Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry
Ultra delicious Thai-inspired butternut squash red curry that is creamy, spicy, rich, and comforting! The sweet butternut squash pairs beautifully with all the red curry spices.
And here it is!
Two very different curry recipes delivered to you back to back. You should know that this was seriously poor planning on my part. I didn’t mean to bombard you with curry recipes one after the other. But in my defense, this curry is absolutely worth obsessing over.
Won’t you let me feed you a spoonful of red curry with basmati rice to make it up to you?
Thank the lawwwwd it’s butternut squash season again. The best season there is in my very humble opinion. Because um.. hello! Butternut squash red thai curry is actually a thing. And it’s creamy, spicy, sweet, crunchy, comforting, and just down right addicting. Something i’ve been waiting all summer long to share. But who makes spicy curry in the summertime other than me?
Everything we love about food in general all rolled into one easy curry recipe. What I need you to know is that this is weeknight curry. We’re using store-bought red curry paste and really amping up the flavor with a little yellow curry powder. WHAT. Yes friends. The yellow curry powder adds sooo much spice and flavor to this easy one pot butternut squash curry.
How to Make Butternut Squash Red Curry:
Food like this is my life.
I go a little loopie when I think about all that sweet, tender butternut squash nestled in a slow simmered silky coconut curry sauce. Judging by this and the last recipe i’ve shared, it’s obvious that curries would be on the list of food that I could eat forever and ever. Also, top it with crushed cashews/peanuts and freshly chopped cilantro and i’d think you were after my heart.
And speaking of butternut squash. I’m no longer allowing myself to purchase whole butternut squash anymore. That privilege was immediately revoked last fall when I made a decent sized cut between my thumb and forefinger and then proceeded to almost faint from the ample amount of blood that was gushing from the wound. It’s not that slicing and dicing butternut squash is difficult, it’s that the person behind Little Spice Jar happens to have a ton more accidents than the average human being. ‘Uncoordinated’ can totally be my middle name from now until the end of time. So it’s a rule now. For my own sake, I must only purchase precut butternut squash.
And hey! On the positive side, shortcuts like these are totally welcome. Especially when I want to get butternut squash red curry in my belly in 30 minutes. Found that silver lining. ??
There are two main components to my butternut squash red curry:
1.) the curry base: I’m using store-bought red curry paste and really oomphing up the flavor with a little yellow curry powder. Along with that we need shallots, ginger, a little fish sauce, and some sugar. If you follow a vegan/vegetarian diet, feel free to omit the fish sauce. I know, the stuff smells terrible but what it does for this curry is amazing. It really adds a nice depth that makes the curry taste//smell like it’s been simmering all day. And finally you need a can of coconut milk. I’m not gonna tell you that low-fat coconut milk won’t work, because it will. I’m just going to tell you that full fat coconut milk makes this a more luxurious red curry experience. And to that, i’ll say no more. ?
2.) the veggies: in our case, i’m using butternut squash and baby spinach because I find the combination of the two works really well. We’re big fans of baby spinach and use it for just about everything. Needless to say, we always have some on hand. Kale also works well for this recipe, but keep in mind you’ll have to let it cook with the butternut squash a bit as it takes longer to wilt than spinach. Kabocha squash, acorn, sweet potatoes, and even carrots would work really well in place of the butternut squash. All of these ingredients have that sweet starchy factor that this curry needs.
Grab a bowl, because curries are meant to be eaten in a bowl. Fill it with a nice mound of fluffy basmati rice and top it with that silky coconut sauce loaded with tender squash and top it off with a handful of crushed nuts and fresh cilantro. A squeeze of lime juice wouldn’t hurt either.
This is get snug-on-the-couch-with-netflix food.
Thai Butternut Squash Red Curry
Ultra creamy and delicious Thai inspired butternut squash red curry that is creamy, spicy, rich, and comforting! The sweet butternut squash pairs beautifully with all the red curry spices.
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil (or any oil really)
- 1 large shallots, chopped (or 2 small)
- 2-2 ½ cups diced butternut squash (about 1.5 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
- ½ tablespoon yellow curry powder
- 1 (15 ounce) can coconut milk
- ¾ cup vegetables or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (omit for vegans/vegetarians)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3-4 cups fresh baby spinach
- basmati rice, crushed cashews/ peanuts, cilantro, lime wedges for serving
- Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute them for 5-6 minutes or until they just begin to get golden. Add the butternut squash and grated ginger, stir to coat with the oil.
- Add the red curry paste, yellow curry powder and stir until all the butternut squash is nicely coated. Continue to cook the curry paste for 2-3 minutes or until it's fragrant. Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Let the sauce come to a simmer before covering. Lower the heat and allow the squash to cook all the way through, about 12-18 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can easily pierce the butternut squash with the tip of a knife. Stir in the baby spinach and allow it to wilt.
- Serve with basmati rice topped with crushed nuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.
- Kale can be used in place of the spinach in this recipe but keep in mind you'll need to add it in earlier so that it has enough time to wilt.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
instant pot cajun butternut squash soup
I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Great recipe!
Literally one of the best curry recipes ! And a simpler one. Definitely on my list to make again and again, and with different veggies. Thanks Marzia !
Happy to hear you enjoyed it Lauren 🙂
What a fantastic recipe ! Followed the recipe exact. However, I add new potatoes.
Really really tasty. Will definitely make this again!
I just saved this recipe to make REALLY SOON! But, have to ask, why are you adding sugar? Does it really need it?
