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Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

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This Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry recipe is so easy to make in your slow cooker/crockpot! It’s also super healthy with nutritious veggies, and will provide enough leftovers for your busy week.

Thai yellow curry with veggies in a white bowl with cilantro garnish

I will never forget the first time I had Thai yellow curry. I was in my early 20’s living in Hawaii, and had never really been exposed to a lot of ‘ethnic’ foods growing up in a town of 3,000 people in rural Michigan. But one bite in and I was immediately hooked!

Thai yellow curry has been one of my very favorite dishes ever since, and it’s a dream come true that it’s generally an easy dish to order vegan at restaurants. Or, you can make it yourself in your slow cooker– one of the coolest inventions ever, don’t you agree?

How to make this Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry:

To begin, get out your slow cooker and add the following ingredients (STEP 1 below)– chickpeas, orange bell pepper, onion, potatoes, carrots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, water, vegetable broth, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir (STEP 2).

Ingredients for Thai Yellow Curry in a slow cooker.

Cook on high for 3 1/2 hours (or 5 1/5 hours on low heat).

After the time has elapsed, test the carrots and potatoes to make sure they are almost soft. They should still have a little bite to them, as we’ll be cooking them a little longer in a later step. (STEP 3). 

Next add the coconut milk (only the cream from the top of the can- not the liquid- see tip in Notes section of recipe card for how to use remaining liquid), the frozen sweet peas, sea salt, and golden raisins. Stir, then mix 1 tablespoon of amaranth powder or cornstarch with 3 tablespoons cold water and add that to the slow cooker (STEP 4). Stir all together until blended (STEP 5).

3 images showing adding ingredients to a Thai yellow curry in a slow cooker.

Turn the slow cooker back to Low heat, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Test the potatoes/carrots for doneness (if they aren’t soft, cook an additional 15 minutes) then turn the slow cooker to Warm. It’s best to let this sit for about 30 minutes before serving so the flavors absorb a bit more.

Note that the sauce will be a bit thin at first, but will thicken quite a bit over time, especially after keeping in the fridge overnight.

Serve this yellow curry over rice and/or with naan bread (or Herbed Flatbread) and garlic sauce. I prefer the Garlic Sauce from Trader Joe’s, though use sparingly as it’s packed with oil.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. This recipe makes 8 servings, roughly 1 cup each serving.

Thai Yellow Curry made in a slow cooker with fresh vegetables.

Tips for making this Slow Cooker Curry:

  • For this recipe, it’s best to add the coconut milk in at the END of the cooking process. If you add it earlier, and it gets too hot, it may curdle which isn’t desirable.
  • Lemongrass gives a nice flavor, but if you don’t have it on hand, don’t worry. It’s still good without.
  • To chop the lemongrass, you’ll want to 1) remove the tough outer leaves, 2) cut off the bulb/stem, 3) slice, and 4) chop fine using a sharp knife OR a food processor. I find a knife works great; just make sure you mince it very fine.
  • I HIGHLY recommend the golden raisins, which add just a touch of sweetness to this dish.

Sides/Substitutions:

  • I suggest serving this curry with a side of coconut rice (cook rice with coconut milk instead of water- yum!), naan bread, and if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I HIGHLY recommend spreading their Garlic Sauce on toasted naan bread.
  • If you want to turn up the heat, add a bit of cayenne pepper to the slow cooker.
  • This dish is also good with some chopped cilantro, or a bit of lime juice added before serving.
Thai Yellow Curry in 2 bowls with rice and bread on the side.

Looking for more Slow Cooker/Crockpot recipes? Try these!

Helpful Tools:

  • Slow Cooker/Crockpot- I imagine you already have a slow cooker if you are looking at this recipe =), but if not, here’s a good one.
  • Santoku knife– This is my favorite knife, great for chopping up the lemongrass.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

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Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Thai Yellow Curry in a white bowl with veggies

This Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry recipe is so easy to make in your slow cooker/crockpot! It’s also super healthy with nutritious veggies, and will provide enough leftovers for your busy week.

