Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry

I am in love with kabocha squash. Did I tell you that already?

kabocha squash lentil curry

It might have something to do with the fact that it’s the most readily available vegetable in the Philippines that comes closest to resembling a sweet potato and a pumpkin. And when I think of sweet potatoes and pumpkins, I think of dreams coming true.

Honestly, I am kind of shy about sharing this recipe.

Yellowy squash lentil curry is not, um, pretty, really.

But here’s the thing – it’s divine. And easy. And healthy! I couldn’t NOT give it to you. That would be like lying considering that this is what I’ve been eating for the last one thousand days. It’s so, so good. Indian-inspired comfort food with a little bit of spicy and a lot of creamy.

First, cut and peel your squash. This is how I do it. Secondly, cook your lentils. You can totally do this ahead of time and store them in the fridge.

kabocha squash lentil curry

Simmer your squash with a roughly chopped onion in vegetable broth and get intoxicated from the cozy smell.

kabocha squash lentil curry

Run through the blender and return to the pan. Hello gorgeous, creamy, and smooth.

kabocha squash lentil curry

Add the spices, curry paste, coconut milk and the lentils and let it all get comfy in the pan for a little bit. Time = flavor.

After all that to-do about the lentils not being very pretty, it turns out that my favorite pictures of this dish were the ones with no extra props or garnishes.

Just naked squash lentil curry.

Go figure.

kabocha squash lentil curry

Sometimes I add tomatoes and rice to the pan because sometimes things are better when they’re all mixed together.

Good grief, I just love this stuff.

And hi, I’m from Minnesota and I say things like good grief.

kabocha squash lentil curry

UPDATE. For all my blended stuff these days, I always have the best results with my new Blendtec Designer Series Blender. If you’re in the market for a new grown up blender, this has your name all over it.

4.8 from 16 reviews
Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 4-5 cups peeled, cubed kabocha or Japanese red squash (half of one large squash)
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1½ tablespoon Massaman red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • Greek yogurt and rice for serving
  1. Cook the lentils in a large pot of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. When lentils are tender, drain excess water and set aside. If making ahead, store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 1 tablespoon butter. Add squash and vegetable broth. Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until squash is softened. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pan and add curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Stir or whisk until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add cooked lentils and tomatoes. Let simmer together for 10-20 minutes and serve over rice, topped with Greek yogurt.
Makes about six 1 cup servings.

Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry Nutrition Facts

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  1. I love so many things about this dish! Lentils, squash, coconut milk, curry…and I’ve never thought of pureeing the squash for the actually soup part…genius!!

  2. I love, love LOVE squash curry. Don’t even worry about photos (this is good looking squash curry though, if you ask me). The taste means everything, and I can tell just by reading the list of ingredients how fab this must be. SO happy that you shared. I’m squash obsessed and always looking to add to my recipe arsenal.

  3. Yum! It’s like all of my favorite things in one dish. We’ll definitely be trying this :)

  4. Why is it that the most delicious things don’t photograph well!? I will have to hunt down that curry paste, this looks divine!

  5. Curries are one of my favorite dishes and let me say that I do NOT need another curry dish in my recipe collection. This one looks too good to pass up though – yum! :)

  6. Looks pretty to me! Any your red lentil curry has turned into a staple in my house, so it’ll be nice to try this variety. Great recipe!

  7. OMG, I just fowarded this to my fiancee as it’s his turn to make dinner tonight just becuase I am THIS excited to eat it! We both love Indian dishes and I’ve been looking for new recipes to incorporate those flavors. We also live in Minnesota and I was just commenting last night on how Midwestern we are as we sit at the dinner table gushing over how much we both love squash. Yes, last night we had a different squash dish (squash enchiladas). Squash two nights in a row? Don’t mind if I do.

  8. Love me some meatless curry and have butternut squash coming out my ears, err pantry… Totally making this on Friday night :) What do you like to serve curry with? In my mind, it’s its own meal, but sometimes I like a side incase the fam doesn’t love it as much as I. Thoughts?

  9. Yum! And I think you made the curry look very pretty :)

  10. Wow that just looks tasty and awesome at the same time—love curry!

  11. I think it looks delicious! I’d much prefer staring at a meal I would easily make and enjoy than something that looks pretty but is something I wouldn’t make at home. What I’m trying to say is, it don’t matter none if it’s pretty or not, I bet it tastes fantastic!

