Vegan Thai Peanut Curry
Vegan Thai Peanut Curry- made in just one pot, this flavorful peanut curry is a super comforting vegan and gluten-free meal that everyone will love!
Peanut curry was my first introduction to Thai food. I had just started working at the hospital in Orlando after graduating from school. A few of my coworkers suggested we go out to a nearby restaurant for lunch and immediately after that I was hooked. The savory, tangy, slightly sweet flavors of Thai cooking lured me in for good.
Soon after that we started eating a vegetarian diet and realized that there aren’t a ton of Thai restaurants with vegan or even vegetarian friendly curries since most of them include fish sauce as a main ingredient. Thankfully I discovered that making your own curry at home is surprisingly easy thanks to store-bought curry paste and tamari (or soy sauce) which is a great substitute for fish sauce. You can make in one pot too so there isn’t a ton of dishes to clean up afterwards. Let’s take a look at how it’s done!
How to Make Vegan Thai Peanut Curry
To start, these are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Onion, Ginger, and Garlic– these are key for adding flavor.
- Curry Paste– red curry paste works best for peanut curry. This is my favorite brand.
- Creamy Peanut Butter– if you use peanut butter without added sugar then you may want to add a tablespoon of sugar (I like coconut sugar) to the curry.
- Coconut Milk– I prefer full fat coconut milk but light coconut milk will work if you want to reduce the overall fat in the recipe.
- Tamari– as I mentioned above, tamari (which is essentially gluten-free soy sauce) replaces the umami flavor that fish sauce adds to the curry.
- Preferred Vegetables– carrots, broccoli and red bell pepper are a few of my favorites but feel free to mix it up with whatever you prefer.
- Lime Juice or Rice Wine Vinegar– either of these provide acidity for that signature sour flavor.
- Protein– this is completely optional but you can add chopped tofu or edamame for a boost of plant-based protein.
- Rice, Cilantro and Chopped Peanuts for Serving– full disclosure, I use microwavable rice to save time. Sticky rice is so good with this curry but brown rice works too.
First we’ll sauté the onion, ginger in garlic until soft and fragrant. Then we stir in our peanut butter and red curry paste.
Next we pour in the coconut milk and add the vegetables. Bring to a low boil and cook just until the veggies are tender.
Lastly, add tamari, lime juice and coconut sugar (if needed) to taste. This is also when you can add tofu if desired and cook until it’s heated through. Then you just serve warm with rice and garnishes and that’s it. Dinner is served!
My husband usually hates peanut butter in savory dishes but he LOVES this curry so that should tell you something. It’s my go-to whenever the craving strikes and it’s always hits the spot. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Looking for more Thai-inspired recipes? Check these out:
- Vegan Tom Kaa Gai (Coconut Milk Soup)
- Red Curry Chickpea ‘Meatballs’
- Bananas in Coconut Milk (Kluay Bod Chii)
- Baked Thai Tofu Lettuce Wraps
- One-Pot Vegetable Thai Red Curry
- Dana’s Thai Quinoa ‘Meatballs‘
Vegan Thai Peanut Curry
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, or 2 medium shallots, minced
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter, see notes
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- ½ cup broth or water
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
- 2 tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, or rice wine vinegar
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (optional)
- fresh cilantro, rice and chopped peanuts for serving
- In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion or shallot, sprinkle with salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Next add the ginger, garlic, and carrots. Stir and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more.
- To the pot, stir in the curry paste, peanut butter and coconut milk then simmer for 5 minutes. Next, add the broccoli, red pepper and water or broth. Bring to a low boil and cook just until broccoli is soft, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Lastly, stir in the tamari, lime juice (and coconut sugar, if needed). Taste test to see if you prefer more of each. Add tofu at this point if using. Cook until heated through.
- Serve warm with cooked rice, cilantro, lime wedges and/or chopped peanuts as a garnish. Leftovers will keep for up to 3-4 days when sealed in the refrigerator.
This looks so good, Sarah! I can’t wait to make it.
Thanks Kelli! I hope you’re doing well! <3
My husband loves this. I save a portion for him and add cubed chicken breast. Then I add the browned firm tofu to my portion.
This looks easy and delicious. How much ginger does the recipe call for? I checked several times but didn’t see it listed in the recipe.
I’m so sorry, I forgot to add it in the ingredient list but it’s there now. A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger is what the recipe calls for. Thank you for bringing that to my attention!
