This Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Curry recipe is the easiest one-pot curry packed with flavor and the ultimate comfort food! This dish is a beautiful blend of sweet butternut squash, hearty chunks of ham, and savory onions, all in a creamy, spicy curry sauce made with coconut milk and Thai red curry paste. Trust me, it’s the tastiest one you’ll ever have!
Table of Contents
- What is Butternut Squash Curry?
- Why You’ll Love This Butternut Squash Curry Recipe
- Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Butternut Squash Curry At Home
- How to Make Butternut Squash Curry (Step by Step)
- Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Butternut Squash Curry
- Serving Suggestions
- Recipe Variation Ideas for Butternut Squash Curry
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How to Store Leftover Butternut Squash Curry
- More Comfort Foods Recipes You May Like
- Did You Make This Recipe?
- Recipe Card
This dish is a vibrant and hearty ham curry that's not only delicious but also incredibly satisfying. It's a perfect dish to prepare at home, especially on those chilly evenings when you crave something warm and comforting.
It has a balance of sweet and savory flavor, which comes from the naturally sweet butternut squash and red curry paste and it also has a very comforting creaminess that comes from coconut milk as well.
What makes this butternut squash curry recipe special is the use of spices like curry powder and Thai red curry paste. These ingredients add a wonderful depth of flavor, making this dish a real standout.
Moreover, it's a versatile recipe that can be easily customized to your taste. So, if you're looking for a new, exciting recipe to try at home, this butternut squash curry is just the ticket!
Read on to learn exactly how to make this delicious butternut squash curry recipe today!
What is Butternut Squash Curry?
Butternut Squash Curry is a delightful fusion of flavors, texture, and colors, making it a feast for the senses. This recipe takes the humble butternut squash and turns it into a delectable curry that's bursting with spices, tender chunks of squash, and a rich sauce that's perfect to spoon over a bed of basmati rice or mop up with naan bread.
Butternut Squash Curry is a fantastic dish to make at home, especially if you're looking to experiment with vegan recipes. It's packed with nutrients from the butternut squash, spices, and coconut milk, without compromising on taste or satisfaction.
The blend of spices, the sweetness of the butternut squash, and the creaminess of the coconut milk create a balance of flavors that's truly satisfying. Plus, the aroma that fills your kitchen while the curry is simmering away is enough to whet anyone's appetite. Trust me, a plate of this curry served with warm basmati rice is the epitome of comfort food!
Why You’ll Love This Butternut Squash Curry Recipe
Perfect for Leftover Meat: This butternut squash curry is very simple and is a great way to use up leftovers, especially after the holidays when you have extra ham or turkey.
Easy to Make: With simple preparation steps and common ingredients, this butternut squash curry recipe is a breeze to whip up. From mincing garlic to simmering the curry, each step is straightforward, making it perfect for both seasoned cooks and beginners.
Cozy Family Favorite: This cozy recipe is a surefire crowd-pleaser. Its comforting creaminess and balance of sweet and savory flavors make it a hit with both kids and adults. Serve it with basmati rice or naan bread for a complete meal that your family will request again and again.
Variety of Serving Options: This versatile curry can be served in a variety of ways. Enjoy it chunky for a hearty meal, or cook it a bit longer for a smoother curry. It pairs beautifully with rice or naan bread, and it's even better the next day, making it a great option for meal prep.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Butternut Squash Curry At Home
All you need are some incredibly simple, pantry-staple ingredients to make this delicious butternut squash curry recipe at home.
Here's an overview of the specific ingredients for this recipe. For the exact ingredients and measurements, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Ham/Turkey/Leftover Meat: For protein, you can also switch it up with leftover turkey, chicken, or any type of leftover meat. Keep in mind that ham gives this curry a lot of its savoriness so you may need to add a bit of salt if you are using another protein.
- Onions: These are essential for building the flavor profile of the curry, providing a sweet and slightly tangy taste when cooked.
- Garlic: Minced garlic gives the curry a garlicky, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor, which is a key component in many curry dishes.
- Thai Red Curry Paste: This ingredient brings heat and a depth of flavor to the curry. It's a blend of various spices and herbs, which infuse the dish with their aromas. You can use any type of Thai curry paste (red, yellow, or green) but I personally find red curry gives the most robust flavor. Green curry is usually the spiciest and very hot, and yellow curry is the mildest of the three.
- Curry Powder: This spice mix is a quick way to add traditional curry flavors to your dish, including the warmth of turmeric and the heat of cumin and coriander. Any type of yellow curry powder works great for this recipe. I usually use Madras curry powder.
