Every bite of this Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas is loaded with roasted butternut squash, chickpeas, and a flavorful and creamy base. Enjoy it as a comforting dinner or weekly meal prep during fall!
If you love roasted butternut squash as much as I do, check out my Vegan Risotto.
Can’t wait to start making all the things with butternut squash? Great, because it’s perfect in this Butternut Squash Curry! Loaded with aromatics and fresh Thai-inspired flavors, this easy one-pot recipe is a great choice for fall dinners and meal prep.
The creamy coconut base in this vegan butternut squash curry is loaded with roasted seasonal butternut squash, red curry paste, coconut milk, canned chickpeas, and spinach. Every spoonful is so comforting and filling, just like my Chickpea Curry Recipe, but much better suited to the cold fall and winter weather. After all, nothing quite says ‘autumn’ like butternut squash!
Not sure what to do with the rest of your leftover butternut squash? Use it up in this Butternut Squash Lasagna or this comforting Butternut Squash Soup.
Ingredients needed (with substitutions)
- Butternut squash – A fall favorite! The squash is peeled, cubed, and roasted before it’s added to the curry, which really brings out the flavors.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger – All three will give the curry a great baseline of flavor. Try to use fresh if you can!
- Red curry paste – Red curry paste will give your squash and chickpea curry some heat and a variety of flavor. The heat is toned down as it’s mixed with the other ingredients so don’t worry about it being too spicy!
- Soy sauce – Or replace this with tamari to make the curry gluten free.
- Chickpeas – Used canned beans to keep everything simple and easy. If you don’t have chickpeas at home, another white bean will work or you can use cauliflower, tofu, or tempeh.
- Vegetable broth – This adds more liquid to the curry and gives it a thinner consistency.
- Coconut milk – This will make your curry super creamy and tone down the heat. Use a can of full fat coconut milk or replace it with cashew cream, almond milk, or cashew milk.
- Sugar – For just a touch of sweetness and balance. Maple syrup will also work.
- Spinach – I love adding spinach to curry for extra nutrients but you can always leave it out or replace it with another leafy green, like kale.
- Lime juice – For balance and brightness. A splash of rice wine vinegar would work as well.
How to make butternut squash and chickpea curry
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Layer the cubed butternut squash onto a baking sheet. Season the cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast in the oven until they’re golden brown and fork tender.
While you wait for the squash, sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the red curry paste and turmeric next.
Pour the coconut milk, broth, and chickpeas into the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil. Lower the heat once it boils and let the curry simmer for a few minutes.
Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Finish the curry with the roasted butternut squash and spinach. Once the spinach leaves have wilted, serve the chickpea butternut squash curry in bowls with rice and top with herbs, lime, nuts, and hot sauce. Enjoy!
- Gluten free – Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
- Oil free – Instead of sauteeing the onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil, replace it with water or vegetable broth.
- If you don’t have squash at home, try substituting it with sweet potato to make a sweet potato curry!
- Want to add even more to your curry? Throw in some chopped carrots, lemongrass, spicy Thai chili’s, or peas.
Frequently asked questions
- What can you replace red curry paste with? You can substitute it with 1 tablespoon of curry powder and perhaps a little ground cumin and garam masala. The finished result will taste quite different though. If it’s simply too spicy for you, replace it with mild or yellow curry paste instead.
- How do you peel and cut butternut squash for curry? First, cut both ends off the squash. Peel the skin and chop the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop the flesh and seeds from the rounded bottom. Cut both halves into small bite-sized cubes and you’re done!
- How do you store butternut squash curry? Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- Can you freeze it? Absolutely! Place the leftovers in a container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Scoop the delicious butternut curry into bowls with brown, basmati rice or quinoa instead. Serve vegan naan on the side for dipping and scooping, as well as brussels sprouts, salad, or another veggie side dish if you’d like.
To make each serving complete, top it off with chopped cilantro, basil, or Thai basil, fresh lime juice or lime wedges, chopped cashews or peanuts, and a drizzle of hot sauce.
