30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry

Squash Curry-2

There is no way to make this recipe sound as seriously delicious as it is.

And yes, I know. I made curry again. It’s becoming a problem. Like, I haven’t made anything in recent memory that wasn’t some unusual use of cauliflower or a vegetarian curry. I think I might have even combined my two loves not that long ago. Helppp. Leave me some inspiration in the comments or something. My blog is dying a slow and happy curry death.

If I could only ever make one meal at home for the rest of forever, I would choose curry – vegetarian, extra saucy, with cilantro all over it. Oh wait, is that what this is? Ok. Yeah.

Squash Curry-3

The curry variations that I make, and have been making for a long time, aren’t really real curries. This is obvious because 1) they don’t taste like my favorite Indian restaurant, and 2) sometimes I go on YouTube and watch videos about Indian home cooking (where did those four hours go?), and their curries are just way better. When I watch these women cook, I feel overwhelmed and entranced and inspired to go find star anise and kaffir lime leaves and cardamom pods. Isn’t there something about cooking videos on YouTube, anyways? Like some kind of magnetism that just pulls you in? Where even if you kind of don’t really like it, you find yourself loving it? Food. We just love food.

But anyways. My motivation for finding the ingredients for real curry melts away reeeal fast when it’s a billion degrees outside and I literally can’t drive myself anywhere.

So I just stay home and turn on the fan and make my own 30-minute curry. Happy.

squash curry

I don’t mean to bad-mouth squash, my most beloved vegetable of the last year, but I did crave a replacement of sweet potatoes as I was making this. In case I haven’t already obnoxiously made it known to the world, I haven’t found any orange sweet potatoes here in the Philippines. Purple sweet potatoes? Yes. They’re here. And thaaat’s kinda cool. But of course I don’t want purple when I can actually have a ready supply of purple. Of course I have to go and want orange. Sometimes I am frustrating.

I promise to try to make a purple sweet potato recipe before we leave the Philippines. Just to show you.

It turns out squash is also really good in this curry. I mean, I knew it would be because I’ve been eating squash like crazy this year, but this squash lovin’ takes it to a whole new level. The creamy, peanutty curry sauce is perfect with that tender, delicate squash. That is vegetable heaven right there.

By the way, bulgur? It’s in here. I mixed it in with everything. It sounds way more scary than it is but if you’ve never tried it, this is your time. Think healthier, nuttier rice that cooks in 15 minutes.


Squash Curry-4

The fire roasted tomatoes were a total last minute decision but Helloooo Yummy. I was so glad I had a few cans of those on hand from my recent purchase of every fire-roasted tomato can in the whole store escapade. I’ve learned that certain things are hard to find in the Philippines, so when you find what you want, you’ve gotta act. And I mean fill-your-cart-full act.

All things considered, I will definitely be eating curry forever.

Squash Curry-5

4.7 from 16 reviews
30-Minute Squash Coconut Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each curry powder and chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon each turmeric and cayenne pepper
  • 5-6 cups peeled, chopped squash (I used kabocha - butternut would be good, too)
  • 1 15-ounce can thick coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste (I used Massaman curry paste)
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • 2 15-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1¼ cup light bulgur, uncooked
  • cilantro for topping
  1. Cook bulgur according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft and fragrant.
  3. Sprinkle the dry seasonings (curry, chili, turmeric, cayenne) over the squash and toss to combine. Pour the coconut milk into the skillet and whisk the curry, peanut butter, and honey into the coconut milk until smooth. Add the seasoned squash and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash is tender but not mushy. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes (the sauce will thicken).
  4. Add the bulgur to the skillet and mix well, or serve the curry over individual servings of bulgur. Add chopped cilantro just before serving.
Depending on your curry paste, you might want to add a little extra salt. Three tablespoons of Massaman curry paste was just spicy enough to give it a little kick, but if you don't like spicy, go easy on the curry paste or choose a mild variety.
This makes 6 (HUGE and very filling) servings.
Here's how I cut my squash.


Nutrition for Squash

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  1. As far as deaths go, a curry death would be what I would choose. :)

  2. I don’t think I could ever have too many curry recipes! And this one looks soo good.

  3. I am all for the quick curries. I am sure curry turns out delicious when you can grind fenugreek leaves and cardamom pods to a paste together in your mortar and pestle… but seriously, buying a jar of curry paste is way more convenient. Love it!

    • Exactly.

    • Just made this curry tonight, and it is indeed, as everyone is saying, delicious. It is not, however, a “quick curry.” The only way I imagine this could be made in 30 minutes is if you have your garlic, squash, and ginger prepared before starting, or if you had 3-4 people chipping in, or if you’ve made the dish so many times that you don’t have to even think about the ingredients or steps, and even then, it took longer to cook the squash than the advertised 15-minutes. It took more like 25.

      I have quite a bit of experience cooking, and going at a regular pace, it took me two hours to make it, even with my wife making the bulgar.

      I would recommend this recipe if you want to make a delicious curry, but if you’re having guests, leave yourself plenty of time.

  4. hmm, I am another who turns to curry (my favorite is green!) for a come-together-quick dinner, so this makes me happy.