- Butternut Squash: This is the star ingredient of the dish, lending a sweet and slightly nutty flavor. To easily cut the squash, poke multiple holes in it and microwave it for a few minutes to soften. Be careful, as it will be very hot.
- Tomatoes: These add a touch of tangy and sweetness to the curry, balancing the spice and heat from the curry paste and powder.
- Coconut Cream: This brings a rich, creamy texture to the curry, enhancing its flavors and adding a slight sweetness. If you can't find coconut cream, I highly recommend using full fat coconut milk instead.
- Soy Sauce: This will give the curry a bit more savoriness and umami flavor, especially if you're not using ham.
How to Make Butternut Squash Curry (Step by Step)
Making this incredible butternut squash curry recipe at home is super easy and will give you great results every single time. Here's how to make it step by step:
Preparing Your Ingredients
Prepare your garlic and onions: Start by finely mincing your garlic and dicing your onions. Once done, set them aside.
Prepare your butternut squash: Cut off the tips of your squash and split it lengthwise. Discard all the seeds. To make peeling easier, cut the squash into smaller, approximately three-inch chunks and use a knife to cut off the skin. Once peeled, cut your squash into half to one-inch chunks and set them aside.
Cooking Your Butternut Squash Curry
Begin cooking: Set your stove to medium-low heat and add oil to a large skillet. Once heated and the oil shimmers, toast your curry powder and curry paste for about two to three minutes until they become fragrant. Be careful during this step as the oil may splash!
Adjust your heat: Turn your stove up to medium heat. Add your onions and ham to the skillet and cook until they brown and soften, which should take about three to five minutes.
Next add your garlic: Mix in your minced garlic and let it cook for a minute.
Add your vegetables: Next, add in your tomatoes and prepared butternut squash. Don't worry if your mixture looks dry at this point, the squash will release its juices as it cooks down.
Add your coconut milk: Pour in your full-fat coconut milk and soy sauce and stir your curry.
Simmer your curry: Adjust your stove back to low heat and let your curry simmer for about an hour. Make sure to stir it every fifteen to twenty minutes.
Season your curry: After an hour, do a taste test. If you prefer a more savory flavor, add soy sauce or half a teaspoon of salt.
Check your squash: By now, your squash should be tender. Stir your curry a few times to help the squash blend into the curry. If you prefer a chunkier curry, it's ready to serve! If you'd like a smoother curry, let it cook for another ten minutes, then stir again.
Serve your curry: Your delicious butternut squash curry is ready to serve! Enjoy it with some basmati rice or naan bread. This curry tastes even better the next day!
Joyce’s Tips For Making the Best Butternut Squash Curry
Microwave the Butternut Squash: To easily cut squash, poke multiple holes in it and put it in the microwave for 3-5 mins. This softens this up so it can be easily chopped. Be careful! The squash is VERY hot once it's been microwaved.
Toast Your Spices: When adding your curry powder and curry paste, toast them for a couple of minutes until they become fragrant. This step will enhance the flavors of your butternut squash curry.
Let the Squash Do Its Magic: After adding the squash, it might look dry at first but don't worry. The squash will release its juices once it cooks down, contributing to the sauce's flavor and consistency. Trust the process.
Don't Use a Vegetable Peeler: To remove the butternut squash skin, it is easier to use a knife to cut it off instead of peeling it with a vegetable peeler because the skin is quite tough and thick.
- For a well-rounded meal, serve this flavorful butternut squash curry over a bed of Egg Fried Rice. The delicious flavor of the rice perfectly complements the rich and spicy butternut squash curry sauce.
- If you're a fan of naan bread, then you're in for a treat. Dip warm, soft naan bread into the butternut squash curry for a satisfying fusion of flavors.
- Looking for a way to take your butternut squash curry to the next level? Have it with some Vermicelli Rice for a tasty buttery twist.
- If you want a quick and easy but absolutely delicious vegetable side for this curry, consider making some Pan Fried Honey Soy Brussel Sprouts! The sweet honey soy sauce flavors go perfectly with the sweetness of the curry.
- Try some Honey Miso Garlic Roasted Potatoes on the side with this butternut squash curry. The sweet and savory flavors perfectly complement the curry in every bite!
Recipe Variation Ideas for Butternut Squash Curry
This delicious butternut squash curry recipe is so flavorful and easy to make, you'll want to try out some of these delicious variations! Here are some great ideas:
Go Vegan: If you're opting for a plant-based diet, this variation is just right for you. Simply remove the ham and add chickpeas or red lentils for that protein boost. You won't miss the meat with the rich flavors of garlic, onion, and spices in this vegan butternut squash curry.
