Easy Thai Chicken Curry for Instant Pot

On a scale of chicken nuggets to sushi, how adventurous are your kids when it comes to ethnic food? (Or you, for that matter? haha.)

Steve and I are pretty adventurous eaters and love to try all kinds of ethnic food. I like to try my hand at some of it at home, so our kids have been exposed to all kinds of things. Honestly, the ethnic stuff goes over better than some of the more traditional things I make.

If you love ethnic food, but aren’t sure how it will go over with your kids, this Thai Chicken Curry is a good one to start with. It’s pretty benign — an orangy sauce with chicken, carrots, and potatoes. It’s not spicy (unless you want it to be) and it’s got a kid-friendly texture.

Speaking of vegetables, you could substitute others in here. Just choose ones that won’t turn to mush after 10 minutes in an Instant Pot. Cauliflower, cabbage, kale, winter squash, and root vegetables usually do well. You could also stir in some snow peas at the end after everything else has cooked.

Approachable ethnic food should also have ingredients that are easy to find. I love this recipe because you don’t have to hunt down anything in an Asian market. (Although there is a time and place for that. And it’s super fun sometimes.)

Fish sauce and curry paste are pretty easy to find these days in the Asian section of most grocery stores. I like Red Boat fish sauce and Thai Kitchen curry pastes because they don’t have any sketchy ingredients. (They’re also Whole30 compliant! Most other fish sauces have added sugar.)

One note about this curry paste. This recipes calls for most of a jar — about 4-5 Tablespoons, which is normal when you’re making a pot of Thai curry. Not all curry pastes have the same heat level. For some reason, Thai Kitchen pastes have a “spicy” indicator on them, but they’re really mild.

Don’t add this much unless you know for sure it won’t make your head explode. (Or ruin your kids on Thai food for life.) Just shake some sriracha in your own bowl for heat if you’re feeding this to kids who haven’t been enrolled in spicy food training.

Oh, did I mention this is an Instant Pot recipe? You probably assumed as much already.

This is one of those recipes where I tell you to brown the chicken first. Honestly, it’s optional, but I think it just adds flavor and depth when I do it. So, I do it. Unless I REALLY don’t feel like doing it. It’s your call. I’ll support you either way.

Look, it’s turning into Thai Chicken Curry! My favorite part is stirring the coconut cream in at the end (or use heavy cream if you want!) It’s so pretty swirled with that fiery red sauce (again, fiery as in color, not as in heat-level).

I didn’t even realize my spatula matched the curry. I also believe that your food tastes better when your kitchen tools match it. Just kidding. (Sorta.)

And, done! I’d love to know if you make this for kids and whether or not they liked it. If you’re wanting more kid-friendly recipes to ease them into ethnic flavors, here are a few of our kids’ favorites:

Paleo Pad Thai (They literally jump up and down when I make this. Unless I use zoodles, in which case they writhe on the floor in agony.)

Paleo Hungarian Goulash (also an Instant Pot recipe!)

Mulligatawny Soup (an Indian-inspired blended soup)

Grilled Moroccan Chicken (tuck this away for grilling season)

California Roll Sushi Bowls (More jumping for joy for this one)

Easy Thai Chicken Curry (Instant Pot)

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Make this flavorful, kid-friendly Thai Chicken Curry in your Instant Pot! (Also includes stovetop and slow cooker instructions!) Swap out the vegetables, protein, or even make it vegetarian. Super easy and can be made low-carb/keto or Whole30 friendly.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 Tablespoons red or green curry paste (see note)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 1 Tablespoon)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 13.5 ounce can of coconut cream or coconut milk
  • Steamed jasmine rice or Roasted Cauliflower Rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with a few generous pinches of sea salt and a few pinches of black pepper.
  2. Turn your instant pot or electric pressure cooker to the Saute setting, and add the coconut oil to the pot. When the cooker has preheated, brown the chicken in two batches, flipping once or twice during cooking. The chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through. When you're finished, press "cancel" on the cooker.
  3. Return all of the chicken to the pot along with the prepped onion, carrots, and potatoes.
  4. In a small glass measuring cup, whisk together the curry paste, tomato paste, fish sauce, lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture over the chicken and vegetables. Add the chicken broth to the pot as well, and give everything a good stir.
  5. Place the lid on the cooker, sealing it closed and ensuring the steam valve is set to "sealing". Set it to high pressure for 10 minutes. I always use the "manual" or "pressure cook" button.
  6. When the pressure cooking cycle has finished, switch the steam valve is set to "venting" to release the steam from the pot.
  7. Remove the lid and stir in the coconut cream. Taste, and add a little more salt if you feel it needs it.
  8. Serve with side dish of your choice.

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