Looking for more easy vegan one-pot dinners?
Forget all about a lengthy clean up and treat yourself to any of these easy and comforting one-pot dinners:
Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas
Butternut Squash Curry
- 4 cups chopped butternut squash 1 small or 1/2 large
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups baby spinach or chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 4 cups cooked rice or quinoa
- chopped cilantro or basil
- additional lime wedges
- chopped peanuts or cashews
- hot sauce
Roast the squash
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and grease a large baking sheet with olive oil (or line with parchment paper).
- Add the chopped butternut squash, drizzle with a few tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, and bake for 30-45 minutes, until golden and browned in spots.
While the squash roasts, prepare the curry
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until translucent.
- Now add the garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the red curry paste and turmeric. Pour in the coconut milk, broth and chickpeas and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil, then lower heat so the mixture is simmering but not boiling hard. Cover and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the squash has finished baking.
- Stir in the soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Now stir in the roasted butternut squash and baby spinach. Let the spinach wilt for a minute or two, then remove from heat.
- Serve with cooked rice, chopped cilantro or basil, lime wedges, chopped nuts and hot sauce. Enjoy!
- Nutritional estimates do not include rice or additional toppings.
Try substituting sweet potato for the squash for a sweet potato curry, if desired.
If you can’t find red curry paste, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of curry powder and perhaps a little ground cumin and garam masala. It will taste quite different though.
Feel free to leave out the chickpeas if desired, or substitute a few cups of cauliflower instead. Tofu would also taste good here.
This was so simple and bursting with flavor! I found it the perfect recipe for a working mom of two who is exhausted. To be fair, I also rarely cook (my husband is the cook!) So it was also perfect for someone who needs to follow a recipe. My just barely one year old ate it UP! I reduced the red curry paste to ensure it wouldn’t be too spicy, but it definitely still had a kick so I love that he ate it. I followed the recipe almost exactly other than omitting lime simply because I didn’t have any sadly. Thank you so much for sharing.
Hi Bari. You are welcome! Thanks for your terrific feedback! I loved reading about how much your one year old, and you, loved the curry! That is so great! Wishing you happy cooking!
Loved this recipe. Huge hit. Great flavors and easy to make.
I’m so glad the recipe was a hit! I love that you found it easy and delicious! Thanks for your terrific feedback!
This was so good! Lots of flavor and easy to make. Didn’t have chickpeas and just added some additional spinach. Roasted the squash earlier in the day, made putting this together super fast! Served over rice. Will make again and again.
I’m so glad that you loved the curry! I also love the simplicity and delicious flavor of this recipe! Thanks for sharing your fantastic feedback and review! Enjoy!
My husband and kids found this a little bland but I thought it was alright! Anything I should do next time for more flavor?
You could add extra onion/garlic/ginger or an extra 1/2 tablespoon of red curry paste (a spicier brand of curry paste could help, too). Alternatively, use traditional Thai ingredients to up the flavor, like Thai basil, spicy Thai chili’s, or lemongrass. I hope this helps!
Yum!! I made this tonight, actually with an acorn squash we grew in our very own garden! It was super fun to be able to use it in this delicious curry dish! Your recipes never disappoint, Nora! Thank you!
You are welcome, Carrie. I love to hear about recipes being made with home grown vegetables! So awesome! Thank you for sharing your great feedback! I’m happy you loved the curry!
Made this last night and it was unreal. Truly restaurant quality!! One of my favorite recipes I’ve ever tried. I used harissa instead of red curry since I didn’t have any, which worked great. I also used quinoa which I felt was perfect. Next time I might add some pineapple!
Hi Tatum. I’m thrilled to hear you love the recipe! Thank you for your wonderful feedback and ideas! I’m glad you will be making more of it! Happy cooking!
Absolutely delicious. I added honey and maple syrup. I omitted the lemon. It really was very tasty! Thank you!
You are welcome, Mercedes! I’m glad you loved the curry! Thank you for sharing your great ideas and feedback!
