Thai Green Curry

Make this easy Thai green curry recipe with chicken, canned coconut milk, fresh herbs, and lime. You'll have a colorful dish that rivals your favorite takeout chicken with green curry.

Thai Green Curry recipe
Elizabeth Stark

Few dishes are as satisfying as a freshly made green curry.

The curry paste itself, made here with fresh cilantro stems, lemongrass, shallot, chiles, and ginger, is a treat to inhale.

Made into an easy rich curry dish with chicken, coconut milk, fresh herbs, and lime, you'll have a stunning dish to admire, smell, and taste.

Thai Green Curry with Colorful Peppers
Elizabeth Stark

How To Make Green Curry Paste

Fresh curry paste requires home cooks to source a few obscure ingredients, but the prep is quite simple. The reward for this work lies in the flavor – fresh green curry has a vibrant flavor that a store-bought paste just can't match.

Makrut lime leaves will likely be the trickiest ingredient to find. They lend a ton of citrusy pop to the curry paste. They are available in many specialty stores mixed in with the fresh spices that are sold in clamshells. There's really no substitution for this ingredient, so just leave them out if you have trouble finding them.

For ease, this recipe uses skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Even though they are without skin, I like to sear the chicken thighs at the start of cooking to render some of the fat and give the chicken some color and flavor.

How To Store and Freeze Thai Green Curry Paste

The green curry paste in this recipe makes enough for two recipes. Refrigerate or freeze the extra for another meal.

Refrigerator: Store tightly sealed for up to 3 days.

Freezer: Store in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator.

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From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Thai Green Curry

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Servings 4 servings

You can substitute 2 heaping tablespoons of store-bought green curry paste for the homemade paste in this recipe. If you do, skip to Step 3.

You can also substitute regular sweet basil if Thai basil is hard to find.


For the green curry paste:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted

  • 2 medium mild green chiles, seeded and chopped

  • 1 medium shallot, chopped

  • (3-inch) piece ginger, peeled and chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • 4 fresh makrut lime leaves, torn

  • 1 (5-inch) piece lemongrass, pale yellow portion only, chopped

  • 1 bunch cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for the curry)

  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

For the chicken curry:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can whole coconut milk, shaken

  • 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips (or use a mix of colors as I did here)

  • 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed

  • 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

  • 4 large lime wedges, to serve

  • Cooked white or brown rice, to serve, optional

Special Equipment

  • Mortar and pestle or spice grinder
  • Food processor


  1. Toast the spices for the curry paste:

    Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast, shaking the pan often until the spices have darkened slightly and are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

    Set aside to cool, and then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.

  2. Make the green curry paste:

    Pulse to combine the cumin, coriander seed, and remaining curry paste ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Scrape down sides, then process continuously until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into a container with a lid and refrigerate until needed.

    This paste is best used right away, but will keep in the fridge for 3 days; it makes enough for 2 recipes and can also be frozen.

  3. Sear the chicken:

    Salt the chicken on both sides, then slice across the grain into 1/2-inch thick strips. Set a large skillet over high heat. Add the coconut oil, and then chicken.

    Sear until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (It's fine if the chicken is not totally cooked through at this point.) Transfer the chicken to a plate.

  4. Prepare the coconut curry:

    Lower the heat to medium high. Add shallot and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of the green curry paste and cook 1 minute more.

    Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, stirring well to scrape up any brown bits. Then add remaining coconut milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil.

    Preparing Thai Green Curry
    Elizabeth Stark
    Thai Green Curry with Coconut Milk
    Elizabeth Stark
  5. Simmer the curry with chicken and veggies:

    Add chicken pieces, sliced peppers, and green beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.

    At the end of cook time, stir in cilantro and basil.

    Bell Peppers and Green Beans in Thai Green Curry
    Elizabeth Stark
  6. Serve the curry:

    Serve over rice. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a lime wedge.

Thai Green Curry
Elizabeth Stark
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
503 Calories
34g Fat
26g Carbs
33g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 503
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 24g 122%
Cholesterol 138mg 46%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 33g
Vitamin C 100mg 500%
Calcium 120mg 9%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 961mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.