Thai Red Curry Chicken Chili

thai chicken chili, butternut squash chicken chili

Things I’m not sorry for:

– Super short posts like this one. Lately I can barely breathe. Can someone please send the More Time Fairy my address?

– Eating legumes on Passover. (More on that next week.)

– My ability to make ginormous kitchen messes and my inability to effectively do dishes. After that mess occurs, I like to think I’ve earned the right to sit back and relax.

– Posting pictures like this on Facebook:

– Giving you guys the chance to win fun giveaways (like this falafel!) and educational, self-healing ones (like a spot in a sugar detox program co-taught by two holistic health educators.) Both giveaways are still open.

– Taking perfectly good vegetarian recipes and converting them to meat ones. (More on that in 0.2 seconds.)

– Posting a recipe for chili when the numbers “8” and “0” appear in next week’s forecast. Because, let’s face it. We’re going to get a snowstorm in April and you’re going to want to make chili. Or a big pot of heart-warming, sweet and spicy, loaded-with-vegetables-and-chicken-curry. Why not kill two birds with one stone? (Notice I said vegetables first – in this recipe, they are the star! But for me a little bit of chicken serves as a much-needed protein source.)

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Thai Red Curry Chicken Chili

Yield: 6 servings


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Add & saute:
4 cloves of garlic, minced
5 thai chili peppers, minced
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 1lb)
3 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, or 2 15oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (preferably low sodium, BPA-free cans)
1 cup light coconut milk
26oz box diced tomatoes (such as Pomi brand)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons coconut flour

Optional Garnishes for Serving:
6 green onions, sliced
8 Tbsp plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
Chopped fresh cilantro


Place chicken breasts in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by a few inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce heat to medium. Gently simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and allow to cool on a plate or cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred or chop the chicken into small pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large pot or dutch oven, whisk together 1/4 cup chicken broth, chili powder, red curry paste, cumin, and coconut oil over medium-low heat until smooth.

Increase heat to medium and add garlic, chili peppers, onion, green and red bell peppers, zucchini, and butternut squash. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are softened (the squash may still be quite firm, that's ok.)

Add remaining chicken broth, kidney beans, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Ladle 1/4 cup of liquid from the chili into a small ball. Whisk in the coconut flour until smooth, then add this mixture to the chili, stirring and continuing to cook over medium-low heat until thickened.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 389.1
Total Fat 7.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g
Cholesterol 43.9 mg
Sodium 520.8 mg
Potassium 1,272.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 48.6 g
Dietary Fiber 20.4 g
Sugars 8.2 g
Protein 32.2 g

Cara Lyons, Adapted from Vegetarian Thai Quinoa Chili, Back to Her Roots, via Prevention RD.

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15 Responses to “Thai Red Curry Chicken Chili”

  1. 1

    Lizzy — March 16, 2012 @ 10:12 am Reply

    Did someone say thai red curry paste? My favorite ingredient? Did someone? I love recipes with my favorite ingredient- even if it is going to be warm out!

  2. 2

    Ranjani — March 16, 2012 @ 10:41 am Reply

    No! No April snowstorms. Grrr. [But if we do happen to have one, this chili will make me feel better for sure]

  3. 3

    Heather — March 16, 2012 @ 11:18 am Reply

    Ah I am obsessed with anything Thai + Red Curry–can’t wait to try this!

  4. 4

    NIcole, RD — March 16, 2012 @ 11:35 am Reply

    Succcch beautiful photos – love’em! I’m glad you enjoyed this and I love your addition of chicken. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy weekend, Cara!

  5. 5

    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — March 16, 2012 @ 11:43 am Reply

    I looove anything with red curry paste in it. This is a great idea!

  6. 6

    Alisa — March 16, 2012 @ 1:12 pm Reply

    Short post, deliciously elaborate recipe! You are always so creative and your posts are never truly minimalist. red curry meets chili? Genius Cara!

  7. 7

    Maggie — March 16, 2012 @ 4:20 pm Reply

    Another gorgeous photo Cara! It pops! And your post made me laugh ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 8

    Shannon — March 16, 2012 @ 4:40 pm Reply

    noooo, no snow storm in april please ๐Ÿ™‚ although i do expect it to get chilly, so this will be perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰ love the flavors!!

  9. 9

    Joanne — March 16, 2012 @ 5:37 pm Reply

    I actually TOTALLY called the april snowstorm at work the other day…I just know it’s going to happen. Can you send the “more time fairy” my way also, once you’re done with her? I could use it! I know what I’ll be making when that storm hits!

  10. 10

    Kate — March 17, 2012 @ 11:14 am Reply

    I’m never sorry for chili

  11. 11

    richard — March 18, 2012 @ 7:00 am Reply

    i used a couple of tbsp fish sauce too.

    served over brown rice rather than thinckening

    agree that chicken adds little to dish. next time will make as vegetarian.



  12. 12

    Emily @ A Cambridge Story — March 18, 2012 @ 10:03 am Reply

    Your first photo is beautiful, Cara! I am definitely posting a soup recipe this week because – though the weather’s been great – we are not out of the woods yet. I’m sure there are plenty of chili meals left before it’s warm for good.

  13. 13

    grace — March 18, 2012 @ 5:07 pm Reply

    it’s so colorful! i can’t believe this lovely weather we’ve been having, but even so, i’m always up for chili. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. 14

    theholistichealthcoach — March 20, 2012 @ 8:22 pm Reply

    This recipe looks so delicious! Your photos are gorgeous! I love anything with curry, cumin and coconut in it. Looking forward to making this dish over the weekend! Thank you for posting ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 14.1

      Cara — March 20, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

      Thank you so much! Hope you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

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