Peanut Red Curry Tofu

This Peanut Red Curry Tofu is a protein packed meal that comes together in 30 minutes. A flavorful and creamy sauce that is easy to customize.

Top down view of a bowl of peanut red curry plated with white rice and topped with cilantro.

I really enjoyed the flavors in my Peanut Curry Chickpea Wraps, it was only a matter of time before I wanted to make this into a proper dinner meal on the stove top. And instead of chickpeas we are using tofu for that perfect chewy texture to compliment the creamy curry sauce.

Why You’ll Love This Quick Curry Dish

  • Minimal Chopping. For the things you do need to chop, they are aren’t complicated. I am not a fast chopper, and when I timed it, my ingredients were ready to go in less than 10 minutes.
  • You can enjoy this meal in 30 minutes. And that includes the prep time, cooking the rice and making the curry itself.
  • This is a flavorful dish using pretty simple ingredients. The curry paste alone provides a good amount of complexity in flavors to this dish without having to utilize a long list of ingredients.

What is Red Curry Paste?

Red Curry Paste (source) is one type of curry base used in a variety of Thai dishes. If you’ve heard of dishes like Thai Red Curry, this paste is what is used. The powerful fragrant paste is made up of a blend of different ingredients including dried red long chilies (prik chee fah), lemongrass, kaffir lime rind, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste.

Is Red Curry Traditionally Vegan?

Traditional curries in Thai cuisine normally include shrimp paste in the curry base itself or some fish sauce for flavor in the sauce base. Unless specifically marked, it’s always a good idea to check with the ingredients when making it yourself or ordering it out.

Good vegan Thai recipes do exist. And while they might not be traditional, some creators like Hot Thai Kitchen offer a few vegan-friendly recipes that make it easier to still enjoy the flavors of Thai cuisine without sacrificing on flavor. Highly recommend her version of Vegan Thai Red Curry.

Top view of a bowl of rice and peanut curry served in a speckled bowl.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Thai Red Curry Paste: Ensure that your curry paste is vegan as many traditional Thai red curry pastes tend to include shrimp paste. I use the brand Thai Kitchen.
  • Peanut Butter: Use a natural style peanut butter. You can also use almond butter or cashew butter, just make sure it is a runny nut butter for best consistency.
  • Garlic & Ginger: For my preparation I used fresh, but if you’d like to save on extra chopping, you can use some dry, ground versions or pre-minced varieties.
  • Sweetener: You can use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup or agave or opt for brown sugar. The sweetness helps to balance out the strong flavors of the chilis in the red curry paste.
  • Lime: Both the juice and zest is used in this recipe. If you don’t have limes available, you can add a splash of rice wine vinegar to help provide a pop of tang to the dish.

How to Make Peanut Red Curry Tofu

Start by coating your tofu with cornstarch, thyme and salt and pepper. Add the tofu to a heated skillet with oil and sauté until the tofu becomes golden. Once cooked, set aside in a bowl.

To the same pan, add in your remaining oil and sauté your onions and peppers until softened. Now, stir in the garlic and ginger, sautéing until fragrant.

Add in the curry paste and make sure to sauté for 2-3 minutes allowing the raw ingredients from the paste to cook through and coat your vegetables.

Now, stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, maple syrup and vegetable broth. Mix together really well to combine and bring to a simmer.

Once the curry starts to thicken slightly, stir in the spinach and allow to wilt. At this time, add in the tofu along with the lime zest and stir to coat. Finish with a squeeze of lime juice and serve.

Expert Tips For This Recipe

  • Use a natural peanut butter where the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. This type of peanut butter tends to blend in much better into the sauce.
  • Make sure to sauté your curry paste for at least 2-3 minutes. This will help to cook out some of the fresh raw ingredients in the paste and make the dish more flavorful.
  • Serve your curry with a fresh squeeze of lime juice to help better absorb all the iron found in the tofu and peanut butter. The vitamin C in the lime helps to enhance iron absorption.
  • Adjust the spiciness to your preference. You may find that the type of curry paste you use may provide a lot of spice. If you are sensitive, you might want to start with just 1 tablespoon of curry paste and increase as desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this meal be made in advance?

