Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with Potatoes is a surprisingly easy but super flavorful recipe that you can make at home. Simply combine yellow curry paste with chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, and coconut milk and simmer away. This is one of the best healthy dinners that’s SO much better than takeout!

A white serving bowl of Thai curry that is made with yellow curry paste, chicken, potatoes, and carrots.

Best Thai Yellow Curry Recipe

I used to live near an inconspicuous yet amazingly authentic Thai place. It is probably my favorite Thai restaurant.

I simply loved their Thai yellow chicken curry. No matter how much I ate there, I never got tired of the rich flavor and creamy sauce that warmed me from the inside out.

After some time enjoying this dish a little too often, I realized that I had a true fear… a fear of attempting and ultimately failing at executing a foreign cuisine’s classic recipe.

But it’s surprisingly easy to make, and SO delicious. You can keep it simple by buying a Thai yellow curry paste at the store or make your own at home! (And make all kinds of Thai curries…)

Now that I’ve done the legwork, I can honestly say this homemade curry is incredible. I don’t feel the need to eat out quite so often. If it’s your first time making Thai food, don’t fear! You’ll be digging into a delicious bowl in no time.

What is Yellow Curry?

Yellow curry is a milder curry that is often served at Thai restaurants in the West. It is made from a paste full of numerous spices such as curry powder, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, peppers, lemongrass, and sometimes a touch of sugar is added. It is then cooked together with coconut milk to make a delicious yellow curry sauce.

Most yellow curries are made with either chicken, beef, or fish. Then starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, are added. It is served over steamed rice or with rice noodles.

Ingredients for a Thai yellow curry reipce.

Ingredients

  • Chicken. Both chicken breasts and boneless chicken thighs will work equally as well. Just make sure you cut it into similarly-sized cubes so they cook at the same rate. You can also substitute beef or shrimp and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • PotatoesYukon gold are a great variety to use in this curry recipe. However, if you happen to have red potatoes or another waxy potato available, feel free to use those instead.
  • Carrots. These give the dish a nice texture and a natural sweetness.
  • Red Bell Peppers. You can also use a green or yellow bell pepper.
  • Coconut Milk. Make sure you buy the CANNED coconut milk, not the kind in the refrigerator. Also, if you want a thicker curry, opt for full fat coconut milk. If you are okay with it being a bit more watery, but with fewer calories, lite coconut milk works great!
  • Yellow Curry Paste. You can easily grab a jar of yellow curry paste at local grocery stores. Or, make your own curry paste! All you need is fresh garlic and ginger, Thai chili peppers, lemongrass paste, and spices (salt, turmeric, curry powder, and coriander). Check a local Asian market, if needed.
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Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Thai Yellow Curry

Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.

1. (Optional) Make the Yellow Curry Paste

You can either use a store-bought or make your own Thai yellow curry paste at home! If making at home, you’ll want to follow these steps:

Add the garlic, ginger, diced Thai chili peppers, salt, turmeric, curry powder, coriander, and lemongrass paste to a food processor or high-speed blender. Process until a smooth paste forms.

You especially want to be sure the peppers are fully blended to best distribute their flavor throughout the curry.

You can store this fragrant paste for up to 2 weeks in an airtight zip-top bag in the refrigerator for the best flavor. If you keep it much longer it will most likely start to lose its potency!

A food processor full of ingredients for a Thai yellow curry paste recipe.

2. Prep the Vegetables and Chicken

Use a sharp knife and a cutting board.

Chop the potatoes, red pepper, carrots, and onions into small, bite-sized pieces.

Slice the chicken into 1-inch cubes, as well. Remember, keep everything as similarly sized as possible so it cooks at the same rate.

Onion, red bell pepper, Yukon gold potatoes, and carrots as ingredients in a yellow chicken curry recipe.

3. Make the Curry Sauce

Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent, then add the chicken breast.

Cook the chicken until it’s almost cooked through. Add the coconut milk, yellow curry paste, bell pepper, potatoes, and carrots. Stir it all together.

Simmer the yellow curry sauce for 25-35 minutes, or until you have tender chicken and vegetables.

A spatula stirs the chicken, curry, and coconut milk.

