This Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash is the perfect easy weeknight meal that brings on all the comfort! Ready in no time, this flavorful pumpkin-curry dish comes with a creamy coconut curry infused with pumpkin puree, chopped butternut squash, sweet peppers, carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, and spices and herbs; all served with delicious vegan garlic naan bread. A killer combo, indeed! Coconut milk-free option.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love.
I'm always most in love with a good curry dish, especially when I get a chance to eat with my hand like with a roti, etc. This Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash is by far such a delicious new way to enjoy curry because the pumpkin brings out such huge levels of savory that creates an insane flavor profile!
When it comes to vegan dishes, I've ensured that flavor has been my main focus. Too often, vegan dishes are seen as tasteless, uncreative foods that require a huge sense bravery to devour.
But, I beg to differ. In fact, I often find myself thoroughly enjoying my vegan dishes more than meat-filled ones at times. I know. Insane, but true and this vegan pumpkin curry dish is one of the reasons why.
And if you're loving the pumpkin-curry combo, then I recommend trying this Spicy Curry Pumpkin Soup with Chickpeas which is SO good! It's totally plant-based but has a rich, comforting flavor that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
Why You’ll Love This Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash
Bold flavors—Savory + Spicy marry so well together!
Easy to make. Easy weeknight meal option.
Butternut squash are just so delicious as the main 'meaty' veggie!
Uses simple ingredients.
Completely meal-prep friendly!
Great vegan option for everyone!
Fun cooking activity for entire family.
And just absolutely wholesome and perfect for any kind of weather.
How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash
When it comes to making this vegan pumpkin curry butternut squash, the process comes in 3 easy steps:
Begin by prepping your ingredients first! I find it to be a much easier process when I rinse, dice, and chop all ingredients that are needed. This allows you to be best organized and reduces the mess factor.
Sauté all of your veggies in a large skillet (I love using a cast-iron skillet) and add in the spices and herbs. Let the cubed butternut squash be the last veggie added after liquids.
Finally, you add the liquids, season again for taste, stir, simmer, and wallah. It’s magic!
Ingredients for Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash
The three components for this vegan pumpkin curry recipe are the cubed butternut squash, pumpkin puree, and the curry sauce itself.
Here’s what you need to make this Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash:
Butternut squash. I use 1 small squashes (about 1 lb.), peel, + then cube it for an easier bite.
Carrots. I love adding carrots. You can peel + chop and use them raw or roast them for added flavor.
Red onion. Substitute with yellow or white if that’s what you have.
Olive oil. You can also use avocado oil or Grapeseed oil, if you prefer.
Vegetable stock. Use store-bought low-sodium broth or make your own! For added nutrition, add in half the amount in bone broth (non-vegan option---of course).
Garlic + ginger. I prefer fresh, but you could substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and ½ teaspoon ground ginger in a pinch.
Pumpkin. I use 100% organic pumpkin puree in the can, NOT pie filling. There's a difference!
Coconut Milk. You can use either full-fat canned coconut milk or cream.
Curry powder. You can use a quality curry powder or turmeric as a substitute, if desired.
Dried herbs and spices. I love a combination of salt, black pepper, garlic, thyme, parsley, and allspice.
Fresh Greens. I use kale, but spinach, collard greens, or Bokchoy also works well to add some greens, Vitamins, and color in.
Mini sweet peppers. I like to use mini sweet peppers, however, you can use bell peppers and chop them up!
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
It must be noted that this recipe (and most sweet or savory pumpkin recipes) calls for 100% pumpkin puree, NOT pumpkin pie filling! Pumpkin pie filling is quite literally the sweet pumpkin custard that you find in traditional pumpkin pie. It already contains sugar, cinnamon, clove, and other ingredients that make a pie filling.
Adding pumpkin pie filling to a dish that calls for 100% pumpkin puree will add an un-welcomed sweetness, essentially ruining the dish. Even if you are unsure of what type of pumpkin a recipe is calling for, go for the 100% pumpkin puree.
How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Puree
If you're thinking about making your own pumpkin puree instead of using a store-bought canned version, then you'll be happy to know that it is rather simple:
Step 1: Cut your pumpkins in half and scoop out the seeds. Be sure to save the seeds for another time because you can definitely use those!
