An easy weeknight meal with savory, curry notes borrowed from Thai cuisine, Thai pasta with chicken is rich and satisfying, and chock full of healthy veggies.
Isn’t the first weekend of truly warm, sun-soaked weather just the grandest thing ever? So, that was this past weekend for me, and I feel rejuvenated and positively craving the fresh summer vegetables that are almost within reach now.
While our food tastes shift to lighter fare, my pasta cravings ratchet up, too. But not just pasta — pasta with loads of veggies and a sauce that’s not goopy from mayo or cheese, but fully flavored with a healthier-than-dairy edge (thank you, coconut milk!).
A generous portion of red Thai curry paste, plus ginger, soy sauce, and leeetle bit of sugar, moves this pasta dish into Thai-inspired territory, with flavors that I absolutely adore and crave.
I enjoy this recipe so much, because it’s a nice change-up from my go-to brown rice dishes. I can’t remember the type of pasta I used here (d’oh!) but it’s very much like orecchiette, only curled up like a taco. Curled up so that all sorts of saucy flavors gets trapped inside. Feel free to substitute whole grain pasta, or any of the other really interesting varieties that are hitting the markets now, like lentil pasta.
Also, if you ditch the chicken, this thai pasta recipe is immediately vegan. And so flexible, in fact, that if you sub the pasta with a gluten-free variety, and skip the peanut garnish, you’ll have an allergy-friendly — meat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free … but immensely flavor-full — pasta dish for big gatherings at summer picnics and cookouts.
Thai Pasta with Chicken
- 8 ounces dried pasta small shapes work great
- 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 carrot grated or chopped
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 baby bok choy chopped
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder or ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 splash soy or Tamari sauce
- 1 pinch sugar
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups cooked chicken or cubed tofu
- 1/2 fresh lime
- Kosher salt
- chopped peanuts
- minced cilantro
- sliced green onions
- lime wedges
- Prepare the pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the oil over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, bell peppers, and carrots, and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the broccoli and bok choy, and cook until the broccoli is a bright green (just a minute or so).
- Scootch all the vegetables to the side, and add a couple of tablespoons of the broth to cleared area. Spoon the curry powder, curry paste, ginger, and a pinch of salt on top, then stir with the broth until it forms a fragrant paste. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the remaining broth, soy sauce, and sugar, and mix everything together.
- Stir in the coconut milk, followed by the chicken (or tofu) and the drained pasta. Let everything warm through for several minutes, then squeeze the lime over the dish.
- Serve immediately, with garnishes.
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