Thai Red Curry Soup in Instant Pot

May 1, 2018 (Updated: November 5, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Hearty, healthy and creamy, this Thai Red Curry Soup is one of my go-to meals when I’m craving for something sweet and spicy. Packed with assorted vegetables, chicken and delicate rice noodles, this mildly spicy dish is ready in 30 minutes using your Instant Pot or stove.

A bowl of Thai red curry Soup

This delicious and nutritious soup is filled with protein, has tons of veggies and the creamy yum coconut milk gives it a smooth and velvety texture . A squeeze of lime towards the end, cuts through that richness and balances this coconut curry soup really well.

Easy 30-Minute Weeknight Meal

Thai food recipes come together in a flash, especially when I use store-bought curry pastes.

I combine fresh or frozen chicken (or Tofu), whatever assorted veggies I have on hand, store-bought curry paste with coconut milk, and trust my pressure cooker to do the rest.

With very little effort and a short pressure cooking time of 5 minutes, this healthy one-pot meal is on the table in 30 minutes!

Ingredients for Thai Red Curry Soup

It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this pot of deliciousness. Here’s what you need:

  • Protein: I use chicken breast or thighs, cut it up in 1-inch pieces. You can use the protein of your choice here (shrimp or tofu). (see instructions on cooking time for these below)
  • Thai Red Curry Paste. I use Maesri brand, but you can read about more choices if you scroll down. I use a Red Curry Paste for this soup, but you can use green or yellow as well.
  • Coconut Milk: This adds a smooth creamy texture and taste to the soup that contrasts beautifully with the spicy curry paste. I use a regular fat coconut milk, but you can use light coconut milk as well.
  • Aromatics: Garlic, ginger and onion form a flavorful foundation in this dish!
  • Vegetables: This is where you can get creative and use your favorite medley of vegetables. I like to add the veggies after pressure cooking so they retain their crunch. Here I used zucchini, carrots, baby corn and bell peppers.
  • Noodles: I use rice noodles in this soup. The delicate flavors of rice noodles pair great with asian dishes . Besides, it also makes this soup Gluten-Free. I like to use Brown rice Noodles, which also keeps the net carbs in check.
  • Broth: Vegetable or Chicken, whatever you have on hand.

Which Curry Paste to Use

I’m all about making things from scratch, but when I found out that my local favorite Thai restaurant uses pre-made curry pastes, I just had to try them out.

There are many brands of Thai curry paste in the stores, and I’ve tried a fair share of them. I found Maesri brand to be the most authentic in terms of flavors and consistency. I always keep these curry pastes, and a can of coconut milk in my pantry.

Another great thing about Maesri brand is that it is vegetarian since there is NO shrimp paste in the ingredients. So, I can use it even when I’m entertaining without having to worry about allergies or food restrictions.

If you’re looking for a certified Gluten-Free Curry paste, Thai Kitchen is another great product line.

Close up of thai red curry soup made in Instant pot

How to Make Thai Red Curry Soup in an Instant Pot

This easy pressure cooker recipe has been tested in a 3qt and 6qt Instant Pot. It will work in any comparable electric pressure cooker, like Mealthty Multipot. Here are step by step instructions:

  • Prep and chop all the vegetables and protein of your choice.
  • Heat oil on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot.  Add red curry paste, ground ginger and garlic and chicken pieces.  Saute for 30-45 seconds.  (Skip the saute step to make this a Dump & Start Recipe.) 
  • Add broth, salt, fish sauce, cilantro and lemon grass and stir well.  Close the lid.  Cancel SAUTE.  Set pressure knob to ‘sealing’ position (Duo models).  Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
Sauteing chicken in thai curry paste, adding broth to the Instant Pot
  • Manually release pressure, by turning the knob to venting position in Duo models, or by pressing down the pressure valve in Ultra.  Note: If your pot is too full, turn the knob half way between sealing and venting. This causes the pressure to release slowly and soup doesn’t splash through the knob.  Open lid after the pin drops.
  • Using long tongs or a fork, remove the cilantro bunch.  Add rice noodles, Thai basil, veggies, coconut milk and simmer on SAUTE mode for 3-4 minutes, or till noodles cook through. 
  • Add honey and squeeze in juice of half a lime.  Using the tongs, remove the lemongrass stems. 
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve warm!
Adding noodles and vegetables to the Instant Pot

Customize this Recipe

I make quite a few variations of this Thai soup.  I switch the proteins and make it with chicken or shrimp, or a vegetarian version with Extra-Firm Tofu.

