Loaded with seasonal ingredients and plenty of veggies, this vegan Butternut Squash Curry is the perfect recipe for dinner or meal prepping. All you need is one pot and it’s ready to enjoy in about 45 minutes!
This completely gluten free and vegan Butternut Squash Curry has all the fall flavors you could want in a healthy meal. The vibrant and versatile ingredients make this a satisfying and enjoyable weekday lunches or dinner. As a bonus, it’s done in one pot and ready in about 45 minutes!
A curry is a perfect dish for vegans to enjoy as it usually contains lots of nutritious vegetables, beans for protein, and creamy coconut milk. There are no real rules to what you should include, which comes in handy when you need to clean out the fridge.
Save even more time by preparing the ingredients in advance and keep them in your fridge until you’re ready to make this delicious recipe.
What does curry taste like?
If you’re a fan of Thai and Indian flavors, turmeric, and some spice, this curry is the dish for you. Curry can take on many ingredients and spice levels, which can change the flavor profile.
This vegan butternut squash curry is a red curry and has a spicier flavor compared to other alternatives like yellow or green curry which have a more mild taste.
Is curry healthy?
The ingredients in this curry recipe all have their own nutritional benefits. Butternut squash is a complex carb that contains 11% of your daily fiber needs per 1 cup serving. It’s full of vitamins such as the vitamin A precursor (beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E and some B vitamins. It also contains minerals we need such as potassium and magnesium.
Spinach is loaded with nutrients and anti-oxidants. These little leafy veggies contain vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
Ginger contains important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and is helpful to digestion.
Yellow curry powder on its own has a few surprising benefits. Made up of turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and chili pepper, curry powder is anti-inflammatory and contains plenty of antioxidants.
Ingredients and substitutions
This is my basic curry recipe so no need to include all of the ingredients listed below. Feel free to add in additional vegetables, beans, or legumes. You can also remove anything that’s unappealing!
These are the ingredients I love to use:
- Olive oil – To saute the onion, garlic, and ginger. Use coconut oil instead if you wish.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger – For unforgettable flavors. You can use fresh garlic cloves or garlic, or use powdered if that’s all you have.
- Red curry paste – For flavor and spice. Reduce the amount you use to 1 tablespoon if you like it less spicy. *Make sure the one you are purchasing does not contain fish.
- Seasonings – Yellow curry powder and turmeric powder will create a vibrant yellow hue and add flavor and nutritional properties.
- Butternut squash – Both fresh or frozen squash will work.
- Coconut milk – Use full-fat coconut milk for more flavor.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes – Use crushed tomatoes if you can’t find fire-roasted.
- Maple syrup – For a touch of sweetness and balance. You can swap this for brown sugar or agave.
- Tamari – Or soy sauce if you don’t need it to be gluten-free.
- Lime juice – To round out the flavors and add a hint of acid and citrus. Citrus also helps us absorb the iron from the spinach more readily too!
- Fresh baby spinach – Because fresh greens are the best! Feel free to swap the spinach for kale or another favorite leafy green.
Want to add more protein to your Thai Butternut Squash Curry?
Adding 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas or ¾ cup of uncooked red lentils will give the curry more protein to fill you up.
Use a little extra water if using lentils, and add them in with the squash so they have time to cook and soften. If using chickpeas or another cooked bean, add them in with the coconut milk.
Alternatively, throw on a cubed grilled tofu steak for a bit of smokiness.
How to serve curry
Serve a bowl of this vegan curry over brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa, or whatever grain you enjoy the most. Top it with crushed cashews or peanuts, fresh cilantro, or lime wedges for flavor and crunch.
Making this Vegan Butternut Squash Curry ahead of time
This butternut squash and spinach curry can be made the night before and reheated the next day. Letting it sit overnight will allow the ingredients and flavors to meld together, making for an extra tasty lunch or dinner.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. Keep the batches in individual containers for easy grab-and-go lunches.
Freeze leftover curry by adding it to a sealed bag or pyrex glass jar with a lid. Freeze for up to 3 months, and leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
Reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop or for a few minutes in the microwave.
More versatile recipes
All of these recipes are so flexible. Add in all of your favorite ingredients or easily make adjustments to fit your preference:
- Easy Thai Quinoa Salad – for a quick lunch or easy dinner
- Red Curry Mac and Cheese – so many veggies to add to this
- Vietnamese Noodle Bowls – perfect for an easy meal
- Buffalo Chicken Salad – can be made with any veggie in the salad that you like
Butternut Squash Curry (Vegan)
- 1 TB olive oil or coconut oil or saute in water if you are not using oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 TB ginger minced/grated
- 2 TB red curry paste use only 1 TB if you don’t like too much spice
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 5 cups butternut squash in small cubes (fresh or frozen) – about 1 pout (600g)
- 1 15 oz can of coconut milk
- 1 20 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes (can use crushed tomatoes if you can’t find fire roasted), drain liquid and save
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 TB tamari or soy sauce
- Juice of ½ a lime
- 5 cups fresh baby spinach
- Topping: crushed cashews or peanuts fresh cilantro, lime wedges
- Add oil and onions to the pan and cook for 5 minutes
- Add garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes
- Add curry paste, curry powder, turmeric and butternut squash and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring
- Add rest of the ingredients (except spinach and toppings), stir, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on or until squash is tender
- Add spinach and stir until fully wilted
- Turn off the heat, uncover and let sit 5 minutes to thicken
- Serve with your favorite grain and add any toppings
- This curry can be made the night before and reheated the next day.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days in the fridge. Keep the batches in individual containers for easy grab-and-go lunches.
- Freeze leftover curry by adding it to a sealed bag or pyrex glass jar with a lid. Freeze for up to 3 months, and leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
- Reheat leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop or for a few minutes in the microwave.
Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who empowers vegans to feel confident creating sustainable habits that align with their values and health goals. She shares easy plant-powered food to nourish your body + satisfy your tastebuds. Mary Ellen’s recipes and nutrition info have been featured on Yahoo News, Parade, VegNews, LIVESTRONG, Dr. Axe, Greatist, LIVEKINDLY, Brit+Co, Well+Good, and more. She lives in NJ with her husband & two sweet shih tzus, Firenze & Sophie.