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Thai
Scale

Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 medium (or 4 small) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 12 ounces baby carrots, cut into thirds (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (or ginger paste)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass*, inner core, chopped and minced very fine (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsalted vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight (do not shake can), save liquid
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, no need to thaw
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch/flour (for gluten-free) or cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Add the following ingredients to the slow cooker- chickpeas, orange bell pepper, onion, potatoes, carrots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, water, vegetable broth, curry powder, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 3 1/2 hours (or 5 1/5 hours on low heat).
  2. After the time is elapsed, test the carrots and potatoes to make sure they are almost soft (they will still have a little bite to them).
  3. Then add the coconut milk (only the cream on top- not the liquid), sweet peas, sea salt, and golden raisins. Stir. Mix 1 tablespoon amaranth powder (or cornstarch) with 3 tablespoons cold water and add to the slow cooker. Stir.
  4. Set the slow cooker back to Low heat. Cover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Test the potatoes/carrots for doneness (if they aren’t soft, cook an additional 15 minutes) and set slow cooker to Warm. It’s best to let this sit for about 30 minutes before serving so it thickens even more.
  5. This recipe makes roughly 8 cups curry. The sauce will be a bit thin at first, but will thicken quite a bit over time. Serve over rice and/or with naan bread. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

Notes

  • After refrigerating, the curry will thicken quite a bit. You can save the remaining liquid from can of coconut water to thin, if desired.
  • *To chop the lemongrass, you’ll want to 1) remove the tough outer leaves, 2) cut off the bulb/stem, 3) slice, and 4) chop fine using a sharp knife OR a food processor. I find a knife works great; just make sure you mince it very fine.
  • I HIGHLY recommend the golden raisins, which add just a touch of sweetness to this dish.
  • For this recipe, it’s best to add the coconut milk in at the END of the cooking process. If you add it earlier, and it gets too hot, it may curdle which isn’t desirable.
  • I suggest serving this curry with a side of coconut rice (cook rice with coconut milk instead of water- yum!), and if you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I HIGHLY recommend spreading their Garlic Sauce on toasted naan bread. YUM.
  • If you want to turn up the heat, add a bit of cayenne pepper to the slow cooker.
  • This dish is also good with some chopped cilantro, or a bit of lime juice added before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 1 cup
  • Calories: 243
  • Sugar: 11
  • Sodium: 505.7
  • Fat: 7.7
  • Carbohydrates: 37.8
  • Protein: 7.8

Keywords: slow cooker yellow curry, slow cooker vegan curry, thai yellow curry, crockpot yellow curry

Update Notes: This post was originally published in December 2017, but was republished with new photos, step by step instructions, tips, and FAQs in September 2019.

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

56 Comments

  • Can I make on stove instead?

    Reply
    • Hi Kat, yes I believe this would work well on the stove. I wouldn’t boil it too much though, or the coconut milk will curdle. It might take awhile to simmer but I imagine it would still be good. =)

      Reply
  • The first time I printed out this recipe on 11/20/2017 it was different (and delicious).

    My family absolutely loves it. So when I went back to your site, I noticed changes.

    For example. you now add curry powder and garam masala. I thought that curry powder was already a British version of Garam Masala.

    I am sure it is still delicious, but why the changes? It was wonderful the way it was:)

    Thanks so much. I am also disabled like one of the posters above and recipes like these are a lifesaver.

    Sarah

    Reply
    • Thanks Sarah, you are so kind. I did update the recipe after making it a couple times and adjusted it a little based on some other reader experiences. You can certainly use Garam Masala instead of curry powder! Anyway, I’m so glad you love it and I hope you love the new version as well, as it’s not much different than the previous one. I’d love for you to let me know what you think. =)

      Reply
  • Would the ingredients get too mushy if I let it sit on low for double the time listed? I have longer work days to leave it on high for 3 1/2 hours

    Thanks

    Monica

    Reply
    • Hi Monica, I haven’t tried it but it may get a little mushy throughout the day. Just make sure you don’t add the coconut milk until later in the cooking process. =)

      Reply
  • Didn’t work for me. The coconut overwhelmed all the other flavours and nothing – including cornflour and reducing on the hob – would make it thicken up. Ended up with a very bland soup. A shame as this looked like it would be really nice.

