My Favorite Yellow Thai Curry

This post may include affiliate links from brands we've partnered with. Please read our affiliate poilcy.

This recipe for My Favorite Yellow Thai Curry is based off a seriously addictive curry from a local restaurant! There’s a super easy secret that makes this yellow curry restaurant quality, and it’s as simple as what curry paste you use. Serve this savory curry with freshly steamed rice, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges for the best flavor.

This is my favorite curry of all time, and I promise I’m not exaggerating. I love all curries from all types of cuisines, but this one has always had my heart. The inspiration for this one is based on #54 at our local Thai restaurant.

They make a yellow curry enriched with just a hint of peanuts that will keep you coming back again and again for more years than anyone would want to count.

Over the years I’ve tried to come up with a yellow curry that is even close, but I’ve mostly been disappointed. It wasn’t until I started using a specific curry paste which we’ll talk about below that I finally started getting some good results.

From there it was just a matter of getting just the right amount of peanut flavor in there without it being overwhelming. And finally after so many years of trying to get it right, I have a recipe that rivals #54!

And as a quick note, you definitely don’t have to make this with peanut butter. You can easily sub in cashew butter to keep it paleo, or if you have a peanut allergy. If you can’t have nuts at all, just leave it out, and the curry will still be good. Nut butter just gives it a little something extra that keeps everyone coming back for more.

I should also mention that the veggies I used here are based on what our local restaurant uses, and what I had in the fridge. You can use any mix of veggies you’d like, but this is the particular combination I come back to again and again.

Tips for how to make My Favorite Yellow Thai Curry:

Curry paste is the entire secret to this recipe, so we’ll kick things off here. This isn’t sponsored or anything, this Mae Ploy brand is simply the best curry paste I’ve ever purchased. Not only does the flavor take your curries to the ‘next level’, there’s no additives, dyes, or added sugar.

It’s a lot of curry paste per container, so if you don’t make curry very often, split it with someone else. Or you can freeze it in ice cube trays, then place the curry paste cubes into a sealed container to freeze.

Now let’s make this Yellow Thai Curry recipe step by step:

The coconut milk, curry paste, turmeric, fish sauce, and cashew butter measured out on a wooden cutting board.

Step 1:

Measure out the curry paste, turmeric, fish sauce, and nut butter.

Cut up potatoes, onions, and carrots on a wooden cutting board.

Step 2:

Prep all the veggies and set them aside. I like to cut the onions into half moon slices as pictured because that’s what I’ve gotten used to at our local restaurant. But you can dice them as well if that’s your preference.

Sautéd onion, carrots, and potatoes in a white cooking pot, with the curry paste being added.

Step 3 & 4:

Next sauté the chicken and remove it from the pan. Then we’ll sauté the onion and carrots before adding the potatoes and curry paste.

Flavor tip: You want to briefly cook the curry paste before adding the coconut milk. This is a classic and authentic technique that helps to draw out more flavors from the curry paste. Normally the curry paste is fried in oil. But I’ve found it works well to sauté it with the veggies just before adding the coconut milk.

The simmered curry with the chicken being added back to the white pan along with the nut butter.

Step 5 & 6:

Add the coconut milk with the lime zest or lime leave if you can find them and simmer until all the veggies are tender.

Then add the chicken back to the pan along with the nut butter, lime juice, and fish sauce. Stir to combine.

Adding the chopped spinach to the yellow curry in a white pot on a white background.

Step 7:

Lastly we’re going to add the chopped spinach and let the residual heat from the curry light wilt it. Then season to taste with fish sauce and sea salt and serve.

A large black cast iron skillet filled with Yellow Thai Curry with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs around it.

Serve this curry with:

You can serve this with steamed rice/noodles or cauliflower rice. I’ve even served this curry over sweet potato, butternut, and zucchini noodles. And each one is good in it’s own way!

More Curry Recipe Inspiration:

  1. Ethiopian Inspired Berbere Chicken Curry
  2. Curried Mango Chicken Salad
  3. Easy Thai Green Curry
  4. Pumpkin Thai Curry
  5. Red Curry Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice

I sure hope you enjoy this curry as much as we have! If you do make it, be sure and leave me a comment/rating below and tag me with your photos over on Instagram.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A large black cast iron skillet filled with Yellow Thai Curry with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs around it.

My Favorite Yellow Thai Curry

  • Author: Get Inspired Everyday!
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Yellow Thai Curry recipe will keep you coming back time and time again with it’s addictive flavor!



1 Tablespoon avocado oil, or other oil suitable for high heat

1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cubed into 1/2” pieces

1 large onion, 12 ounces

2 cups thinly sliced peeled carrots, about 12 ounces

2 cups cubed potatoes, Yukon golds, 12 ounces

2 Tablespoons yellow curry paste

1 Teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cans (13.66oz or 403ml each) coconut milk

1 Tablespoon lime zest, or 2 kaffir lime leaves if available

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

2 Tablespoons peanut butter, or cashew butter for paleo, see notes

Optional: 1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 Teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste if you use the fish sauce

4 cups chopped baby spinach, 4-6 ounces

Optional Toppings:

Chopped fresh cilantro

roughly chopped peanuts, or cashews for paleo

lime wedges


To prepare the onion, slice off both ends, then cut the onion in half from the top to the bottom. Peel away the tough outer layer, and place both halves flat side down on the cutting board. Then cut across the rounded top into 1/4″ thick half moon slices. Set the onion aside along with the thinly sliced carrots, and assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Place a 12″ skillet or medium sized pot, (5 1/2 quarts) over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the avocado oil and cubed chicken thighs. Sauté the chicken until it’s just done and browned, and remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.

