How to Make Easy Thai Curry Chili to Warm You Up

Have you ever tried a new recipe and had it become an instant family favorite? That’s what happened with this Thai curry chili recipe. To make it even better, this recipe will help you use some holiday leftovers if you have them. Read on to learn more!

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The Story of this Thai Curry Chili Recipe

A friend first made this for us, and when she shared the recipe, it included “a lot of dabs and dashes”. The first few times I made this, I had to experiment to get just the right flavor. I also had to go through a lot of trial and error to adjust the spiciness factor to the right level for our family. I’m a spice wimp, while others in my family thrive on spiciness. We found a middle ground. It took a while for me to actually develop measurements for this Thai curry chili. Now that I’ve done all of the testing, here it is for you to enjoy.

Ingredients

1 pound butternut squash, diced and steamed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

2 cups cooked turkey

2 cups cooked ham

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons red curry paste (more or less to taste)

4 tablespoons honey

1 carton chicken stock

2 cans coconut milk (I often use the lite version)

1 packet Thai peanut sauce mix

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

1 can great northern beans

Shredded pepper jack cheese

 

Directions

First, peel and cube one medium butternut squash, removing the seeds. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a lid or tent with plastic wrap, leaving a vent for steam.

Thai curry chili butternut squash

I like to use one of my favorite covered casserole dishes for this. One of the casserole dishes I use the most is the 2.5-quart covered French White round dish by Corningware, like this one. 

I received a dish like this years ago as part of a set for a wedding present, and I love the way it goes with everything. I have used this dish, and its matching counterparts, countless times. Steaming is a healthy way to cook vegetables quickly in the microwave, so I highly recommend covered casserole dishes.

While the squash is steaming, chop the onion and peppers. Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a stockpot while you are chopping. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped vegetables and meat to the oil in the stockpot. If you are in a hurry, you can turn the heat up to medium-high.

 

When the onion is translucent, add the ginger and minced garlic (you can use the minced garlic from a jar or even dried minced garlic).

 

Thai curry chili searing meat and veggies

Stir, then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer together for about 20 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired.

Thai curry chili finished

how to make easy thai curry chili featured image

Easy Thai Curry Chili

Thai curry chili is easy to make and a great way to warm up on a chilly winter evening. Try making this simple recipe for dinner tonight!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Servings 12
Calories 210 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound butternut squash steamed and diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked turkey chopped
  • 2 cups cooked ham chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 carton chicken stock
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 envelope Thai peanut sauce mix
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1 or 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese to sprinkle on soup after serving

Instructions
 

  • First, peel and cube one medium butternut squash, removing the seeds. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with a lid or tent with plastic wrap, leaving a vent for steam. Steam for 6-8 minutes.
  • Chop the onion and peppers.
  • Heat the olive oil on medium heat in a stockpot while you are chopping. 
  • Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
  • Add the chopped vegetables and meat to the oil in the stockpot.
  • When the onion is translucent, add the ginger and minced garlic.
  • Stir, then add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer together for about 20 minutes.
  • Serve over rice, if desired.
Keyword easy recipes, soup

 

Easily Finding the Ingredients

Before making this Thai curry chili, I had never cooked with coconut milk, Thai peanut sauce, or curry paste. It was a new experience for me, and I wasn’t sure where to find the ingredients. I learned that the brand of coconut milk does make a difference in the flavor of the dish. My favorite is Lite Coconut Milk by A Taste of Thai.

 

I’ve only used red curry paste because I could never find the yellow in the grocery store. What is the best Thai curry paste brand? The curry paste I use is also by A Taste of Thai because that’s what I could find. You may have more options in your area.

What is the least spicy Thai curry? Although I could not find it, green curry paste has a reputation for being spicier than red curry paste. Yellow curry paste is said to be milder than red curry paste. I’m glad I was able to find red curry paste since it’s a happy medium in spiciness.

