29 Best Thai Recipes

Everybody loves to get takeout, and Thai food is right up there with the most desirable options. The cuisine, as a whole, is dominated by herbal flavors and ingredients like lemongrass, galangal leaves, makrut lime leaves, ginger, and garlic, along with spicy elements from Thai chili peppers. You'll notice a lot of stir-fries (like pad Thai and drunken noodles), along with warming curries that will leave your belly full and your tastebuds happy. Although Thai food often revolves around savory ingredients, you'll also find sweet staples like mango sticky rice and refreshing Thai iced tea embraced within the cuisine. 

With a little bit of time and a trip to your local Asian ethnic grocery store, you can whip up a delicious dinner at home, bursting at the seams with the flavors of Thailand. Below, a round-up of some of the best Thai recipes to try and make in your kitchen. 

29. Mushroom and chicken pad Thai

It's no surprise that pad Thai is considered one of Thailand's national dishes. The chicken and shiitake mushrooms used in this dish bring a strong umami flavor, especially when complemented with the primary sauce ingredients, including oyster sauce, fish sauce, and tamarind purée. 

Serve your pad Thai with a sprinkle of peanuts, bean sprouts, lime, and cilantro, or store it in an airtight container for up to three days.

Recipe: Mushroom and Chicken Pad Thai

28. Thai pork larb

Larb is a Thai meat salad often made with lamb, poultry, or mushrooms. This variation, which is made with a pork mince, features umami ingredients like fish sauce paired with classic Thai seasonings like lemongrass, ginger, and lime. The red cabbage and lettuce leaves in this recipe also lend it elements of a traditional salad, while the rice bulks it up into a full meal. 

It's the perfect recipe for when you want to feel like you're eating at a Thai restaurant from the comfort of your home. 

Recipe: Thai Pork Larb

27. Shrimp pad Thai

Shrimp and pad Thai sauce are the perfect combination. From-the-sea ingredients like oyster and fish sauce help brighten the shrimp flavor in the dish, and the perfectly-cooked shrimp are a great textural addition to the noodles and the vegetables. 

This recipe also gets an extra protein boost from the likes of tofu, which helps soak up the remaining sauce. Grab your wok and serve up this perfect date night dish. 

Recipe: Shrimp Pad Thai

26. Thai chicken curry

Curries are staple dishes in Thai cuisine. This recipe is made with sliced chicken breasts or thighs, but it can be substituted with other types of meats or tofu, too. The curry paste base for this recipe is also store-bought, which ensures you get a profound spicy flavor with minimal hassle. 

Serve your curry over rice; leftover rice is recommended, because it better soaks in the flavor of the curry. 

Recipe: Thai Chicken Curry

25. Tofu pad Thai

This one is for the vegetarians (sans fish sauce) and the vegans (sans egg). Tofu pad Thai is packed with all of the familiar flavors of your favorite Thai takeout dish, from the lemon juice to the sprouts, minus the meat. 

Unlike other pad Thai recipes, this one uses a blend of zucchini noodles (zoodles) and regular rice noodles to add more texture and healthy fiber. You'll want to use super-firm tofu for this recipe, since it soaks in all \ the flavors of the sauce like a sponge and doesn't require any additional pressing. 

Recipe: Tofu Pad Thai

24. Thai red curry chicken

If you want a filling meal during the cooler months, Thai red curry should be on your list. It's made with store-bought red curry paste (which is super easy to drop into the pot), full-fat coconut milk for creaminess, and aromatics like garlic and ground coriander for some added warmth. It's also a great recipe to use up the leftover baked chicken you have lurking in your refrigerator. 

When served over rice, this curry dish is a complete meal, filled with nutrients and Thai flavor. 

Recipe: Thai Red Curry Chicken

23. Thai chicken noodle soup

The cure to any sickness is always chicken noodle soup. But it seems doubtful you'll return to Campbell's after you try this Thai chicken noodle soup. 

It's packed with Thai ingredients like lemongrass, grated galangal, fish sauce, and makrut lime leaves. The star protein in this dish is shredded chicken breasts, along with starchy cooked rice noodles and mushrooms. Serve your soup hot as an appetizer or a main, along with other Thai foods like spring rolls or a light salad. 

Recipe: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

22. Refreshing Thai Tea

Thai tea is a beverage of choice at any Thai restaurant. The tea base is flavored with notes of cardamom and cinnamon, while the sweetened condensed milk adds both sweetness and a decadent creaminess not found in other beverages. 

It's incredibly refreshing when paired with spicy Thai dishes like curry and pad Thai, or when served with a light appetizer like dumplings and spring rolls. Just be sure to drink it before the ice melts, because that tends to dilute the flavor. 

Recipe: Refreshing Thai Tea

21. One-pot Thai coconut soup

Thai coconut soup is complex in flavor but easy to make. It can be on your table in less than 30 minutes, making it a perfect recipe for busy weeknights. 

