This Vegan Thai Red Curry recipe is a warm-spiced, healthy, delicious and nutritious comfort food that’s easy to make in just 30 minutes! It is made of crispy tofu cubes and colorful tender-crisp veggies tossed in a flavorsome, dairy-free red Thai curry sauce. This protein-filled dish is gluten-free, and perfect for busy weeknights!
Easy Vegan Thai Curry Recipe
Rich and creamy curries are one of my absolute favorite go-to comfort dishes! They are so easy to make and give a wealth of flavor that instantly satisfies. For this amazing recipe, I used coconut milk, red curry paste, and a mishmash of garden-fresh vegetables.
To make this recipe more protein-rich, I topped it with crispy tofu dices. However, you can also add chickpeas instead like in my Red Chickpea Coconut Curry or choose another plant-based protein source. This also adds a wonderful texture and extends the dish even further.
Thai, Indian or Oriental
After trying my hand at making some amazing Thai dishes like my Vegan Pad Thai, Peanut Ramen Noodle Soup, and Peanut Noodle Salad, I felt really excited to sharing this curry version too. Using soy sauce and rice vinegar gives it a distinctly oriental flair that makes it different from my other Indian Curry recipes. Serve it over steamed rice, glass noodles, or with vegan naan bread for a filling lunch or dinner.
Customize it the way you like it!
This wholesome and deeply-flavored dish has the perfect blend of spices that you would expect from a great Thai curry. The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility when it comes to the vegetables and proteins that you can use. You can basically add any vegetables you have in your pantry or fridge. If you want your curry to be extra creamy, add starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, parsnips, etc. Chickpeas, beans or lentils are also great protein options that you can sub or add with the tofu.
Types of Thai Curry Paste
There are three types of Thai curry paste classified by their color- Yellow, Red, and Green. The base ingredients are essentially the same. However, the types of chilies used plus additional spices give them their individual flavor make-up.
- Yellow curry: is the least spicy of the three and is commonly made with turmeric.
- Red curry: is the most versatile and is made of red chili peppers.
- Green Curry: is the spiciest of the three and is made with green chili peppers.
I used red curry paste for my vegan dish, but feel free to try the other variation and see what you like best.
If you are making this for your kids or are not a fan of spicy food, try using yellow curry first. Make sure to check for vegan-approved brands when buying because some may contain fish sauce.
How to make Vegan Thai Curry
As always, I recommend checking out the recipe video and this step-by-step instruction first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Sautéing the veggies.
Start by sautéing the onions until translucent. Then add the carrots and sauté for a short while. Next, add broccoli florets, bell peppers, garlic and ginger and continue sautéing until the veggies have softened a bit. Now add the curry paste, paprika powder, soy sauce, and rice vinegar, followed by the coconut milk and veggie broth. Stir to combine.
Step 2: Simmer and season to taste.
Simmer, covered, for about 5-10 minutes until the veggies are tender. Lastly, add peas and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and the peas are thawed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed or add some coconut sugar if you want it sweeter.
Step 3: Fry the tofu while your curry simmers.
While your curry simmers, make the crispy tofu. First, wrap the tofu in paper towels and press to remove excess liquid as shown in the recipe video. Then cut it into cubes, sprinkle with a pinch of turmeric as desired, and fry them from all sides until golden-brown and crispy.
Step 4: Garnish and serve!
Finally, add the crispy tofu to your creamy vegan Thai curry. Garnish with a swirl of coconut yogurt, raw onion slices, peanuts, sesame seeds, chili flakes, and fresh chopped parsley or coriander. Serve over rice, glass noodles or with vegan naan bread and enjoy!
Tips when making Vegan Thai Curry
- You can modify the level of spiciness by using a milder curry paste or mild paprika powder. If you like it spicier, you can add some chili flakes, sriracha, or sambal oelek.
- Remove some of the carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli florets from the pan once they are tender but still firm to the bite. That way you’ll end up with a great crunchy veggie topping!
- For a rich and creamy curry sauce, use full-fat coconut milk.
- Cut your vegetables into small, uniform sizes for even cooking.
- Make this recipe gluten-free by using tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
How to store leftover Thai curry?
Store your leftover Thai red curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This dish also freezes really well making it ideal meal preps too! If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating. You might need to rehydrate it by adding water or vegetable broth.
You will love this Vegan Thai Curry recipe because it is:
- Easy to make
- Rich and creamy
- Warm and comforting
- Infused with oriental flavors
- So delicious!
More Vegan Curry Recipes to try
- Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Coconut Curry
- Pumpkin Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Black Lentil Curry
- Lentil Meatballs in Indian Curry Sauce
- Indian Chickpea Curry
- Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Creamy Cauliflower Korma
If you try this easy Vegan Thai Red Curry recipe, please leave me a comment and a star rating because I would love to hear your feedback! And if you take a photo of your flavorful dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka to make sure I don’t miss your post! Enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Thai Red CurryAuthor:
For the Curry
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
- 1-2 red onions diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into strips
- 1 green or yellow bell pepper cut into strips
- 1 head of broccoli cut into florets
- 3-4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 3 tbsp red curry paste or curry powder
- 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari sauce if gluten-free
- 1-2 tsp paprika powder or chili powder to taste
- 2 tsp rice vinegar or lemon or lime juice
- 1 ½ cans (600 ml) coconut milk
- ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup peas thawed
- 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar optional to taste
For the Tofu
- 1-2 tbsp sesame or coconut oil for frying
- 8 oz (250 g) firm tofu cut into cubes
- 1 tsp turmeric optional
*Note: Watch the recipe video + check out the step-by-step photos in the blog post above!
- Heat the coconut oil in a large deep pan or pot. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Then add the carrots and continue sautéing for a short while. Next, add broccoli florets, bell peppers, garlic and ginger and sauté for another 3 minutes or so, until the veggies have softened a bit. (Now you can remove some crunchy veggies into a bowl and set them aside to use for garnish as desired).
- Add the curry paste, paprika powder, soy sauce, and rice vinegar and sauté for another minute. Then stir in the coconut milk and veggie broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about 5-10 minutes, until the veggies have softened and the curry is creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed or add some coconut sugar if you want it sweeter. Lastly, add peas and spinach and cook for a further minute until the spinach is wilted and the peas are thawed.
- In the meantime, wrap the tofu in paper towels and press to remove excess liquid (see recipe video for detailed instructions).
- Heat some oil in a non-stick pan. Add the tofu cubes, sprinkle with a pinch of turmeric as desired, and fry them from all sides until golden-brown and crispy. Then add the crispy tofu to your curry.
- Garnish your curry with reserved crunchy veggies (optional), plus a swirl of coconut yogurt, raw onion slices, peanuts, sesame seeds, chili flakes, and fresh chopped parsley or coriander. Serve over rice or glass noodles or with vegan naan bread. Enjoy!
- Storage & freezing: Store leftover curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for the future.
- More veggies? You can add your favorite veggies. If you want your curry to be extra creamy, you can also opt for starchy veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, squash, parsnips, etc.
- More protein? Feel free to add chickpeas, beans, lentils or another plant-based protein source.
- Please read my blog post for further information on this recipe.
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