4. Serve the Curry

Serve Thai curry over your favorite rice and garnish with Thai basil if you’d like.

These rice recipes will all work great with this dish:

A white bowl full of a yellow curry recipe.

FAQs

How do you make Thai yellow curry?

Thai yellow curries are a flavorful blend of garlic, ginger, and Thai peppers along with spices like turmeric, curry, coriander, and lemongrass paste, typically. These flavors simmer together with coconut milk, a protein like chicken, and tender vegetables like potatoes and carrots. It’s on the milder end of the spice scale and has the perfect amount of heat for those just starting out in curries.

Where is Thai yellow curry from?

Thai yellow curry is from Thailand. Many times, people confuse this dish with Indian curries. However, curries from Thailand usually rely on a different set of herbs and aromatic leaves, while Indian curries have more spices.

What does Thai yellow curry taste like?

Thai yellow curry is a delightfully earthy mix of spices and herbs. It is typically milder than red or green curry, so many just beginning to enjoy curries flock to it.

Recipe Tips

  • Change it up. While this is commonly served with chicken, opt for shrimp or pork for a different flavor. You can even go with a firm tofu!
  • Up the benefits. Feel free to include additional vegetables, like snow peas, celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, or even cabbage.
  • Be fancy. Take some extra time to cut your veggies at a diagonal angle for a nice look.
  • Go low-carb. Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice for extra nutrition.
  • Some like it hot. Add in extra peppers or opt for a hotter variety to increase the spice level if you like a bit of heat.
Two bowls full of a coconut curry recipe with Thai chili peppers next to it.

Other Thai-Inspired Dishes

Skip the take-out and whip up your own Thai dishes easily at home with any of these recipes.

More Easy Curry Recipes

Curry is such a diverse dish that can be enjoyed in so many ways—yet somehow always manages to be perfectly warming and satisfying.

Tap stars to rate!

4.89 from 9 votes

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry Recipe

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry with Potatoes is a surprisingly easy but super flavorful recipe that you can make at home. Simply combine yellow curry paste with chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, and coconut milk and simmer away.
A large serving bowl full of Thai yellow curry recipe with chicken and potatoes.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients 

Yellow Curry Paste

  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp. ginger paste or grated ginger
  • 2-6 Thai chili peppers finely diced
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder mild
  • 1 tsp. coriander ground
  • 1 Tbsp. lemongrass paste
  • Or ⅓ cup of store-bought yellow curry paste

Yellow Chicken Curry

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups sweet onions cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb. chicken cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper cut into 2-inch strips
  • 3 large carrots cut into ½-inch pieces, about 1 ½ cups
  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes cut into ¾-inch cubes, about 1 ½ cups
  • 2 15-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk or one can lite and one can full-fat
  • 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt

Instructions 

  • Make the Curry Paste: Combine all yellow curry paste ingredients together in the bowl of a small food processor. (If you have a 6+ cup processor you may want to double the recipe.) Process ingredients for 2-4 minutes, or until ingredients become a thick paste.
    4 cloves garlic, 2 tsp. ginger paste, 2-6 Thai chili peppers, 1 ½ tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. turmeric, 1 Tbsp. curry powder, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 Tbsp. lemongrass paste, Or ⅓ cup of store-bought yellow curry paste
  • Sauté the Meat and Veggies: Drizzle olive oil into a large pan over medium heat and add onions. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken and curry paste. Sauté over medium heat for 3-5 more minutes, or until the chicken is almost done cooking. Add red bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, milk, sugar, and salt. Stir until well combined.
    2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 ½ cups sweet onions, 1 lb. chicken, 1 red bell pepper, 3 large carrots, 4 Yukon gold potatoes, 2 15-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk, 1 Tbsp. white sugar, ½ tsp. salt
  • Simmer and Serve: Bring curry to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 25-35 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Serve Thai yellow chicken curry over jasmine rice and enjoy!

Tap stars to rate!

