Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas {Vegan, GF}

Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas {Vegan, GF}

Butternut squash curry that’s creamy and fragrant with spinach, chickpeas, coconut milk and red curry paste. Secret ingredient in the recipe makes the sauce extra creamy every time! Strong and vibrant flavors of lemongrass, ginger and tamarind really bring this Thai flavored dish to life.  Vegan and Gluten Free. Butternut squash curry is what I’m currently craving. D and I recently crossed into country number 57 – Bulgaria and there is no Thai food in sight. I mean there are barely any Asian style restaurants in this country – Chinese I have seen, but I’ve seriously got Thai food on my mind.

I always love a rich, deep and vibrant Thai based curry. Before spending three months in Thailand I wasn’t even familiar with all the different Thai curries. I always just ordered a standard Pad Thai when I went out for Thai food.

Once in Thailand though, I went curry crazy. I loved all the different curry pastes, from red to green to penang to massaman. I loved them all.

Now, as I have discovered not all curry pastes are created equal. I have tried all sorts of brands of curry paste available in the US and there is no doubt that the Maesri brand comes out on top. This one tastes the most like fresh home made curry paste in Thailand though the spice level is up there so don’t add a lot if you can’t stand the heat! A good Thai curry starts with the curry paste so make sure you always pick a good one, or make your own from scratch.

And coconut milk is like liquid gold if you ask me. It’s so rich and creamy and incredible mixed in with the curry paste flavors along with freshness of lemongrass, limes, ginger, garlic, red onion. It’s simply the best.

I had made a squash red curry before but this time I wanted to jazz things up a bit and take the dish to the next level, so a vegan butternut squash curry was just what I needed. With the help of spinach, peanut butter and tamarind in this butternut squash curry recipe, that has most certainly been achieved.

The peanut butter, even just a tablespoon completely elevates the flavor of this butternut squash curry.

It just makes the sauce slightly nutty and even more creamy than with just the coconut milk alone.

The tamarind gives it a bit of a sour flavor, think of tamarind as one of those war heads candies from the 90s. Remember those? So a little bit of tamarind goes a long way to give the dish that special uumpth of flavor. Not to worry though, if you don’t have access to tamarind you can omit it from the recipe. It still works, but I do recommend you buy a block of tamarind online so you can add just a hint of it here and there.

The heart of this recipe is the soft and delicious butternut squash. It just soaks up all those rich Thai flavors. For additional plant based protein I added chickpeas and for superfood uber healthy addition we’ve got spinach. The spinach also lightens up the heaviness of the curry a bit.

Oh and did I mention that this vegan butternut squash curry is also gluten-free? Perfect for a meatless Asian themed superfood plant based dinner meal.

Other curry recipes you’ll love:

Vegan Curried Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup with Spinach and Almonds {GF}

Vegan Red Lentil Sweet Potato Kale Curry {GF}

Spinach Chickpea Sweet Potato Curry Vegan Recipe {GF}

If you prefer kale instead of spinach feel free to use that instead (and find more uses for kale in my Vegan Kale Recipes Round Up)

How to make vegan butternut squash curry:

Vicky Berman

Yields 4

Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach {Vegan, GF}

A vegan and gluten-free creamy and fragrant butternut squash and spinach coconut curry with red curry paste. Strong and vibrant flavors of lemongrass, ginger and tamarind really bring the flavors to life.

15 minPrep Time

I always love a rich, deep and vibrant Thai based curry. Before spending three months in Thailand I wasn’t even familiar with all the different Thai curries. I always just ordered a standard Pad Thai when I went out for Thai food.

Once in Thailand though, I went curry crazy. I loved all the different curry pastes, from red to green to penang to massaman. I loved them all.

Now, as I have discovered not all curry pastes are created equal. I have tried all sorts of brands of curry paste available in the US and there is no doubt that the Maesri brand comes out on top. This one tastes the most like fresh home made curry paste in Thailand though the spice level is up there so don’t add a lot if you can’t stand the heat! A good Thai curry starts with the curry paste so make sure you always pick a good one, or make your own from scratch.

I had made a squash red curry before but this time I wanted to jazz things up a bit and take the dish to the next level, so a vegan butternut squash curry was just what I needed. With the help of spinach, peanut butter and tamarind in this butternut squash curry recipe, that has most certainly been achieved.

The peanut butter, even just a tablespoon completely elevates the flavor of this butternut squash curry.

The tamarind gives it a bit of a sour flavor, think of tamarind as one of those war heads candies from the 90s. Remember those? So a little bit of tamarind goes a long way to give the dish that special uumpth of flavor. Not to worry though, if you don’t have access to tamarind you can omit it from the recipe. It still works, but I do recommend you buy a block of tamarind online so you can add just a hint of it here and there.

If you prefer kale instead of spinach feel free to use that instead (and find more uses for kale in my Vegan Kale Recipes Round Up)

Vicky Berman

15 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

45 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (in bite sized pieces)
  • 1 tablespoon block of seedless tamarind (optional, omit if you don't have it)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (or less depending on your spice tolerance)
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (use gluten free tamari for vegan version)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 ounces spinach
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Read the whole recipe on Avocado Pesto