What are your go-to weeknight meals? I’m talking about the recipes you make over and over again, require minimal planning or thought, and can be made quickly and easily after a long day of work. Meals you know you can throw together, no matter what’s in your pantry or fridge. The ones that, if we’re being honest, don’t even have a recipe. You just toss everything together, let it cook, and voila! Dinner is happening.
For us, that’s usually some sort of baked (er…microwaved) + stuffed sweet potatoes, a stir-fry, breakfast for dinner, or quesadillas. No, they aren’t particularly fancy, but they fit the bill and get us sitting down to dinner before 8pm, which, frankly, is a win in my book.
Now that the weather is finally cooling off (shh, let’s pretend today won’t be a freakish 80 degrees in October), I’m craving more warm, hearty, soupy, filling meals at night. After two straight months of give me cold food for dinner or give me death, my body is finally back on the warm dinner train, and it feels so good.
Recently, I’ve added a new no-brainer recipe to my weeknight repertoire. Once I realized how ridiculously simple it is to make decent green curry at home, I started buying a jar of Thai green curry paste and extra cans of coconut milk at the grocery store every week, just in case I found myself staring blankly into the depths of my kitchen at 7pm wondering what the heck to make for dinner.
Truly, it couldn’t be easier to make this green curry. Cook a pot of rice, cut a few veggies, simmer them with some canned coconut milk and a few tablespoons of green curry paste, and top everything off with plenty of fresh cilantro. Then, just dish out the rice into bowls, ladle on plenty of veggies and that creamy, Thai curry-spiced sauce, and dinner is served.
I used onion, butternut squash, and broccoli since they’re always in my kitchen this time of year, but this recipe works just as well with whatever veggies you love (sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, mushrooms, green beans, etc). Since this meal is meatless, I love including a vegetable like butternut (or any pumpkin/winter squash) or sweet potato to help fill me up, but you could definitely include a more clearly defined protein source like chickpeas, tofu, chicken, etc, if that’s more your style. In fact, the butternut squash (though delicious) is the reason the curry needs to cook so long- opt for a quicker cooking veggie instead and you’re looking at a 20-minute meal. Score!
While it might be more traditional to make your own green curry paste from chilies, onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime, cilantro, etc, I don’t know many people who are willing to add 10 extra items to their grocery list just for a quick weeknight meal. I know I’m not. Luckily, almost every major grocery store sells green curry paste (I can find the little glass jars of Thai Kitchen Curry Paste everywhere), and it keeps in the pantry for months, or opened in the fridge for weeks. And despite being made from a jar of curry paste, this meal turns out fresh, full of flavor, and oh-so satisfying every single time.
A word to the wise, though: while the Thai Kitchen curry pastes aren’t very spicy, most other brands are. I love heat so happening upon a random new (to me) curry paste is a fun adventure in the kitchen. For Kevin, my curry eating partner extraordinaire, it’s more like a kitchen nightmare. So, as is, this recipe is not very spicy at all. I added a few glugs of hot sauce on top of mine, whereas Kevin happily sprinkled an extra pinch of sugar on top of his (just to be sure I hadn’t tricked him with a secretly spicy curry. Not that I’ve ever done that…). If you’re wary of spice, be sure to use the Thai Kitchen Green Curry. If you’re using another brand, just start with a small amount of curry paste, taste, and keep adding more until you’re happy with the flavor and heat level.
I think you’re going to love this simple, 30-minute Green Curry! It’s:
Made in just two pots (one for the rice, and one for the curry)
Loaded with veggies
& Better than takeout (seriously!).
If you try this recipe, let me know how it turns out! Leave a comment below, or take a picture and tag me on Instagram so I can see all your easy peasy weeknight curries!
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- optional: zest from 1 lime, stirred in when rice finishes cooking
- 1 Tablespoon virgin coconut oil
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups, total)*
- 1/2 a small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
- 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
- 4-6 Tablespoons Thai Green Curry Paste**
- 2 15-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1. Put all rice ingredients into a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes before serving.
- 2. While rice cooks, chop the veggies and heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- 3. Add coconut oil, butternut squash, onion, and salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butternut and onions are starting to caramelize. Then, turn the heat to high and add coconut milk and 4 Tablespoons curry paste, and let boil for 5 minutes.
- 4. Finally, add the broccoli and cook for 3-5 more minutes, or until broccoli and butternut are tender. Taste and add more curry paste, 1 Tablespoon at a time, as needed, for a more strong/spicy flavor.
- 5. Turn off the heat and add cilantro. If desired, add lime zest to the rice, then scoop rice into bowls and top with plenty of veggies and curry sauce.
- 6. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days, and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water (or more coconut milk) to keep from drying out.
- *Any squash or pumpkin of choice can be used in place of the butternut, as can be sweet potatoes or white potatoes. If using another vegetable like peppers, mushrooms, green beans, or peas, reduce cooking time by at least 5 minutes.
- **Depending on the heat of your curry paste, you may want to use more or less. I used Thai Kitchen Brand, which has plenty of flavor, but is mild in heat. For us, 6 Tablespoons was perfectly flavorful, but not too spicy. If using another brand, I recommend starting with less curry paste, and tasting/adjusting as you go, otherwise you might end up with a curry that's too spicy for your tastebuds!
- Feel free to add any protein of choice like chickpeas, tofu, chicken, etc to this dish. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't!
- This recipe yields enough to feed 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you are and what veggies/protein you use.