    I love purple potatoes, and always have SO MANY IDEAS for them, and rarely find them. I was able to find them for the last several months, so I have been happily creating all things purple – and still understand the irony of you only wanting orange :)

  5. I love curries, and especially love healthy food fast, so super love all your curry recipes. And I don’t eat meat, so it feels like you are making these just for me!! Thanks for that!!
    I really want to go on a tangent about how in Okinawa the people have the longest life expectancy in the world, and how the biggest staple in their diet is the purple sweet potato… but I will control myself. I am so jealous that you can get your hands on them all the time there!! Wanna do a sweet potato swap!? 😉

  6. Keep the curries coming! Heehee I think they’re great AND I have a bag of bulgur that I’ve had no idea what to do with until now :)

  7. You always make the best curry! Love this recipe!

  8. Any vegetable in a curry would be fine with me! This looks tasty.

  9. OHHHMEEEGOSH! This looks fabulous and with squash? GENIUS!

  10. This looks so fab, and super easy!
    Your post is making me miss the yummy Ube (Filipino for purple yam) when we were there. They use it almost exclusively in desserts and sweet breads and MAN is it good!! It’s easy to find them here, in the Asian grocery, but it’s just not the same! Mmm Ube jam (like apple butter in consistency) on toast…makes me want to go back!

    • I recently had a sweet roll that was layered with ube… oh my goodness. It was so good!

      • Ohhhhmylove my goodness. I made this tonight. Incredible. I thought I made a good red curry… But no. I made some changes though. I omitted the turmeric and curry and just used more paste. I also used crunchy pb, which added texture. One thing I think you must add is fish sauce, or in PI, patis. It makes such a huge difference. I’ll be making this again soon sine the hubs also loved it. Thank you for another great recipe!

        • Nice work with the crunchy peanut butter! I wanted to add crushed peanuts but I didn’t have any. And I will be sure to sneak some patis in next time!

          • Heather says:

            Ok, this was one of those dishes I just couldn’t stop eating! I’m in vegan heavan! My stomach said enough, but my mouth said no way. Delish! I also added nutritional yeast flakes to get in some B12, you couldn’t taste them, just wanted the vitamins! Amazing recipe, one my new favorites!

          • Thanks Heather!

  11. Keep the curry recipes coming, I LOVE curry! This looks awesome Lindsay.

  12. Keep the curry coming!

  13. Curry recipes are great! This one look especially delicious.

  14. Anything that has 30 minutes and coconut in the title immediately catches my attention. I happen to have everything but the squash in my kitchen so I may need to try this recipe after a quick trip to the store. It sounds awesome!

  15. Hey, curry is not a problem! In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s never a problem. :) The idea of pairing squash with coconut and peanut curry sauce sounds pretty amazing.

  16. I have often said that if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, curry would definitely be it! This looks pretty dang awesome to me!

  17. I love curries so keep it up! This sounds super easy and delicious with squash! You just reminded me… I’ve been craving sweet potatoes lately. I wish I could find purple ones!

  18. Shauna {Ready 2 Lose Weight} says:

    This seriously looks delicious! Thanks for posting it for us :)

  19. I love when you post healthier vegetarian meals! This looks SO amazing. And I’m glad to finally find a use for bulgar. I bought some forever ago all excited and then never figured out what I’m supposed to do with it :)

  20. You’ve inspired me to make curry tonight. I use to make it so much my family overdosed! I think we’ve had a long enough break!

  21. You can never have too much squash or too much curry.I make my one versions of this frequently and always have a squash in pantry. I have never used peanut butter in squash curry so that’s something to look forward to.

  22. I seriously love Indian food and don’t know why I haven’t made curry yet! Love the idea of making it with squash!

  23. There’s nothing wrong with eating curry all day long, all week long. I would do the same, especially if it’s this curry here!

  24. Bring on the curries! I can’t get enough spicy stuff, either. This curry looks and sounds delicious, and it’s ready in 30 minutes? Sold!

  25. You’ve made some awesome squash dishes this past year from what I remember, add this one to the list!
    I love curry, don’t make it enough.

  26. I am obsessed with all things curry lately.. and squash. Gotta love the 30 minute meals as well!

  27. Okay, so I’ve NEVER tried curry anything. I know, it sounds like I’m missing out on a lot! Considering how many of your recipes seem to include curry I’m thinking it’s about time to give it a try. The question is whether my kids and husband will like it? Or will this be something only grown-ups seem to like??

  28. This looks so delicious, will definitely be making this…very soon!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe :-)

  29. I can’t even stand how good this looks! I am putting this in my “must make soon” recipe folder!

  30. Do you think it would be ok to sub raw almond butter for the peanut butter? I have everything to make this but the PB. We recently discovered curry paste/powder and I’m so mad at myself that it took me 43 years to try it for the first time – LOVE IT!

    • haha! I’m glad you discovered it – it’s one of my favorite things ever. And yes, you could totally use almond butter. I think that would be really good!

      • I did use the almond butter, and served it over some sprouted green lentils. I consider myself a very decent cook, but my husband said, “I think this is the best dinner you have ever made.” FIVE STARS!

