Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry {or Instant Pot}

May 20, 2018

This Thai Chicken Curry is made in the slow cooker to give it that slow-simmered depth of flavor and you’ll love every last bite of it! It cooks for hours in a  deliciously seasoned coconut broth along with fresh veggies, then it’s served with rice to make it a perfectly filling and satisfying meal.

Thai Chicken Curry in a bowl with black chopsticks at the side

The Best Thai Chicken Curry

This is my favorite Thai Chicken Curry recipe. Why? Because it’s easy to make, it has the perfect flavor, it’s creamy, it’s hearty and it tastes like what you get at the Thai restaurant but made and enjoyed in the comfort of your home.

This is a slow cooker chicken curry that’s packed with vegetables and so much flavor. It’s incredibly easy to make and reheats well as leftovers.

Slow Cooker Curry Ingredients

For this Thai red chicken curry recipe, you’ll need:

  • Coconut milk
  • Chicken broth
  • Red curry paste
  • Brown sugar
  • Spices (ground coriander, cumin, salt)
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chicken breasts
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Lemongrass
  • Red bell pepper
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Lime juice
  • Fish sauce
  • Cilantro
  • Brown rice and unsalted peanuts, for serving

An overhead shot of Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry in a slow cooker

How to Make Thai Chicken Curry

  • In a slow cooker, you’ll combine coconut milk, chicken broth, red curry paste, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic and salt.
  • Then add in chicken, carrots and onions (and optional lemongrass).
  • Cover and cook on low until tender, about 5 hours, while adding the bell pepper at about 4 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and shred.
  • Mix in lime juice, fish sauce, peanut butter then toss in shredded chicken and cilantro.
  • Serve with rice, peanuts and more cilantro.

One word, YUMMMMMMM!

Can I Make This in the Instant Pot?

I haven’t yet tested this slow cooker curry in the Instant Pot, but I’ve made plenty of other chicken recipes in it so I don’t see why this wouldn’t work for the Instant Pot as well.

If going that route, I’d reduce broth to 1/4 cup and cook it on the “manual” setting for 13 minutes and I’d probably just add the peppers in at the beginning or sauté them just in a skillet in a little oil if you like them crisp tender.

Then once time is complete, use the quick release method. Once steaming stops add the remaining as listed at the end.

Whichever method you choose to cook this be sure to serve it with the peanuts, because aren’t those crunchy little bits the best part?

Can I Use a Fish Sauce Substitute?

Fish sauce is essential in Thai dishes. It adds a subtle umami flavor to this slow cooker coconut curry chicken that’s tough to replicate. Don’t worry, your Thai coconut chicken curry won’t taste like fish!

An overhead shot of Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry in a white bowl topped with lime wedges

Tips for the Best Thai Chicken Curry

  • You want to use canned coconut milk in this recipe, not the stuff in a carton. Canned coconut milk is often found in the Asian aisle of a grocery store.
  • If you can’t find lemongrass, you can omit it. It’s not a make it or break it ingredient in this slow cooker curry, but if you have some on hand I highly recommend using it!
  • Trimmed chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts. The cook time would be the same.

More Thai Recipes You’ll Love:

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry

4.72 from 7 votes
This Thai Chicken Curry is made in the slow cooker to give it that slow simmered depth of flavor and you'll love every last bite of it! It cooks for hours in a  deliciously seasoned coconuty broth along with fresh veggies, then it's and served with rice to make it a perfectly filling and satisfying meal.
Servings: 5 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp red curry paste, such as Mae Ploy or Thai Kitchen
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tsp peeled and minced garlic
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts* (3 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch thick diced carrots (3 medium)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, outer layer removed, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 2-inch strips
  • 2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • Cooked jasmine rice or brown rice, for serving
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a 5 - 7 quart slow cooker stir together coconut milk, chicken broth, red curry paste, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, ginger and garlic. Season lightly with salt (about 1/4 tsp). 

  2. Add chicken, carrots and onions to slow cooker and submerge lemongrass in broth. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 5 hours, while adding in bell pepper during last 45 minutes of cooking.

  3. Remove chicken from slow cooker and let rest a few minutes then shred. Remove lemongrass if used. 

  4. Stir peanut butter, lime juice and fish sauce into mixture into slow cooker, then toss in chicken and half of the cilantro.
  5. Season with a little more salt to taste (I needed another 1/4 tsp). Serve warm with rice, sprinkle with peanuts and remaining cilantro.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can't find lemongrass, you can omit it. It's not a make it or break it ingredient in this slow cooker curry, but if you have some on hand I highly recommend using it! 
  • Trimmed chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts. The cook time would be the same.
  • Rice not included in nutrition.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 458 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 17g106%
Cholesterol 87mg29%
Sodium 517mg22%
Potassium 1023mg29%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 8955IU179%
Vitamin C 49.7mg60%
Calcium 59mg6%
Iron 4.2mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Thai curry
Author: Jaclyn