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Thai Coconut Curry Rice – The Real Food Dietitians


This Thai Coconut Curry Rice with Vegetables is a Thai-inspired twist on fried rice your whole family will love!

A skillet filled with Thai Coconut Curry Rice that is garnished with sliced green onions.

Rice is nice but this Thai Coconut Curry Rice with Vegetables is ah-mazing!

This Thai-inspired spin on fried rice combines fluffy white rice with creamy coconut milk, warm curry spices and plenty of fresh vegetables for a side dish that’s one part comfort food and one part game-changer. Imagine a bowl of this rice topped with perfectly grilled salmon or shrimp or leftover cooked chicken. Even by itself, with just a big squeeze of lime, it’s perfect!

A saucepan with coconut milk, uncooked white rice, and red curry paste to make Thai Coconut Curry Rice.

All the taste of Take-out for a fraction of the cost

I crave Thai red curry dishes made with rich, silky coconut milk but I’m not always keen on take-out prices and the fact that I have to drive across town to indulge that craving. Add to that the fact that my kids are not fans of anything curry and what’s a curry-loving, driving-hating, budget-conscious mama to do? I make my own at home, that’s what I do.

And I make it in the easiest way possible (read: one-pan) using the freshest ingredients so I can get my curry fix and get dinner on the table before the dinner-hour meltdowns happen.

Overhead view of a shallow white bowl filled with veggie-studded Thai Coconut Curry Rice.

Here’s the best part.

That part about my kids not loving curry? It’s true. They do love fried rice though so I thought if I combined the two that maybe they’d be into it. And I was right. You can imagine my surprise when they both took a bite (hesitantly, of course… because you never know what their mother might be tricking them into…)  and then another and another. They had no idea it was curry! I felt as though I’d won a gold medal. 

And now this Thai Coconut Curry Rice makes a regular appearance on our meal plan.

Overhead view of a small white plate with a gold fork next to a serving of Thai Coconut Curry Rice that appears to be in the process of being eaten.

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Thai Coconut Curry Rice

This Thai twist on fried rice with its warm curry spices and rich coconut-scented rice makes an easy and delicious side dish for grilled meat or fish.

  • Author: Jessica Beacom
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: ~ 6 cups
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian,
Overhead view of a white bowl filled with Thai Coconut Curry Rice with a gold fork in the bowl.


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can ‘light’ coconut milk*
  • ½ cup water**
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced and quartered
  • 1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup roasted cashews or peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • Lime wedges, optional


  1. Combine rice, coconut milk, water, red curry paste and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, stir gently then cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-17 minutes or until rice is almost done (it shouldn’t be hard but it also shouldn’t be mushy)
  4. Remove rice from heat and allow it to stand for 10-12 minutes covered before stirring.
  5. While rice is cooking, add 2 teaspoons coconut oil to a large skillet placed over medium-high heat.
  6. When the oil is melted, add carrots, zucchini, and red pepper. Stir fry the vegetables until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and green onions and cook an additional 1 minute.
  7. Stir rice into vegetable mixture. Stir in basil and chopped cashews. Serve with lime wedges.


* You can use full-fat coconut milk but you may need to use a little water to get the rice fully cooked (see below about liquid and cooking times)

**Due to differences in rice (type, brand, etc.), altitude, size of the pot, how tight the lid fits, etc. you may need more water for the rice to be fully cooked. Test the rice just before the end of the suggested cooking time and add a few tablespoons more water, if needed, if the rice seems too undercooked.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 223
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 330mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 33g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 5g

What’s your favorite way to make rice? Share in the comments below

Pin it now & make it later!

Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links that won’t change your price but will share some commission.

All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians so credit is given where credit is due. Thank you!


About Jessica Beacom

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her hubby and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, teaching herself how to play the banjo and camping out under the stars.


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