Bursting with flavor, this creamy butternut squash curry with chickpeas is the ultimate comfort food. It's seriously the perfect one pot weeknight meal.
Butternut Squash Curry Recipe
It's fall and my counter is currently full with all kinds of winter squash. I have pumpkin, spaghetti squash, red kuri, and butternut squash, today's star ingredient.
Butternut squash is one of the most versatile ingredients! You can cook and enjoy as is or add to all kinds of dishes like pancakes, sauces, meatballs.
You can even use it interchangeably in recipes that call for sweet potato or pumpkin.
Today, this delightful ingredient gets cooked in a creamy coconut curry sauce until tender. If you are in need of some comfort, cozy up with a warm bowl of this luscious and flavorful butternut squash chickpea curry!
It will not disappoint.
I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The full recipe is in the recipe card below.
- Butternut Squash - Choose one that weighs about 2-2.5 pounds. It will yield about 4-5 cups cubed. I've learned that the smaller the size, the more flavorful the flesh. This applies to all winter squash.
- Curry powder - This is a spice blend that consists of turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon. Note that this is different from garam masala which doesn't contain turmeric powder and therefore is reddish-brown in color.
- Chickpeas (garbanzo beans) - added for extra creaminess and a boost of protein and iron. You can also use cannellini or great northern beans.
- Coconut milk: MUST use unsweetened FULL FAT coconut milk that comes in a can not carton, which is much more diluted and oftentimes contain sugar. Note that this is also different from coconut cream. You really want to use a good one without any emulsifiers and stabilizers. I’ve found that Arroy-D and Chaokoh work best for curries.
- Low-sodium vegetable broth - you can also use chicken broth if you prefer.
How to Cut Butternut Squash
- Cut off both ends and peel the skin using a sharp peeler
- Stand it upright on a cutting board (tip: place a wet paper towel underneath so it doesn't move) and cut in half down the middle from top to bottom.
- Remove the seeds and stringy insides with a spoon.
- Cut into slices, lengthwise, then into ½ inch cubes. Try to cut them roughly the same size to ensure even cooking.
- Cook the vegetables - heat oil in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion, garlic, and ginger. Add the spices.
- Add the squash, coconut milk, tomatoes, broth, and chickpeas. Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until squash is fork tender.
- Stir in baby spinach and you are done!
Craving a Thai butternut squash curry? You can replace the curry powder, turmeric, and coriander with Thai red curry paste. But do note that the flavor profile will be completely different. It will be spicier, so start with just 1 tablespoon and adjust depending on your preferred spice level.
No butternut squash? You can use sweet potatoes, red kuri, or kabocha!
No chickpeas? You can add any white beans, like cannellini or great northern beans, or swap with another protein source, like tofu, chicken, or shrimp.
Tips for Success
- Preparing the butternut squash is what takes the longest. You can prep ahead of time or use cubed butternut squash from the store.
- The sauce will thicken more as it sits and once refrigerated. If desired, feel free to add more water, broth, or full-fat coconut milk (don't use light coconut milk) to thin it out.
This is seriously the perfect weeknight dinner! Enjoy the creamy curry sauce with some rice (like jasmine rice), quinoa, or red lentils (for some extra protein and iron).
Any cooked grain will pair beautifully and noodles or pasta, even, like this Thai curry pasta!
You can even mop up this rich curry with pita or naan.
Want some brightness? Top with some fresh herbs, like cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice.
Just like with most one pot meals, this curry will taste even better the next day as the flavors get a chance to meld together.
Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
More One Pot Comfort Meals
Butternut Squash Curry with chickpeas
- 2 pounds Butternut Squash , peeled, deseeded, and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 15 ounce can full fat coconut milk
- 15 ouncce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 15 ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas , rinsed a nd drained
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Optional: lime or lemon juice
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the spices.
- Add the squash, coconut milk, tomatoes, broth, and chickpeas. Bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for 15-20 minutes until squash is fork tender.
- Stir in spinach and some lime juice, if desired. Enjoy!