I cubed up some butternut squash a few weeks ago and froze it. Do you think roasting frozen or thawed squash would work okay?
Yes it would! It can be roasted straight from the freezer. Happy cooking!
I made it – it’s delicious! Easy and flavorful. I only needed to add a tiny bit of salt at the end. I roasted the squash from frozen and I think it was the perfect texture for curry. I also ended up adding some fresh tomato and bell pepper in sauté stage to use up leftover veg in the fridge and it worked out wonderfully. Thanks!
You are welcome! I’m so happy to learn that you loved the curry! I appreciate you taking time to share your wonderful feedback and ideas! Happy cooking!
LOVED this! Husband said it was the best Indian food he’d ever had. I probably put in too much butternut… I didn’t measure. Also tossed in some frozen peas and carrots. Other than that, no changes. It was amazingly creamy, and sweet without being too sweet. I don’t like sweet main dishes and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup with the natural sweetness of the squash was perfect!
Hi Jackie. I’m happy to hear that you and your husband loved the curry! Thank you for sharing your ideas and fantastic feedback!
Delicious! Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so glad you love it! You are welcome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback!
I made this last night and it’s another Nora hit! It tastes like it comes from our great local Thai restaurant, and it’s so easy to make. Curry pastes can vary widely, and the one I used was a little too spicy for some family members; next time I’ll try green curry paste to see if it brings the heat down to a level they will enjoy. Thanks for yet another great recipe, Nora!
Wow, thank you for your incredible feedback! I am honored! I’m so glad the curry is a hit in your home! You are very welcome! Happy cooking!
I’ve made other curry chickpea dishes, but this one is delicious!! I love the addition of the butternut squash. I also love how easy it was. I am always looking for quick easy dishes to make during the week. I hate meal prepping one day a week so if I can whip up a dish after work, I’m happy. I will definitely be making this dish often.
I’m thrilled you love the recipe! I also love quick and easy meals, that taste good! Thank you for taking time to share your wonderful review and comments! Wishing you lots of happy cooking!
I made this last week and it was FANTASTIC! !
I’m glad you loved it! Thank you for sharing your review!
Yum! I enjoyed this! Next time I might add some extra chili pepper or sriracha to amp up the heat.
I’m glad you enjoyed the curry! Thank you for sharing your review and feedback!
I love it!!!! I made this recipe yesterday and it came out very delicious. It kept me at a happy place ?.
I have tried several curry dishes, but this is the most delicious vegan curry dish that I have ever had! I added a little more coconut milk and curry paste and had it with Naan bread. Thank you!!!
Thank you so much, Caroline! I’m thrilled you love the curry! I appreciate you taking time to share your wonderful review and comments!
This is delish! Thank you!!
You are welcome! Glad you loved it! Thank you for sharing your review and comments!
One of my favorites yet. Wife and kid loved it! I doubled the chickpeas and it was a little more stew-like, but I wanted it to last longer. Left all the other ingredients the same and it was perfect.
I’m so glad you loved the curry! It sounds really good with extra chickpeas! Thank you for taking your time to share your wonderful review and comments! Happy cooking!
I made this today & it’s absolutely delicious! It was very flavorful without being too spicy. My 11 year old carnivore son wanted to try it & really liked it! The recipe made plenty & I’m going to freeze the leftovers for another day.
Thank you for another delicious, meatless meal Nora!
You are welcome, Angie! I’m glad you guys loved the curry. Isn’t it fun to have leftovers! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful review and comments!
What would be a good substitute for coconut milk? I have allergies to coconuts but would love to try this recipe!
Cashew cream would work, or a vegan creamer that is unsweetened and unflavored.
That looks and sounds really delicious! Definitely trying this for dinner next week. I need all the inspiration I can get at the moment! Thank you x
I hope you enjoy the recipe!
You’ve gone it again, Nora! You are a culinary genius.
Why thank you – I am honored! I am so glad you love the curry! Thank you for your wonderful feedback!