This vegan kabocha squash curry is incredibly delicious and can be whipped up in 30 minutes for a healthy meal any night of the week.

Bowl of red squash curry with bell peppers and carrots served over rice and topped with a few pieces of fresh cilantro.

This comforting vegan curry features kabocha squash and veggies in a creamy, coconut Thai red curry sauce and has the most delicious sweet, rich, tangy, spicy flavour.

Though kabocha squash takes a bit of work to prepare, once the squash is ready the rest of the recipe is quick and easy to make. Kabocha squash is wonderful in curries due to its natural sweetness and melt-in-your-mouth texture when cooked.

Features

  • Dietary Needs: Plant-based (vegan), can be gluten-free, nut-free, can be oil-free.
  • Perfectly seasoned, creamy and so comforting.
  • Swap the kabocha squash for butternut squash, pumpkin or acorn squash.
  • Amazing creamy consistency and sweet, spicy and tangy curry flavour.
  • Perfect served over rice to soak up all the delicious coconut curry sauce.

Ingredient Notes

Visual list of ingredients for making a kabocha squash red curry. Each ingredient is labelled with a text overlay.

Complete list of ingredients with amounts and instructions is located in the recipe card below.

  • Ginger: Adds a lovely flavour but can be replaced with 1 tsp ground ginger if that’s all you have.
  • Green pepper: No worries if you’re missing it, just leave it out or use use red, yellow or orange bell pepper.
  • Kabocha squash: You’ll need 1 medium-sized squash. Pumpkin also works!
  • Red Curry Paste – I used Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste, use any brand you like or switch it up with a yellow curry paste.
  • Coconut Milk: Light or full-fat coconut milk both work. Use full-fat coconut milk for an extra rich and creamy curry or light coconut milk to reduce the fat in the recipe. The kabocha squash does thicken and add creaminess to the curry so you can definitely use light and still get a delicious result.
  • Sweetener: Maple syrup, coconut sugar or brown sugar work.
  • Soy Sauce: Use low-sodium soy sauce or if needed, gluten-free tamari.
  • Miso: Optional but adds a delicious umami flavour that goes great with the squash. Use white or yellow miso.

Step by Step Instructions

The complete written recipe can be found at the bottom of this page. This section shows step-by-step photos for a quick, visual reference.

Step 1: Prepare the squash and veggies.

To prepare the squash, cut it half as shown below then cut each half into two pieces. Cut the pieces into wedges and cut the skin off. Cut the wedges into half inch cubes (keep them on the smaller side for a quicker cooking time).

Chop the bell pepper, carrot, garlic and ginger as well so you’re ready to go.

Step 2: Saute the garlic, ginger and onion.

You can use coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, water or broth to saute the veggies. Cook them for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until softened and fragrant.

Quick Tip: Like some heat? Add 1 small minced serrano pepper or red chili pepper.

Onion, garlic and ginger cooking in a pan on the stovetop with a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Add the carrot, bell pepper and red curry paste, stir well, and cook for a few more minutes.

Carrot, bell pepper and onion cooking in red curry paste in a skillet.

Step 4: Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over low to medium heat at a light simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the squash is tender and the curry is starting to thicken.

Creamy red curry with veggies cooking in a skillet.

Serve the curry over rice and topped with cilantro, cashews and lime for a delicious plant-based meal.

Bowl of red squash curry with bell peppers and carrots served over rice and topped with a few pieces of fresh cilantro.

FAQs


Do I have to use kabocha squash?

No. You can use butternut squash, acorn squash or pumpkin instead but I love the kabocha squash for this curry. It adds a beautiful sweetness and creaminess to the recipe.

Can I add chickpeas or tofu to this recipe?

Sure. For added protein, stir in baked tofu, tempeh or chickpeas at the end!

How should I serve this curry?

I love this recipe with basmati or jasmine rice but it’s perfect served with any kind of rice, grain or noodles. It’s also just delicious on its own.

For toppings, try peanuts, toasted cashews, fresh chopped cilantro or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Is this curry spicy?

This recipe is flavoured with red curry paste, which is quite mild, so not the curry is not spicy. If you want to add some heat to it, you can use red chili flakes or add 1 small serrano pepper or red chili pepper when you saute the ginger and garlic.

Bowl of squash and vegetable red curry over rice in a bowl. A spoon rests in the bowl.

Storing

  • This recipe isn’t ideal for freezing but it can be if needed. To freeze, let cool then store in a sealed container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Leftovers are best stored in the fridge. Let cool then store up to 5 days in a sealed container.

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Print
Bowl of squash and vegetable red curry over rice in a bowl. A spoon rests in the bowl.

Kabocha Squash Curry

  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Curry
  • Cuisine: Asian
  • Diet: Vegan

This sweet and creamy curried kabocha squash makes a healthy, filling, simple plant-based meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp coconut oil, water, broth or another cooking oil of choice (10 mL)
  • 1 small white onion, diced (about 1 cup, 150 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (15 g)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (10 g)
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste (45 g)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 heaping cup peeled and chopped carrot (about 2 carrots, 170 g)
  • 45 cups peeled and cubed kabocha squash (approx. 600 g)
  • 1 14 oz can full-fat or light coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or water (250 mL)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup (15 mL)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (15 mL)
  • 12 tbsp lime juice, to taste (15 mL)
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste, optional (15 g)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the squash, vegetables, garlic and ginger so you’re ready to go. To prepare the squash, cut it half from top to bottom, then cut each half into two chunks. Cut the chunks into wedges and then cut the skin off. Cut the wedges into half inch cubes (keep them on the smaller side for a quicker cooking time).
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil, water or broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute for 5-6 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the carrot, bell pepper and red curry paste, stir well and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook over low to medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the lid and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the squash is tender and the curry is starting to thicken.
  6. Serve over rice topped with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts or toasted cashews.

Notes

For heat, add 1 small minced serrano or red chili pepper along with the garlic and ginger. Alternatively, add 1/2 tsp red chili flakes when you add the coconut milk.

Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat as needed on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition facts are for light coconut milk. With full-fat coconut milk, it’s 315 calories per serving. This does not include rice.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 184
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Sodium: 400 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 3 g

Keywords: kabocha squash recipes, squash red curry

Originally published December 4, 2016.