Quick and easy Thai Curry for One person! This simple small batch curry recipe comes together in 15 minutes and can be made as red, green, or yellow curry with any animal protein and any vegetables! Tons of options for customizing your curry for one!
First things first: what is your favorite type of Thai curry? Red, yellow, or green?
Second important question: Do you find yourself experiencing massive cravings for Thai food but don’t want to take the time to hash out a ginormous batch of super badass authentic curry, which could take over an hour?
Third crucial inquiry: Do you cook for one, or do you live with people who don’t share your obsession for curry?
WELL. This super quick 15-Minute Thai Curry For One hits it hard and fast, is extremely adaptable, and ensures you quench your Thai craving quickly without leftovers.
Using this recipe, you can make red, yellow, or green Thai curry using virtually any vegetable medley you like and/or any animal or plant-based protein.
The first time you make it, the recipe may take longer than 15 minutes, especially if you’re new to making curry. Just read the instructions all the way through before you start in order to familiarize yourself with the concept.
Rest assured, the process becomes easier and quicker each time you make it.
So here we are. My all-encompassing curry-just-for-me recipe is right here in this post! I go over my go-to method and provide all sorts of options for changing it up depending on what you’re craving.
Let’s get after it!
Basic Curry For One Formula:
Sauce: ⅔ cup of full-fat coconut milk + 1 tablespoon of curry paste (any kind!). Use green curry paste, yellow curry paste, or red curry paste depending on the type of curry you’re going for. You can also use Panang Curry Paste, and I also love Lemongrass Turmeric Paste.
If you have yellow curry powder on hand, feel free to use that instead of a curry paste. I would start with 2 teaspoons and add more depending on your personal taste.
Vegetables: 1 to 2 cups. Customize the amount of veggies depending on how hungry you are and your love for vegetables. I like using carrot, zucchini and broccoli. You can also go with yellow squash, bok choy, eggplant, bell pepper, onion, etc. Simply chop any raw vegetables you’re craving and cook them all together.
Protein: Add 4 to 6 ounces of your favorite animal protein. You can use leftover rotisserie or shredded chicken, or chop up a chicken breast to cook it into the curry. Also consider shrimp (fresh or frozen!) or beef. All sorts of fresh or leftover meat can be incorporated!
I often cook a batch of ground turkey for meal prep and use a portion of it in my curry-for-one. In addition, I use my Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and my Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken. I’m a big fan of using pre-cooked frozen shrimp, which I buy from Trader Joe’s
If you don’t eat animal protein, add ½ to ⅔ cup of plant-based protein – black beans, garbanzo beans, or tofu.
Rice: ⅔ cup to 1.5 cups. Again, depending on your hunger level. Steam your favorite rice (I like brown rice) to enjoy with your curry to soak up all that delicious sauce.
You can also go with quinoa, cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles.
Note that if you make brown rice, the recipe will take longer than 15 minutes, as brown rice typically takes 30 to 40 minutes to cook. I cook a big batch of brown rice every week and store it in glass tupperware to eat throughout the week, so I virtually always have cooked rice on hand.
There are plenty of options to change up the flavor here! If you want to take it a step farther, consider adding any combination of the following to the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon red chili paste
- ⅛ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 to 2 green Thai chilis
- 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves
There are a couple of ways you can go about making this recipe.
Option One is the visually appealing way that will yield a beautiful meal (as seen in the photographs above), but requires slightly longer. It requires you prepare the sauce and vegetables separately in a separate pot and skillet.
Option Two is the down and dirty super quick method where you cook everything together in one skillet and the end result is not pretty, but it requires hardly any time and only one skillet. I.e. Less cleanup, multi-tasking, time, and overall effort. Below is an example of how it will look:
Below are the instructions for both methods. I have included the instructions for Option Two in the recipe card below, since it is the most straight-forward.
How to Make Thai Curry For One:
Option One – the pretty method:
If you don’t have cooked rice on hand, begin by cooking up the rice according to package instructions.
Heat the coconut milk and curry paste in a small saucepan and bring to a full but gentle boil. If you’re using animal protein that has already been cooked, add it to the sauce and allow it to heat through. Reduce the heat and keep the sauce cooking at a simmer while the vegetables are sautéing.
Heat the avocado oil to a large skillet and heat over medium to medium-high (depending on how hot your stove top runs). Add the chopped vegetables, stir well, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables reach desired done-ness.
Note #1: Hearty vegetables will require more cook time, so you will need to cook them for about 3 to 5 minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables.
Note #2: if you’re using raw animal protein, cook it with the vegetables. To do so, saute the vegetables for 2 minutes before scooting them off to one side of the skillet. Add the raw animal protein and allow it to brown for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, before mixing it in with the vegetables. Cover and continue cooking until protein has cooked through and vegetables have softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add desired amount of rice to a bowl or a plate, followed by the sauteed vegetables, sauce and protein. Add sea salt to taste and enjoy!
Option Two – the One Skillet Method:
Add the coconut milk and curry paste to a large skillet and stir together until combined. Bring mixture to a full boil. Add the vegetables and protein (Note: if the animal protein you are adding is raw, allow it to brown untouched for 3 to 5 minutes).
Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have reached desired done-ness and the protein is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the cooked rice to the skillet and stir well until everything is well-incorporated and rice has absorbed much of the liquid.
That’s all! I hope you love your quick and easy curry for one! Let this be a gateway to all sorts of curry adventures.
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If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo and tag @The.Roasted.Root on Instagram!
Yellow, Red, or Green Thai Curry for One!
- Add the coconut milk and curry paste to a large skillet and stir together until combined. Bring mixture to a full boil. Add the vegetables and protein (Note: if the animal protein you are adding is raw, allow it to brown untouched for 3 to 5 minutes).
- Cover the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have reached desired done-ness and the protein is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the green onion and cooked rice to the skillet and stir well until everything is well-incorporated and rice has absorbed much of the liquid.