    Reply
    • Sorry to hear that Jay. I’ve made it twice in the last couple days (for a video shoot) and I really love it mixed with some rice and a side of naan. It’s definitely thin when it stops cooking but it really thickens up over time. Did you use the thick coconut cream and not the liquid, as noted in the recipe? I’m also not sure how it could be bland with all the spices! =)

      Reply
  • I just did this for a big group, doubling the recipe, and it turned out beautifully. Thank you! I’m so sorry it didn’t work for everyone–it was a big hit with my family. We’ll definitely make it again. 🙂

    Reply
    • Thank you Alison, I’m so glad you liked it! =)

      Reply
  • Hi Christin,

    I was looking up “Thai curry slow cooker recipes” and I came upon this blog. Normally I don’t read these kinds of blogs and just skip to the recipe. But after I saw a picture of Honolulu I decided to read. And funny enough we have a lot in common!

    I currently live in NYC but I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. I miss Hawaii and my family and childhood friends a lot. And of course, I miss the amazing Asian cuisine! While NYC has some great food, nothing compares to the Asian food in Hawaii. Also, I couldn’t help but smile when you mentioned Phuket Thai. That’s my favorite restaurant of all time and they have the best Thai food ever. I always compare my Thai food to Phuket Thai! And fun fact, I worked at Phuket Thai (McCully) as a waitress in high school! We may have run into each other at one point. I assume you went to the McCully location as you were a student at UH. Phuket Thai also changed my mind about curry so I thought it was cool that you had the same experience

    Sadly, the McCully location closed but the Ward and Mililani location are still open. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. I’m excited to try it out and hopefully it will take me back! I know this was a long comment but I just got excited to read about someone with a similar experience.

    Best,
    Z

    Reply
    • Hi Z!! How cool we both lived in Honolulu and even cooler that we both frequented Phuket Thai on McCully! I was there a lot so yes, we probably crossed paths and didn’t even know it. =) I’ve also been to the one near Ala Moana. I really miss their yellow curry- I’ve had nothing close to it on the mainland. My other fave restaurant is Olive Tree next to the Kahala mall- have you been? My husband and I have actually changed our plans to visit Oahu just for that restaurant- ha! =) Anyway, great to connect with you and please keep in touch. Aloha. =)

      Reply
  • This looks amazing! If I wanted to add chicken, would I just add it raw at the beginning of cooking? Would I need to adjust liquids?

    Reply
    • I have never tried adding chicken. I don’t want to give you the wrong advice, sorry I’m not sure! =)

      Reply
  • As an octogenerian whose diet was not healthy during World War II when we used ration stamps, saved our meat drippings and ate what was available, I have transformed into a healthy eater and your vegan recipes are very appealing to me. My doctor wants to trade his cholesterol numbers for mine. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • That’s awesome Dee! I hope you enjoy my recipes. Thanks! =)

      Reply
  • What would you estimate a serving size to be? 1 cup? 2/3 a cup?

    Reply
    • Hi Andy, I’m going to have to make this again to be sure, but my guess would be around 3/4 cup. =)

      Reply
  • Made this tonight and my whole family loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply
    • That’s so great to hear Dahviya. Thanks so much! =)

      Reply
  • Can you freeze this curry to eat a few days/week later? Any concerns about freezing coconut milk?

    Reply
    • Hi Kelsey, yes, I’ve frozen soups with coconut milk in the past and it worked out fine. I hope you enjoy it. =)

      Reply
  • Can I leave out the lemongrass? Its the only thing I don’t have on hand….