Add Some Sweetness: If you love the sweet and savory combo, this variation is for you. Swap out half of the butternut squash for sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes will become fork-tender and add a wonderful sweetness that balances the spices.
Spice It Up: If you're a fan of heat, this variation is for you. Add a teaspoon of cumin or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes to the curry for that extra kick. The heat from the spices will add a nice contrast to the sweetness of the butternut squash. Alternatively, I also like to add a few squirts of sriracha chili sauce as well for some extra heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! This recipe is quite versatile and you can substitute butternut squash with other vegetables like sweet potatoes or even lentils such as red lentils. However, keep in mind that the cooking time may vary depending on the vegetable used.
This curry is incredibly versatile! If you want to add some greens to it, consider stirring in some kale or spinach before taking it off the stove. Garnish it with some fresh cilantro for extra freshness.
Yes, there is. To easily cut squash, poke multiple holes in it and put it in the microwave for about three to five minutes. This softens it up so it can be easily chopped. But be careful, the squash gets very hot once it's been microwaved.
During the cooking process, it may look very dry but don't worry, the squash will release its juices once it has softened. Adding water might make it too runny. If it's still too dry for you, you can add a bit of chicken stock.
How to Store Leftover Butternut Squash Curry
If you have any remaining Thai coconut butternut squash curry, storing it is a breeze! Allow it to cool down, then transfer it into an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for up to five days.
When you're ready to dive back into those yummy flavors, simply reheat it in a large skillet over medium heat until it's simmering. If it seems a bit too thick, don't hesitate to add a splash of water or some chicken stock to bring back its original saucy consistency.
Alternatively, you can also microwave it as well in 1 minute increments (up to 2-3 minutes) and stirring in every minute to ensure that the curry is being heated evenly.
Thawing is just as easy. If you've stored your curry in the fridge, it should be good to go straight into the skillet. However, if you've frozen it, you'll want to let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Speaking of freezing, this recipe is freezer-friendly! Butternut squash curry can be frozen for up to three months. To freeze, let the curry cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags. It's best to portion out individual servings for easy thawing and reheating later.
Quick Note: When thawing and reheating, the full-fat coconut milk in the curry might separate a bit, making the sauce less creamy. But don't worry, a good stir should bring it back together, and it'll still taste as delicious as the day you first made it.
More Comfort Foods Recipes You May Like
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Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Curry
Joyce's Recipe Notes
- To easily cut squash, poke multiple holes in it and put it in the microwave for 3-5 mins. This softens this up so it can be easily chopped. Be careful! The squash is VERY hot once it's been microwaved.
- To remove the butternut squash skin, it is easier to use a knife to cut it off instead of peeling it with a vegetable peeler because the skin is quite tough and thick.
- During the cooking process, it may look very dry. Don't worry, the squash will release it's liquids once it has been soften. If you add water, it will make it too runny. Trust the squash! ? If it's too dry for you even after the squash has been soften and fully cooked, you can add a bit of chicken stock.
- Finely mince the garlic and dice the onions and set it aside.
- (Optional) To easily cut squash, poke multiple holes in it and put it in the microwave for 3-5 mins. This softens this up so it can be easily chopped. Be careful! The squash is VERY hot once it's been microwaved.
- Cut the tips of the squash off and cut down the middle lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds and discard them.To remove the skin, I like to cut them into smaller 3-inch chunks and then cut off the skin with a knife.
- Cut the squash into ½ to 1-inch chunks and set them aside.
Cooking the Squash Curry
- Set the stove on to medium-low heat and add oil to a high walled pot
- Once the pot has been heated and the oil shimmers, toast 1 tablespoon curry powder and 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste for about 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. (Be careful on this step, the oil splashes a lot!)
- Adjust the heat to medium heat
- Add the onions and ham to brown and soften. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes
- Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute
- Mix in 1 cup tomatoes and squash. (Don't worry if it looks dry, the squash will release it's liquids once it cooks down)
- Add in ¾ cups coconut cream (or coconut milk) and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
- Adjust the stove back to low to simmer for 60 mins and check every 15-20 mins to stir it.
- Do a taste test. If you like your curry more savory add ½ teaspoon of soy sauce (or ½ teaspoon of salt)
- After an hour, the squash will get soft. Stir it a few times to break up the squash so that it melds into the curry more. If you like your curry chunky, then it's ready to serve!If you like a smoother curry, cook it for another 10 minutes to soften the squash more and stir it again.
- Serve it up with some rice or some naan and enjoy! (This taste even better the next day!)
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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