  • You can use chicken breast or chicken thighs in this recipe. Both go really well.
  • If using shrimp, I prefer to use thawed pre-frozen ‘medium’ size shrimp (35-50 count per bag). They are deveined and ready for use. I add it after pressure cooking and simmer it for a few minutes on saute mode, until the shrimp are cooked.
  • I love the crunch and flavor of assorted vegetables in Thai Red Curry Soup. I like to add sliced bell-peppers, onions, baby corn and zucchini, but you can add pretty much any kind of vegetables you like.
  • Even frozen vegetables work great in this soup. Simply add them after the pressure cooking process and cook for a few minutes on sauté till they thaw and absorb the soup flavors.
  • You can garnish it with cilantro, Thai basil or even mint.
  • As for noodles, I like to use the healthier Annie Chun’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles, but you can use your favorite brand. Another alternative is Angel hair Pasta.

Brown Rice Noodles- ‘Healthier’ Carb Option

Pad Thai Rice noodles go really well in this soup. There are many varieties of rice noodles available, so you can add your favorite kind. My family’s favorite is Annie Chun’s Gluten-Free Brown Rice Noodles.

This isn’t a noodle-heavy soup, so I use one serving of 2 oz. for the whole soup, which serves 4 of us. Each serving has 4 grams of fiber vs. the 1 gram in the white rice noodles.

So, with 40 grams of net carbs per serving (as per the box), that comes out to 10 grams of net carbs per bowl for us. That’s a pretty sweet number given how satisfying they are.

How to Make Vegan/Vegetarian Thai Red Curry Soup

This recipe is very easy to customize and make vegetarian or vegan. Simply substitute chicken with extra-firm tofu in this recipe and follow the remaining instructions. Use vegetable broth.

Add tofu after the pressure cooking process and simmer it for a few minutes in the soup. This way it doesn’t get overcooked and still absorbs the wonderful flavors of the soup.

Make it a Dump & Start Meal

Of lately, I have been skipping the saute process and simply dump the ingredients listed under “pressure cooking” in the Instant Pot and cook.  After opening the lid, I proceed with the remaining instructions and it turns out just as delicious!

Pot of thai red curry soup with vegetables and noodles

Low Carb Red Curry Soup with Zucchini Noodles

For a lower carb Thai Red Curry Soup, you can skip the noodles altogether.

Another option that I have started using is Zucchini noodles. It just makes this Thai Red Curry Soup a very filling one-pot meal.

I have to admit that I did take sometime in getting used to the taste of ‘Zoodles‘, as they’re popularly called, but now, I enjoy them. Note: Zoodles take a minute or so to soften, so add them to the soup just 2-3 minutes before you are ready to eat.

Stove-Top Recipe for Thai Red Curry Soup

This easy soup can be made on the stove-top too. Simply follow this recipe in a heavy bottom soup pot or pasta pot.

  1. Heat some oil on medium-high heat and sauté the chicken pieces with red curry paste and crushed ginger and garlic. Then add chicken or vegetable broth, fish sauce, lemongrass, cilantro bunch and stir.
  2. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer everything for 15-20 minutes, or till chicken is cooked and tender.
  3. Open the lid, add the rice noodles or zoodles (zucchini noodles), Thai basil, assorted veggies, coconut milk and stir everything. Cook for another 3-4 minutes till the noodles cook through. Add some honey and squeeze half a lime. Check for seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves.
Top shot of a bowl of Thai red curry soup with noodles and vegges

Tips for the Best Thai Red Curry Soup

  • Add the veggies after pressure cooking. They maintain a mild crunch and add a nice texture contrast to this creamy soup
  • This soup can be made with Chicken, shrimp or Tofu. For shrimp, add after pressure cooking and simmer for a few minutes. This prevents them from overcooking.
  • If adding Tofu, add after pressure cooking, this prevents is from breaking in the soup.
  • I use pad thai rice noodles for best results.
  • For Low-carb option, skip the noodles or use zucchini noodles, called Zoodles.
  • If adding Zucchini noodles to this recipe, add them to the soup 2-3 minutes before you are ready to eat. This prevents them from turning mushy.
  • You can add more or less noodles based on your preference. You can also skip the noodles altogether and serve this with steamed Jasmine rice.
  • To freeze this soup, skip the noodles. Freeze in an air-tight container . Add the noodles when you are re-heating it. You can re-heat it in the Instant Pot on Saute mode, or on the stove-top.
  • If doubling this soup and releasing pressure manually, turn the knob half way between sealing and venting. This causes the pressure to release slowly and soup doesn’t spray through the knob. 
  • You can add more or less noodles based on your preference. You can also skip the noodles altogether and serve this with steamed Jasmine rice.