The peanut sauce mix I use includes two envelopes. I only use one envelope at a time. The other envelope is safe to store unopened and unrefrigerated on a shelf. I always appreciate visuals before I go shopping, so here’s what the peanut sauce mix looks like.

 

The nice thing about those three Thai-inspired components is that they are usually all located near each other in the grocery store. In the past, I have been able to find them at Safeway and Winco Foods. 

Adjusting the Spiciness Factor

When this recipe was first shared with our family, the directions advised us to use 2 tablespoons each of red curry paste and yellow curry paste. I was never able to locate yellow curry paste, so I used 4 tablespoons of the red curry paste. That was far too spicy for our family! We could barely eat it. Serving it with rice helped. After that, I gradually cut down the curry paste until I settled on using 2 teaspoons. I realize that might be too mild for some of you. Feel free to adjust to taste. If you choose not to use the entire packet of curry paste, just roll up the little pouch, secure it with a rubber band, and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for months.

Meat Options

If you don’t have leftover turkey, you can use pork loin or pork shoulder. Cooking the meat adds more time to the meal preparation, so I use leftover cooked turkey when I have it. You could also use cooked chicken breasts, chopped into pieces.

Pepper Options

Can other peppers be used instead of jalapeno peppers? Yes, of course! You can use bell peppers for less spice. You can add more spicey peppers, like Thai chili peppers. Varying the peppers will vary the spice level. Experiment with what you have available.

Bean Options

Are great northern beans the only type of beans that can be used in this recipe? No, I often use pinto beans. You could use kidney beans or chili beans. I like using great northern beans because of the color in this recipe.

What Goes Well with Thai Curry Chili

As stated above, we like to serve this Thai curry chili with rice. Brown rice is our preferred choice. You could serve a tossed salad along with this dish. With the squash included in this recipe, there is already a good serving of vegetables. Don’t feel like making rice? No problem! This dish is fine on its own. However, if you do decide to cook rice, and you eat rice often, consider getting a rice cooker or instant pot.

 

Other Recipes to Warm You Up

Interested in other cozy, comfort food recipes? Try these!

Are You Excited to Make Easy Thai Curry Chili?

This delicious soup is calling my name. If you decide to try this easy Thai curry chili, I’d love to see pictures. If you do make this recipe, take a picture and tag me on Instagram! I’ll feature the photo in my Instagram story.

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@lisa_fluxingwell

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12 thoughts on “How to Make Easy Thai Curry Chili to Warm You Up”

  1. We had chili yesterday. It’s that time of the year.

    Reply
    • Yes it is! Maybe you’ll get to try this version sometime.

      Reply
  2. I love that it uses both ham and turkey!
    I’ve never had thai curry chili before but curry chicken and rice has been one of our favorite new dishes this year. This looks delicious! And what a perfect time of year to try it since the thai curry chili uses so many typical holiday meal ingredients!

    Reply
    • Yes, it does! I especially appreciate that I can use squash in a way my family will eat!=)

      Reply
  3. This looks great. We eat curry quite a bit at our house but I’ve never tried a Thai curry before. I love trying new recipes so I will have to add this one to our list of ones to try. I would also likely need to adjust the spice level, I don’t care for much spice though my husband loves spicy food. Looking forward to giving this a try.

    Reply
    • I hope you do try it, and let me know if you have any trouble finding the ingredients.

      Reply
  4. 5 stars
    It sounds ideal for a cold and dull winter day! Saving the recipe for one of these evenings:)

    Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing this delicious Thai curry chili recipe! I love that you are providing options for different ingredients. Looks fantastic and I am sure it tastes great!

    Reply
    • Thanks for the kind words. Flexibility and options–the true spirit of FluxingWell!

      Reply
  6. 5 stars
    This looks delicious! I can see this Thai curry chili would be a great way to warm up on a winter evening. I’ll have to make this for dinner soon!

    Reply
    • I hope you get to try it. It’s perfect for New Year’s Eve!

      Reply

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