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Butternut squash curry

Butternut Squash Curry

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This butternut squash curry is an easy plant based dinner that’s vibrant and full-flavored, starring Thai red curry paste and coconut milk.


  • 1 medium butternut squash (4 cups chopped*)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste**
  • 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach
  • To serve: jasmine rice, basmati rice or jade rice
  • Optional: Add shrimp, chickpeas, or tofu to add more protein***


  1. Start the jasmine rice, basmati rice, or jade rice
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squashDice the onion. Place them in a bowl together. 
  3. Mince the garlic. Cut the pepper into thin strips.
  4. In a large skillet, pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and butternut squash and saute for 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Add coconut milk, curry paste, turmeric, water and kosher salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer until squash is tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the spinach and wilt for 1 minute. Serve immediately with rice. 


*Do not substitute frozen butternut squash; the texture does not work in this recipe. 

**The spice level for red curry pastes varies based on the brand. The brand we use (Thai Kitchen) is very mild. Taste your curry paste before you make the curry and add a little less if you’re worried about the heat level. 

***Add shrimp in the last 5 minutes of simmering, or chickpeas when you add the coconut milk (you may need to increase the salt a bit at the end; taste and add more to taste). For tofu, make Pan Fried Tofu on the side (or in advance) and add it in the last 5 minutes: pan frying it in advance gives it a nice texture. Or even easier, add tofu cubes when you add the coconut milk: this results in a soft tofu texture, but it’s just as tasty. 

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Curry
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Butternut squash curry