Thai Panang Curry in Instant Pot

November 8, 2017 (Updated: December 3, 2019) By Aneesha |

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An easy 30-Minute recipe for a restaurant-style Thai favorite, Panang Curry. This mildly spicy, slightly sweet and creamy coconut curry can be made in a pressure cooker with Chicken, Seafood or Tofu (vegan).

Thai panang curry served with brown jasmine rice in a grey bowl

Easy Dump & Start Recipe

This easy panang curry recipe is another go-to recipe in my Dump and Start series, where I cook tasty and healthy dishes in an Instant Pot to make a meal in 30 minutes or less. Another weeknight savior!

Thai Panang Curry with Chicken served in a gray bowl

Panang Curry Paste

A thick curry paste is used as a base for most Thai food curries. This paste is simmered with coconut milk and then protein and vegetables are added to it.

The panang curry paste typically consists of dried red chilies,  garlic,  shallot,  lemongrass, sugar, salt, kaffir lime, galangal (Thai ginger), spices like coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom and bay leaves.

Over the years, I have tried various brands of Thai curry pastes, but nothing comes close to the brand called Maesri Thai Panang Curry Paste.   

Their curry pastes are so authentic tasting, that if you ever did a blind taste test, you won’t be able to tell between a restaurant version and yours.

A big advantage of this brand is that it is made with vegetarian ingredients. Many other brands add shrimp paste to their curry pastes.

The taste and creaminess of coconut milk also plays a big part in Thai curries. My tried and trusted brand of Coconut Milk is Chaokoh.

Thai Panang Curry with chicken, carrots, baby corn and carrots

Step-by-Step Instructions for Instant Pot Panang Curry Recipe

Making Instant pot Thai curry is a very simple process.

Stir in the coconut milk and panang curry paste, bring the coconut curry to a simmer while you add vegetables and protein.

Stir it. Shut it.  Cook for 3 minutes on Manual (high), and release pressure (QR) after 5 minutes!

Finish by adding brown sugar and few drops of lime juice and you’re done!  Serve it with brown or white Jasmine rice. That simple!

Coconut milk and water in an the instant pot
Whisk curry paste and coconut milk
Coconut milk with Panang curry paste and vegges in the instant pot
Bring it to a summer, add veggies
Chicken cubes added to the Thai Panang curry mix in the instant pot
Add Chicken (or Tofu) and pressure cook
Thai Panang Chicken Curry in the instant pot after cooking
Release pressure and open after pin drops, add broccoli
Thai Panang Chicken Curry in the instant pot ready to be served
Rest it for 5 minutes, then serve with rice

Customize Your Thai Panang Curry

I make Panang Curry mostly with Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu. I add carrots, broccoli and baby corn because my kids love it, plus I always have these on hand. 

This curry is pretty versatile, so you can get creative with ingredients. You can add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, bell peppers.    If adding peppers, I would add them after cooking and saute for 2 minutes. That will preserve their shape and crispness.

Shrimp goes great in this curry as well. If cooking this with Shrimp, cook the curry without the shrimp for 1 minute and release pressure (QR). Then, add the shrimp, saute’ for 1-2 minutes, till they turn opaque. This prevents them from over cooking.

Instant Pot Thai Panang Chicken Curry served in a white bowl with side of brown rice

Vegetarian Panang Curry

To make this curry Vegetarian, adding Extra-Firm Tofu is a great alternative.

When cooking this tofu, reduce the cooking time to 1 minute since the Tofu just needs to absorb the flavors, everything is already cooked. If you add tofu pieces earlier, they’ll be over cooked. 

Possibilities are just endless with this curry, so go ahead and make it your own!

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Thai Panang Curry?

Thai curries go great with Jasmine rice, a local long grain variety of white rice.  Here are my Instant pot and Stove recipes for two popular kinds of Jasmine rice- White and Brown:

Brown Jasmine Rice

White Jasmine Rice

More Instant Pot Thai Recipes from my Kitchen

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Thai panang curry served with brown jasmine rice in a grey bowl

Panang Curry Recipe in Instant Pot

An easy 30-Minute recipe for a restaurant-style Thai favorite, Panang Curry. This mildly spicy, slightly sweet and creamy coconut curry can be made in a pressure cooker with Chicken, Seafood or Tofu (vegan).
4.37 from 25 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
NPR: 5 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 277kcal


  • 14 oz Coconut Milk : 1 can. I prefer the Chaokoh brand
  • 1/4 cup water (skip if you prefer a thicker curry)
  • 1/2 can Maesri Thai Panang Curry Paste (or use full can, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 cup Cut Baby Corn
  • 1 cup chopped carrots about 2 medium
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 3/4 inch pieces or Firm Tofu for vegan
  • 1 tsp fish sauce Optional (if you have it on hand)

After Cooking

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Few drops of lime juice
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (can use snap peas or zucchini cubes instead)
  • 6-8 Thai basil leaves for garnish optional


  • Prep: Cut chicken into 3/4 inch pieces. If using Form Tofu, cut it into 1 inch pieces.  Chop baby corn and carrots.  Cut 1 small head of broccoli into florets and keep aside.
  • Turn Instant Pot on Saute.  Add coconut milk and water. Then, add curry paste and whisk it till it is blended with the coconut milk. Add baby corn, carrots (or whatever root vegetables you are using). 
  • Finally, add the chicken or Tofu pieces. Stir everything. Make sure the curry mix is simmering at this point before you close the lid. It prevents the coconut milk from curdling.
  • Close lid. Hit cancel. Set vent to Sealing mode. Press 3 minutes Manual (high). Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, (QR after 5).
  • Open the lid. Check for seasoning. Add brown sugar and lime juice. Then, add broccoli florets and let them hangout in the curry for about 30 seconds so they get cooked a bit. They’ll still stay crunchy. You can leave them in there for another minute or 2 on Saute if you like them cooked more. If at this point, the sauce is thinner than you like, hit Saute and cook it off for a minute or two. Serve with White or Brown Jasmine rice!


  • If after opening the lid, the coconut milk seems curdled, don’t worry, it hasn’t gone bad. The heat and the pressure just separated the fat from the milk. You can turn on Saute mode and whisk it gently back together. It’ll be a smooth curry again!
  • Easy to make this recipe VEGAN by using Tofu instead of chicken



If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.


Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 538mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3799IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: instant pot panang curry, panang curry chicken recipe, panang curry recipe, Thai panang curry recipe
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Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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