A simple family-friendly vegetarian dinner recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals, meal prep, and beyond! Customize this simple dinner by using any fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand for a quick and tasty 30-minute meal!
Who loves simple meals? (Me.)
Who loves simple meals that are not only kid-friendly but recipes that the whole family will enjoy? (Definitely me.)
Who is interested in adding more plant-based meals to their life for both their own health and wellness and also because they cried when they watched David Attenborough's witness statement in the film (which is also a book) A Life On Our Planet on Netflix?
(Yep, me again.)
If you also answered yes to any of those three questions, say hello to this recipe for Thai-Style Tempeh Green Curry from fellow food blogger Kristen Wood. Kristen just recently published a new cookbook, called Vegetarian Family Cookbook - 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together, and I couldn't be happier to share it with you.
Kristen covers ALL the essentials in her new cookbook such as:
- how to cost-effectively stock a vegetarian pantry
- how to feel prepared for mealtime
- how to navigate meals with picky eaters (umm, yes please)
- and how to ensure your food is always perfectly flavorful and TASTY
The vast majority of the recipes in Kristen's cookbook are gluten-free and if they aren't listed as such it typically involves a quick and easy switch of all-purpose flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour or swapping regular bread for gluten-free bread. Easy peasy.
It was incredibly difficult picking out just one recipe from Kristen's new cookbook to share with you. My kids had their eyes on a Fruit Juice Gummies recipe and I was having a moment with the Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe but this simple dinner recipe for Thai-Style Tempeh Green Curry won me over.
Not because I don't have a deep love for cookies (crazy talk) but because dinner is oftentimes the meal that many of us feel regularly challenged by. Yes?
So dinner first, then buy the cookbook and make those cookies for dessert.
🌟 Why you'll love this recipe
- 30 M-I-N-U-T-E-S! It truly feels magical to be able to get dinner on the table that quickly.
- Healthy and nutritious while still full of flavor. Obviously a necessary requirement.
- Completely dairy-free but still creamy and delicious.
- Versatile. This recipe is great for using up any leftover veggies hanging out in your fridge and the tempeh can be easily swapped out for another protein of choice if you'd like.
- Awesome leftovers! The flavors get even better with time.
🛒 Ingredients & suggestions
- Coconut milk - Full-fat (versus lite) canned coconut milk is my preference for achieving a creamy, dreamy, comforting curry.
- Green curry paste - A flavorful, spicy (this varies from brand to brand), and perfect complement to the sweetness of the coconut milk. You could also substitute yellow or red curry paste for an equally tasty but slightly different flavor profile.
- Tempeh - A plant-based protein source that originated in Indonesia that is made from fermented soybeans and formed into a block. Store-bought tempeh often includes additional beans and grains so be sure to double-check that the tempeh you have your eye on is in fact gluten-free. Tempeh can also be swapped out for tofu, chicken, beef, or prawns.
- Coconut aminos - A soy-free, gluten-free alternative to soy sauce and tamari. Coconut aminos are milder, sweeter, and less salty than soy sauce and tamari and, despite its name, does not taste like coconut.
- Coconut oil - Light olive oil or avocado oil can be used as a substitute if you prefer.
- Vegetables - I used a combination of green beans, red bell pepper, zucchini, and onion but you could use ANY vegetables that you enjoy! Eggplant, Yukon gold potatoes, snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, fresh basil, or bamboo would be great options as well.
- Cooked rice - I love green curry served over jasmine rice but it would also be tasty served over quinoa or brown rice.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities see the recipe card at the end of this post.
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
Step 1: Sauté oil, ginger, and garlic.
Step 2: Add green curry paste and sauté.
Step 3: Stir in coconut milk, water, sugar, coconut aminos, and salt. Bring it to a boil and allow the aroma of the curry to put a little dance in your step.
Step 4: Add the veggies and the tempeh! Then let it simmer babe.
Step 5: Turn off the heat and give it a good squeeze of lime. Maybe two squeezes.
Step 6: Serve with rice (or quinoa!) and marvel at how quickly you just made dinner. Way to go You. 🙌
👩🍳 Recipe tips
- Green curry paste can vary WIDELY between brands in how spicy it is! I just about burned my mouth off with how spicy I made this curry the first time around. Don't do what I did, unless you love some heat. If your green curry paste lists green chili peppers first within the nutrition label odds are it's going to be super spicy. If this is the case, begin with less curry paste than called for in this recipe or add more coconut milk. I've also included notes in the recipe card below with some tips on different green curry paste brands that range from mild to spicy.
