This Thai-inspired tofu coconut curry is packed with plenty of plant protein and colorful veggies, and it comes together in 20 minutes! It’s the perfect vegan dinner to throw together when you want something cozy, comforting, and quick.
If you’ve been following along, you already know how much I LOVE cooking curries because they’re easy to make and even easier to eat!
This crowd-pleasing tofu coconut curry is rich, creamy, and loaded with tender-crisp veggies and flavorful morsels of tofu in every bite.
This curry is packed with silky tofu, butternut squash, green beans, bell peppers, and leafy greens. It’s perfect when you’re craving a takeaway but want a dish on the healthier side.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Oil: Most curries use vegetable oil or coconut oil. I prefer to use extra virgin olive oil as it’s much lower in saturated fat. Avocado oil is another good option with a trace amount of saturated fats.
- Aromatics: Onion (red or white), fresh garlic, and fresh ginger boost curries with a deeply savory and vibrant base flavor.
- Curry spices: For that distinct warm and peppery Thai curry flavor, you’ll need turmeric powder, ground cumin, and curry powder. Keep in mind that the potency of dry spices varies depending on where they are from and their freshness. So taste the sauce and adjust the curry spices precisely to your preferences.
- Butternut squash: Adds a naturally sweet and buttery mouthfeel to the dish. Instead of butternut squash, you can load up on sweet potatoes, carrots, or other winter squash like acorn or pumpkin.
- Green beans & bell pepper: Red bell pepper is sweet and tangy, while green bell pepper is more savory. For maximum color and flavor, use some of each!
- Full-fat coconut milk: A can of creamy coconut milk works best. If you substitute light coconut milk or another dairy-free milk alternative, the consistency of the sauce may not be as rich and velvety as it should be.
- Extra firm tofu: This is a fantastic source of plant-based protein. It makes vegan curries heartier and more filling.
- Leafy greens: You can use any greens. Try spinach, kale, swiss chard, collard greens, bok choy, Chinese broccoli, napa cabbage, mustard greens, etc.
- Cilantro & fresh lime juice: Added at the end for a pop of vibrant flavor and acidity.
Alternative veggies: This vegan curry is an excellent way to clean out the veggie drawer. You can add zucchini, yellow, squash, cauliflower, mushrooms, eggplant, broccoli, eggplant, snow peas – anything goes!
How To Make Coconut Curry with Tofu
- Sauté the aromatics: Heat the oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook until they are lightly golden and softened. Then, add the minced garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, and ground cumin, and cook until fragrant.
- Sauté the vegetables: Add the bell pepper, green beans, butternut squash, and a splash of water, and sauté until the veggies begin to soften.
- Simmer the curry: Reduce the heat, then add the coconut milk and tofu cut into cubes. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Again, reduce the heat and gently simmer until the mixture thickens into a silky curry sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, stir in a bit of water to loosen it up.
- Add greens and adjust spice: Stir in the greens, cilantro, and lime juice and season to taste with salt. If you can handle the heat, it’s time to add some spicy chilis or red curry paste.
Sides: This creamy tofu curry is excellent over a bed of basmati rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, or black rice alongside a piece of naan bread to soak up every drop of the delicious sauce.
Cauliflower rice is also a good option.
- Fresh cilantro
- Thin slices of red onion
- Fresh chili
- Sliced green onions
- Sesame seeds
- Roasted cashews
- Roasted chickpeas
- Avocado slices
How to Store
Storing: This recipe makes a large 4-6 serving skillet, so you may have leftovers. It keeps well in a shallow, airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. The rich flavors and aromas are even more divine once they’ve had more time to mingle.
Can you freeze tofu curry?
Yes, you can freeze tofu curry for up to 2 months. The texture of the tofu will change slightly and become softer and chewier, but it’ll still be delicious.
Freezing: Let the curry cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe zip-top bag or container. Freeze for up to 2 months. Set in the fridge to thaw, then reheat in a skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin the sauce if necessary.
Canned coconut milk has a mild coconut-y taste that soaks up whatever flavors are added. This coconut curry, for example, has a range of flavors and aromas with a subtle hint of coconut flavor.
Extra-firm tofu is best because it doesn’t need to be pressed and will hold its shape in the heavy sauce.
It isn’t necessary to cook tofu before adding it to curry, but you should if you prefer the tofu to be crisp and golden on the outside and chewy in the middle instead of soft and creamy throughout.
To make crispy tofu, wrap extra-firm tofu in a clean towel and press to soak up the moisture. Then, cut into 1-inch cubes and season with salt and black pepper. To cook, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until sizzling hot, then add the tofu cubes and sear on each side for about a minute until the tofu is evenly crisp and golden.
Since you’re adding extra-firm tofu (which is already low in moisture) directly to the curry sauce, pressing it beforehand isn’t necessary. However, if you plan to brown the tofu before adding it to the curry, squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible by gently pressing it in kitchen or paper towels before adding it to the pan.
Why I Love This Tofu Coconut Curry
- It’s a weeknight family favorite made 100% from scratch in under 30 minutes.
- The combination of tofu, veggies, and creamy coconut milk makes this curry hearty and satisfying.
- It’s packed with fiber and plant-sourced protein.
- It’s naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Other Curry Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegan Chickpea Curry
- Curry Bento Box
- Chickpea & Potato Curry (Chana Aloo)
- Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas
- Coconut Lentil Curry
- 10-Minute Chickpea Curry
If you try this easy tofu coconut curry recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Easy Tofu Coconut Curry
For the curry
- 2 tablespoon oil - see note 1
- 1 yellow onion - diced, you can also use red or white
- 4 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger - grated
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 cup butternut squash - diced (or carrot or sweet potato)
- 1 large red bell pepper - seeds removed & thinly sliced
- 14 ounce can coconut milk
- 15 oz extra firm tofu - cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 cups baby spinach - see note 3
- The juice of 1 lime
- 4 tablespoons cilantro - chopped
- Salt and pepper - to taste
- Cilantro leaves
- Red onions
- Fresh chili
- Basmati rice
- Sesame seeds
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions are lightly golden.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, curry powder, turmeric, and ground cumin (see note 2). Cook until fragrant for around 30 seconds to a minute.
- Add the bell pepper, green beans, butternut squash, and a splash of water, and sauté for 5 minutes until the veggies begin to soften.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the coconut milk. Add the tofu and gently stir.
- Bring the curry to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low to keep it gently simmering, and cook for around 10 minutes until the curry thickens. If needed, add a bit of water.
- Adjust salt to taste. If you like your curry spicy, now it’s time to add extra chili.
- Stir in the greens and lime juice, and cook until the greens are soft. Adjust salt to taste. If you like your curry spicy, now it’s time to add extra chili.
- Serve with brown or white basmati rice or naan bread, and garnish with extra cilantro, slices of red onions, and fresh chili.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!