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Butternut squash curry is a comforting, hearty, and flavor-packed vegan curry! Subtly-sweet butternut squash is simmered with creamy coconut milk, warming spices, and fire-roasted tomatoes. It all comes together quickly, as it’s made in one pot and ready in under 30 minutes. The recipe is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and made with healthy ingredients. Serve it over rice and garnish with crushed peanuts to complete the dish!
What is butternut squash?
There’s something about butternut squash that just never lets me down. Have you tried it before? It’s one of the most beloved winter squashes – and for good reason!
Butternut squash is bright orange, nutrient-dense, and has a subtly-sweet flavor that pairs well with both savory and sweet recipes. Its flavor and texture is similar to pumpkin, which makes sense because they come from the same family (the Cucurbitaceae). Like potatoes, this squash has a tan-colored skin that can easily be peeled off. If you roast the whole squash, you can eat the skin as it becomes soft and edible.
Butternut squash is an incredibly versatile ingredient. It’s commonly used in soup, chili, curry, mac and cheese, ravioli, or added to grain bowls. Check out one of my favorite ways to enjoy this squash: Butternut Squash Quinoa Bowls!
This butternut squash curry is:
- Vegan, dairy-free, vegetarian, gluten-free, and soy-free
- Creamy, rich, and flavorful
- A one-pot recipe made in 30 minutes
- Warming, comforting, and satisfying
- Great for meal prep and weeknight dinners
- A hearty meal that’s perfect for the fall and winter season!
- Butternut squash: Cubed butternut squash is the star of this curry. Aside from being one of the most popular winter squashes, it’s rich in several nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
- Coconut milk: Canned coconut milk, whether full-fat or lite, contributes a thick and creamy consistency.
- Diced tomatoes: For maximum flavor, I recommend using fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead of a plain variety.
- Curry paste: Red curry paste is the best choice for this dish.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger: This trio makes a delicious, aromatic curry (and kitchen!).
- Tamari: Tamari is one of the secrets to flavor-packed curries. You can also use soy sauce.
- Cinnamon and cumin: Cinnamon and cumin spice up the recipe, providing it with a subtly spicy flavor.
- Spinach: Toss in several handfuls of spinach for added nutrients and a pop of color. Kale also works well.
- Lime: A spritz of fresh lime juice brightens up the flavor. It’s added just before serving.
- Rice: This curry is best served over white or brown rice.
How to make vegan butternut squash curry
For the full ingredients list and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card below.
First, warm the coconut oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. Add diced onion (or shallot) and stir fry for 5-6 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add minced garlic and grated ginger, stirring for 1 minute. Then, add the butternut squash, curry paste, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cumin. Stir ingredients together until evenly coated.
Next, add the coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and tamari. Stir together. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer (covered) for 15-20 minutes. Once butternut squash is fork-tender, remove the lid. Add baby spinach and stir until wilted.
Lastly, remove the pot from heat and stir in the lime juice. Divide the butternut squash curry amongst bowls along with rice. Garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
What to serve with curry
There are several ways to enjoy curry. The best option? Rice! I love (and highly suggest) serving this butternut squash curry over white rice or brown rice. For a grain-free option, use quinoa instead. It also pairs well with naan, bread, or greens. Alternatively, you can enjoy it all on its own for a lighter meal.
Kaylie’s tips for perfecting this vegetable curry
Use red curry paste. I highly recommend using red curry paste instead of curry powder. The Thai Kitchen brand is vegan-friendly, and my absolute favorite kind!
For a rich and creamy curry, use full-fat coconut milk. When choosing canned coconut milk, you will likely come across the full-fat variety and the lite variety. Full-fat coconut milk creates a thicker and creamier curry. On the other hand, lite coconut milk creates a thinner and lighter curry (because it’s a reduced fat version). Either variety can be used for this recipe, but full-fat coconut milk will always create a creamier result.
Garnish with nuts and herbs. My favorite way to top this butternut squash curry is with roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro. Other options include crushed cashews, lime wedges, red pepper flakes, a drizzle of sriracha, desiccated coconut, or freshly-chopped tomatoes.
More vegan curry recipes
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Butternut Squash Curry
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2–3 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Cook
- Cuisine: Thai, Asian-Inspired
- Diet: Vegan
This butternut squash curry is comforting, hearty, and packed with flavor! Subtly-sweet butternut squash is simmered with coconut milk, warming spices, and fire-roasted tomatoes. It’s vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. This quick and easy recipe is made with one pot and ready in under 30 minutes. Serve the curry over white or brown rice to complete the dish.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 small onion or 2 shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 4 heaping cups cubed butternut squash
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 14oz can coconut milk, full-fat or lite
- 1 14oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 4 cups baby spinach or kale
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1–2 cups dry rice, for serving
- ¼ cup crushed peanuts, for serving
- ¼ cup cilantro, for serving
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Warm the coconut oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. Add diced onion/shallot and stir fry for 5-6 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add minced garlic and grated ginger, stirring for 1 minute. Add butternut squash, red curry paste, coconut sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cumin. Stir together until ingredients are evenly coated.
- Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and tamari/soy sauce. Stir together. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 15-20 minutes. Once the butternut squash is fork-tender, remove the lid. Add baby spinach and stir until wilted.
- Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the lime juice.
- Divide curry amongst bowls along with rice. Garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
- I recommend using the Thai Kitchen brand of red curry paste.
- If you cannot find fire-roasted diced tomatoes, regular diced tomatoes are fine. If this is the case, you may want to add additional spices to the recipe.
- Nutrition information is an estimate using lite coconut milk and without rice.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 240
- Sugar: 12g
- Fat: 8g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Fiber: 9g
- Protein: 7g
Keywords: butternut squash curry, vegan curry recipe
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