Butternut Squash Curry

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Creamy Butternut Squash Curry is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner or weekly meal prep. This vegan curry is simple to make and naturally dairy free.

I love serving Butternut Squash Curry over basmati rice and alongside naan bread. It’s also one of those recipes where leftovers taste even better, as the flavors have had a chance to develop and deepen.

Image of the ready-to-eat Butternut Squash Curry served with rice.

Want a yummy meal that you can feel good about after eating it? Lucky for you, you came to the right place! Butternut Squash Curry includes plant-based ingredients, deep, earthy flavor from sweet spices, and a hint of brightness from fresh herbs and lime juice.

You might have a hard time believing this curry is healthy because it’s so flavorful and indulgently creamy!

Image of the butternut squash cubes being cooked with spices.

How to make Butternut Squash Curry

  • Prep veggies: Prepping the shallot, garlic, ginger, and butternut squash is easily the most time-consuming part of this recipe, but once it’s done, the remaining prep is exceptionally simple.
    • See how to peel and cut a butternut squash here.
  • Bloom the spices: I always recommend frying spices in oil (which is called blooming) whenever possible. Why? It releases more flavor and also distributes the spices more evenly in the curry since they will mix better after blending with the oil.
  • Add liquids: Add in the packaged squash soup, crushed tomatoes, and coconut milk. From here, it’s just about simmering to get the squash tender, reduce the liquid, and intensify flavors.
  • Serve: Serve over a grain of your choice (or serve plain), and garnish with crushed peanuts, diced cilantro, and plenty of fresh lime juice!

Image of the creamy butternut squash soup from Pacific Foods that goes into this butternut squash thai curry

Butternut Squash Soup

Using soup adds an additional layer of butternut squash flavor. It also contributes to the creaminess and overall flavor of this butternut squash curry.

This nourishing pantry staple is delicious on its own, but also so good incorporated as an ingredient into this wholesome plant-based Butternut Squash Curry.

Image of the soup being added to the other ingredients in the pot for this Butternut Squash Curry.

Using leftovers

This recipe doesn’t use the entire container of butternut squash soup, so you’ll have a bit leftover for the next day. This soup is delicious to eat as-is, or incorporate into other recipes. It’s a great complement to recipes that can take the flavor and creaminess up to the next level.

Image of the coconut milk being added to the pot with the other ingredients.

Cooking Tips

  • High-quality ingredients: Using ripe, quality ingredients will make a big difference in this Butternut Squash Curry. I recommend using organic butternut squash, which will typically taste sweet and is very moist. The other two vital ingredients in this recipe are a good brand of full-fat coconut milk and high-quality fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Taste and adjust: As with most recipes, taste and adjust the seasonings to your personal preference. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t remove the seasoning. If you’re sensitive to spice I’d recommend using less curry paste and powder. Remember: the seasonings do intensify as the curry cooks.
  • Don’t skip the toppings: They add a lot of flavor and texture to this Butternut Squash Curry. If you only do one topping, I recommend fresh lime juice. The lime brings everything together and gives this curry a burst of freshness. Chopped cilantro also adds a nice flavor and freshness. Chopped peanuts are a great texture add.

Image of all the ingredients mixed together in the pot for this easy Butternut Squash Curry.

Get creative

  • Want more spice? Add up to a teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. You can also add some red pepper flakes, which will add some heat to this Butternut Squash Curry.
  • Other ideas: Stir in a few tablespoons of peanut butter, use kale instead of spinach (you’ll need to cook it a bit longer to get it to wilt down), use crushed pistachios or cashews instead of peanuts. 
  • QUICK TIP

    You can substitute any hard winter squash in place of the butternut squash. Pumpkin and acorn squash would be excellent choices, though you might want to change the name of the recipe to reflect the squash used! Use butternut squash soup regardless of the type of squash you use, since I’ve never heard of acorn squash soup coming in a package.

Image of Butternut Squash Curry in the pot with the spinach added.