    Reply
    • Hi Candi, yes I’m sure it would still be good without the lemongrass. =)

      Reply
  • This looks amazing! There are two things (okay more than that) I am all about: curries, and recipes that are disability friendly (which many slow cooker and one pot recipes are, or recipes with few ingredients, or that are cheap, or where most of the work can be done with the help of pre-chopped ingredients, a blender, or a food processor – is basically my definition, sorta, but I imagine you get the idea).
    Do you have any off the top of your head recipes or ideas or resources or links for disability-friendly vegan recipes?
    I’m working on gathering them up for obvious reasons – so I can easily become more and more vegan without falling into malnutrition (I have two GI disorders, so this is a serious concern) because everything’s too difficult or too expensive (but also without have to result to “Oh you’re disabled, eat some plain rice and beans, or raw fruits and veggies and nuts!” Y’know? Like I’ve loved the two overnight oats recipes I’ve tried, and banana nice creams, and smoothies, a couple sandwiches I’ve tried, but I haven’t had fantastic success with -meals-, often because of the aforementioned issues.
    Anyway sorry for rambling and thanks for reading! And if you don’t have anything, that’s okay! I’m just asking around to see just in case, so don’t feel obligated! 🙂

    I appreciate you, and all vegan bloggers (or bloggers who happen to also blog vegan recipes)! <3

    Reply
    • Hi Sunshine! Thanks for your thoughtful message. I do have a post for “10 Easy Vegan Dinners” here…. https://veggiechick.com/10-easy-vegan-dinners/
      You can also search on my site for the word “easy” and probably come up with a bunch more that could work for you. I do tend to try to make most of my recipes on the easy side, which I think would be disability friendly. I also love the site minimalistbaker.com- have you tried that site out? There’s some great stuff there. =)

      Reply
  • Does this call for an orange bell pepper or a habanero pepper?

    Reply
    • Bell pepper =)

      Reply
  • I just made a double batch to serve some and to freeze some as individual portions for snacks and lunches. Smells and tastes delicious and it is a hit with my teen boys. I added a block of tofu that needed to be used otherwise made it according to instructions. I needed to put it in a large pot so I slow-cooked it in the oven.

    Reply
    • Thanks Susan!! So glad you loved it. =)

      Reply
  • Hi this looks ABSOLUTELY delicious!!! I want to make this as soon as possible, but I was wondering if i could use curry powder instead of Garam Masala? Or would it taste different/worse? Thanks so much! 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda! I haven’t tried it and it may not taste exactly the same, but I would guess that it would still taste really good!! =)

      Reply
  • My littlebrother and I made this this morning. It’s cooking in the crockpot right now and so far the house smells really good! I think it will be really yummy! I’ll let you know how it tastes after dinner

    Reply
    • Thanks Jen! I hope you enjoyed it. =)

      Reply
  • I was on the hunt for a dinner my husband could make while I was doing a piano event one Sunday… and i decided on this. He never cooks. But our dinner was fabulous. Even better.. the leftovers! The golden raisins are a nice touch. Thanks so much for this recipe! It’s going in my binder of “favorites” 🙂

    Reply
    • Yay! Thank you! 😉

      Reply
  • You’re making me want to hop onto a plane and head straight to Hawaii! I’ve only been there once, but it was love at first sight; quite possibly the best vacation of my life. This curry looks delicious too, I’ll pin it for when I need a make-ahead dinner. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Oh I know, I just LOVE Hawaii if you couldn’t tell!! Haha My husband and I are going back in November- can’t wait!! Thanks for stopping by! =)

      Reply
  • I love curry!! I just made one very similar to this the other night. Such a delight:)

    Reply
    • I do too! Lately I’m on a big curry kick! =)

      Reply
      • Sorry, I know this is silly..but first, thanks for the recipe…second, I am 38 years old and have never met anyone else who spells their name the same…so cheers!
        Christin
        🙂

      • Ha! Me either!! It’s a pretty rare occurrence to see it spelled our way. It drives me crazy- everyone wants to add an “e” or an “a” at the end! Haha I love the unique spelling though. =) Thanks for reaching out.

    • do I have to use coconut milk? can I try almond or cashew milk?

      Reply
      • Hmm I haven’t tried that. Honestly, I don’t think it would have the same creamy coconut-y taste common in most curries. =)

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