Made with the perfect blend of spices, tender butternut squash and rich coconut milk, this easy Thai butternut squash curry with coconut milk is ready in about 30 minutes. Perfect for weeknights!
This is the kind of recipe I get excited about; an easy all in one pan kind of recipe that couldn’t be any simpler to throw together but is big on flavor. It’s an easy butternut squash curry with coconut milk and is just the sort of thing I like to make when I want something that wakes up my taste buds while simultaneously enveloping me in cozy comfort.
As the days get shorter and the temperatures start to fall, this simple butternut squash curry is easy to cook up on a chilly night; its hearty, warmly spiced and only takes about 30 minutes to make.
The curry is a Thai style curry in which sweet butternut squash in simmered in a spicy coconut sauce with some chopped chard (or spinach if you prefer) thrown in at the end.
The butternut squash is essentially braised in the coconut sauce, infusing every piece with bright, bold flavor. You can make the dish as mild or hot as you like by adjusting the amount of paste or chili pepper you use. The natural sweetness of the butternut squash is balanced by the fieriness of the curry paste, while the coconut milk adds richness and tempers the heat.
(Here are a few notes about the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe. As always find the full list of ingredients and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
- Thai Red Curry Paste – Red curry paste is the base of this curry, be sure to choose a brand without shrimp for a vegetarian and vegan curry.
- Spices and Aromatics – A combination of fresh garlic, ginger, turmeric and fresh chili peppers bring loads of flavor to the curry. I’ve called for bird’s eye chili peppers also called Thai chili peppers which are small but fiery so just one will do or feel free to omit it if you’d prefer optional for a less spicy version.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut oil work well with the other flavors of the dish and is used to sauté the squash and spices.
- Coconut Milk – Coconut milk give the curry its creamy texture and richness.
- Diced Tomatoes – Use both the diced tomatoes and their juices.
- Butternut Squash – You’ll need about 1 pound of butternut squash cut into cubes. (Save yourself time and buy the pre-cut cubes)
- Greens - Chard or spinach can be used for the greens.
- For Serving - Cooked rice (regular or cauliflower) is a nice accompaniment to the curry as is a sprinkle of chopped cilantro over the top.
How to Make Thai Butternut Squash Curry with Coconut Milk:
So here’s how it all comes together.
- You start by gently frying the red curry paste along with the garlic, fresh ginger, turmeric and chili pepper in a bit of coconut oil.
- Once the paste is sizzling and fragrant you pile in the butternut squash cubes and get them all a coated. Then you tip in the coconut milk and chopped tomatoes and let the whole thing bubble and simmer away as the sauce reduces and coats the squash pieces.
- Last but not least you’ll add in the chard (or spinach) which is cooked just long enough to soften and wilt it.
Serve the curry alongside rice (regular or cauliflower for a paleo version) or simply on its own and dinner is ready.
Curries are easily adapted.
- Instead of butternut squash try cubes of sweet potatoes.
- Add in different vegetables like peas, carrots or cauliflower along with the butternut squash.
- Add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
- Substitute the greens of your choice.
This easy weeknight butternut squash curry infused with Thai flavors is ready in about 30 minutes.
- 1 Tablespoon/15ml coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons/30ml Thai red curry paste
- 2 small garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated
- One bird’s eye Thai chili pepper, finely sliced (optional, omit for a less spicy version)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 can/400ml coconut milk
- 1 can/ 411ml diced tomatoes (no salt added)
- ½ cup/120ml water
- 1 pound/453g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 4-5 chard leaves, stems removed and sliced thinly
- Chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
- Cooked rice (regular or cauliflower) for serving if desired
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the curry paste, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili pepper if using and salt, fry for 1 minute until fragrant, then stir in the squash and gently stir to coat pieces.
- Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes and water to the pot and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, (about15 minutes). Add chard and cook until leaves wilt, (about 5 minutes).
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm on its own or with rice on the side if desired.
- For a milder curry omit chili pepper.
- Use pre-chopped butternut squash for faster prep.
- Serve with rice or cauliflower rice on the side.
Curry can be prepared ahead of time and reheated. Store leftover in an airtight container in fridge for 3-4 days.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Paleo
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 353Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 300mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 11gSugar: 8gProtein: 9g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.