This simple-to-make Thai Curry Noodle Soup is loaded with flavor and veggies. It’s both creamy and savory as well as being naturally gluten-free and dairy free too. Pile on the fresh cilantro and green onions with a squeeze of lime juice over a big bowl to create the perfect fresh flavor combined with the slightly spicy curry. You can customize the amount of spice by playing with how much curry paste you use as well.
All the classic flavors of Thai curry are made into a cozy noodle soup. It’s the perfect healthy comfort food that comes together in just 30 minutes! A creamy coconut curry base envelopes the noodles and veggies with savory chunks of chicken throughout.
This soup is a recipe I crave during the chillier months because it’s so warming. And also because it’s incredibly easy to make. So if you’re looking for a new simple weeknight dinner, destined to become a classic, this is it!
This recipe is also easy to customize with different curry pastes. It’s technically a ‘Thai Red Curry Noodle Soup’ but other curry pastes like green or Panang work here too. You’ll find my variations and substitutions below for different veggies to use as well. I’ve even used ground pork here which is tasty too.
This recipe has lots of authentic flavors even though it’s not ‘authentic’ to anything I’ve ever ordered in a Thai restaurant. It’s an at-home version with normal ingredients available in your average grocery store. No special orders are needed here!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Chicken thighs – are my preference in soups because they don’t dry out as easily. But you can also use cubed-up boneless skinless chicken breasts as well here.
- Onion, garlic, & ginger – make up the base of flavor in this soup. To speed up the prep time, try using a garlic press, and ginger from the tube. I used a white onion here, but sweet, yellow, or red onions all work here.
- Curry paste – I recommend using Mae Ploy curry paste here for the best flavor. Also, other brands tend to be quite spicy, so be aware of this and adjust accordingly. You can also use other kinds of curry paste as well like green curry or Panang.
- Bell pepper – is one of the veggies I love to add to this soup because it adds so much flavor. But you can also add any other veggie you’d like here. Just adjust the cooking time to finish the soup when your veggie substitute is tender.
- Coconut milk – makes up some of the liquid base of this soup and adds a lot of creaminess. I don’t recommend using light or lower-fat coconut milk here because the soup won’t be creamy enough.
- Chicken broth or stock – use the best quality chicken stock you can find and look for low sodium as well if you can. I like to use my Homemade Chicken Stock when I have some in the freezer and add salt to taste. You can also use vegetable broth, but chicken broth has the deepest flavor.
- Spinach – adds another serving of veggies to this soup and lots of ‘greens’ to the mix as well. You can also use kale but it needs to be cooked longer or bok choy which takes just a couple of minutes to cook.
- Fish sauce – can be omitted, but adds the perfect amount of more ‘authentic’ curry flavor. Don’t be put off by the smell, it tastes wonderful in Thai dishes. Also, read the labels carefully. I use Red Boat fish sauce, but cheaper brands will use caramel coloring, etc. in fish sauce. You can also use soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- Rice noodles – I use white rice vermicelli noodles, but brown rice noodles work here as well, they take a few more minutes to cook.
- Green onions & cilantro – fresh herbs add lots of flavor, but you can choose just one to go with as well. Fresh basil leaves or Thai basil is also really tasty here if you have it around.
- Lime – cut into wedges to squeeze over the top is the final flourish that brings everything together and adds a nice bright note.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 2: Next sauté the chicken before removing it from the pan.
I like to use a large 10″ Dutch oven or similar-sized cooking pot here.
Step 3: Sauté the onion, ginger, and garlic, until the onion turns translucent. Then add the curry paste and cook briefly, breaking up the curry paste with a wooden spoon.
Step 4: Add the bell pepper, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer until the bell pepper is tender about 10 minutes.
Step 5: Add the roughly chopped spinach, (1-inch chunks) and chicken to the soup and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.
Step 6: Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the fish sauce. Add the rice noodles to the soup. Using a wooden spoon, submerge the rice noodles in the soup and allow the residual heat to cook the noodles, for 3-4 minutes.
Serve with the chopped fresh cilantro, sliced greens onions, and lime wedges for squeezing over the top.
No, you can use your favorite brand of curry paste. I recommend the brand Mae Ploy for the best flavor here. Also, be aware that different brands of curry paste vary a lot in how much heat they have. You can use yellow, red, green, or Panang curry paste in this soup.
Yes, but they need a few more minutes to cook. I also recommend using the vermicelli size because they’re small enough to cook in the soup. You can use Pad Thai noodles, but you’ll need to cook them separately.
Yes, but be careful not to overcook the cubed chicken breasts because they dry out more quickly.
- To store – place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Reheat – add the soup to a saucepan and heat over medium heat stirring frequently until heated through.
- To freeze – I recommend leaving out the noodles if you want to freeze this soup. The bell pepper will become mushy, but this soup can be frozen for up to 3 months. Then defrost in the fridge overnight before bringing it to a boil and adding the rice noodles.
Tips & Tricks
- Try mixing it up with different kinds of curry pastes. My favorites are red, Panang, and green curry pastes. Yellow curry paste works as well, but I prefer it in my Favorite Yellow Thai Curry.
- Try different veggies like bok choy in place of the spinach which needs a couple more minutes to cook. Or omit the bell pepper and try carrots or broccoli instead.
- This soup is perfect to use for leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken. If you have any leftover cooked rice in the fridge, use some of it in the soup in place of the rice noodles.
- Use a garlic press to mince the garlic, and ginger from the tube, and you can dice the onion in a small food processor as well to speed things up!
- If your green onions and cilantro are full of dirt, give them a good rinse and use a salad spinner to dry them. This salad spinner trick has saved me so much time.
- Make this according to your taste! If you like spicy, try a bit more curry paste. Out of curry paste? Use 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder instead for a different flavor. For a touch of sweetness, add a bit of coconut sugar or brown sugar at the end like the restaurants do.
I really hope you enjoy this Thai Curry Noodle Soup! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Thai Curry Noodle Soup
- 2 tbsp avocado oil - olive oil, or neutral oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs - diced 1/2″
- 1 onion - diced 1/4″
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsp red curry paste - more or less to taste
- 1 red bell pepper - diced 1/2″
- 13.5 ounce full fat coconut milk - 1 can
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth - see notes
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 4 cups spinach - 4 ounces, roughly chopped
- 4 ounces rice vermicelli noodles - see notes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt if needed - this will vary depending on the chicken stock
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1-2 limes cut into wedges
- Place a large pot, (10″ Dutch oven works well) over medium high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add 1 tablespoon of the oil along with the cubed chicken.
- Cook stirring occasionally as the chicken browns, then remove it from the pan and set it aside when it’s done.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan along with the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook stirring frequently until the onion turns translucent, 1-2 minutes.
- Then add the curry paste and sauté briefly using a wooden spoon to break up the paste.
- Next add the bell pepper, coconut milk, and chicken stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the bell pepper is tender, 8-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then stir in the fish sauce. Add the chopped spinach and stir it in to wilt.
- Finally add the rice noodles and use the back of the spoon to carefully submerge them into the hot soup. Let the soup stand for about 3 minutes, or according to the package cooking time for the noodles. Stir to distribute the cooked noodles.
- Season to taste with sea salt if needed and serve immediately with the cilantro, green onions, and lime wedges.
This recipe was originally published in 2022, but has been updated in 2023 with more tips, information, & nutritional facts.