- If you already have pre-roasted butternut squash on hand, you can add it along with spinach.
- Transfer leftovers into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze for up to 3 months.
Courtney Wolff says
I never leave comments on websites ever but I needed you to know that I can barely fry an egg and I’ve made this recipe 3 time so far and my husband, 10month old, and 2 of my freshly post-partum best friends LOVED it! finding your page was such a blessing! i’ve made your red curry thai noodle dish, chia seed bananas, and the banana/beet muffins just came out of the oven right now! thank you for all you do!
THIS!! I spent all day feeling so exhausted and unmotivated then the Lord sent me you! Thank you so much for being here, for trying out so many of my recipes, and taking the time to encourage me more than you'll ever know! Thank you!!
Edit Cseri says
I just love your page! I cooked many recipes from your website and it’s always a success! ❤️ And this is the best curry I’ve ever made! The boys did not even notice that it’s butternut squash.. hehehe 🤭
Oh wow! This is such a huge compliment! I'm so glad! Thank you for sharing!
My picky eaters ate it!! This is amazing, thank you so much. Can’t wait to make the next recipe.
Woohoo!!! Makes me so happy to hear that!
Harriet Emily says
red curry is a favourite dish of mine and I love it with butternut squash! Your recipe looks delicious!
Thank you, Harriet! I can't wait for you to try ;). The squash def is a lovely addition to the curry!
I will definitely be making this come fall!! I am always looking for recipes to use up my red curry paste as it usually just sits away in the fridge. Funny about the tomato-colored face...my nickname in highschool was tomato face - thanks to my Korean side 😉
Tricia the Good Mama says
This looks so yummy! It's just in time for Fall/Winter. I am going to be pinning this!
ellie | fit for the soul says
Muhahhahaha I totally second that bit about how Koreans are crazy with hot/spicy food. I always tell Greg that we Koreans love to torture ourselves when we eat, and we have to work hard WHILE eating....do you notice that? We can't just cut a steak and eat, it's more like flip it on the grill as you're eating in hopes that you won't lose an eyeball. Anyway, this dish....Thai dishes are so crazy good, and I love how healthy this one is. As always, you're a flavor pairing master.
Melissa @ Simply Sweets by Honeybee says
What a gorgeous looking dish!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
In Japan we also eat spicy food in hot weather. 😀 I love this red curry! Season with Spice creates amazing spices and you make awesome dish! 🙂
Thanks, Nami ;). Don't you just love Season with Spice?
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I do struggle with hot food in hot weather, but it is starting to cool down here, so this looks perfect for the cooler evenings!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
can't remember the last time i made a curry... definitely inspired to make one tonight. looks delicious!
Kelly - Life made sweeter says
This looks incredible, Min! I could eat curry no matter what time of year and love the sound of this spinach and butternut squash combo. Can't wait to try this - the flavors sound amazing!
Alex @ DelishKnowledge says
Yes! This is exactly my kind of meal! Filled with vegetables & spice! Pinning now- can't wait to try this!
Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana says
That looks so warm and comforting! I really love butternut squash, but can I confess that I have a mental block against it because I don't like peeling and cutting it 😉 If you have a secret for how to make it easier, let me know! You must be missing Korea and your family...been thinking of you and hoping that everything is going well 🙂 Love, Maura
Haha I know what you mean ;). I normally wait until Tim gets home to do the cutting ever since I almost cut my hand. However, these were pretty small, and what I did was I actually microwaved it for like a minute. It softened it just enough for the knife to cut through with ease. Been thinking of you too, Maura! Let's chat soon 😉
Totally pinned! This has all the things--> butternut squash, spinach, curry, rice. And I agree, I'll eat curry anytime of the year!
Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor says
I don't think that it matters if it is still hot, I love curry no matter what time of the year! I love fall veggies and am getting so excited for butternut squash season! Can't wait to try this curry, Min!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables says
2 of my favorite things... butternut squash and curry!! I'll be over for dinner. 😉
I so wish you could come over! I want to meet the lil' one too 😉