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Thai Sweet Potato Curry with Skillet Chicken

Thai sweet potato curry paired with skillet curried chicken thighs makes for a warm and spicy easy dinner.

Thai sweet potato curry in pot next to skillet curried chicken.

These curried sweet potatoes are easy, warm and spicy and pair so well with some skillet chicken thighs seasoned with more of the same Thai red curry paste.  I love sweet potatoes, love spicy curries, and I'm always here for chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet.  This is one delicious meal.

Curried sweet potatoes and skillet chicken on serving plate with lime wedges.


You'll need Thai red curry and coconut milk and I suggest getting them at a specialty store that carries plenty of Asian products.  There are a lot of Thai curry pastes to choose from, look for one simply labeled "red curry paste".  My two favorites are Mae Ploy and Maesri.

And I like this brand of coconut milk.  I talked to the owner of the store where I buy all my Asian and other specialty food items, and asked which of the two popular coconut milks they carry were better. He said it's like Coke or Pepsi, just a preference, either one is good, but then pointed to the Aroy-D brand.  It's what I always use.

You'll also need some brown sugar, cilantro, lime and, of course, sweet potatoes and chicken.  I use the easily found jewel variety of sweet potatoes but you could certainly try other varieties, if available, like Japanese.  And I always prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, especially prepared this way in a cast iron pan.

How to make Thai curried sweet potatoes

Photo collage showing step by step preparation of curry mixture.

  • Cook and caramelize the red curry paste and brown sugar in a little olive oil.
  • Whisk in the coconut milk.

Side by side collage of adding sweet potatoes to curry mixture.

  • Add the sweet potatoes and simmer until tender.
  • Stir in some chopped cilantro and the zest and juice of a lime.

How to make the red curry skillet chicken

Three photo collage showing chicken browning process.

  • Cook some curry paste in a little olive oil to toast and soften, let cool a bit.
  • Rub the red curry paste all over the chicken thighs, including a little under the skin.
  • In a hot cast iron skillet, sear and brown both sides of the chicken, starting with skin-side down.
  • Transfer to oven to finish for about 30 minutes.  Garnish with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro.

Thai red curry chicken in cast iron skillet with cilantro and lime.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • Cooking the curry paste for a few minutes toasts the flavor and softens or loosens it a bit and makes it more pliable and easy to work with.  That said, it may take a little effort to rub on the chicken, but it'll be fine.
  • When browning the chicken, watch closely so as not to burn the curry paste.
  • Start the chicken first, and then make the curried sweet potatoes while the chicken finishes off in the oven.
  • Red curry paste can be very spicy and varies by brand.  The coconut milk cuts some of that heat but adjust the amount if needed to suit your taste.  The first time I made it I used twice as much and it was too spicy, our mouths were on fire!

I serve the chicken alongside the sweet potatoes and that's dinner.  You can serve with rice and/or a green veggie, that would be good, or certainly just the sweet potatoes as a vegetarian main dish or side for something else.  But this combination is so good, sweet potato curry and chicken, give it a try.  I think you'll like it. Kelly🍴🐦

Sweet Potato curry with chicken thigh on plate garnished with lime and cilantro.

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Sweet Potato curry with chicken thigh on plate garnished with lime and cilantro.

Thai Sweet Potato Curry with Skillet Chicken

Thai sweet potato curry paired with skillet curried chicken thighs makes for a warm and spicy easy dinner.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 535kcal


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 (14-oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro more for garnish
  • 1 lime, zest and juice more for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 400º and prepare chicken. In small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and add 2 tablespoons red curry paste, cook for a minute or two to soften, cool slightly. Pat chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Rub curry mixture all over chicken and under skin.
  • Heat large cast iron skillet or other oven proof pan over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook and sear chicken thighs starting with skin side down until lightly browned, being careful not to burn, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to oven, skin side up and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until done.
  • Meanwhile, make sweet potatoes. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in medium sauce pan. Add ¼ cup red curry paste and brown sugar. Stir and caramelize for a couple minutes. Whisk in coconut milk until smooth, add sweet potatoes and simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro, lime juice and zest. Taste for seasonings.
  • When chicken is done, garnish with more chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve with curried sweet potatoes. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • My lime was on the large size so I started with the juice from just half and then tasted and added a little more.
  • A squeeze of fresh lime is a nice finishing touch on the chicken.
  • The amount of red curry paste of the brand I used was just right for our spicy taste level. You can add more, up to a half cup total or slightly less, depending on the brand and spice level. Keep the brown sugar amount the same.
  • Trim the chicken thighs of any excess fat but keep the skin on.
  • Don't worry if the curry mixture is challenging to rub on the chicken, just smear it on and it will be fine.


Calories: 535kcal Carbohydrates: 53g Protein: 21g Fat: 27g Saturated Fat: 7g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g Monounsaturated Fat: 13g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 111mg Sodium: 160mg Potassium: 689mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 33g Vitamin A: 18783IU Vitamin C: 10mg Calcium: 95mg Iron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

*Curried sweet potatoes adapted from Feast Magazine, November 2019.

5 from 4 votes
Recipe Rating

Gracie Grace

Monday 10th of August 2020

Umm okay BEST sweet potatoes I’ve had in my life!!!!!! Wow. So delicious 🤤


Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

I found this recipe from an Instagram post that NC Sweet Potatoes shared. I've been wanting to make it ever since I saw that beautiful picture. I finally was able to make it tonight and it was everything I was hoping it would be! I felt myself strutting around after that meal because it made me feel like I was a chef! I used coconut sugar 1:1 for the brown sugar and I also used chicken breasts instead of thighs. Thanks for a great recipe that will definitely be in the "rotation"!


Tuesday 28th of April 2020

You are so welcome and thank you for the beautiful compliment ?


Wednesday 18th of March 2020

Wow this was delicious! I got "one of the best you've cooked ever!" from my clan. And super easy!


Saturday 21st of March 2020

Those words are music to my ears, so happy to hear it was a hit!!


Friday 31st of January 2020

You’ll be sure to curry favor with this curry flavor.