Packed with amazing flavour and simple, wholesome ingredients, this Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry will become a regular on your dinner rotation. Made with chicken breasts, coconut milk, green curry paste and tender-crisp vegetables like carrots and bell pepper, your family will love this easy meal.
If you’re looking for more easy dinner recipes, try my Instant Pot Chicken Fried Rice!
Don’t underestimate the power of simple ingredients. This Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry comes together quickly and is full of amazing colours and flavour. Skip the takeout and make this recipe instead! Make it your own by using any vegetables you have on hand, as long as they become tender-crisp with about 5 minutes of simmering.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this Thai chicken curry. See the recipe card below for exact quantities and detailed instructions!
- Coconut oil – for sautéing
- Yellow onion – small dice, sautéed for enhanced flavour
- Fresh ginger – grated, or use store-bought ginger paste to save time
- Water or broth – for deglazing
- Coconut milk – I used full-fat for the creamier texture, but light will also work
- Thai green curry paste – I used the Thai Kitchen brand, because that’s what’s available at my grocery store. Use your favourite brand!
- Wheat-free tamari – or soy sauce if you’re not following a gluten-free diet. Use coconut aminos if you’d like to avoid soy.
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – the recipe as written uses 2 whole breasts, but you can also dice them to reduce the cooking time (see note 3 in the recipe card).
- Red bell pepper – thinly sliced and then sliced again in half. Use any of the sweeter colours (red, orange, yellow).
- Carrots – thinly sliced into large “matchsticks”
- Baby spinach – roughly chopped
- Brown sugar – or coconut sugar. I recommend adding this for the flavour, but you can omit it, if preferred.
- Lime juice – freshly squeezed, to taste
- Thai basil
- Additional lime wedges
How to make it
Sauté the onion and ginger
Turn on the Sauté function on your Instant Pot and heat the coconut oil. Sauté the onion until it’s softened and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger paste and continue to sauté another 30 seconds or so. Turn off the sauté function.
Add the small amount of broth or water to the pot and use a flat-edged spatula to scrape up any food that’s stuck to the bottom. This well help prevent a burn warning.
Prep the curry and pressure cook
Next, add the coconut milk, curry paste and wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce) and whisk until well combined. Place the chicken breasts on top and put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the vent to sealing and cook on Manual High pressure for 10 minutes. Allow for a 10 minute natural pressure release (NPR) before releasing any remaining pressure.
Shred the chicken and cook the vegetables
Carefully remove the chicken breasts to a plate and pull it apart into pieces (not quite a full shred). Meanwhile, turn on the Sauté function again and add the bell pepper, carrot, spinach and brown sugar. Simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables reach your desired texture.
Add back the chicken to warm up once you’re done shredding it and add a squeeze of lime juice, to taste. Serve immediately with rice and your favourite garnishes.
Tips for Success
1. Don’t forget to cook your rice! If you’re using brown rice, start it before everything else, because of it’s longer cooking time on the stovetop. If you’re cooking jasmine rice or another white rice on the stovetop, you can start it once you’ve put the lid on the Instant Pot to pressure cook.
2. Don’t skip the natural pressure release. A natural pressure release (NPR) results in a much better chicken texture (more tender and moist).
3. Be sure to thinly cut your carrots. I’m calling them matchsticks but they’re not quite that small. You just want them to be thin enough to cook within the same time as the bell peppers.
4. Chop your vegetables while the chicken is pressure cooking. Just a time-saving tip!
Can I freeze this curry?
Yes! This curry freezes really well. For easier reheating, I suggest freezing it alone, rather than with rice. Be sure to cool the curry completely before covering it, so that excess moisture doesn’t form inside your container. Store in a well sealed container and eat within 3 months.
How to reheat from frozen
Defrost the curry in your refrigerator overnight or using the defrost setting on your microwave. Once the curry is thawed enough to remove it from the storage container, place it in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of broth if you find it needs more moisture as it’s warming up. Bring it to a boil and simmer until it’s thoroughly warmed through.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes! As long as you can comfortably fit 4 chicken breasts in one layer in your Instant Pot (to ensure even cooking), you can double the recipe and use the same pressure cooking time. The overall cooking time will increase a bit, because the Instant Pot will take longer to come to pressure.
Can I use frozen chicken breasts?
Yes! The exact cooking time depends on the size of your breasts, but if you’re using breasts that are about 8 ounces each like mine, you should be able to use a pressure cook time of 13 or 14 minutes, along with the same 10-minute natural pressure release.
This timing might bring you well over the required 165 °F internal temperature, but better that than having to pressure cook again. I highly recommend using a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature of your chicken reaches at least 165 °F when cooking from frozen.
I don’t like shredded chicken. Can I make this with diced chicken?
Absolutely! I developed the recipe with whole chicken breasts to cut down on prep time (and to avoid cutting chicken breast in general…I hate the cleanup), but I get that some people aren’t a fan of shredded chicken. Cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and reduce the pressure cooking time to 4 minutes and do a natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
Other Instant Pot recipes you may enjoy
- Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie
- Instant Pot Pesto Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Instant Pot Chili Mac
Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, small dice
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
- 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 14 oz can coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon wheat-free tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten free, or coconut aminos to avoid soy)
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (see note 3)
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced and then again in half
- 2 carrots, cut into large matchsticks
- 1 handful spinach, roughly chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
- Freshly squeezed lime juice (to taste)
- Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot and heat the coconut oil. Sauté the diced onion until softening and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger paste and continue to sauté another 30 seconds. Turn off the sauté function.
- Pour in the broth or water and deglaze the insert (use a spatula to scrape up any food that's stuck to the bottom). Then, add the coconut milk, curry paste, and tamari and whisk until smooth.
- Place the chicken breasts in the coconut milk mixture. Put the top on the Instant Pot, set the vent to sealing and cook on Manual High Pressure for 10 minutes (see note 3 for how to adjust cook time for diced chicken breast). At the end of cooking time, allow for 10 minutes natural pressure release, then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the chicken breasts to a large plate and pull it apart into pieces (not quite a full shred). Meanwhile, turn on the Sauté function on the Instant Pot and add the bell pepper, carrots, spinach and brown sugar. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables reach your desired texture.
- Once you're done shredding the chicken, add it back to the Instant Pot to warm up and squeeze in a bit of lime juice, to taste. Turn off the Sauté function and serve immediately with your favourite rice and fresh cilantro. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in a sealed container and eat within 4 days.
- This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot model.
- Inactive time indicates the time needed for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and release pressure.
- If you prefer the texture of diced chicken over shredded chicken, cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and adjust the cook time down to 4 minutes. Do a natural pressure release for 5-10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
- Nutrition estimate is for the curry only (without rice), using full-fat coconut milk.
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