Butternut Squash Curry

$7.23 recipe / $1.81 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.32 from 22 votes
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I snagged a few really big butternut squashes on sale the other day, chopped them up, and stashed most of them in my freezer for later. One of the first things I made with my butternut squash haul was this delicious and super easy butternut squash curry! It’s warm, cozy, filling, and most of all, budget-friendly!

Overhead view of a skillet full of butternut squash curry.

What’s in Butternut Squash Curry

This simple curry starts with a trio of aromatics, including onion, garlic, and ginger. We layer in some curry powder and cumin, and finally build the sauce with some diced tomatoes and water. The butternut squash is then simmered into the flavorful sauce until tender and then creamy coconut milk is added to give the curry body. The curry is then finished off with some fresh spinach for color and texture. So easy, so pretty, and SO delicious!

How to Serve Butternut Squash Curry

The creamy curry sauce is the star of the show in this dish, so you definitely want to serve this curry with some type of bread or rice to make sure all of those delicious flavors get soaked up and enjoyed. You could serve the curry in a bowl with some naan bread for dipping, or spoon it over a bed of rice like we have it pictured here.

How to Store Leftovers

Divide the curry into single portions after cooking, then chill in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. This curry can be frozen, although you may want to give it a good stir after thawing and reheating. You can thaw the curry in the refrigerator overnight, or microwave straight from the freezer on the defrost setting, stirring occasionally, until reheated.

What Else Can I Add?

Curries are great because they’re so flexible. You can toss in just about anything you might have on hand. If you don’t have butternut squash, you can substitute the same amount of sweet potatoes. If you want to bulk up this curry, you can add in a mix of frozen vegetables (broccoli, peas, carrots, cauliflower), or even a drained can of chickpeas.

Overhead view of a bowl of butternut squash curry with rice.
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Butternut Squash Curry

4.32 from 22 votes
This butternut squash curry is easy, inexpensive and so deliciously warm, cozy, and filling. It's the perfect vegetarian comfort meal!
Close up overhead view of butternut squash curry in a bowl with rice.
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. butternut squash (about 4 cups diced) ($1.78)
  • 1 yellow onion ($0.37)
  • 2 cloves garlic ($0.16)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger ($0.30)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder ($0.30)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin ($0.10)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.09)
  • 1/2 cup water ($0.00)
  • 1 13.5oz can full-fat coconut milk ($2.29)
  • 2 oz. fresh spinach ($0.50)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.02)
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Instructions 

  • Peel and dice the butternut squash into ½-inch pieces. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and grate the ginger.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium. Add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and ginger, and sauté for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add the curry powder and cumin and sauté for one minute more.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and water to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add the diced butternut squash and stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet and let the squash simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes, or just until fork-tender.
  • Add the coconut milk to the skillet, stir to combine, and heat through.
  • Once the sauce is hot again, add the fresh spinach. Stir to combine and allow the spinach to wilt in the hot sauce. Season the curry to taste with salt, then enjoy!

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Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 433kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 30gSodium: 494mgFiber: 9g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Overhead view of a skillet full of butternut squash curry with a spatula.

How to Make Butternut squash curry – Step by Step Photos

Butternut squash sliced and cubed on a cutting board.
Peel and dice about 2 pounds of butternut squash into ½-inch pieces (about 4 cups). If you need help figuring out how to dice butternut squash, check out our tutorial on how to peel and cut butternut squash.
Diced onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger on a cutting board.

Prepare the aromatics. Dice one yellow onion, mince two cloves of garlic, and grate about 1 Tbsp of fresh ginger.

Sautéed aromatics in a skillet, spices being added.

Heat a large skillet over medium, then add 2 Tbsp olive oil along with the onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté over medium for a few minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add 1 Tbsp curry powder and 1 tsp ground cumin, and continue to sauté for about one minute more.

Diced tomatoes being poured into the skillet.

Add one 15oz. can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes and ½ cup water to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Butternut squash added to the skillet.

Add the diced butternut squash and stir to combine. Place a lid on the skillet and let the squash simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes, or just until fork-tender. Don’t overcook the squash or it will begin to break down into a mash as you finish the dish.

Coconut milk being poured into the skillet.

Once the squash is tender, add one 13.5 oz. can of full-fat coconut milk. Stir to combine and allow the sauce to heat through.

Fresh spinach added to the curry.

Once the sauce is hot again, add about 2 oz. fresh spinach (two big handfuls) and stir to combine. Allow the spinach to wilt in the hot sauce.

Finished curry in the skillet with a spatula.

Season the curry with salt, starting with ¼ tsp and adding more to your liking. I used ½ tsp total. Keep in mind that salt doesn’t just make things taste salty, it actually helps other flavors pop and allows your tongue to detect and distinguish flavors.

Close up overhead view of butternut squash curry in a bowl with rice.

Serve the curry with bread for dipping or over a bed of rice and enjoy!

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  1. I absolutely loved this recipe! Unfortunately, I was the only one who did. And it’s not worth all the prep and cooking, no matter how delicious it is, just for me. But do give it a go!

  2. I made this as directed and it was kind of bland – and I’m not typically a spicy food person, I’m a random white girl from Ohio lol. So I added more curry powder and cumin, and it was decent but texturally lacking. So the next day, I blended it into a soup with my immersion blender, adding more water as needed (though coconut milk would also have worked; I was just out of it). With a base of sticky rice and a garnish of fresh cilantro, it was pretty great! Filling and nutritious.

  3. Incredibly bland. If you’re making this dish, I would recommend that you double or even triple the spices listed here, and then also add some garam masala, turmeric, and red chili flakes.

  4. Would frozen butternut squash work? If so, how would I use it in the recipe? Love many of your recipes and would like to try this one! Thanks!

    1. Yes, that will definitely work. The only difference is that it will probably take less time to cook until tender, so just keep an eye on it. :)

  5. the curry recipes on here are always under seasoned, i tripled the spices and added more of my own and a curry roux cube

  6. I went for this recipe because of the quick cooktime and found it to actually be pretty accurate (I’m not the fastest chopper so it took me a little bit longer but not too much). However, the flavors were too mild for me. I think next time I will double the amount of garlic and ginger and maybe throw in a chile pepper or two to add a bit more heat. Not a bad starting place though and I appreciate that you can get it on the table in 45 minutes.

  7. It was pretty good. I made it for my partner and I with brown rice, and baked chicken using the same spices. It’s just that, in our opinion, it was missing a lot of flavor. I think that next time I make this, I will add more of the spices mentioned, plus smoked paprika, Cayenne, diced chilies, and a bit of coconut sugar to balance the spice out. I’ll also probably add a bit more ginger. Overall I think this was a decent base though, and to be clear, a lot of this boils down to personal opinion. :)

  8. Great recipe! Used a big bag of frozen butternut squash which needed much less cooking, and probably could have done without the 1/2 cup of water – it was a bit soupy so I simmered it for a while to thicken the sauce. I agree with the comments that it could use more protein – I had some paneer cheese which I added along with the coconut milk.

  9. I’ve never made a recipe like this and it was incredible. I will be making this often. I love when I find a healthy meal that’s also delicious. It feels nourishing and that much more satisfying.

    Question though. Does anyone know if low fat coconut milk take away too much from the thickness and flavor?

    1. I think it’s going to come down to personal preference. It will definitely be thinner because there is less fat, but you may find that you still enjoy it. :)

  10. Top notch recipe! Easy to find ingredients, very delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again.