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!
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.