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Thai Chicken Curry In A Hurry

We love all types of curries but a tasty Thai chicken curry would have to be on the top of the list. Making an authentic Thai curry can be a labour of love, especially if you make your own curry paste, but there is a much simpler and quicker way. This Instant Pot Thai curry is made in under 30 minutes using ingredients you can find in most grocery stores. That’s why we call it a curry in a hurry.

This recipe is by no means an authentic version BUT it’s delicious and pretty close to the real thing, if we may say so. Serve it up with cooked white rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice or enjoy it as a standalone stew.

The curry is gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo friendly. If you would like to make a vegetarian or vegan version, replace the meat with diced pumpkin, winter squash or sweet potatoes and feel free to add more vegetables; replace fish sauce with a teaspoon of sea salt and a splash of soy sauce. For a Whole30 version, omit the sugar; you should still get some sweetness from the coconut milk.

Before you get cooking

Chilli: I used a small Birds Eye chilli, which gives a lot of hear, so I scraped out the seeds. You can use a less hot type of red chilli or a pinch of chilli flakes/powder. The mild curry powder is already a little spicy, so you might prefer to omit the chilli altogether if cooking for children.

Fish sauce: It might seem like a lot of fish sauce but don’t be afraid! You can’t actually taste it in the sauce once it’s cooked. It gives lovely salty, umami flavour. If you can’t find fish sauce, simply add 1 teaspoon of salt instead.

Coconut milk: I suggest to use full-fat coconut milk that is around 60% coconut content (not the diluted drinking coconut milk). I used one and a half cans. Make sure to shake the can well before measuring the milk. If using coconut cream, which is thicker, simply add less and add some water or chicken stock to thin it out.

If making this curry on stove top, repeat the first few steps and once all the ingredients are in the pot, simply cook over medium heat, covered with a lid, for 20-25 minutes.


Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Thai


Making an authentic Thai curry can be a labour of love, especially if you make your own curry paste, but there is a much simpler and quicker way. This Instant Pot Thai curry is made in under 30 minutes using ingredients you can find in most grocery stores. That’s why we call it a curry in a hurry.




  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger, diced roughly
  • 1 small red chilli, seeds out and diced (see notes)
  • 1.3 lb / 600 g chicken thighs or breast (diced into bite-size pieces)
  • 1/4 cup mild curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro/coriander stalks (save the leaves for garnish)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or grated palm sugar (see notes for substitutions)
  • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk (see notes)
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 4 oz. / 120 g fine green beans, halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 12 cups broccoli florets
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. Turn the pressure cooker on. It should display OFF. Press Sauté function key (it will show Normal, 30 minutes). The Instant Pot will beep 3 times to let you know it’s ready to cook. Let it heat up while you dice the onion, ginger and chilli.
  2. Add coconut oil to the pot, followed by the onion, ginger and chilli. Stir through and cook for a minute or two, while you cut up the chicken meat.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and stir through. Cook for 5 minutes on Sauté, stirring a couple of times. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Add the curry powder, cilantro, garlic, fish sauce and sugar to the pot and stir through; then follow with the coconut milk.
  5. Finally, add the vegetables and lime juice, stir and turn the Sauté off by pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button.
  6. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Check that the the lid knob is turned to Sealing. Change the setting to Manual (High Pressure) and set to 7 minutes. Wait for 3 beeps and walk away.
  7. Once the timer is up, let the pressure release naturally or use a quick release method, and open the lid.
  8. Top with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and serve with white rice or cauliflower rice on the side. I suggest extra lime on the side.

Keywords: onion coconut oil authentic labour love curry paste simple quick Thai curry ingredients grocery store hurry

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Instant Pot Thai Chicken Curry (Gluten-free, Paleo)


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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    August 8, 2017 at 3:36 am

    I tried this recipe tonight, and while the sauce is absolutely delicious, the vegetables were overcooked mush! I am new to the Instant Pot, so despite my reservations about cooking vegetables so long, I followed the recipe. I will make it again, but I will lightly steam the veggies separately, and simmer them in after the meat has cooked.

    • Reply
      August 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Hey Allison, I hear ya. I actually need to modify the recipe as I’ve made it a few times since and experimented with the timings and what works well also is adding the veggies once the curry is done and setting the IP to Saute function for 5 minutes, and cooking them that way, especially things like broccoli or other greens.

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    May 9, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Hi! Just a note that if doing no-sugar version for paleo or Whole30, the fish sauce needs to be cut in half or 2/3. I didn’t the first round and added 1/2 can more coconut milk to mellow out the fish taste a bit more.

    • Reply
      May 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you for the tip, Gillian!

  • Reply
    Catherine Johns
    March 10, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    There are several references to see Notes, but I do note see notes anywhere. What is meant by 1+ 1/2 c coconut milk?

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