I made the recipe twice and it’s so good! What I loved about it was how easy it was to prepare yet you got big time flavor! This one’s a winner.
My husband is the same way about peanut butter… and I love peanut sauce! Thai curries are soooo yummy. This looks delicious, Sarah!
Crazy husbands, lol!
I just knew I had to make this as soon as you posted it. It looked and sounded so good! So it happened today and everything was easy and quick which I love about your one pot meals. The sauce was thick and tasted fabulous after adding the coconut milk. (And I just realized right now that I totally missed the 1/2 cup water/broth, which I’m glad I did!) Then I stirred in the tofu, then threw the broccoli and red pepper on top, turned down the heat to very low and put on the lid. Fifteen minutes later, after eating a salad, the vegetables were almost mush and the sauce was watery. It wasn’t what I was expecting to see. I had to redeem it with a bit of cornstarch in cold water to thicken it up and we ate it with brown steamed rice. The flavor is delicious! Lesson learned for next time: Don’t put on the lid and be ready to eat it immediately!
Sorry to hear that, Karen! If you see in the directions I only suggest cooking for 5-7 minutes and don’t mention cooking the vegetables covered, specifically for that reason. Hopefully it turns out better for you next time!
If I want to add extra-firm tofu, do I have to do anything to it before mixing it in the pot in step 3?
Nope! You can eat tofu raw so there’s no harm in just cooking it until heated through. If you want it to be crispy you could try pan frying or baking it first!
This is one of the best curries i’ve had in a while! Thank you. YUM.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the review!
Red curry is great – However, be aware that red curry paste is neither vegan, nor vegetarian. You will usually find shrimp, and/or fish in those pastes. This is also the case for the “favorite” curry paste suggested here. Alternatively, you can buy yellow curry past, which is usually w/o shrimp/fish.
Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste is vegan: https://amzn.to/3cl4snI :)
No, that Curry paste is not vegan because as Dr.Gaba stated it contained fish. It took a long time for me to find Curry paste that didn’t contain fish but I found one by Mykhela below is the link to it. This brand is vegan and gulden free. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00LYRE6I0?ref=ppx_pt2_mob_b_prod_image
Hi Cora! It actually is vegan and it says so right on the front of the bottle. You can see it here: https://www.target.com/p/thai-kitchen-premium-authentic-red-curry-paste-4oz/-/A-13349158?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&DFA=71700000012732781&CPNG=PLA_Grocery%2BShopping_Local&adgroup=SC_Grocery&LID=700000001170770pgs&LNM=PRODUCT_GROUP&network=g&device=c&location=9011071&targetid=pla-454671584627&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTARIsAOfpKxjFSPts1Ykt4qC4AIYkPuC731g2SE8cKxQYak3hTnDqfSVThQivXiUaAk84EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Only a half cup broth? Seems wrong.
No that’s right! The recipe calls for an entire can of coconut milk so that will make up the bulk of your sauce. If you wanted to make it a soup you would need more but this amount will get you the same consistency as what you see in the photos. :)
Your ingredients list includes a link to what you have listed as ‘curry paste’. If you click on it, you get a photo of ‘CHILI paste’ and NOT a photo of ‘CURRY paste’. The chili paste is not vegan but the curry paste is and as you say, says so on the jar that it is a vegan product.
Could this be the confusion? An incorrect photo reference? They are two different products are they not?
No matter, this curry is awesome! We have made it several times and we add orange flesh potato. So good.
Oh my gosh! Thank you so much for pointing that out! I’m not sure if that’s why there is confusion or not but I will update it immediately to reflect the correct product. Thank you again! <3
THIS WAS AMAZING!
Only substitute I did was doing only using bell peppers, since I was out of broccoli and don’t like onions and did more garlic since I love lots of garlic! 5/5!!!
I have made this recipe twice and my family loves it. I did use a full cup of vegetable broth because it became quite thick and we like juice to have with rice on the side. It freezes well in portion sizes for a quick meal. I added cubes of extra firm tofu both times for protein. It’s a creamy, mild dish.
Wondering how much ground ginger you would put in this? I am making it for dinner tonight and have no fresh ginger at home. I was thinking 1/2 a tsp? Has anyone tried this and found the right amount?
I think 1/2 teaspoon is a good place to start! It depends on your personal preference but you could always add more next time if you think it needs it. :)