Easy Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach - a simple delicious vegan curry with chunks of butternut squash and a creamy coconut curry sauce. It's a perfect recipe for the whole family.
Vegan Coconut Butternut Squash Curry
We love curries in my house, you can turn the simplest of ingredients into a delicious meal with just a few spices for flavour, all spices that most of us have in our pantry cupboard.
I had a huge butternut squash sitting on my counter this week waiting to be turned into a delicious recipe and with my daughter requesting something with rice for dinner. Curry seemed like the perfect choice. So I grabbed a few other ingredients from the fridge and pantry and dinner was prepped and cooking pretty quickly .
How to Slice Butternut Squash
Butternut squash can be off putting for most to use in a recipe, as it has a pretty tough firm skin that can seem almost impossible to peel and then dice.
The key with chopping any kind of firm vegetable is a sharp knife and Santoku Japanese Knives are my favourite. If you keep them sharp they will tackle any vegetable with ease.
Make sure you place the butternut squash on a firm surface where it is not likely to slip or move about making it impossible to peel and then slice off the the ends.
Then you can use a sharp (never blunt) Vegetable Peeler to peel off all that skin. Once the skin is removed you can then cut off the nose part which has no seeds and dice with ease, then all that's left is the bulby part. If you slice this part in half, you can scoop out then easily chop into the size you want.
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Check out this handy post with step by step images and video from GimmeSomeOven for HOW TO PEEL AND CUT BUTTERNUT SQUASH.
Of course if you really want to cheat you can buy the ready peeled and chopped butternut squash in a fresh pack or frozen bag, but I personally find the taste can be a bit weird, so I prefer to just use a fresh butternut squash which I peel and dice myself.
Substitutes for Butternut Squash
Wondering if there is anything else you can use in place of the butternut squash? Sweet Potato is a great alternative and you can use like for like, it's a little more starchier but they both have that yummy sweet taste that is perfect in a curry.
Can I use light coconut milk?
If you want to save a few more calories then feel free to swap the full-fat canned coconut for light. I prefer full fat as it is much more creamy and when you are dividing this curry recipe up into servings it really isn’t too many points.
I don’t recommend using the coconut milk that comes in a carton, as it has a very high water content and will just be too runny and not pack enough flavour.
Also did you know that light coconut milk is actually huge full fat coconut milk with a high water content, so you are actually paying more for light coconut milk, instead just use less full fat coconut milk and add more liquid.
Can I freeze coconut milk?
You may be wondering now what do I do with the remaining coconut milk? as you are not using a full can. Well coconut milk freezes fine and I often do this with any that is leftover. I freeze in ½ cup (120ml) portions as then I know how much I need to take out for a recipe.
If you don't want to freeze and would like to make another recipe instead. Check out these recipes using Coconut Milk
Can I add other vegetables to this curry?
I had spinach on hand that needed to be used, so I just add a few handfuls in at the end and stirred until wilted. It's nice and quick and a great addition to any curry.
But if you have all other ingredients but no spinach and are wondering what else you could add, then any green would work- broccoli, peas, green beans, courgette (zucchini), or other vegetables like cauliflower, just bear in mind that certain vegetables will require longer cooking and may absorb more liquid.
Best Chilli Powder for Curry
There are all kinds of chilli powder available, so how do you know which one is best? I always stick to an Indian Chilli powder and Deggi Mirch is my favourite to use or Kashmiri Chilli Powder.
I don't recommend using Mexican Chili (Chilli) Powder in this curry, as it's usually a blend of spices and doesn't really pack much heat.
Sides for Easy Butternut Squash and Spinach Curry
As this recipe is mostly vegetables, I just went for simple white rice and some fresh coriander for the side.
If you struggle to cook perfect rice, remember my simple method of 2 parts liquid to 1 part rice. So for example, for 1 cup of rice you want two cups of liquid. Rinse your rice first, add to a pan with the liquid, bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is pretty much all absorbed, turned off the heat, add a lid and leave for about 12-15 minutes, you will have perfectly cooked rice every time. Just remember to not be tempted to stir the rice in the cooking time.
If you are doing low carb or just want to reduce the calories in your meal then this Roasted Cauliflower Rice is the perfect substitute for rice. I love to roast my cauliflower rice and it gives it much more flavour.
I also like this Cauliflower and Zucchini Rice as a side.
More Vegan Friendly Recipes
Looking for some other vegan friendly or vegetable recipes? Check out these:
- CREAMY VEGAN VEGETABLE CHOWDER
- VEGAN TIKKA MASALA (INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP)
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHICKPEA CURRY (VEGAN)
- VEGAN CREAMY COCONUT MUSHROOM LENTILS (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- CHICKPEA VEGETABLE CHILLI (STOVE TOP AND INSTANT POT)
- EASY ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
- GINGER CARROT CAULIFLOWER SOUP (STOVETOP OR INSTANT POT)
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- 500g (17.5oz) of peeled, cubed butternut squash
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root
- 1.5 tablespoons of ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon of Indian chilli powder (I use deggi mirch)
- 420ml (14.2 fl oz) of vegetable stock (use 300ml for instant pot method)
- 120ml (0.5 cup) of coconut milk
- couple of handfuls of fresh spinach
- cooking oil spray
- salt and black pepper
- Spray a large large saucepan over a medium high heat with cooking oil spray.
- Add the onion and fry until softened.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli powder with about 60ml (4 tablespoons) of the stock to prevent any sticking and cook for approx 30 seconds until paste like.
- Add in the cubed butternut squash and remaining stock and mix to combine
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the squash is tender (approx 25-30 minutes). Roughly squash a few pieces of the squash as it helps thicken the sauce.
- Stir in the coconut milk until creamy.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper as needed.
- Serve and enjoy!!
- Set instant pot to saute mode, once it displays hot, spray the inner pot with cooking oil spray and add the onion frying until softened.
- Add the garlic, ginger and spices with a ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of the stock and cook for approx 30 seconds until paste like.
- Add in the cubed butternut squash and remaining stock and stir until combined, ensuring you scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the lid, close valve (if instant pot is not self sealing) and set to cook for 6 minutes high pressure.
- Once it has finished cooking time, open valve to quick release the pressure.
- Remove lid, set instant pot to saute mode. Roughly squash a few pieces of the squash to thicken sauce and stir in the coconut milk until creamy.
- Add the spinach and stir until wilted.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve and enjoy!!
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- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
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TOMORAL Measuring Cups and Spoons
Instant Pot Duo V2 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, 6 Qt, 5.5L 1000 W, Brushed Stainless Steel/Black, 220-240v, Stainless Steel Inner Pot
Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole, 26 cm - Teal
Santoku Knife-MAD SHARK Pro Kitchen Knife 7 Inch Santoku Knife,Best Quality German High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife with Ergonomic Handle,Ultra Sharp,Best Choice for Home Kitchen and Restaurant
Nutrition InformationServing Size 1 SERVING
Amount Per Serving Calories 128Total Fat 5.3gSaturated Fat 3.1gSodium 551mgCarbohydrates 20.7gFiber 5.9gSugar 4.6gProtein 2.8g