Thai Red Curry + Vegetables

A great way to use up leftover veggies! Minimal prep makes this bright, nourishing and comforting meal an easy weeknight dinner.

You know when you’re not quite ready to make another trip to the grocery store, and stuck with some not-so-fresh produce that’s lost its luster? I’m not talking about produce that has been taken over by fuzz, but maybe the flesh of your bell pepper is starting to pucker or your broccoli is starting to yellow. Or, as is often the case in my home, perhaps you bought kale with the best of intentions, but you’re struggling to… actually eat it?!

I can’t lie, that’s my fridge pretty often. I get so stoked about trying a new recipe and buy the ingredients, but sometimes I forget about the leftover produce I have lying around. And then it’s on to the next culinary adventure.

I am also kind of a cheapskate, as my family lovingly calls me (I prefer “frugal” or “ballin’ on a budget”). As a matter of principle, I believe food should never go to waste! Most of it ends up in landfills and increases methane emissions, plus you have to account for the wasted resources that go into food production in the first place, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency points out.

But before I get way too far down that rabbit hole, I’ll step off my soapbox and say that this Thai red curry recipe is a fantastic way to use your leftovers. You’re cooking them in a broth, so it disguises any textural weirdness, and it is a DELICIOUS broth at that.

The base is comprised of rich and creamy coconut milk mixed with a few tablespoons of Thai red curry paste (buy it premade in the grocery store and check the international aisle). Lemongrass, lime juice and rice vinegar bring a touch of brightness, while the umami flavors in the fish sauce and oyster sauce pack a flavorful punch. Soy sauce and brown sugar round it out nicely.

On this particular day, I was trying to use up some zucchini, yellow squash, green beans, broccoli, bell pepper, onion, carrot and — you guessed it — kale. I threw them into a pot and created the Thai curry broth went from there. You can follow my recipe to a T, or freelance and use whatever vegetables you’ve got in the fridge. Pretty simple dish in terms of prep, though you’ll have to measure six ingredients to prepare the curry.

Sometimes a girl’s gotta clean out the fridge or work with what she’s got. Next time you find yourself there, amp up your salvaged produce routine with a tasty Thai curry.

Thai Red Curry With Vegetables

A great way to use up leftover veggies! Minimal prep makes this an easy weeknight dinner.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people



  • 14 oz. can of coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp. red curry paste
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1.5 inches ginger minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • Sriracha to taste


  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot julienned
  • 1/2 c. broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 bell pepper julienned
  • 1 zucchini julienned
  • fistful green beans cut or ripped in half
  • 1/3 cup kale chopped
  • stalk lemongrass sliced into thirds and cut lengthwise
  • olive oil


  • Sautée garlic and onion in a about 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium high heat until translucent. Add the rest of your veggies and add another 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil.
  • Add can of coconut milk, then stir in lemongrass and ginger. Add remaining ingredients, and if you like heat, add Sriracha to taste.
  • Cook uncovered for 25 minutes and serve with jasmine rice.

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