Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl

This eggplant skillet dinner has "meatless weeknight easy" written all over it. Just cut up some eggplant and green beans, toss in some coconut milk seasoned with lime zest and green curry paste. Unfamiliar with green curry paste? Let me tell you all about it!

Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl ♥, for a healthy vegan dinner with coconut milk, green curry paste and lime. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. WW Friendly.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Another Quick Supper, a Kitchen Parade Specialty. Hearty & Filling. A Late-Summer Classic. Budget Friendly. Easy Weeknight Supper. One-Pot Meal. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Where Local & Global Meet for Supper

Globalization gets a bad rap in some circles but food-wise, wow, what a boon!

Who can imagine a day without coffee (imported mostly from Brazil)? or sugar cookies without a hint of cinnamon (Sri Lanka)? or a steak with without freshly ground black pepper (Vietnam)?

The 100 Mile Diet encourages consumption of locally produced foods, ones that travel no more than a hundred miles. For St. Louisans like me, that means no further than from Cape Girardeau, Fort Leonard Wood and Columbia on the Missouri side, and from Quincy, Springfield and Marion on the Illinois side. No coffee or spices in that Midwestern radius, I’m afraid!

So in my kitchen, I lean into local meat and produce but also stock the pantry with meal-making staples from across the world.

Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl ♥, for a healthy vegan dinner with coconut milk, green curry paste and lime. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. WW Friendly.

Two Favorite Imports for the Pantry

Unsweetened Coconut Milk Coconut milk comes in approximately 13.5-ounce (400ml) cans in two styles, full-fat and "light" or "lite" versions with reduced fat. Time was, I usually bought light coconut milk, saving the calories. Light coconut milk is convenient but it means keeping an extra can on hand and paying for water. Instead, I usually mix a 1:1 ratio of regular coconut milk and water. It's great!

Don't confuse coconut milk with "coconut water" which has become a popular beverage or with "creamed coconut" which is a thick, sweet coconut product.

Brands do matter with coconut milk. In 2017, Cook's Illustrated tested coconut milk from common sources. Here were their results.

  • Best Coconut Milk Aroy-D (This is hard to find! When it pops up, stock up!)
  • Also Recommended Goya & Chaokoh
  • Recommended with Reservations Thai Kitchen & Ka-me
  • Not Recommended Taste of Thai
  • Source Cook's Illustrated taste tests (paywall)
  • Recipes that call for coconut milk

Red Curry Paste & Green Curry Paste, two pantry staples

Green Curry Paste

A small jar of curry paste lasts for months in the refrigerator, especially since it's used only a teaspoon or two at a time. It can pack a punch!

Look for both red and green curry paste. The red paste is hotter, too hot for us. But the green curry paste carries an addictive flavor in addition to heat. I love this stuff!

Recipes that call for green curry paste

Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl ♥, for a healthy vegan dinner with coconut milk, green curry paste and lime. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. WW Friendly.

So Shall We Compromise?

Sure, do pick up locally grown eggplant and green beans in abundance just now at our farmers markets and grocery stores.

But cook them with these two inexpensive, easy-to-find imports,. As fast as you can think of the capital of Hungary (Budapest), supper will be on the table, packed with freshness and a delightful zing.

That, my fellow cooks, is the best of both, ahem, worlds.

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe for Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry Bowl ♥, for a healthy vegan dinner with coconut milk, green curry paste and lime. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. WW Friendly.

Just updated with streamlined cooking and extra tips. First published way back in 2008 but still a favorite, especially in early fall.


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Serves 4 (or 8 as a side dish)

Things move quickly at first. It helps to prep the garlic, ginger, beans and eggplant before beginning to cook.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (don't skip!)
  • 8 ounces fresh (see TIPS) green beans, trimmed & cut in two-inch lengths
  • 1 large eggplant (1-1/2 pounds, 450g-675g), trimmed & peeled (if you like), sliced in "batons" about two inches long, half inch wide
  • Water, if needed
  • Zest of a lime (don’t skip!)
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) Thai green curry paste (see TIPS)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk, light or regular
  • 3 green onions, both white and green parts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • For garnish, fresh lime slices, optional
  • For a little cooling and color, chopped tomato, optional

EGGPLANT & BEANS In a large skillet with a cover, heat the skillet on medium heat and then the oil until shimmery. Stir in the garlic and ginger, let cook for a minute or two; watch the heat, you don't want these to burn.

If Using Fresh Green Beans Fresh beans take long to cook and need a head start before adding the eggplant. So stir in the beans and let them cook for about five minutes before adding the eggplant. If needed, add some water to prevent burning and cover the skillet to move things along.

Otherwise Add the beans and the eggplant, stirring to coat after each addition. Cook for about 10 minutes until the beans are nearly tender. Cover and cook until both the beans and eggplant are fully cooked, about 5 minutes.

If you like, move the bean-eggplant mixture to a large bowl before continuing with the Coconut Milk Sauce. Or, like lazy me, just move them to the outer edge of the skillet and carry on.

COCONUT MILK SAUCE Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add to the hot skillet; stirring often, cook for about 5 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the bean-eggplant mixture, tossing gently to coat, reheating completely.

COMBINE Stir in the green onion, cilantro and mint. Serve immediately.

ALANNA's TIPS In summer, fresh beans are lovely but frozen beans work fine too. I'm also a fan of the bags of cleaned and trimmed fresh beans; just be sure to use them within a day or two of purchase, otherwise, ugh, so slimy. Fresh green beans do take longer to cook, so prep them before heating the skillet and start them well on their way before adding the eggplant. Go ahead, throw in the entire can of coconut milk. I do, especially when generous with the eggplant and beans. Extra coconut milk does mean you'll need to up the flavorings, especially the lime zest and green curry paste. Curry paste can pack some heat! The heat is moderated by the creamy coconut milk and mild eggplant but if your family is heat-averse, start with a half teaspoon. But I also recommend a taste test after adding the coconut milk-curry paste mixture. Can you taste the lovely green curry? If not, work additional curry paste into the coconut milk, another teaspoon or two can make all the difference. Please know. "It looks like the dog's breakfast." So would say my grandmother about Eggplant & Bean Thai Curry. But it tastes so good! Still, if aesthetics are important, save some chopped green onion, fresh mint and lime slices for garnishing. This will make your eyes as happy as your tummy.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving (assumes 4): 135 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 53mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 8g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 5 & Freestyle 3 & myWW green 3 & blue 3 & purple 3

More Ways to Cook With Eggplant

~ eggplant recipes ~

Baked Orzo Casserole with Eggplant, Olives, Goat Cheese & More, another flavor-packed make-ahead summer casserole ♥ A Veggie Venture

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tomato-Caper Salsa ♥, a simple, wondrous late-summer salad.

Shrimp Veracruz, another one-pot Quick Supper ♥ Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ green bean recipes ~
~ eggplant recipes ~
~ lime recipes ~
~ curry paste recipes ~
~ coconut milk recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2008, 2010, 2014 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous9/11/2008

    Hey there :)
    Adopt-a-blogger matches are up on my blog. Thanks for participating!

  2. This sounds so good! I love my red and green curry pastes. So versatile for a hit of heat and flavor.

  3. Anonymous9/12/2008

    This looks amazing. If only my dad would go without meat, some times.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna