This creamy Pumpkin Curry is a healthy twist on a classic Thai recipe. It’s secretly so simple to make, with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavor that you’ll be turning to all Fall and Winter seasons long. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to sub in butternut squash for the pumpkin in this quick and versatile one-pot-meal.

A spoon digs into a bowl full of pumpkin curry and white rice.

Best Pumpkin Curry Recipe

Fall is around the corner, which means… it’s time for full-on pumpkin season.

While I love all of the sweet treats (these Pumpkin Waffles and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are some of my faves), I’ve come to truly appreciate this healthy gourd in savory recipes, too.

Like with this pumpkin curry recipe! It’s a vegetarian AND vegan twist on Thai red curry, giving it all the warming and nourishing flavors that the season calls for.

Since this recipe is packed with nutritious pumpkin, you can feel good about eating it (and going back for seconds).

Plus, it can easily be made with butternut squash if you can’t find a pie or sugar pumpkin. (Fair warning: do NOT use the decorative kind for cooking!)

You’ll be so thankful you made this for dinner tonight, you might just find yourself making it week after week.

Can’t get enough savory pumpkin? You have to try Pumpkin ChiliPumpkin Soup, and Pumpkin Hummus, too.

Pumpkin, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, onion, and seasonings are the ingredients for this recipe.

Ingredients

The simple ingredients you need to make this vegan pumpkin curry include:

  • Pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin makes a big difference. Be sure to grab a sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin. These are NOT the big orange pumpkins you get for carving. If you can’t find the right variety, you can easily substitute with butternut squash. (Have extra pumpkin? Try out this Dairy-Free Pumpkin Soup!)
  • Coconut milk. For the perfect balance of thickness and flavor without adding too many calories or grams of fat, grab one can of full-fat coconut milk and one can of light coconut milk. If preferred, just use two cans of light coconut milk if want to make this dish even healthier.
  • Oil. Either go with avocado oil or olive oil. Coconut oil will work too, but be wary of the lower smoke point. (Here’s more info on the smoke points of different oils.)
  • Vegetables. You need a thinly sliced red bell pepper and diced onion, preferably white.  You can use a sweet or yellow onion or a different color bell pepper, if needed. To add a bit more spice, include a jalapeño pepper as well.
  • Garlic. Opt for freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
  • Ginger. For ease, grab a bottle or jar of ginger paste from the grocery store, or you can grate fresh, peeled ginger yourself.
  • Curry paste. Thai red curry paste is responsible for the bulk of the flavor for this dish. Look for a mild version.
  • Soy sauce. Go for a low-sodium version, or stick with coconut aminos or Tamari if needed.
  • Brown sugar. This ingredient adds a bit of sweetness with a rich flavor. Leave it out or sub in maple syrup or honey if you prefer.
  • Garam masala. This blend of Indian ground spices adds a richness to the sauce. You should be able to find some at your local grocery store.

How to Make Pumpkin Curry

Below you’ll find the steps to make this delicious Thai pumpkin curry recipe at home:

Prep the Ingredients

The first step is to peel the pumpkin (or butternut squash if you’re using it). Be careful, as these gourds have thick skin and can be tricky to handle. Use a potato peeler or small knife.

Then, remove the seeds and cut the meat into ½- to 1-inch cubes. You should end up with around 4 cups.

Slice the bell peppers, dice the onion, and mince the garlic.

Bell peppers, onion, and garlic are sliced and minced.

Sauté the Vegetables

Add one tablespoon of the oil along with the sliced bell peppers to a large pot or Dutch oven. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Remove the peppers with a slotted spoon and set on a plate or bowl.

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pot and toss in the onions. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the Seasonings and Pumpkin

Mix in the garlic, ginger, curry paste, garam masala, salt, and black pepper with the onions. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, being sure to stir occasionally.

Add in the cubed pumpkin. Stir well to coat the cubes with the seasonings, then cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Boil and Simmer

Pour the milk, soy sauce, and sugar into the pot. Bring everything to a full boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the pumpkin is tender.

Blend and Serve

Remove 2 cups of the pumpkin cubes using a slotted spoon and set aside. You’ll use these to have some chunks left after blending.

It’s time to blend what is left in the pot. You can use an immersion blender for ease. Or, transfer everything in the pot to a high-speed blender and purée until it is smooth. Be careful! The liquid is hot and will easily splash.

Once the soup is blended, add the saved cubes back to the pot with fresh lime juice.