Add the onion and carrots to the pan, and cook just until crisp tender, about 6-8 minutes. Then add the curry paste, potatoes, and turmeric. Stir to combine, breaking up the curry paste, about 1 minute. Finally add the coconut milk and lime zest.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the curry has thickened and the veggies are tender, 10-15 minutes.

To finish the curry add the chicken back to the pan along with the lime juice, nut butter of choice, and fish sauce if you’re using it. Stir to combine, then add sea salt to your taste.

Turn the heat off and add the chopped baby spinach. Stir to combine and let the curry sit just long enough for the spinach to wilt, about 3-4 minutes.

Serve the curry with your choice of toppings, and your choice of veggie noodles/rice/cauliflower rice.


Use unsalted, unsweetened nut butter for this recipe.

I’ve added potatoes to this recipe recently from a reader suggestion and it’s been an awesome addition!

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Creamy Yellow Thai Curry, Yellow Thai Curry, Yellow Thai Curry Recipe, Thai Yellow Curry Paste, Yellow Thai Curry Chicken

88 thoughts on “My Favorite Yellow Thai Curry”

  1. This turned out pretty fantastic. Been trying to make a good yellow curry for a while and been failing. Finally found your recipe and made the crucial adjustment of using Mae Ploy and adding peanut butter. Genius! Delicious.

    I made a few other adjustments, some of which I’ll need to change next time. Added my own coriander/garlic/ginger/turmeric as well as curry paste. May need to back off on that next time and let the paste stand on its own. Also used coconut cream instead of milk, to make it slightly thicker (which I wanted!). Sliced up 4 Thai chilis and threw those in for some extra heat (perfect level!) Used sesame oil to fry the onions instead of avocado. Also, once I threw in the chicken to cook along with the onions, never took the chicken out again! Seemed to work out ok. I also didn’t use spinach/carrots but did throw in a green pepper and red pepper near the end. Potatoes are a good add, but the ones I got this time were a little softer so were slightly too mushy in the curry so will need to watch that better next time! Ok I’m rambling now!! All in all, this turned out amazingly and I have so much nice leftovers now, as well as lots of curry paste in little baggies in my freezer for future use! This recipe was the key to my success, giving me the pointers for Mae Ploy and peanut butter. Thank you =)

    • Thanks so much James for writing with everything you did, I always get inspiration to try new things this way and so does everyone else in the future, so thanks! Also I’m so glad you enjoyed this, and I was like you in that my yellow curry never turned out great until I found Mae Ploy paste – so good!

  2. Where can I buy the Mae Ploy yellow curry paste & Kaffir lime leaves -woudl it be available at wholefoods or Jewel-Osco?

    • I’m not sure about the 2 stores you mentioned because we don’t have them here. In fact it’s difficult to find those sorts of things where I live so I buy mine from Amazon, but it’s available at some Walmarts and some Target stores as well. The Kaffir lime leaves are sometimes available through Super 1 which is the main grocery store we have here. I would check in the herb section of your largest grocery store where you live, or any grocery store that carries slightly different items. Also if you happen to have an Asian grocery store where you live, they almost always have lime leaves. I hope this helps, but be sure to let me know if you have any more questions, I’d be happy to try and help!

    • I live in the UK and buy mine on Amazon.
      I’ve just checked the US Amazon site.
      You can buy a kilogram (2lb) container for a little over 14 dollars.
      I’ve yet to use the yellow paste, but I have used Mae Ploy red paste which was really tasty.
      There’s a sealed bag full of paste inside the container. So I tend to portion it up into 100g portions and freeze it.

  3. We are big fans of Thai Curry. This is the best recipe I have made. It came out fantastic. I omitted the spinach because that’s not what we are used to. I topped it with ground peanuts fresh cilantro.
    I will make this my “go to” recipe.
    TK for sharing this recipe!

    • I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it and that you made it your own! That’s always my hope in sharing recipes that they can be altered to suite anyone’s taste, and I love the idea of ground peanuts too!

  4. I never thought to put peanut butter in yellow curry. It’s a game changer. Adds a whole new depth of flavor in a subtle and satisfying way. I made a veggie one with tofu and added some red chili pepper flakes.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks so much for writing with your veggie version, it’s so helpful to anyone else wanting to make some changes! And I definitely agree, the peanut butter is game changer, never thought to add it before I tasted it in the restaurant I mentioned in the post!

  5. This was fantastic! We substituted the chicken thighs with broccoli, red pepper and sweet potato. It tasted like a restaurant curry and is now mixed in our dinner rotation. Thank you!


Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.