  12. Those kind of dishes are always pretty hard to shoot…but you did a great job! I love your new nutritional facts box btw, I just checked their website and this plugin looks great!

  13. Why worry about how pretty it is? The ugliest food always tastes the best. This sounds pretty amazing to me! :)

  14. It looks so glorious! Even with all its lumps and yellowness.
    Adding curry paste to the grocery list.

  15. This looks fabulous!

  16. I don’t think it looks ugly at all! Plus, I love curry and this recipe looks so good!

  17. Wow, I will be rereading your kombucha lesson so that I can scoop up a squash during my next trip to WF and make this recipe. There will be a time when you return home and kombucha is hard to find and you will definitely miss this recipe!

  18. Love the idea of squash in curry. I think you did well to photograph it…looks scrumptious to me!

  19. Question; instead of cutting the squash; can you bake it first to make it easier? My kitchen knives are terrible! You should have seen me cut up sweet potatoes yesterday! Dangerous! lol

    • Yes! You can cut in half or in wedges and roast it that way. I prefer to cube it because I’m so hot just thinking about roasting, and simmering the small pieces is a lot faster. But yes you can! :)

  20. Haha…I remember the first fall I discovered kabocha squash, I cooked with it about three times a week for three months straight. Love it. This looks awesome!

  21. YUM! I absolutely love squash and curries! Can’t wait to try this! Do you think I could substitute butternut squash? They are plentiful in Minnesota right now :)

  22. Lizabeth K. says:

    Paul thinks he hates lentils. It’s time for him to learn differently. Or for me to have a lot of lentils.

  23. What a fabulous recipe even tho’ I’ll have to substitute the kind of pumpkin [yes, well, squash is not exactly a vegetable we talk about :) !] as I cannot get yours and it is no longer pumpkin season Down Under anyways!! Wonderful, interesting, easy recipe with quite a few ingredients I normally do not use!!~! Thanks heaps!

  24. I’m so impressed that you can make squash that tastes good. I got brave and tried, last week, with a pretty little acorn squash. I dressed it up with cinnamon, salt, butter, and a bit of maple bourbon syrup. It was stringy and tasted like sand. (You can teach me how to make good squash when you come home to Minnesota. I need tier 3 intervention!)

    • HA! Tier 3. I am sorry to say I do not miss that phrase. I’ve never been big on acorn for the stringy reason. Do you like butternut? It’s a better starter squash. :)

  25. Oh my word – this is my kind of meal. In my family we call this “sickie food” – beautiful soft, comforting food, that doesnt need to be cut up and chewed forever. Thanks so much for sharing, I cant wait to try it.

  26. we’ve just started liking curry….and I love lentils & squash so this one will be a good recipe to try.

  27. This is the first recipe I make of this amazing blog. And it’s the most delicious lentil dish I’ve ever eaten.
    Thank you Lindsay!

  28. Holy cow that was good!!! Our Publix had one winter squash left and it was a butternut the size of my husbands thigh so needless to say we have leftovers! Well done Lindsay!

  29. Good grief! This curry sounds SO good. I am obsessed with kabocha, but it’s been harder to find in Kansas City than it was in Oklahoma. Doesn’t make any sense, right?

  30. Made this for dinner tonight. It was very very good! Will definitely be making it again.

  31. Yellow squash lentil curry can, indeed, be very difficult to photograph but I think this still looks delicious! Lentil curries are my favourite in the wintertime so I will definitely try this one out.

  32. Yum, I love lentils and curry and squash! I have a butternut squash in the kitchen so this recipe will be made ASAP!

  33. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Indian food and curry. This looks amazing. I too love the picute with no garnish. The yellow/orange color of the squash is beautiful.

  34. This recipe was PERFECTION! I almost cried as I was tasting it towards the end (I’m hormonal right now!) because it’s everything I love in a recipe. I’ll never, ever tire of lentils. When my husband got home his eyes got all wide and he said “Ohhhh I’m hungry.” I’m so happy I doubled the recipe. Thank you for such a great blog, your recipes are always so good!

