Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry with Optional Chicken

Did you know that folks in Thailand generally don’t use chopsticks? Yeah, I didn’t either – not until after I took these photos. D’oh.

But you know what? I think that’s okay. This recipe for Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry (with optional chicken for the meat-eaters!) isn’t super-duper authentic Thai, either, and I like both the photos and the recipe just fine. Okay, truthfully, I was pretty happy with the photos … and I love the recipe. So hopefully nobody else takes offense.

Roasted winter vegetables in Thai red curry with optional chicken for the meat-eaters from

I really don’t make many Asian dishes, at least not in the nearly two years I’ve had this blog up and running. I didn’t think much about that fact until recently.

I wish I could share some sort of awesomely cool epiphany with you, but really, it was just sort of like, huh. I don’t do much Asian food. I’m leaving out all types of cuisines that I actually adore. And I really need to start making more of them at home. Super exciting! Not.

Roasted winter vegetables in Thai red curry with optional chicken for the meat-eaters from

And so, here we are. A big batch of oven-roasted, season-appropriate, slightly caramelized vegetables – parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes – swimming in rich, spicy-sweet Thai red curry sauce. You can’t really see the swimming part because my bowls are too deep (I did NOT think out these photos!), but it’s right there under the surface, ready to be slurped and devoured.

No fish sauce in this recipe, by the way, to keep it vegetarian/vegan – I substitute a bit of soy sauce to try to mimic some of that indescribable saltiness. It’s not a close match, but still plenty delicious, I think.

Roasted winter vegetables in Thai red curry with optional chicken for the meat-eaters from

A handful of other veggies – mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper – and a generous hand with the fresh Thai basil bring this wonderful dish together. And, of course, chicken for the carnivores.

Roasted winter vegetables in Thai red curry with optional chicken for the meat-eaters from
This recipe seems a tad labor-intensive – you oven-roast the veggies, simmer the sauce on the stove in a big pot, and cook the chicken in a separate skillet. But it all actually goes really smoothly and fairly quick. And it keeps remarkably well for leftovers – Thai lunch the next day, anyone? Yes, please!

I think it’s a terrifically easy recipe, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to become a staple in our kitchen.

Just, you know, no chopsticks. Gotta keep it real.

Print Recipe

Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry with Optional Chicken

Oven-roasted, slightly caramelized winter vegetables - parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes - swim in rich, spicy-sweet Thai red curry sauce. Add chicken for the meat-eaters, and everyone's happy!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes


  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups diced)
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup diced)
  • 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into a 1/2-inch dice (about 1 cup diced)(or 1 cup baby carrots)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeds and stem discarded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled, quartered and then cut into eighths
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 (approximately 14-ounce) cans lite coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sliced white button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh Thai basil, lightly packed and roughly chopped (plus more for serving if desired)
  • White or brown rice for serving
  • Fresh lime slices and Sriracha sauce for for serving, if desired
  • If adding chicken to half
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, and onion in a large bowl and toss with oil until coated. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast veggies, turning occasionally, for 30 - 40 minutes, until tender and browned on parts.
  • While the vegetables are roasting, start the sauce. In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, mushrooms, and basil to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • If adding chicken to half, add a little olive oil to a skillet heated to medium high and add the chicken. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is completely cooked through and browned on some sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • Pour the oven-roasted veggies into the sauce, and stir gently to combine. Transfer about one-third of the veggie and sauce mixture to the skillet with the chicken, and mix.
  • Serve in individual bowls scooped over rice, if desired, along with fresh lime wedges for squeezing over the top (essential in our book!), fresh torn basil, and we also like a good squirt of Sriracha sauce, too.

Vegetarians, check the ingredients in your red curry paste - some may contain fish sauce or shrimp paste. I use Thai Kitchen brand, which does not have either of those ingredients.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds.


17 Responses to “Roasted Winter Vegetables in Thai Red Curry with Optional Chicken”

  1. kent posted on January 9, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    A very good display, for the food itself.
    But FYI, no with the chopsticks sticking up into rice..
    since our childhood, almost every Asian ppl like me were told specifically not to do this because it looks like how we do during the worship for ancestors.

    • Karen Troughton posted on January 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Hi Kent, that is fascinating! Man, I will NEVER do that with chopsticks again – especially in Thai food. Now I know it’s doubly bad. :)

  2. Anon posted on January 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Big no no with the chopsticks :(

  3. Julia posted on January 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Please don’t stand your chopsticks vertically like that. It represents the incense burned in reverence of the dead and is considered very disrespectful and offensive.

    • Kare posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:37 am

      Yes, I’ve gotten that message loud and clear. :) Certainly no disrespect intended. I plan to take new photos when I can.

  4. Pingback: roasted winter vegetables | Grow Winter Vegetables For Healthy Great Tasting Meals

  5. Jane posted on January 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Just made this on a snow day — so good! I didn’t have parsnips and I hate mushrooms so I left those out, but it was sooo good. So glad to have a great red curry base now!

    • Karen Troughton posted on January 30, 2014 at 6:37 am

      Hi Jane, so glad you liked it! It seems like perfect snow day food. Yes – the base would work with nearly anything! :)

  6. Stephanie posted on January 30, 2014 at 11:09 am

    About to make this tonight, found it from the Oh My Veggies! meal plan. Am I supposed to use unsweetened coconut milk? I used it for one of her recipes and found that it came out lacking taste but it wasn’t specified.

    • Karen Troughton posted on February 5, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Hi Stephanie, yes – unsweetened canned coconut milk. If you do find you prefer a little more sweetness, you may want to adjust the brown sugar.

  7. Stephanie posted on February 6, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    This was AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING!!!! Even my carnivore husband liked it. It made quite a bit so we had a lot of leftovers. My favorite was putting the veggies over a baked potato. Thank you!

    • Karen Troughton posted on February 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      Baked potato – SUCH a brilliant idea for the leftovers. Yum! So glad you and your husband liked it. :)

  8. john posted on March 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    just happened upon your site, having just made a batch of thai red paste and looking to cook for us meaties and one vegetarian and this is perfect. to cook tonight.

  9. Rob posted on March 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Doubled the recipe since we have 5 kids and love leftovers, used a duck breast for the protein, turned out fantastic. When we reheated today I threw in some cashews!

  10. Sarah posted on August 15, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Made this tonight- really delicious!! I’m veggie and my boyfriend is a carnivore. I added marinated tofu for me and grilled chicken for him-both really enjoyed it and will make again, thank you! 

    • Karen Raye posted on August 18, 2014 at 9:52 am

      Hi Sarah, I’m so glad you both liked it! This recipe was one of my favorites this past winter – thank you for reminding me to put it on the list to make again soon!

  11. Mandy T. posted on September 18, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    We love this dish! We’ve made it in the winter with winter vegetables and then made it again last night with fresh produce from our garden severed over rice noodles. Turns out we like it even better the next day, when the sauce has time to thicken and stick to the noodles more. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe!

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