Butternut Squash Curry

$7.23 recipe / $1.81 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 5 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

5 from 5 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 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 35 mins

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)

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!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 433kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 6gFat: 30gSodium: 494mgFiber: 9g
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!
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. Aaaaamazing! I took leftovers of this camping and it was one of the best camping dinners of all time.

  2. Delicious! Mine squash required a little more liquid to cook and definitely took longer than 10 minutes but those were easy adjustments. Flavor was perfect and it was eating this was so warming and nutritious.

  3. We really loved this simple curry! Like you, I picked up a batch of butternut squashes a few weeks ago–couldn’t believe how cheap. Although I know that western and southern India have lots of dishes using coconut in various forms, the coconut milk really said Thai to me, so I used 1 T of Thai curry paste instead of the curry powder & cumin. I have red, green and yellow curry paste in my pantry, but used the milder red, or Panang–which was already open and in the fridge–for this recipe. I cut the onions in large dice–about 3/4″ then diced half a large red bell pepper and small poblano, also in 3/4″ pieces. At the end I added more spinach, just because I love it–and had it on hand. This vegan entree was a spectacularly colorful and delicious lunch! Thank you for something that is going to show up often on our table, both my variation and your original–and who knows what other versions might pop up! Did I say how much I love the fact that your recipes are often really great starting points for experimentation?

  4. Just made this and loved it! I have 4 butternut squashes I need to use up and wanted to do something other than roast them. This was the perfect recipe and my kids and husband loved it too!