bit of the red curry paste ahead of time to test the spice level.
When you’re making this curry, the coconut cream won’t cook as it curdles in the Instant Pot – however, if you’re freezing this dish, it will likely curdle when you try to reheat it, so keep that in mind.
Whether they’re Thai or Indian, almost all curries have a sweet and savory flavour combination. This chicken curry gets the sweetness from coconut milk while the savoury, earthy flavours come from coriander and cumin.
Storing and reheating
This Thai chicken curry is great for meal prep and will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store the curry and rice separately in airtight glass containers then reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or in a pot on the stovetop. Make sure to sprinkle some water over top of the rice before reheating so it doesn’t dry out!
Freezing this recipe
Curries with a broth or tomato base freeze beautifully but unfortunately, coconut milk curries do not freeze very well. This is because coconut milk tends to separate as it thaws out, creating a gritty texture.
More Instant Pot curry recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this Thai Chicken Curry into your weekly lunches.
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp soy or fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 3 chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 each red, green and yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup dry jasmine rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp Butter
- Add olive oil, onion, garlic, red curry paste, brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, coconut milk and chicken to Instant Pot in that order. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal.
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 3 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook the 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook rice, water and butter in a rice cooker. Mix 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water together in a small bowl.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon. Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily.
- Add in bell peppers and stir. Place lid on Instant Pot and let sit for 5-10 minutes so peppers soften. Open lid and stir in cornstarch slurry, mixing well to combine.
- Serve red curry chicken with rice and garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!