Butternut Squash Red Curry in a speckled white bowl, with white rice, chopped cilantro, cashews, & pomegranate arils.

Butternut Squash Red Curry

  • Author: Jess Larson | Plays Well With Butter
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: Soup, Stew & Chili recipes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai, Asian-Inspired


Cozy, comforting, & totally wholesome, this Butternut Squash Red Curry recipe is cozy, comforting & totally wholesome. Peppers, onions, & butternut squash simmer to tender perfection in an easy Thai red curry coconut sauce. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, & perfect for weeknights!



  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 large bell peppers, deseeded & sliced (I like orange & red)
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded & cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 24 tablespoons red curry paste (see Recipe Notes)
  • 2 cans 15-ounce full-fat coconut milk (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/2 bunch kale, destemmed & shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • for serving, as desired: rice, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, chopped cashews, pomegranate arils, etc.


  1. Blister the onions & peppers: Add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the sliced onion & peppers. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & toss to combine. Cook, tossing the veggies every so often, until slightly softened, 3-4 minutes. Carefully transfer the veggies to a plate and set aside.
  2. Blister the butternut squash: Add the cubed butternut squash to the same skillet used in Step 1. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & stir to combine. Cook, stirring the squash every so often, until slightly tender, 7-10 minutes. The squash may begin to brown around the edges & that’s totally fine.
  3. Toast the aromatics: Working quickly, add the garlic, ginger, & red curry paste to the skillet with the squash, stirring to combine. Let the aromatics toast for 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.
  4. Simmer the butternut squash red curry: Pour the coconut milk into the skillet, stirring to combine. Bring the curry to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the butternut squash is fork-tender.
  5. Finish the curry: Add the blistered peppers & onions & shredded kale to the curry, stirring to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the kale wilts. Finish by squeezing in the fresh lime juice, stirring to combine.
  6. Serve: Portion the curry into individual bowls over a bed of rice or your grain of choice (brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, etc.). Top as desired, with cilantro, cashews, pomegranate seeds, etc. Finish with one last squeeze of lime juice & devour. Enjoy!


  • How much curry paste to use will depend on how spicy you’d like your curry. I suggest using 2 tablespoons for a mild red curry. At our house, spicier curry = life, so I usually use 4 tablespoons.
  • A note on curry paste: Not all curry pastes are created equally! Since it’s a key component of any curry dish, it’s so important to use really good curry paste. A good curry paste should have rich, complex flavors. In my experience, the stuff that is sold in the “ethnic” aisle at conventional grocery stores isn’t usually very good – please don’t waste your money on it! This is my favorite red curry paste – it’s very flavorful, mildly spicy, & contains no shrimp paste/fish sauce (so it’s 100% vegan- & vegetarian-friendly). You can find it in most Asian food stores, or just order it from Amazon. I highly recommend!
  • Coconut milk: To achieve the desired creamy texture of this red curry, I suggest using full-fat coconut milk, vs light coconut milk (which is much waterier due to the lower fat content). If you’d like to lighten it up a little bit, you can swap out 1 can of full-fat coconut milk with 1 can of light coconut milk; note that the red curry may be a little more liquidy as a result.
  • Meal prep: The majority of the prep time involved in this recipe is chopping veggies. Chop all the veggies in advance to get a head start on your curry – it’ll take about 15 minutes. Keep everything in individual airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinnertime all you have to do is get cooking – so easy!:
    • Slice 1 large red onion
    • Deseed & slice 2 large bell peppers
    • Peel, deseed, & dice 1 small butternut squash into 1/2-inch cubes
    • Destem & shred 1/2 bunch of kale (or enough to yield 2 big handfuls of shredded kale)

Keywords: Butternut Squash Red Curry, vegan recipe, vegetarian recipe, dairy-free, gluten-free, healthy, Meatless Monday, easy weeknight recipe