- Use whatever veggies you have on hand! This recipe is super flexible and works well with whatever veggies have been hanging out in your fridge or freezer. If serving this recipe to picky eaters, use veggies you know that they typically love.
- Make ahead. This is a great recipe to prepare and make in advance. The flavors of the curry will continue to develop over time making for some awesome leftovers. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 1 week and requires nothing more than a simple reheat on the stovetop.
💭 Frequently asked questions
Green curry paste is traditionally made by pounding green chilies, shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime peel, cilantro roots (coriander), cumin seeds, white peppercorns, shrimp paste, and salt in a mortar (source). These ingredients can vary though from region to region.
Typically red is the spiciest of the three curries followed by yellow and then green. However, it can vary greatly from brand to brand or if you choose to make your own curry paste from scratch. So don't be fooled; green curry can get VERY spicy (sometimes more so than yellow curry)!
Now go and conquer dinner by adding this recipe to your weeknight meal or meal prepping plan. Or hit the print button in the recipe card below or pin the recipe for later. OR better yet, go buy the cookbook and you'll be set with 99 more simple family-friendly vegetarian recipes!
P.S. I'm giving away a free copy of Kristen's cookbook on my Instagram profile to one lucky person so go check that out too! ♡
✨ More tasty dinner recipes!
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*This recipe has been republished from the cookbook with permission from the author and publisher.Print
Thai-Style Tempeh Green Curry
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
A simple family-friendly vegetarian meal that is perfect for weeknight meals, meal prep, and beyond! Customize this quick and easy dinner by using whatever fresh or frozen vegetables you have on hand. From the Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Kristen Wood with permission.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons grated ginger root
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups vegetables of choice, fresh or frozen
- 1 (8-ounce) package gluten-free tempeh, diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 4 to 6 cups cooked rice or quinoa, for serving
- Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Combine coconut oil, ginger root, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the Thai green curry paste. Sauté 1 minute longer.
- Stir in the coconut milk, water, sugar, coconut aminos, and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Add the vegetables and tempeh once the curry reaches a boil, cover, and reduce to low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
- Turn off the heat, then stir in the lime juice.
- Divide the rice or quinoa into 4 bowls and serve the curry over top of each. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.
The equipment section above contains affiliate links to products I use or recommend.
For the veggies, I used a combination of fresh green beans, diced red bell pepper, onions, and zucchini.
If you need this recipe to be 100% vegetarian/vegan, just double check your curry paste label. Some curry pastes include shrimp paste or fish products in the paste itself.
Double check that your store-bought tempeh is gluten-free. Store-bought tempeh often includes additional beans and grains which are not always gluten-free.
Swap tempeh for another protein if you like such as tofu, chicken, beef, or prawns.
Green curry pastes can vary in heat. My mouth was on fire testing this recipe with a couple of local green curry paste brands called Thai Home and Thai and True. They were delicious but definitely too spicy for my kiddos. Thai Kitchen brand would be a milder option and Mike's Organic Curry Love would be the most kid-friendly or a great option for those who can't tolerate a lot of spicy heat.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Thai-inspired, Vegan
- Diet: Gluten Free
Keywords: vegetarian curry, vegan curry, green curry, gluten-free dinner recipes, easy dinner recipes
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This recipe is seriously bursting with flavor! The combination of spices is perfect!
This was perfect on a chilly Chicago Winter evening and came together with no problems. I enjoyed it with steamed cauliflower rice. Highly Recommend!
What a perfect weeknight meal. Thank you! I'm always looking for delicious and healthy meal ideas.
While my initial thought was ohhh I should use chicken for this curry, it was not missed! The flavor absorbs nicely into all the ingredients and I felt just a bit healthier without adding the meat 😀
Delicious! I used chicken stock instead of water and added an extra 1/2cup of it. Brussel sprouts and spinach instead of zucchini. Added 1.5tbsp of fish sauce. Such a hit and so easy to make!
This recipe was beyond delicious! I had recently bought tempeh and wasn’t sure what to make with it. So glad I found your website! I also used broccoli instead of green beans (that’s what I had on hand) and it turned out amazing!! Will make this green curry again!
This recipe is the BEST!! So healthy, filling, and delicious. 10/10 will be making again