Sugar provides a nice balance to the flavors. You can simply omit it if you wish.
One of our favorite curry dishes! So much amazing flavor 🙂
**Note I did use a homemade curry powder, instead of the standard store bought spice. I think homemade always tastes better 🙂
3 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander
1½ tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
¾ tsp yellow mustard
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp fenugreek (hard to find. Omit if necessary.)
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
Can’t wait to make this! I’m curious, has anyone tried freezing it?
This is so delicious. I’ve made it twice, my kids love it. Perfection!
I made this last night and it was FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for posting. I will definitely make again!
Finally a red curry recipe that tastes just like it came from my favorite Thai takeout joint! Thank you!
SO good!! The fish sauce and sugar really do add a great touch to the curry. So glad I made this. I’m not a vegetarian and I was afraid this wouldn’t be filling enough but I am super full right now. I also added carrots and red bell peppers to it. Thanks for the recipe! Definitely a keeper.
Made this tonight an it was delicious! Both my husband and I loved it. We had a lot of butternut squash in our gardens and so I’m always looking for new recipes… Thank you for this one!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it a while ago, and absolutely loved it. I plan to make it again this week, but am wondering if leftovers will freeze well? Thanks!
They do freeze well!
Even my picky kid liked it! Delicious taste , I didn’t have the fish sauce and added some Sriracha for some heat and we loved it!
So delicious! I’ve made this multiple times and have shared it with so many people. I even turned my butternut squash hating, carnivorous husband into a fan. This recipe is so easy and filling. Perfection!
Haha! Love hearing that! Thanks for commenting Jessica!
How could i change this recipe into a soup? It sound delicious.
Hi Lynn, Here’s a similar recipe i’ve done in the past for butternut squash soup. You can probably replace the curry powder with red curry paste and use coconut milk instead of cream at the end if you want it to be more similar to this red curry. Hope you enjoy it!
I can’t believe how amazingly yummy this recipe was! Spicy and savory and so, so good. Everyone in my family loved it and it made it to the repeat list! I made it with sweet potatoes and doubled the recipe but the directions were fool proof. This recipe is a winner!
This looks totally delicious! Love the balance of creamy butternut squash and basmati rice. Definitely going to add to my “to try” list!
I made this with frozen butternut squash, which turns out a bit squishier and falls apart more easily, so I simmered it for about 10 minutes and left the lid off because I like the sauce a little thicker. I also cooked up some red lentils in salted water separately and added at the end for a complete protein with the lentils and rice. I didn’t have any spinach, but this dish was so satisfying and hearty. My hubby and I loved it and will make it again! It was also quite spicy from the red curry paste we used, and we liked that as well. Great recipe!
A friend brought this to a girls night this winter and I asked her to send me the recipe! It was great then, and I hope it will be when I make it as well. Any thoughts on converting this to a crock pot recipe?
Glad to hear you enjoyed it Liz! I’ve never tried making this in a crock pot so it’s a little difficult to say without recipe testing. If you decide to give it a go, i’d love to hear how it went! 🙂
This was fabulous!! I added turmeric and a lil salt and pepper.. also used garlic instead of shallots and forgot the fish sauce. Still came out delicious though!!
I kinda want to thicken it with flour or something and just eat it alone as a soup! ?
when you say ‘yellow curry powder’ do you mean indian curry powder or thai yellow curry? thanks!
I used a regular ‘yellow curry’ spice mix from the grocery store, but if you have the choice, I’d say go with the Thai yellow curry powder! 🙂
Are you using regular sugar or brown sugar?
Either will work for this recipe so I didn’t specify but I think I slightly prefer it with brown sugar.
I made this tonight with sweet potato and carrot instead of butternut squash and it was amazing. I can’t wait to make it again.
Hey Marzia, I find this recipe quite interesting as adding coconut milk adds so much flavor. A perfect wholesome meal for a monsoon night.
So amazing. My mom just said “this is one of my favorite things ever.” Thank you so much, so much goodness for this curry loving family.
Made this for dinner and it was delicious! Swapped sweet potatoes for the squash and added carrots and red bell peppers. Will make again and the husband loved it.
….so good…I am hooked and it will be a weekly “thing” ?
Just made this for dinner / lunch for the week! YUUUMM!! Tweaks: didn’t have fish oil, subbed soy sauce. Also added a lil bit of turmeric. Added red lentils for protein, which I cooked separately. I also took out 1/2 of the cooked butternut squash/coconut milk mixture and pureed it, so the curry is extra creamy 😛 also added a lil sriracha.
Will def be making this again soon!! Thank you for the delicious recipe!!
Have made this a couple of times and it is incredibly delicious. Was thinking of lightly roasting the butternut squash before adding next time. Also do you know if it is ok to freeze it?
Ya yes yay! This recipe was easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser. I made it in a cast iron skillet, and my garnish was crushed peanuts, lime, cilantro and mint. Top with sriracha and yum. I got a small squash and it yielded more than the recipe, so I put it aside to make more fresh later this week. This is easily a go to for quick entertaining meal nights! It was cold and rainy tonight, and it couldn’t be more perfect with a red wine. Thank you!
Hi there! Do you think green curry paste would work instead of the red?
This is the first recipe I have made from your site and it is so good! Even my meat eater husband loved it. I accidentally used madras curry powder instead of yellow, but it still came out excellent! I topped it with peanuts, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!