This is a great dish to make if you are looking to make it ahead for meal prep. Allow the curry to fully cool and place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. This curry can also be frozen, just place your airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. You can reheat the leftovers on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.

Can you make this curry without tofu?

Yes! Chickpeas are a great substitute. You can skip the tofu prep in the recipe and just add them in when adding the broth. If you are avoiding soy due to an allergy, make sure to also substitute other soy based ingredients like soy sauce and replace with condiments like coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari.

Is peanut red curry tofu healthy?

One major benefit of this curry is that it is low in saturated fat. For those with heart health concerns looking to avoid saturated fat from foods like coconut milk, coconut oil and high saturated fat meats, this option helps to minimize this. We’re also packing in some more vegetables like pepper and spinach to help include more fiber in the final dish.

How to Serve

This curry works really well with rice or noodles as they help to mellow out the intensity of the curry flavors. White rice or noodles also happen to cook up really quickly and can be started prior to making the curry. Another time saver is to use steam in the bag frozen rice, which means no extra clean up needed.

For a little extra, I also love topping this dish with fresh cilantro and/or some crushed peanuts for some more texture. And don’t forget the lime juice, especially for those looking to really get all the iron from this dish.

More Quick Vegan Recipes

Side view of a bowl of peanut curry topped with cilantro and served with rice.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A bowl of peanut curry served with white rice in a bowl next to a stripped napkin.

Peanut Red Curry Tofu

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Peanut Red Curry Tofu is a protein packed meal that comes together in 30 minutes. A flavorful and creamy sauce that is easy to customize.




  • 1 (450 g) block super firm tofu
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Red Peanut Curry

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 thumb size ginger, minced
  • 23 tbsp Thai red curry paste ( I use the brand Thai Kitchen)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
  • 12 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce (I use the brand Huy Fong Foods)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • Zest and juice of one lime


  1. To an airtight container add in your cubed tofu, cornstarch, thyme, salt and pepper, seal with a lid and give a good shake to coat. Heat a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat, then add in the oil. After it has heated, add the coated tofu and cook for 7-8 minutes until the tofu has become golden on all sides, only stirring every couple of minutes to allow the tofu to sear and avoid crumbling. Once cooked, set aside.
  2. To the same pan, add your remaining oil. Toss in your onions and peppers along with a pinch of salt and sauté until softened.
  3. Stir in your garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  4. To the pan, add in your red curry paste and allow to sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add your peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, chili garlic sauce and vegetable broth, giving everything a stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in your spinach and allow to heat through and wilt. Once wilted, stir in your tofu and lime zest and give everything a good mix to combine.
  7. Finish off your meal by squeezing fresh lime juice overtop and serve with rice.


I recommend serving this meal with noodles or rice. To make the rice quickly, opt for white Jasmine rice and start it before you begin cooking the curry.

To make sure you prep and cook this meal in 30 minutes, prepare some of the ingredients while you are cooking the tofu. I like to chop the onion, peppers, garlic and ginger as the tofu is searing in the pan.

If sensitive to spicy foods, I would recommend starting with just 1 tablespoon of curry paste and adding more based on preference.

For a really rich broth, feel free to replace 1 cup of vegetable broth with 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk or unsweetened oat milk.

You can find red curry paste in the international section of your local grocery store in the US, normally stocked in the same area where you will find soy sauce or sriracha.

If using chickpeas in place of tofu, skip step 1 and add the chickpeas at step 5.

If you tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, then let me know what you thought in the comments below! And if you loved it, don’t forget to rate it too. Feel free to follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest nutrition tips and recipe videos.


This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase from those links. I only recommend and share products that I know, trust and personally use myself!


  1. Delicious! I made it for dinner last night and the whole family, including two tough teenage judges, gave it a thumbs up. So good!

  2. This was really tasty!!! I served it with some noodles and roasted broccoli and it all came together so well!! Thanks for a great recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star