More Instant Pot Thai Food Recipes from my Kitchen

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Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is a hearty, healthy, rich and creamy soup that can be made in 5 minutes in the instant pot. Filled with veges and your favorite protein like Chicken, its a perfect dinner dish. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Thai Red Curry Soup

Thai Red Curry Soup recipe is a hearty, healthy, rich and creamy soup that can be made in less than 30 minutes in the instant pot.  Filled with vegges and your favorite protein like chicken, its a perfect dinner dish.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 484kcal
Author: Aneesha

Ingredients

For Pressure Cooking:

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs cut in 1 inch pieces – use Tofu for vegetarian soup
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Maesri Thai red curry paste adjust to taste, it’s a bit on the spicier side
  • 2 cloves garlic grated or ground, or 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated or ground, or 1/4 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 3 cups chicken broth or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce skip for vegetarian/vegan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass cut into 3-4 pieces
  • 1/2 a bunch of cilantro to be added as-is

Add after opening lid (on SAUTE mode)

  • 2 oz. Pad Thai brown rice noodles about 1/4 of the box
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1 small onion sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small bell pepper sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 zucchini sliced in half-moons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot sliced in half-moons about 1/2 cup
  • 1 can cut baby corn rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can Coconut Milk stir well before adding
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey or sugar (adjust to taste)

Garnish

  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Equipment

Instructions

  • Prep all the vegetables and protein of your choice. Heat oil on SAUTE mode in Instant Pot.  Add red curry paste, ground ginger and garlic and chicken pieces.  Saute chicken in the aromatics for 30-45 seconds.  (Skip the saute step to make this a Dump & Start Recipe.)  Add broth and all the other ingredients listed under “For Pressure Cooking”.  Stir well.  Close lid.  Cancel SAUTE.  Set pressure knob to ‘sealing’ position.  Pressure cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
  • Manually release pressure by turning the knob to venting position.  If your pot is too full, to prevent soup splatter, turn the knob half way between sealing and venting.  This causes the pressure to release slowly and soup doesn’t splash through the knob.  Open lid after the pin drops.
  • Using long tongs or a fork, remove the cilantro bunch.  Add rice noodles, Thai basil, veggies, coconut milk and simmer on SAUTE mode for 3-4 minutes, or till noodles cook through.  Add honey and squeeze in juice of half a lime.  Using the tongs, remove the lemongrass stems.  Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve warm!

Stovetop recipe

  • Heat some oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or pasta pot on medium-high heat.  Sauté the chicken pieces with red curry paste and crushed ginger and garlic. Then add chicken or vegetable broth, fish sauce, lemongrass, cilantro bunch and stir.
  • Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and simmer everything for 15-20 minutes, or till chicken is cooked and tender.
  • Open the lid, add the rice noodles or zoodles (zucchini noodles), Thai basil, assorted veggies, coconut milk and stir everything. Cook for another 3-4 minutes till the noodles cook through. Add some honey and squeeze half a lime. Check for seasoning and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro leaves.

Video

Notes

Tips for the Best Thai Red Curry Soup

  • Add the veggies after pressure cooking. They maintain a mild crunch and add a nice texture contrast to this creamy soup.
  • This soup can be made with Chicken, shrimp or Tofu. For shrimp, add after pressure cooking and simmer for a few minutes. This prevents them from overcooking.
  • If adding Tofu, add after pressure cooking, this prevents is from breaking in the soup.
  • I use pad thai rice noodles for best results.
  • For Low-carb option, skip the noodles or use zucchini noodles, called Zoodles.
  • If adding Zucchini noodles to this recipe, add them to the soup 2-3 minutes before you are ready to eat. This prevents them from turning mushy.
  • You can add more or less noodles based on your preference. You can also skip the noodles altogether and serve this with steamed Jasmine rice.
  • To freeze this soup, skip the noodles. Freeze in an air-tight container . Add the noodles when you are re-heating it. You can re-heat it in the Instant Pot on Saute mode, or on the stove-top.
  • If doubling this soup and releasing pressure manually, turn the knob half way between sealing and venting. This causes the pressure to release slowly and soup doesn’t spray through the knob. 
  • You can add more or less noodles based on your preference. You can also skip the noodles altogether and serve this with steamed Jasmine rice.
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.

Nutrition

Calories: 484kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1802mg | Potassium: 1221mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 5260IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Instant Pot Thai Red Curry Soup, Thai Red Curry Soup
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

This recipe was was updated in 2019 with new photos, helpful information, tips, and step-by-step photos.