4.89 from 9 votes

Notes

Prep-Ahead Instructions
Feel free to make the curry paste a couple of days before. If needed, chop the veggies and store in a bag in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Storage Directions
Prepare the entire recipe as outlined below, let it come to room temperature, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
You absolutely can freeze your leftover yellow curry for up to 3-4 months. Let it come to room temperature, and then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before transferring to the freezer. If refrigerated, you can reheat the yellow curry on the stovetop (this is the recommended method) or quickly reheat it in the microwave. If stored in the freezer, let it thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Recipe Tips
  • Change it up. While this is commonly served with chicken, opt for shrimp or pork for a different flavor. You can even go with a firm tofu!
  • Up the benefits. Feel free to include additional vegetables, like snow peas, celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, or even cabbage.
  • Be fancy. Take some extra time to cut your veggies at a diagonal angle for a nice look.
  • Go low-carb. Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice for extra nutrition.
  • Some like it hot. Add in extra peppers or opt for a hotter variety to increase the spice level if you like a bit of heat.

Nutrition

Calories: 220kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 759mg, Potassium: 792mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 6075IU, Vitamin C: 43.5mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 4.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I haven’t tried it yet but it’s so beautiful on the stove and the house smells incredible. I doubled the recipe but only had two cans of milk. I cooked this in one cast iron pot on the stove from start to finish.

    It’s cooking. My husband went to get more coconut milk at the store since I ended up doubling. It’s 10am and I am doing OMAD (one meal a day). I love to eat by 1130am. Everyone asked if they could have it for breakfast 🙂 I made it with chicken thighs. I’ll taste it prior to serving. I want to add some organic chicken bouillon and some peanut butter for some reason. I am resisting that urge.

    I still had tiny little pepper remnants in the paste because we don’t have our food processor at this house and the nutri bullet didn’t cut it.. so I’m ordering another food processor now this morning. If you have one that does well with this paste I would love to know which one.

    I love my cast iron pots and pans and they are super oiled and look incredible with the yellow of the curry! This dish is a winters dream.

    1. Yay, Jesi! So happy to hear the recipe worked out for you so well! Hoping you really enjoyed it once it was time to eat :). Thanks for your comment and rating!

  2. I have made this a couple of times now and it is absolutely delicious! Don’t skimp on the quality of coconut milk though – it makes a big difference.

    1. Yay! So happy you enjoyed the recipe, Julie! And your SO right on the quality of coconut milk. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Loved it! Used way less coconut milk and was still fairly liquidity at the end so thickened it. . Agree on longer prep time if using one pan (or wok). Will definitely make it a part of the rotation!

    1. Hi Myri! Unfortunately I do not have an exact portion size, only that it serves roughly 6 people. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

    1. Great question, Charles! I think you can use the spice blend and add it to the traditional mayonnaise used in a potato salad. Not sure that the coconut milk will do so well as a dressing for the salad since it’s quite a bit more runny! Would love to know how it goes if you try it out! 🙂

  4. 4 stars
    Delicious! We enjoyed for dinner last night over brown rice!
    This recipe took me longer than 50 minutes, but I had to peel and chop veggies and other ingredients as I went. I was not able to prep all my ingredients ahead, which saves time.
    My personal edits: I used 1 tsp (instead of 1.5 tsp) of salt in the paste and fresh lemongrass because that’s what I could find. I stepped some finely chopped lemon grass in 1/8 cup of boiling water and added to rest of paste ingredients. Also, I omitted the sugar and salt in the curry ingredients because we did not need the extra sweet and sodium.

    1. Thank you so much for your feedback, Hannah!! I will take a closer look at the recipe at adjust the prep/cook time based on your suggestion. Thanks again for your comment and rating!!

  5. Loved this recipe. Great flavor. I will chop the potatoes and carrots a bit smaller next time…our local carrots are all like wood right now…had to cook them so long the potatoes were over cooked. I don’t feel this is the fault of the recipe. This recipe is a keeper!

    1. So happy you enjoyed it!! Sorry the potatoes ended up a bit overcooked. Thanks for your comment and review! 🙂

      1. About how much does the paste recipe make? A few tablespoons? I’ve found a paste I like at my local Asian market and want to know how much to use! Thanks!

        1. Hi Charlotte! I am not sure of the exact amount, but it is around 1/3 cup. If replacing with another curry paste you can always add a little first and add more as needed!