Creamy, comforting Butternut Squash Curry with lentils! Packed with bright Thai flavors, this is the perfect cozy, healthy meatless main. Vegan and gluten free.
The fact that I bought an actual squash for this recipe versus getting the pre-cut bag of fresh or frozen squash is nothing short of miraculous.
I couldn't leave you wondering if a half or a third or who knows how much of a squash yields 4 cups chopped so here we are. I didn't lose an arm while making this recipe and all is well in the world.
- Onion: Our flavor base. You can use white or yellow onion.
- Ginger and ginger: Gorgeous aromatics to heighten the flavor.
- Thai red curry paste: This packs all the flavor in our curry! I use Thai Kitchen brand.
- Butternut squash: You'll need one small or ½ large squash, peeled and diced.
- Full fat canned coconut milk: For an extra creamy curry. You can use lite, but it will be a bit thinner and less rich.
- Vegetable broth: For more flavor and to thin out the curry a bit. You can also use chicken broth. I use Better than Bouillon whisked with water.
- Red lentils: I thought red lentils would be fun here, but you can also swap in a can of drained chickpeas, just be sure to reduce the broth to ½ cup.
- Coconut sugar: For a bit of sweetness to round out the flavors. Regular white sugar also works.
- Reduced sodium soy sauce: The umami flavor really kicks this curry up a notch.
- Frozen peas: For a pop of color and veggie goodness. Leave them out if you're not a fan.
- Basil: Amazing herbaceous flavor! You can omit or use cilantro but I think basil is magical here.
- Lime: Brightens everything up.
- Rice: I love jasmine or basmati rice here, but brown rice or whatever complimentary grain you fancy works great here.
How to make
Not only is this simple to make (the hardest part is cutting the squash!), but it's also bursting with immune-boosting ingredients like garlic and ginger. As a dietitian, healthy meals that taste incredible are my jam!
- Cook onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes in a splash of oil.
- Add curry paste and cook for another minute to enhance the flavor.
- Add squash, coconut milk, red lentils or chickpeas, broth and sugar. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until lentils and squash are tender. Meanwhile, make rice.
- Stir in soy sauce, basil and peas. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Season to taste and serve with rice!
Can you use frozen squash?
Yes! You can use frozen pre-cut squash to save time.
Can you use green lentils?
Nope, you'll want to stick with red lentils or chickpeas here for ideal texture. Green lentils are more firm and take longer to cook.
Can I make this in the Instant Pot?
- Simply add everything except soy sauce, basil, peas and lime juice to a 6 qt. instant pot and cook on manual, high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Quick release any remaining pressure. Stir in lime juice and season to taste.
Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can you freeze curry?
Yes! Freeze fully cooled curry in an air-tight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Curry on, good people of the world!Print
Creamy, comforting Butternut Squash Curry with lentils! Packed with bright Thai flavors, this is the perfect cozy meatless main. Vegan and gluten free.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (can sub 1 tsp dried)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash (1 small or ½ large)
- 1 (13.5oz) can full fat coconut milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth (I use 1 cup water whisked with 1 tsp Better than Bouillon)
- ½ cup red lentils (or 1 can drained and rinsed chickpeas*)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (can sub brown sugar)
- 2 ½ tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce**
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ⅓ cup basil, chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 2-3 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice, handful chopped roasted peanuts, for serving
- In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Add curry paste and cook for another minute.
- Add butternut squash, coconut milk, red lentils or chickpeas, broth (only use ½ cup if using chickpeas) and sugar. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes or until lentils and squash are tender. (I like to start cooking my rice in another pot while curry simmers.)
- Add soy sauce, basil and peas, cooking just until peas are warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve with rice and chopped peanuts.
*Use only ½ cup broth if using chickpeas.
**I've also made this with 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp fish sauce, which adds amazing flavor if you have it on hand! Add it with the soy sauce after the lentils cook since salt extends the cooking time.