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

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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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Susu Nu
    November 19, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Amazing! The food turned out nothing less than sublimely delicious. Thank you so much for sharing, the time and consideration you have taken, helping others in their cooking journeys and empowering people.

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      November 19, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Susu Nu, thank you so much for your kind and sweet words. I am glad you are enjoying these recipes. This soup is one of my personal favorites. Thanks again for taking the time to write this review. If you have a chance, I’d love it if you can rate the recipe by clicking on the stars 🙏

  • Reply
    Nathalie
    February 10, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Hi,

    I’d like to know if this recipe would fit in the 3 quart Instant Pot Mini. It looks so good, I’d like to make it.

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      February 10, 2019 at 10:37 am

      Hi Nathalie, yes this quantity would fit in a 3 qt. I have made it several times. Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    Monica
    February 9, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    I am not into super spicy food and red curry might be too hot. Is there a medium heat curry? When you say add veggies and noodle and cook 3 o4 minutes. Should the lid be down or up with saute on?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      February 9, 2019 at 10:00 pm

      Hi Monica, you can try Thai yellow Curry paste or Massaman curry paste instead. Those are milder than red. Also, you can add less paste to begin with and add more later based on your taste. Just simmer the sauce for a few minutes, if you add more paste later. Noodles and veggies are to be simmered on saute mode, uncovered. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    raji
    February 6, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Aneesha,
    I am new to IP. Pretty excited and nervous as well. Your vdos give me the confidence to try all your recipes. For thai red curry soup, i want to try the veg version. you have mentioned to add paneer and veggies after pressure cooking. What should I pressure cook first since i wont be adding any meat.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      February 6, 2019 at 5:10 pm

      Hi Raji,

      I’m so glad to hear that my videos are helpful for you. IP looks like an intimidating gadget and has a short learning curve, but believe me, within no time, you’ll be a pro. As for making this recipe with paneer(or Tofu) and veggies, depending on what veggies you want to add, add the root vegetables and baby corn before pressure cooking. Reduce the time to 1 minute. After cooking is done, wait for 5 mins of natural pressure release (NPR), then manually release the pressure (QR). Add noodles, remaining veggies and paneer, and follow directions. Hope this helps. I would love to hear how it turned out.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    December 29, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Hi Aneesha, I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious! Will definitely make again. I couldn’t find lemon grass so I just left it out. It was still amazing. Next time I may try adding straw mushroom!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      December 29, 2018 at 11:07 am

      Hi Barbara, I am so glad you enjoyed this soup. It’s my husband’s favorite soup, and he’s not a soup-guy 🙂 Straw mushrooms sounds like a great add, I’ll try that too. Thanks for sharing your feedback!

  • Reply
    Sharmila
    December 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Looks delicious! About to make it but would like to use shrimp. Should that be added at the same time as you would the chicken?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      December 2, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Sharmila, since Shrimp cooks much quicker than the chicken, I would recommend adding shrimp after pressure cooking and saute it with the noodles. I hope your family loves this soup. I would love to hear how it turned out!

      • Reply
        Sharmila
        December 3, 2018 at 7:41 am

        Hi Aneesha, Thank you for the prompt reply! The dish came out amazing! We had just purchased the InstantPot on Black Friday and I was really intimidated by it – not sure why even though I use a traditional pressure cooker. Your step by step instructions were perfect and we inaugurated the instant pot with this recipe. Next stop – Instant Pot Chicken Biryani 🙂

        • Reply
          aneeshasg
          December 3, 2018 at 9:02 am

          Super! That is so awesome to hear. I can relate to your feeling, it took me a while to get comfortable with the Instant Pot, I would keep defaulting to my trusted Hawkins the first few weeks 🙂 This soup is one of my hubby’s favorites, I am glad you guys enjoyed it too. Chicken Biryani turns out really awesome too. Just remember to add the water first, to avoid the burn message. I would love to hear how that turns out! Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. If you haven’t already, can you please rate the recipe- thanks!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    May 10, 2018 at 12:54 am

    Hi Aneesha,

    I made this last night and it was absolutely amazing! My husband licked the bowl clean, haha. I thought this was one of the yummiest things I’ve ever made in the pressure cooker. Thank you so much!

    I omitted the noodles and sugar/honey to reduce the carbs and sugar so I image your version is even more delicious.

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      May 10, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Oh wow! Don’t we love when THAT happens:-) Thanks for sharing that Michelle! My hubby is not a ‘Soup’ guy, and he requested for this dish last week 🙂 I add noddles for my kids, my hubby and I have it just like you did, it’s still wicked good!

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