More plant-based meals:

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Butternut Squash Curry

5 from 9 votes
A creamy, coconutty Butternut Squash Curry that is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner or weekly meal prep. This curry is simple to make and naturally vegan and dairy free.
Print Recipe

Butternut Squash Curry

5 from 9 votes
A creamy, coconutty Butternut Squash Curry that is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner or weekly meal prep. This curry is simple to make and naturally vegan and dairy free.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword butternut squash curry
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 128kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot diced (~1/3 cup)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (~1 and 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger (from a 1 and 1/2 inch piece)
  • 1 butternut squash diced (~4 and 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste Note 1
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup Packaged Butternut Squash Soup Note 2
  • 1 can (15 ounces) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) good quality fire-roasted diced (or crushed) tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar optional
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • Serve with: cooked basmati rice, crushed cashews/peanuts/pistachios, chopped cilantro, lime wedges

Instructions

  • Start by prepping ingredients: dice the shallot, mince the garlic and ginger. I peel the ginger with a spoon or vegetable peeler and then finely mince it. Peel and then dice the butternut squash to get about 4 and 1/2 cups. Set aside.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute them for 2-3 minutes or until they are beginning to get golden. Add the butternut squash, garlic, and ginger. Stir to coat everything with the oil.
  • Add the red curry paste (see Note 1), yellow curry powder, and coriander. Stir until all the butternut squash is well coated. Continue to cook the spices and veggies for 3-5 minutes or until everything is fragrant. Pour in the butternut squash soup (See Note 2), coconut milk, and can of tomatoes. Stir and add in the salt. Bring the sauce to a simmer and then lower the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the squash to cook all the way through, about 18-25 minutes. (Check tenderness by piercing with a fork; if it pierces easily, it's ready.) Remove the lid and continue to simmer for a few minutes to thicken the sauce. Depending on the tomatoes you used, you may need to add 1-2 teaspoons white sugar. Taste and add as needed. Remove from heat and let cool for 1-2 minutes before very gently stirring in the baby spinach and allowing it to wilt.
  • Serve curry over cooked basmati rice. Squeeze fresh lime over each bowl (a must-have addition IMO) and if desired, top with finely chopped nuts and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: If vegan, make sure the red curry paste is vegan; Thai Kitchen® is vegan. If sensitive to spice, start with 2 tablespoons.
Note 2: Check the label of the packaged butternut squash soup, to be sure it's vegetarian/vegan. We used  Pacific Foods® Organic Vegan Dairy-free butternut squash soup. The nutritional profile will also vary, depending on the brand used. 
Nutritional information does not include rice or optional toppings. 

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 407mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 17736IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 2mg

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

Up close image of the ready to eat butternut squash curry with rice on the side

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

    1. Thanks so much! It’s seriously sooo flavorful and fun! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  1. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I am a terrible cook, but I just followed the instructions and the curry turned out fantastic. Thank you Chelsea! I look forward to trying more of your recipes. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Saved this already. This is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever made or eaten. The hubby said it can go in the rotation right away.

  3. In the note section, do you mean to decrease to 2 teaspoons? Or, is the 1.5 T in ingredients incorrect?
    Thank you. Can’t wait to try it. Perfect season for all the good ingredients.

    1. Hey Terri, sorry I’m not quite following what you’re asking. The red curry paste says 3 tablespoons in the recipe, but can be decreased to 2 tablespoons if worried about heat.

  4. 5 stars
    I get recipes online all the time and I don’t think I have ever left a comment. But this curry is absolutely delicious. I was craving a butternut curry I used to make quite often and was so disappointed when I couldn’t find the recipe. Well this is my new recipe. I doubled the curry paste and added some fennel and I did add a little sugar because my tomatoes were pretty acidic. Next time I make it I will oven roast the squash first until they are caramelized slightly and maybe cut back on the soup as I like more of a curry flavor. My limes were stringy and dried out and I was in a hurry and bought parsley instead of cilantro, but that was the only thig that would have made it better, fresh lime juice and cilantro. Thank you for the recipe this one is a keeper!

    1. I am thrilled to hear this and so flattered you’d take the time to comment! So glad you loved this recipe! Thanks Mia! 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        I’m making it again tonight! So perfect for this cold and rainy weather we’ve been having here in AZ. Thank you for posting your recipes.

  5. 5 stars
    checked out this recipe yesterday and my girlfriend and I decided to try it out. Spot on amazing!!! deffs trying it again

  6. 5 stars
    This has a wonderful flavor profile and is super easy to make. I had a HUGE garden butternut (yes, they keep over the winter if you pack them in sawdust and keep them in a cool space – the bulkhead in our case). So instead of the soup, I roasted and pureed some of the squash with veggie broth to make a ‘soup’ to add to the curry. Also added some large pieces of red bell pepper and pineapple chunks at the end. Delicious and a keeper!

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