The star of this soup is dried ancho chilis, which can be substituted for chili powder. The creaminess stems from full-fat coconut milk, a must-have ingredient for this recipe. When coupled with chopped shiitake mushrooms, chicken, and canned curry paste, your tastebuds will burst with every spoonful.

Recipe: One-Pot Thai Coconut Soup

20. Classic Thai mango sticky rice

No Thai takeout is complete without mango sticky rice for dessert. This dish is made with glutenous rice, which is not the same white rice you'd find at a grocery store. Its chewy texture, seasoned with coconut milk and sugar, is an essential textural and flavor component of the dish. 

Champagne mangos are the best variety to use for this recipe, because they are sweeter and softer than the conventional variety. It's essential to buy your mangos at peak ripeness, so they are easy to slice through with a spoon when you go to eat your dessert. 

Recipe: Classic Thai Mango Sticky Rice

19. Thai smashed cucumber salad

If you need the perfect side salad for your appetizer course, check out this Thai smashed cucumber salad. Not only is it fun to smash the cucumbers, but the irregular shapes allow the vegetables to absorb more of the spicy dressing — which is made from chili oil, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar. 

This salad can either be made using a quick-pickle technique, or set in the fridge overnight to maximize the flavors.

Recipe: Thai Smashed Cucumber Salad

18. Chicken Massaman curry

One of the major differences between Indian and Thai curries is that the Thai versions are typically thinner and involve more staple ingredients like fish paste and soy sauce. You'll find sweeter, spicier undertones infused with Thai flavors. 

Massaman curry differs from other standard types of Thai red or green curry because it has cinnamon, coconut, and a subdued heat rather than spicy chili peppers. It's warmer and slightly thinner than other types, but much starchier since it includes hunks of potatoes. 

Recipe: Chicken Massaman Curry

17. Pad kee mao (Thai drunken noodles)

Drunken noodles are the perfect Thai entree to serve for a date night dinner. You'll need to stop at your local Asian grocery store for some wide rice noodles to help soak up the sauce. 

While pork is the primary protein for this dish, it can also be substituted with ground chicken or tofu. Plus, the vegetables in this dish are flexible; sliced baby corn, spinach, and Thai chili peppers are recommended. 

Recipe: Pad Kee Mao (Thai Drunken Noodles)

16. Tofu tom yum soup recipe

Tom yum soup is a sweet-and-sour concoction that can easily be made vegetarian with some extra firm tofu and flavorful mushrooms. This recipe is ideal because it is filling without being too rich and over-the-top. 

It includes galangal (a citrusy and piney flavor), lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chilis, and coconut milk. The flavor of the soup will improve if it's left in a container for five days, which is perfect for lunches during the week. 

Recipe: Tofu Tom Yum Soup

15. Thai-style butternut squash soup

If you're getting bored of your autumnal squash soup, try spicing it up with the flavors of Thailand. This soup recipe is infused with nutritious and aromatic ingredients, including ginger, garlic, and lemongrass paste. It also derives its creaminess straight from the Thai food playbook with coconut milk, thereby making it a dairy-free yet creamy soup. 

You can make this stand-alone soup for a meal, or serve it alongside a favorite salad or sandwich. 

Recipe: Thai-Style Butternut Squash Soup

14. Thai French toast

This Thai rendition of an American French toast recipe features the same bread-and-batter process but instead cooks the bread in a wok and finishes it with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk before serving. 

The bread gets super toasty with this process because of the heat distribution of the wok, while the sweetened condensed milk is the perfect confectionary topping to make this breakfast classic a little more dessert-like. 

Recipe: Thai French Toast

13. Classic pad see ew

Although pad see ew is a typical dish on Thai menus, China claims the stir-fried noodle dish. This rendition of the recipe uses Chinese broccoli and chicken; you can substitute your preferred protein and crunchy veggies instead. 

It's also important to survey your seasoning cabinet before pulling out the wok; you'll need a couple of different kinds of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and rice wine vinegar to craft the perfect sauce for your rice noodles. 

Recipe: Classic Pad See Ew

12. Beef panang curry

Not only is this panang curry vibrant in color, but it's also fresh and bright in flavor. Unlike other Thai curry varieties, this one is thicker and sweeter, plus it includes nutty peanuts that add a distinctly crunchy consistency to the stir-fry. Plus, panang curry isn't particularly spicy; it contains warming elements like cardamom, coriander, star anise, and cinnamon instead. 

This curry is delicious when served with rice or noodles. Like other Thai recipes, it's always better on the second (or third) day, because the flavors can meld a little bit more. 

Recipe: Beef Panang Curry

11. Tom kha chicken soup

If you want to experience authentic tom kha soup, you're going to have to make your broth and nam pla prik, a seasoning made from equal parts fish sauce and Thai chili peppers. 

