Fragrant, flavorful and ready in under 30 minutes, this Thai Vegan Green Curry Vegetables recipe is perfect for a weeknight meal.
A little spicy, a little sweet, quick and easy, kid approved, and most importantly, delicious! Yup, that perfectly describes this gorgeous Vegan Green Curry recipe with mixed vegetables and chickpeas.
The whole family loves this one! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy to please big and little tastebuds alike.
Take advantage of some grocery store staples to bring the whole thing together in less than 30 minutes.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Aromatics ~ Onions and garlic make everything better. You could also add some fresh minced ginger if you like.
Green curry paste ~ Ingredients in Thai green curry paste typically include green chilies, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, shallots, cilantro, and Thai basil.
The Thai Kitchen brand I generally buy doesn’t include cilantro or basil, so the green color isn’t as vibrant as others might be.
Some brands of green curry paste do contain fish sauce or shrimp paste, so read your labels before purchasing. Thai Kitchen brand is both vegan and gluten-free! (This post is in no way sponsored by Thai Kitchen, it’s just the brand I like to use).
Since our family has two adults and 3 kids, I am always looking for that nice balance of flavor that will please all tastebuds. Three tablespoons of Thai Kitchen Green Curry paste is the perfect amount for our family. It’s gives great flavor, but isn’t overly spicy.
If you are more sensitive to spicy foods or if you are using a brand of curry paste that has more spicy heat, start out with 2 tablespoons and adjust as needed. On the other hand, if you are in the more-spice-more-better camp, then by all means, add an extra tablespoon or two.
Spices ~ I like to add a little turmeric to this dish. You can leave it out of if you don’t have it. And, of course, salt and pepper is always a must.
Coconut milk ~ Coconut milk is traditional in Thai curries. It creates a rich, creamy texture in the sauce. It also has a slightly sweet flavor and tones down the spicy heat of the curry paste.
The spices need to be sautéed in a bit of fat to bring out their full flavor. Using coconut milk works beautifully and eliminates the need for oil. Use just about ¼ cup for this and add the rest when you add the tomatoes and vegetables.
While full fat coconut milk is preferred, light coconut milk will work in a pinch. The full fat version will impart more of a coconut flavor, which complements the curry taste well. If you prefer less coconut flavor, use a light version.
Tomatoes ~ A can of diced tomatoes lends a bit of acidity to the curry.
Broth ~ A little vegetable broth thins the sauce, if needed. I find sometimes I don’t need it – it depends how juicy my can of diced tomatoes is.
Vegetables ~ I will be the first to admit that this Thai Green Curry Vegetable recipe is totally unauthentic. In addition to store-bought curry paste, I use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I like the one that has corn, green beans, peas, and carrots. Trader Joe’s carries an organic one called the Organic Foursome.
I use frozen mixed vegetables in my Easy Minestrone Soup, too, and I go into detail about why I love them in that article. Bottom line – they’re quick, easy, nutritious, and delicious.
While they might not be the traditional vegetables you’d find in authentic Thai Curry, they work really well here and they allow you to have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes! Bonus, these are veggies my kids all love.
Feel free to add some fresh chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper, eggplant, broccoli, or zucchini if you desire. All would be great in this dish.
You could also throw in some canned Asian vegetables, like bamboo shoots. Drain them first.
Extras ~ Sometimes I add a few dashes of soy sauce or tamari to deepen the savory umami flavors of the vegan green curry.
A squeeze of fresh lime juice stirred in at the end brightens everything up.
I like to sprinkle chopped cilantro on the dish before serving. And you could certainly add some Thai basil too.
Some chopped peanuts is a nice touch as well.
How to make the recipe
Please scroll down to the recipe card for exact ingredient measurements and instructions.
Sauté the onions in a splash of coconut milk until soft and translucent (1).
Add the garlic, green curry paste, turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Sauté for a couple minutes until fragrant (2).
Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, mixed veggies, and coconut milk (3). Stir well and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the fresh baby spinach, stir, and cook another 1 to 2 minutes (4).
How to serve
I love serving this vegan green curry with a side of rice. Trader Joe’s sells frozen Jasmine rice that is so convenient! Regular white rice or brown rice will work as well as Basmati rice.
Instead of rice, you could serve it up with quinoa, rice noodles, or warm naan.
Storage and freezing
Fridge: Store leftover vegan green curry in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
Store rice or any other sides separately.
Freezer: You can also freeze this curry recipe. Let it cool completely before transferring to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. It should keep well for up to 2 months.
Pro tips and tricks
~ Use coconut milk to sauté the onion, garlic, curry paste, and spices. The fat in the coconut milk releases the natural oils in the spices and will bring out the best flavor. This eliminates the need to add extra oil to the dish for sautéing.
~ Use full fat coconut milk for best texture and flavor. It provides richness and a slight sweetness that perfectly balances the dish.
~ Use less curry paste for a mild spicy heat, use more if you like it hotter. Every brand of curry paste has differing heat levels. If you’re worried about the spice, start with less and add more as needed.
~ Be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before adding to the skillet. Substitute baked tofu for the chickpeas if you prefer, but add it at the end with the spinach and stir to heat through.
~ Serve with rice, noodles, or naan for a complete meal.
The difference between green and red curry is mainly the variety of pepper used. A few of the spices can be different as well. Typically green curry is spicier than red curry, but it really depends on the brand of curry paste you use. I find the Thai Kitchen brand that I use to be fairly mild.
Find green curry paste in the International aisle of your local grocery store. It can be found near popular Asian products like soy sauce, rice vinegar, and rice noodles.
Yes! If you don’t use the whole jar of curry paste, transfer it to a freezer safe container or plastic bag. It will keep well for up to 3 months.
There really is no good substitute for coconut milk in curries. It provides richness and a hint of sweetness. Alternate non-dairy milks don’t come close to mimicking the taste or texture.
If you must substitute the coconut, cashew milk would probably come the closest.
Or make a cornstarch slurry by whisking 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Add it to the curry along with your unflavored, unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice, bring to a boil, and let simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Vegan Green Curry Vegetables
- 1 can (15 oz) full fat coconut milk divided
- 1 onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 package (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 can (15 oz) cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed, or 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- handful fresh spinach
- squeeze of fresh lime juice
- ¼-1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth if needed, to thin
- chopped cilantro for garnish, if desired
- chopped peanuts for garnish, if desired
- Heat ¼ cup of the coconut milk in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté 4 to 5 minutes until softened.
- Add the garlic, Thai green curry paste, turmeric, salt, and pepper and stir well to incorporate. Sauté 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the diced tomatoes, mixed vegetables, chickpeas, and remaining coconut milk. Stir to combine. Raise heat to bring to a low boil, then turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in a handful of fresh spinach.
- Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice (about ¼ of a lime) and stir.
- Optional: If you want a thinner sauce, add ¼ to ½ cup of vegetable broth.
- For serving: garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts, if desired, and serve with cooked rice, noodles, or naan.
~Nutrition facts calculated do not include any garnishes or rice for serving.
Nutrition values are calculated using online calculators and are estimates only. Please verify using your own data.