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This Butternut Squash Curry recipe highlights one of your favorite fall produce in a flavorful and healthy curry dish. It is the ultimate comfort food loaded with vibrant and nutritious ingredients that will warm your bellies without making you feel stifled and heavy. A great make ahead dish that you can make a big batch of and heat anytime you need something warm and comforting after a busy weeknight or during cold, lazy weekends.
It’s butternut squash season all over again! And our garden has provided us with dozens of butternut squash this year. I never run out of ideas on how to best use them. There are so many delicious ways, like making Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup, Butternut Squash Sage Biscuits, Butternut Squash Chips, Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese and many more! And of course, this Butternut Squash Curry, which is a dish I’ve made several times, and it’s always a hit. It tastes indulgent yet is full of wholesome ingredients – totally satisfying!
Why Make Butternut Squash Curry?
- It is quick and easy. This recipe comes together in just 35 minutes. You’ll be impressed at how this recipe manages to have that deep and rich flavor for something so easy to make.
- Customizable and Budget-friendly. You can add just about any vegetables you have on hand, so you don’t need to buy all the ingredients from the farmer’s market. Better yet, check on your fridge for any leftover veggies and use those before they spoil.
- Indulgently healthy. Aside from the rich and creamy flavor it brings, it contains essential vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s loaded with veggies to give our bodies the burst of energy we need.
Ingredients Needed to Make Butternut Squash Curry
- Water – You will use this for steaming the butternut squash.
- Butternut squash – Peeled, seeded, and cubed. Look for a squash with a fat neck and a small bulb with a small seed cavity to get the most meat.
- Neutral oil – Canola, vegetable, grapeseed, or sunflower oil will do.
- Yellow onion – Sauteed onions add a caramelized and sweet flavor to the dish.
- Mixed vegetables – Sweet peppers, mushrooms, green beans, peas, cauliflower, summer squash, asparagus, and carrots are some of your options. But you can use whatever you have growing in your backyard or stored on your chiller.
- Coconut milk – We will use canned full-fat coconut milk to make a thick and creamy curry sauce.
- Thai curry paste (red, yellow, or green) – This may be found in most grocery stores or in your local Asian stores.
- Sugar – Use any type of sugar. Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used for this recipe.
- Salt – To taste.
- Brown rice, for serving (optional).
What Type of Thai Curry Should I Use?
There are three major types of curry paste that you can choose from – green, yellow, and red. Each has its distinct flavor profile, and what you will use depends on what you like. I used red curry in this recipe, so take note that using a different curry paste may change the flavor and color of the dish.
- Red Curry – Made with red chilies, and is considered to be the most versatile of the three.
- Yellow Curry – Has a milder taste than red curry and is infused with turmeric, which gives it that golden hue.
- Green Curry – Uses green chilies and is made vibrantly greener with the addition of fresh cilantro or coriander and a few other leafy herbs.
How to Make This Thai-inspired Curry Dish
Creamy, rich, and comforting – everything we look for in a classic fall comfort food bundled into a straightforward curry recipe.
- Prep your butternut squash. Cut off both ends, then microwave it for three minutes to soften. Allow the skin to cool completely before peeling and cutting it into cubes.
- Steam the squash cubes. Add them in a pot of boiling water, cover and let them steam until they are fork-tender. Set aside after draining
- Time to cook. Sauté onion on a large skillet. Add the chopped mixed vegetables and cook until vegetables are tender. Throw in the steamed butternut squash in the pan. Then pour the coconut milk, curry paste, and sugar. Stir continuously until curry paste and sugar are well mixed. Simmer for 15 minutes under medium-low heat. Season with salt as needed.
- Let’s serve. This can be served over a bed of steamed brown rice or any grain of your choice. Here’s a guide to cooking the best brown rice that you might enjoy!
Possible Add-ons and Variations
You will love this curry recipe as it is entirely customizable. You can try adding the following veggies and ingredients to the butternut squash curry recipe:
- Proteins. If you want more proteins for your meal, chickpeas, lentils, or tofu are perfect for this dish!
- Sweet potatoes. This is a good substitute for butternut squash if you cannot find one. It will give your dish a sweet flavor with a similar consistency as the squash.
- Chilies. You may also add some red chili flakes or cayenne powder to this recipe for those that prefer an extra kick.
Tips when Making Butternut Squash Curry
- If you want to save time, go to your local grocery shop and buy pre-cut squash. I know it’s a hassle to peel and cut squash, so let’s make it easier on ourselves and buy pre-cut squash.
- Taste and adjust as needed. Spices and other seasonings, such as Thai curry paste, can be too much. Depending on how strong or mild you want them to be in your dish, start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
- Simmer until you have reached that thick and creamy consistency. If even your curry became too thick, just add a bit of water or veggie broth to thin it out.
- If you added too much spicy curry paste, you could make it less fiery by adding more coconut milk or by squeezing a wedge of lime over it.
How to Store
This dish stores nicely and reheats beautifully! Which makes it a perfect addition to your weekly meal planning. It will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. It is also freezer safe. This curry is not only fantastic for meal prep but it can also be frozen for up to 3 months in a sealed container.
Looking for more butternut squash recipes? Try these:
- Creamy Curried Butternut Squash Lentil Soup – This lovely pumpkin soup is exactly what we need as the weather turns colder by the day. It is a protein-packed meal perfect for lunch or dinner.
- Butternut Squash Burrito – With a hint of pumpkin sweetness, these burritos are hearty and delicious.
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Indian Spices and Caramelized Onions – Have a taste of an Indian spice flavored recipe with a combination of sweet roasted squash and caramelized onions, perfect for fall season or an anytime lunch or dinner.
Photos by Alfonso Revilla
Butternut Squash Curry
- 2 cups water
- 1 large butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 3 cups mixed vegetables combination of sweet peppers, mushrooms, green beans, peas, cauliflower, summer squash, asparagus, and carrots work nicely
- 1 28-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 to 3 tablespoons prepared Thai curry paste red, yellow, or green
- ¼ cup sugar
- Salt to taste
- Brown rice for serving (optional)
- In a medium pot, bring water to a boil, add prepared squash cubes, cover, and steam for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium. Add oil and onions, and saute onions until translucent.
- Add mixed chopped vegetables and cook another 8-10 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently.
- Mix steamed butternut cubes in the pan with the other veggies.
- Add coconut milk, curry paste, and sugar to the pan. Stir until curry paste and sugar are dissolved and well-mixed.
- Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add salt to taste and serve over hot rice.
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