Although this recipe uses canned straw mushrooms (which you can source from your local grocery store), you can substitute them with white button mushrooms or sliced shiitakes. Serve the soup with the nam pla prik, cilantro and mint leaves, and lime wedges. 

Recipe: Tom Kha Chicken Soup

10. Thai green curry paste

Green curry paste is the base for some Thai recipes, but it can also be used to add an additional spicy element to your non-Thai staples, like grilled chicken. 

To make this paste, combine galangal, garlic cloves, makrut lime leaves, ginger, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, and Thai chili peppers in a food processor. This paste will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week, but you can also store it in your freezer for up to six months for whenever the curry mood strikes.

Recipe: Thai Green Curry Paste 

9. Thai green papaya salad with chicken

This recipe is the perfect light appetizer before your main course (which is also hopefully Thai food). It's made with grilled chicken, seasoned with garlic, cilantro, and fish sauce, and tossed with julienned taro, Vietnamese mint, green papaya, carrots, scallion oil, and a Thai chile dressing. 

There are so many complex flavors and layers to the dish — meaning that every bite is different. 

Recipe: Thai Green Papaya Salad with Chicken

8. Nam prik ong

Nam prik ong is a northern Thai dip made with dried chilis, ground pork, and tomatoes. It's best served with a side of dipping veggies, like cabbage and cucumber, which can easily diffuse some of the heat from the bird's eye chili peppers. 

You'll also need to stock up on aromatics like garlic and shallots, as well as shrimp paste to give your nam prik ong a fishy, savory undercurrent. 

Recipe: Nam Prik Ong

7. Thai lemongrass lime bar

Although this recipe isn't an authentic Thai one, it incorporates a lot of the fresh ingredients and flavors of the country into a sweet dessert. 

The crust itself contains shredded coconut, mint, and lime zest for an unexpected tropical flavor. Meanwhile, the filling has prominent lime notes, as well as a subtle bite from chopped lemongrass. After trying this one, it seems doubtful that you'll want to return to your standard lemon bar recipe.

Recipe: Thai Lemongrass Lime Bar

6. Khao soi

Khao soi is a dish straight out of Northern Thailand. It features familiar ingredients like cardamom, curry powder, shrimp paste, lemongrass, Thai chili peppers, and makrut lime leaves, as well as a hefty boost of protein from the chicken drumsticks and thighs. It almost crosses the line into a curry, but has the warming properties of a filling winter soup. 

The dish is best served with cilantro, pickled mustard greens, shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges. 

Recipe: Khao Soi

5. Nam prik pao sauce

If you want to add a bit of heat to your bland roast chicken or veggies, try whipping up this nam prik pao sauce. It's made with a base of store-bought sweet nam prik pao sauce but has the element of heat from adding chopped Thai chilis, Thai basil leaves, lemongrass, and fish sauce. 

The best part about adding the heat to this sauce yourself is that you have more control over the ratios of ingredients. For example, add more honey for a sweeter sauce, or amp up the spice with a few more chilis. 

Recipe: Nam Prik Pao Sauce

4. Hot and sour soup

Although hot and sour soup is often considered a dish exclusive to Chinese restaurants and cuisine, it has roots in the Thai culinary tradition as well. 

This soup is made with homemade roasted pork stock — which should be cooked down with roasted pork bones to add a more meaty, aromatic flavor. You'll also need to take a trip to your local Asian ethnic market to find wood ear mushrooms, lily buds, Shaoxing wine, and bamboo shoots. 

Recipe: Hot and Sour Soup

3. Ground pork lettuce wraps

Lettuce wraps are on the menu at many different Asian restaurants — including Thai ones. Although the aromatic ingredients for this recipe are relatively tame, you can add your own spin with chili oil, Thai chili paste, or lemongrass to give it a more distinct Thai profile. 

Enjoy these lettuce wraps as an appetizer or as a light meal served alongside rice. You can also keep the filling and veggies separate and construct the wraps when you're ready to eat them for lunch. 

Recipe: Ground Pork Lettuce Wraps

2. Bamboo steamer sticky rice

Sticky rice is an important food to know how to make for many different Thai dishes. Unlike other types of rice, sticky rice (or Thai rice) has a very chewy texture and can easily hold onto different sauces better than a standard short or long grain. 

Once you've sufficiently steamed your rice, you can use it for your mango sticky rice, as a base for curry, or keep it in your refrigerator for up to three days. 

Recipe: Bamboo Steamer Sticky Rice

1. Long Thailand ice tea

This long Thailand iced tea has elements of the classic Thai sweet tea but with a little bit of boozy amplification. 

The traditional Thai spiced red tea is mixed with honey, sweetened condensed milk, brandy, rye whiskey, and rum. It's then finished with a splash of club soda and lemon twist garnish. You can make this cocktail in just a few minutes, and it's a great complement for almost any Thai recipe you make. 

Recipe: Long Thailand Iced Tea