  35. Made this tonight using up some frozen pureed squash I had and it was SO good!! This recipe makes a TON but it’s so good I don’t care that I’ll be eating it all week for lunch!

  36. This looks fabulous! I love kabocha squash. I can almost smell your kitchen!

  37. I loved this curry recipe! My husband claims to hate lentils but he even devoured it! I shared this recipe in my most recent weekly meal plan on my blog, thank you!

  38. I made this tonight with a few changes. I couldn’t find massamum curry paste so I got red curry paste. Mine thickened up too much so I probably put in a cup of coconut milk. Also added maybe a tablespoon of agave. The result was sooooo good. Definitely will make again. Used green lentils and a butternut squash. I know I will be making it again and again!@

  39. Just had a dinner party with this recipe as the main menu and the curry was a HIT! I replaced coconut milk with soy milk and simmered the curry for longer for more flavor, but otherwise followed the recipe. I believe in this blog now, thank you so much!

  40. Where’s everyone getting curry paste?

  41. It feels super-delicious and attractive dish. I like the curry and Kabocha. The test them home soon. Thanks for sharing. Greetings.

  42. holyyyyyyy moly, just made this tonight for my boyfriend and I……. AAAMAZING. Squash in curry is one of my favorite combinations… we ate it over some chopped kale with a side of naan : ) This may become a weekly dish at my house…. thank you for the recipe!!!

  43. Okisteve says:

    Had some kabocha that needed using and a scant cup of lentils, so it turned out more soupy than not. Delicious! I also had some Thai yellow curry paste so I used that. Goes well with a dollop of yogurt, but my only critique is that the kabocha flavor is easily masked by the curry, but what the heck – my wife is enjoying it right now.

  44. Thank you for deciding to share the recipe after all – pretty or not you’re right that it’s just awesome. I prepared it with some necessary adaptions [lacking ingredients, veganizing it by using coconut oil] today and it’s so good. Possibly one of the best curries I’ve had so far and I’ve had my fair share. Mine was even less of an eye candy as I never peel my kabocha so I guess you can imagine the colour … Nevertheless a dish that’ll make it into my regular pumpkin recipe rotation.

  45. I made this recipe this evening and thought it was delightful! I couldn’t find kabocha so used butternut squash instead.

  46. This looked like a wonderful recipe, and I followed it to the t, however we found it a bit bland and muddled in flavor. The beautiful orange squash puree was quickly turned into a mucky brown when lentils were added. But overall, very cool concept I might try again using different ingredients!

  47. Angie Hanson says:

    Cannot wait to try this recipe! I’ve been making your recipes for the last couple weeks and am in love! Made the lentil and sweet potato slow cooker dish last week and brought it into work…rave reviews! I am a huge curry fanatic and am so stoked someone else in minnesnowda shares my love! Question; could moor dal be substituted for brown lentils?

  48. I have made this several times now and I just want to say that I loooveeee this. Thanks for the great recipe!

  49. I never comment on blogs, but I just have to say this recipe is seriously amazing! I am an avid home cook and this very well may be the most delicious meal I’ve ever made. Telling all my friends! Thank you!!!!

  50. I found a kobocha squash in Sprouts today, so I’m going to try this. I can’t find massaman curry paste anywhere in Denver. Do you think regular red curry paste will do?

  51. I think this is among the most important information for me.
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  52. I’m so in love with your blog. Oh god why didn’t I found it earlier? I’ve been scrolling your vegetarian recipes for this whole morning and every time I open a new recipe my mind goes ‘Gotta try that.’. All of your recipes look just gorgeous and I love the way you write your blog. Thank you for inspiring me!
    If you have any extra time, I would really appreciate if you could go and check out my new blog. Thank you so much!

  53. Very tasty recipe and good as take over, thanks for sharing… Btw, I have tried several of your recipes and so far all of them have been a great success in my family

  54. I think it looks delicious! I’d much prefer staring at a meal I would easily make and enjoy than something that looks pretty but is something I wouldn’t make at home. What I’m trying to say is, it don’t matter none if it’s pretty or not, I bet it tastes fantastic!

  55. Lorie Hennessey says:

    AMAZING! Perfect for our meatless Monday and any day, frankly. So excited I stumbled on your blog!

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