Butternut Squash Curry is an easy vegetarian curry made with tender butternut squash, hearty chickpeas, kale, and a rich curried broth.
This vegan-friendly dinner recipe delivers rich and impressive flavor with minimal effort and easy-to-find, affordable, ingredients.
I have set out to incorporate more plant-based recipes into my family's diet. For the carnivores in my house, AKA my son and husband, that can be a challenging feat.
However, this Butternut Squash Curry is a great example of how flavorful, not to mention SIMPLE, vegetarian meals can be. My picky boys agree, but more importantly, I think YOU will agree as well.
Why You Will Love Vegetarian Curry
- Easy to Make. Made in just one pan, with only a handful of ingredients, this vegetarian curry is incredibly easy to make. We are talking a bit of dicing and simmering and dinner is DONE!
- Full of deep, rich flavors. From the warmth of the curry paste to the slightly sweet butternut squash to the earthiness of the kale to the richness of the coconut milk, this recipe for curry sings with flavor.
- Comes together quickly. Traditional curries take hours of simmering to develop rich, nuanced flavors. This curry recipe takes a shortcut and uses curry paste, which is a blended mixture of red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, Thai ginger, and spices. It is incredibly nuanced in flavors and helps to develop a rich curry in a short amount of time.
- Economical. Using pantry staples and seasonal fall produce, this recipe for Butternut Squash Curry costs just a couple of dollars per serving.
- Allergy-Friendly. Plant-based, vegan-friendly, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this vegetarian curry is suitable for just about anyone.
Notes on Ingredients
- Butternut Squash: This recipe calls for 1 medium butternut squash, which is equivalent to about 4 cups of cubed squash. Time-Saving Tip: It costs about the same to purchase a package of diced butternut squash from the produce section as it does to purchase a whole squash and it will save you 5 to 10 minutes of prep work!
- Curry Paste: You can find curry paste in most major grocery stores. It is typically found in the international food aisle. For this recipe, I recommend using a mild, red curry paste.
- Kale: In place of kale, feel free to use spinach.
- Peanut Butter: Be sure to use creamy, all-natural, unsweetened peanut butter, not sweetened or shelf-stabled peanut butter. You can also substitute creamy, all-natural almond butter in place of peanut butter if desired.
- Coconut Milk: For the richest curry, use full-fat canned coconut milk. While you CAN use light canned coconut milk, DO NOT use refrigerated coconut milk, as it is not the same.
- Onion: Use a yellow, white, or red onion. For a really mild flavor, use shallots in place of the onions.
- Ginger: It is crucial to use fresh ginger not powdered ginger for this recipe. You can purchase fresh gingerroot in the produce section of your local grocery store. Once purchased, simply peel the ginger and pop it into a freezer-safe bag. Store in the freezer indefinitely, and when needed, you can grate the ginger, using a Microplane, right from the freezer.
How to Prepare Butternut Squash Curry
- Heat a bit of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat.
- Once the oil is just warm, add the onion and saute until the onion is softened.
- Using a Microplane, grate the gingerroot right over the onions, and then saute for just a minute or so. Just until your nose begins to smell the ginger.
- Whisk the vegetable broth, peanut butter, curry paste, and spices into the pot. It is okay if there are still some lumps from the nut butter, the heat will help the peanut butter to melt into the broth as it simmers.
- Stir in the squash and chickpeas.
- Raise the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is fork-tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and kale and cook for another minute or two, or until the kale softens slightly.
- To brighten up the curry, I stir in the fresh lime juice right before serving. It really helps the flavors to pop. If you don't have fresh lime, simply omit it.
While I personally love this chickpea curry over Instant Pot Brown Rice, my family prefers it served over pasta. Both are tasty options that help make this vegetarian curry a much heartier meal. Of course, the rice and pasta are optional. If you serve the curry on its own, I would highly recommend adding naan bread on the side, to soak up the delicious rich broth.
Store leftover vegetarian curry in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat the curry in a saucepan over low heat or heat individual servings in 1-minute intervals in the microwave.
Alternatively, you can freeze the curry in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Allow the curry to defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Nut-Free: The nut butter adds an earthy, deep flavor to the curry. If you have a nut allergy, I would suggest using tahini to replicate the rich, creamy, earthiness of the nut butter.
- Sweet Potato Curry: Sweet potato is the perfect substitute for butternut squash in this vegetarian curry recipe. The sweet potatoes will give the curry a similar flavor and texture as the squash does. Use 4 cups of peeled, cubed sweet potatoes in place of the squash and prepare as directed.
More Favorite Vegan Dinner Recipes
- Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps
- Sweet Potato Tacos
- Vegetarian Tikka Masala
- Kale Pasta
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you enjoyed this recipe for Vegetarian Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Butternut Squash Curry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 1- inch fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 4 cups butternut squash 1-inch cubes
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 16 ounces chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon all-natural creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
- 2 cups kale de-stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lime, juiced
- In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the grated ginger and cook for another minute, or just until fragrant.
- Whisk in the broth, peanut butter, curry paste, and spices to the pot and whisk to combine. Stir in the cubed squash and chickpeas.
- Raise the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and kale and cook for another minute or two, or until the kale softens slightly. Note: If you would like softer kale, add it to the pot when the curry still has 10 minutes left to simmer.
- Remove the curry from the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the curry and stir to incorporate.
- Serve the curry over pasta, rice, or with a side of Naan bread.