Thai cuisine has a strong emphasis on meals that tend to be light but also contain a spicy component along with complex aromatic elements. In many cases, the meals also look stunning, containing multiple different visual elements. All of these areas are why I enjoy Thai food so much, and it’s nice to work with dishes that are intentionally designed to be complex.
But, even so, there is a wide variety of Thai food, along with Thai-inspired recipes. Some of these are complicated and hard to make while others are much simpler.
This list highlights ten key Thai recipes, all of which offer the aromatic flavors that are so prevalent and popular in Thai cooking. The recipes are also designed for the slow cooker, which means that they are something that you can easily make at home, even if you tend to have a busy and hectic life.
While there are many more recipes out there, these are some of my favorites. So, I encourage you to take a look and try some of them out.
Duck in Red Curry
If you love duck meat, then this Duck in Red Curry may be the perfect recipe for you. I’m a big fan of duck meat myself and I especially love that this recipe lets you get the meat medium-rare, even though you’re making it in the slow cooker.
As with many slow cooker recipes, there is some prep work involved. But, trust me, that extra effort is worth it. Plus, the prep is fairly minimal anyway. The final dish offers a great showcase of the flavors of Thai cuisine, along with the unique texture and taste of duck. It also happens to look really cool when you dish the whole thing up.
Slow Cooker Tom Yum Goong
Tom Yum Goong is a Thai classic that is eaten throughout the world and its popularity is hardly surprising. In particular, the soup is warm and comforting, while also offering a complex combination of spices. But, despite all of that, it is exceptionally easy to make, especially if you’re using a slow cooker.
This recipe highlights that advantage because all you need to do is combine the ingredients and let the meal cook. For that matter, it is also a relatively fast dish to make, taking a little under an hour from start to finish. That’s not something you can say about very many slow cooker dinners.
Sticky Thai Meatballs
One of my biggest problems with meatballs is that they can get dull. It’s easy to prepare them exactly the same way each time and the flavors often aren’t that interesting. But, this recipe from seriouseats.com is a great way to make meatballs with a very different flavor.
Needless to say, the taste profile of this meal is strongly based on Thai cuisine, so it has the same overtones as many of the other recipes on this list. Now, the dish itself does involve more prep and extra steps than many other slow cooker recipes. But, trust me when I say that the end result is well worth the time you put in.
Vegan Red Curry
This Vegan Red Curry is a great reminder that you don’t have to eat meat to have Thai flavors. For that matter, the flavors in the curry work so well that it’s easy to miss the fact that it contains no meat at all. The use of chickpeas also means that you still end up with a meal that is fairly filling as well.
Even if you love meat, this recipe can work well for people who are looking for something lighter for dinner. This is also a great dish if you are cooking for a varied group of people, as it is likely to satisfy everyone.
Slow Cooker Thai Beef Stew
Beef stew can be such a wholesome and hearty dish, which is clear in this recipe from fedandfit.com. In this case, the meal still has some similarities to the typical beef stew that you or I may cook but there are some dramatic differences as well. One of these is the reliance on Thai ingredients, which creates a different flavor profile.
At the same time, the stew uses a different combination of vegetables than is common in traditional beef stews, with a strong reliance on broccoli and carrots. I personally love the style and I imagine that the choice of vegetables would also make the dish feel lighter. This could increase your options for when you serve it, making it a good dinner even in the warmer months.
Thai Green Curry Chicken
Authentic Thai green curry offers amazing flavors and this Thai Green Curry Chicken capitalizes on those. In fact, the key difference with this recipe is just that it is being made in the slow cooker. That process dramatically reduces the amount of time and energy you need to spend monitoring your meal.
Even though this is a slow cooker dish, the process still has many authentic elements. For example, the recipe provides information about how to make your own green curry paste. Doing so may feel like extra work but it offers you much more control over the final flavor of the dish. To me, that outcome alone makes the process well worth the effort.
Thai Sweet Chili Chicken
Chicken is a common ingredient in many Thai dishes and it tends to take up the flavors from the dish extremely well. In this case, the recipe at hand is Thai Sweet Chili Chicken and it comes from the site realhousemoms.com. One thing I love is that this meal looks exactly like something you might order at a restaurant or as takeout.
But, it’s a much healthier option and it heavily relies on Thai flavoring. The meal is also on the simple side, so you don’t need a large range of different ingredients to make it work.
Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce
At first glance, this Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce recipe looks complicated. But, as the recipe from fivehearthome.com shows, it isn’t especially hard to prepare. The combination of flavors seems to work really well and you end up with chicken that could be used in many ways.
For example, the image for the chicken shows it served on rice noodles. But, you could use just about any side, like rice, cauliflower rice or mashed potatoes. Likewise, the chicken would work well in the place of shredded chicken for options like wraps, tacos and even sliders.
Thai Chicken Soup
This Thai Chicken Soup recipe comes from foodiecrush.com and it is a great alternative to conventional chicken soup. As Heidi notes in her discussion, the recipe was designed with the idea of being simple to prepare. Because of this, the prep work is minimal and you don’t need to dirty a pan browning the meat first.
Myself, I’m of two minds when it comes to prep work. I love the convenience of dumping everything in the slow cooker. But, sometimes a little extra work can create results that are much better. Still, in this case, the recipe doesn’t actually need prep work and you end up with a flavorful chicken soup that also looks amazing in the bowl.
Thai Steak Salad with Peanut Sauce
Chicken may be common in many Thai dishes, but this Thai Steak Salad from thefoodcharlatan.com shows that there are other options as well. Because this is a salad, the dish ends up being considerably lighter than most other steak meals. As a result, you could easily have it for lunch or during the summer.
I also especially like the combination of flavors in the recipe. Often, you find that salads tend to be somewhat dull and aren’t especially filling. But, the variety of ingredients makes this recipe different and means that you end up with a range of flavors and textures that simply work very well.