Prepare to be blown away! This butternut squash chickpea curry is absolutely bursting with flavour! It’s rich and creamy, loaded with plenty of veggies and fresh herbs, and guaranteed to be a repeat-worthy dish.
While the butternut squash gives this dish some autumn flair, it’s definitely a dish you can make all year long.
This was inspired by my Instant Pot Thai curry, and while it shares some similar ingredients, this butternut squash chickpea curry is a uniquely delicious dish.
Ingredients + Substitutions
Here’s everything you’ll need to make our chickpea and butternut squash curry.
- Butternut squash: Choose one that feels heavy for its size, has hard skin and is free from bruises. For this recipe, I use a 2-pound squash, or approx. 6 cups cubed.
- Coconut oil: Adds to the creamy, coconut flavour, but you may use any other oil OR water or broth to sauté if you prefer to make this oil-free.
- Onion/carrot: Flavour enhancers that make the perfect start to many dishes.
- Garlic/ginger: Use fresh over dried for the absolute best flavour.
- Thai chilies: I use 2 small chilies which gives this butternut squash chickpea curry dish a medium heat level. Decrease to 1 for mild or increase to 3 for spicier. If you cannot find red chilies, you may use jalapeno, or any other hot peppers you like.
- Red curry paste: I use Thai Kitchen red curry paste because I really enjoy the flavour. I find the heat level to be very mild, so if you’re using a spicier brand, you may want to decrease the amount, to your taste.
- Kale/peas: To add greens and added nutrients. You may also use green beans, spinach, swiss chard, broccolini, or other greens.
- Chickpeas: For added protein. Use cooked OR canned, whatever you have on hand. You may sub with cooked lentils, or kidney beans if you prefer.
- Broth/Tamari: Adds savoury/salty flavour. Make sure to use a flavourful broth for the best results. For soy-free: you may use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce or Tamari with similar results.
- Maple syrup/coconut milk: Adds a hint of sweetness and creaminess to the curry. Full-fat coconut milk will yield the most flavourful and creamiest results. However, you may use low-fat if you’d like to keep the fat content down.
- Herbs/lime: Adds freshness and brightens up the dish, perfectly balancing with the heat. I use both cilantro and Thai basil, but you may choose either one, or none.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Arrange the cubed butternut squash in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (photo 1)
Roast until light golden brown and then remove from the oven and set aside. (photo 2)
Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil (if using) and sauté the onion and carrot in a deep skillet. (photo 3)
Then add the minced garlic, red chilies, and grated ginger and sauté 30 seconds longer. (photo 4)
Add all remaining ingredients except the lime juice and optional cilantro and basil. (photo 5)
Then simmer for 8-10 minutes until the kale and peas are cooked through. (photo 6)
Stir in the roasted butternut squash, lime juice, chopped cilantro and Thai basil and serve with brown rice or naan bread.
This butternut squash chickpea curry is already vegan and vegetarian friendly, but here are some ways to change up the recipe to suit different dietary needs:
- For gluten-free: use Tamari instead of soy sauce.
- For soy-free: use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce/Tamari with similar results
- For coconut free: use cashew cream instead of coconut milk with similar results.
- For oil-free: Sauté the onion and carrot in water or broth and skip the coconut oil.
- For low-fat: Skip the oil as indicated above, and stir in some soft or silken tofu to replace the coconut milk.
Or if you want to change up the flavour profile of our butternut squash chickpea curry, try one of these suggestions:
- Spicy: Make the dish extra spicy by increasing the Thai chilies to 3-4 peppers, and/or add a tablespoon or two of Sriracha, or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder.
- Sweet: For a sweeter version, you may add some cubed sweet potato to your baking sheet with the squash. Use half and half, or you can replace all the squash with sweet potato if you’d like.
- Yellow curry: To give this curry an Indian flavour (instead of Thai), skip the Thai chilies and the red curry paste and use yellow curry paste instead. Then add ½-1 teaspoon of each of the following spices: curry powder, turmeric, garam masala, and cumin. Or try our chickpea mushroom curry.
You might also want to check out our Instant Pot red curry dish for a hands-off curry recipe.
Leftovers will keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop.
You may freeze the butternut squash curry in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to 3 months. However, the texture of the squash and other veggies will get softer.
- If you don’t have a convection oven, use 425°F/218°C bake (or roast, if you have it). It will take an additional 5-10 minutes to roast, depending on the size of your cubes.
- Cut your butternut squash cubes as evenly as possible for even roast time.
More delicious squash recipes
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- 2 pound butternut squash peeled + cut into half-inch cubes (approx. 6 cups cubed)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or use water or broth to sauté for oil-free
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 carrots peeled + diced
- 1-2 Thai red chilies finely chopped, optional for heat
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger approx. one inch nub
- 4 ounce Thai Kitchen red curry paste approx. 5-6 tablespoons
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari for gluten-free
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 13.5 ounce Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk
- 1.5 cups chickpeas cooked or canned
- 4 cups kale stems removed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice approx. 1 large lime
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 cup cilantro thick stems removed
- 1 cup Thai basil chopped
- brown rice and/or naan bread for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/218°C convection roast and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Arrange your squash cubes in a single layer on your baking tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then roast for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, and fork tender. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil (if using) in a large, deep skillet (or a dutch oven) and then add the onion and carrots and sauté until softened and lightly caramelized, approx. 8-10 minutes. Next, add the chilies, garlic, and ginger and stir consistently until fragrant, approx. 30 seconds.
- Add the red curry paste, soy sauce, maple syrup, peas, broth, coconut milk, chickpeas, and kale to the skillet and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Then turn off the heat and add the lime juice, cilantro, and basil if using, and stir in the roasted butternut squash cubes. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve this butternut squash chickpea curry with rice, naan bread, or pita chips.
Technically, the skin is edible and there is no danger in consuming it, so yes, you may eat the skin if you prefer not to peel it before cubing and roasting.
If you keep your squash in a cool, dark place, it will keep for around one month. Do not refrigerate unpeeled, whole squash.
You can make a slurry from cornstarch, tapioca starch, or flour with a little cold water and simmer with your curry if you want a thicker sauce. OR, in this case, you could blend a cup or two of the finished dish and stir that back into the pan.