Step 2: Feel free to cube the pumpkins into medium-large chunks and then place them unto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. NOTE: ensure that the skin of pumpkin are peeled off at this point.
Step 3: Always season your pumpkin pieces (salt, black pepper, + smoked paprika) and lightly grease with olive oil until coated.
Step 4: Roast in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40-45 minutes or until the edges are golden and they become super tender once tested with a fork or knife.
Step 5: Using a food processor or blender, puree your pumpkin along with water or veggie stock, until smooth. You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you'd like, store it in the freezer for later use.
Does This Recipe Call for a Thickener?
While many curries are thickened for texture, it is not inherently necessary. My recipe is simmer for long enough to reduce slightly (plus, the butternut squash adds nice thickness), but you may want a bit more thickness to the sauce.
All in all, it depends on how you like it! Thinner curries are great for dipping, so if you have roti or naan, you may opt for a thinner sauce. If you like a thick stew, you can add a thickening agent to the sauce. Use 1 tablespoon at a time mixed with 1 tablespoon of water to dilute. Then pour the mixture into the sauce, simmering for an additional few minutes to activate the thickener.
Some thickening agents you can use are:
Arrowroot starch (GF)
Potato starch (GF)
Can I Make The Curry Sauce without Coconut Milk?
Absolutely! If you'd prefer to make this curry recipe without coconut milk, you can substitute with Almond milk. NOTE: If you need the sauce to be a little thick, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, arrowroot starch, all-purpose flour, etc (as mentioned above). if needed. Always mix thickeners with water to avoid lumps.
How To Make Vegan Garlic Naan Bread
Ready to make these delicious vegan garlic naan breads to go with this Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash? No worries---it's such a simple process and only requires that you take your time for perfection. First, you start by making the dough with the ingredients, then kneading the dough a bit before letting it rise for over an hour and doubles in size.
Then you cut the dough into 6 pieces, roll them out to the right size and shape, and add them to a hot skillet for the perfect cook. Flip, brush them with garlic butter, and repeat until all naan breads are complete! Wallah!
SHOP MY FAVORITE TOOLS FOR COOKING, ESPECIALLY FOR THIS CURRY DISH!
Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash recipe. Everything from my fave baking sheet, parchment paper, cast iron skillets, electric mixers, bench scrapers, and more. SEE THEM HERE!
Can I Add More Veggies to this Curry?
Definitely! This is a great curry recipe to mix and match the ingredients/toppings. For added nutrients, fiber, and color, add your favorite veggies.
You can add roasted cauliflower, tofu/tempeh, chickpeas, broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, green peas, roasted herb tomatoes, mushrooms, or leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, etc.). All will be delicious! And you can roast the veggies alongside the butternut squash so everything is ready at the same time, if you want more of a 'crunch' or caramelized flavor. And fewer dishes!
How To Store Leftover Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash
Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
In large skillet (12-inch) over medium-high heat, add the olive oil until heated. Add the minced garlic, onions, and ginger, sautéing until fragrant and a bit golden. Next, add in the chopped carrots, bell peppers (or mini peppers) and sauté a bit more. Add in the curry powder, allspice, salt, garlic powder, parsley, and black pepper, stirring until combined.
Add in the pumpkin puree, coconut milk/cream and veggie stock, stirring until combined. Let the mixture boil for a minute or so before adding the cubed butternut squash and chopped kale (if using). Toss them in the sauce, add in the thyme sprigs, and reduce heat to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until sauce thickens and the butternut squash and veggies are cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat once done and serve warm with the vegan garlic naan bread or your favorite side.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days.
COCONUT MILK-FREE OPTION: If you'd prefer to make this curry recipe without coconut milk, you can substitute with Almond milk. NOTE: If you need the sauce to be a little thick, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, arrowroot starch, all-purpose flour, etc. if needed. Always mix thickeners with water to avoid lumps.
EQUIPMENT: Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with this Vegan Pumpkin Curry Butternut Squash. Everything from my fave skillets, mixers, immersion hand-blender, high-powered blender, dutch ovens, and more. SEE THEM HERE!