  31. I want to try this recipe but I don’t know where to get bulgur. Is it ok to just omit it? Or is there any substitute for it? Thanks!

  32. You list this under gluten-free, yet bulgur is wheat, which is gluten. Leave that out (and the peanut butter) and it sounds like a good paleo side dish. I use sunflower seed butter as a peanut butter substitute).

    • Hmm, I guess I didn’t realize that peanut butter isn’t vegan or that you couldn’t buy a vegan variety of PB. If something can easily be substituted to make a recipe vegan, I still usually categorize it under vegan. Thanks for the comment – I love the idea of the sunflower seed butter!

  33. When you list the calories is that for the entire dish or per serving?

  34. Love the look of this recipe, I keep meaning to try squash in a curry as I love veg. curries, In fact I have a squash sat in my veg. rack for over a week and was wondering what to do with it , and just chanced on this recipe ! So will be giving it a go !

  35. Another absolute winner from Pinch of Yum (my new FAVORITE Foodie blog) OH.MY.GOSH this is AMAZING!!! My husband & I (ok, mostly me, but he’s catching on) are trying to eat at least one vegetarian meal a week. My 21 year old son (a total health nut) was home when I made this & luckily I made a ton, because he begged me for some to take back to college. I ate this 4 nights straight in a row & could have easily eaten it 7 nights had I not sent a bunch back with my son. YEAH for Pinch of Yum!! Making Red Curry Lentils tonight…..;)

  36. I’m making this tonight – I’ll halve the recipe and add cashews because I love them in curry. Can’t wait to eat this!

  37. Loved this! 😉

  38. Quick question! First of all, this looks delicious and I looove the use of bulgar!
    Anyway, I’ve never bought curry paste before so I looked it up and apparently the massaman red curry paste contains shrimp paste, so that won’t work for me (or vegetarians) since I’m vegan. Is there another brand of curry paste substitute that you’d recommend for this recipe? I’d really love to make the dish as close to how you do so that I’m sure to have the best result. In any case, I’m sure it’ll be delicious no matter what!
    Thanks :)

  39. Great! And very flexible/customizable. I suggest adding less red curry paste at first and tasting the dish then adding more if you want. We only had Thai red curry paste, which I expected to be spicy. With only 2 Tbls it was perfect for my husband, but on the spicy side for me. Oh, and I put unsalted peanuts on it when serving it.
    The bulgar is genius! Would have automatically used rice, but the bulgar added a new dimension.
    Thanks for this recipe!

  40. Emma Rina says:

    Do you use one whole squash for this? I’m not sure how many I should buy, I’ve never cooked squash before!

  41. Elizabeth says:

    Absolutely loved this curry! I actually ended up using a combination of jarred curry sauce and tomato paste instead of curry paste and replaced the bulgur with tempeh, and it still turned out delicious! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :)

  42. Thanks for the recipe, however we didn’t care for it much :(

    It reminded me of an odd tomato soup / curry mixture. We did use rice other then the bulgur, but the rest of the recipe was followed as written.

    If I were to do this again, I would halve the amount of tomatoes.

  43. I tried this tonight! I didn’t have any tomatoes on hand so i omitted them, but it still came out amazing! It’s delicious and not too spicy at all and squash almost makes it sweet. It was such an awesome quick recipe! Thank you!!

  44. I’m planning on making this for dinner but I’m wondering if anyone has tried freezing the leftovers?

  45. This was amazing! Thank you. My new weekly staple. I added coconut flakes, peanuts and golden raisins!

  46. Just made this, and it’s amazing. My husband has changed his tune and is now a squash lover! Thank you!

  47. Shannon says:

    I know this was posted a while ago, but I have made this quite often as much as once a week. So easy and the flavors are superb! Sometimes I use frozen bagged squash chunks, other times I make my own squash chunks and freeze them for future use. Great weekday meal. It’s so filling too and we get 2 dinners and 3 lunches out of it for 2 people. Thank you!

  48. Made this today for the first time. Excellent! My husband was a little skittish at first (squash is sweet, and he usually doesn’t like sweet things in entrees), but he really liked it and requested it appear on the menu again. :)

    My changes:

    1) I used less than half the cayenne pepper called for (between 1/8 and 1/4 tsp) and we still thought it had enough heat. I don’t think I could have handled the full 1/2 tsp called for.

    2) I found it way too much of a pain to peel the uncooked squash (I was using butternut), so I cut it into big pieces, cooked it in the microwave, and then peeled it. This was a lot easier in my opinion.

    3) I couldn’t find bulgur, so I used rice. I think I used 1 1/2 cups of dry rice, and I wound up mixing the rice into the finished curry sauce and putting the whole thing in a casserole dish. I was taking the dish to a potluck, so we didn’t eat it right away, and by the time we DID eat it, it had set up into more of a rice casserole sort of dish. This meant it didn’t really look like rice and curry per se, but I still thought the “casserole” version was good, and with all the red color, it was a very pretty dish.

    Anyway, 2 thumbs up, and thanks for a great recipe!

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