Serve the pumpkin curry and creamy sauce over Basmati rice, Jasmine rice, white rice (or brown rice or cauliflower rice) with some fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime, and chopped cashews. You can also throw on some toasted pumpkin seeds.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead: You can chop the veggies and leave them in a bag in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • How to store: Let the curry cool to room temperature, then keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze your leftover curry for up to 3-4 months. Again, be sure it’s at room temperature, and then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before transferring to the freezer.
  • How to reheat: If refrigerated, you can reheat the curry on the stovetop (this is the recommended method). You can use the microwave to quickly warm it back up. If frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

What is pumpkin curry made of?

Pumpkin curry is made of vegetables cooked with a red curry paste and blended with coconut milk. Butternut squash can also be a substitute for pumpkin in a curry. This easy recipe has both Thai and Indian influences, along with healthy veggies, too.

How long can you keep pumpkin curry?

Pumpkin curry will last in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. You can let it cool completely and then freeze it for up to 3 to 4 months, as well.

A ladle scoops out pumpkin curry from the white Dutch oven.

Can you substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in curry?

Yes! It is easy to substitute butternut squash for pumpkin in this curry. They both have a sweet yet savory flavor profile and the perfect texture to create a creamy base.

Dietary Modifications

The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:

  • Whole30: Simply leave out the sugar.
  • Low Fat: Use a lite coconut milk instead of the full-fat option.

Expert Tips and Tricks

  • Change it up. While this is a vegetarian dish as written, you can easily add in some cooked chicken or fish for some protein. It’s also great with some extra firm tofu.
  • Make it healthier. Similarly, feel free to include additional vegetables, like snow peas, celery, broccoli, sweet potatoes, green beans, or even cabbage for extra nutritional benefits.
  • No jack-o-lanterns. Grab pie or sugar pumpkins—NOT carving pumpkins.
  • Go low-carb. Serve over a bed of cauliflower rice for extra nutrition.
  • Quick and easy. If you feel up to it, you can make your own curry paste. Or, simply grab a jar at the store.
Pumpkin curry is served over rice in a white bowl.

What to Serve with Pumpkin Curry

Of course, you can’t go wrong with a rice base for this curry.

 Instant Pot Basmati Rice is quick and easy to make. Go low-carb with Cauliflower Rice.

Change it up with Coconut Rice or Mango Coconut Rice.

If you want to add in some protein, simply stir in some Instant Pot Shredded Chicken or Air Fryer Shrimp.

More Curry Recipes Recipes

If you’re craving curries, try any of these recipes next.

Massaman Chicken CurryChicken Korma CurryThai Green Chicken Curry, and Thai Yellow Curry are classics the whole gang will love.

You need to try Chicken Curry Salad and Vegan Chickpea Curry if you like twists on classic flavors.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

This Pumpkin Curry is a different and super healthy twist on a classic Thai Curry. Bonus–it's secretly so easy to make with the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavor. Sub in butternut squash instead of pumpkin in this versatile and simple one-pot-meal all Fall long.
A spoon digs into a bowl full of pumpkin curry and white rice.
Yield 6 servings
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Total 50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. pie pumpkin or butternut squash cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger paste or finely minced fresh
  • 3 Tbsp. red curry paste mild
  • 30 oz. canned coconut milk one can full-fat, one can lite
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce regular sodium
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice freshly squeezed

For Serving:

  • Cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ cup cashews roasted and salted, finely chopped
  • Basmati rice cooked

Instructions 

  • Cut Pumpkin into Cubes: Peel the pumpkin or butternut squash using a potato peeler or knife, remove the seeds, and then cut into ½-1 inch cubes. You should end up with roughly 4 cups.
    1 lb. pie pumpkin or butternut squash
  • Saute Vegetables: Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the sliced bell pepper and jalapeno (if using) to a large pot or Dutch oven and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Remove the peppers from the skillet and set aside on a plate. Add the additional tablespoon of oil and the onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
    2 Tbsp. oil, 1 red bell pepper, 1 jalapeño, 1 small white onion
  • Add Seasonings and Pumpkin: Add the garlic, ginger, curry paste, garam masala, salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes. Add the cubed pumpkin, stir to coat in the seasonings, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
    4 cloves garlic, 1 Tbsp. ginger paste, 3 Tbsp. red curry paste, 1 tsp. garam masala, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. black pepper
  • Boil and Simmer: Pour in the milk, soy sauce, and sugar. Bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.
    30 oz. canned coconut milk, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Blend Half and Serve: Remove 2 cups of pumpkin cubes using a slotted spoon and blend what is left in the pot using an immersion blender. (Alternatively, you can transfer what remains into a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.) Add the cubes and peppers back into the pot with the lime juice. Serve the curry over basmati rice and sprinkle with chopped cashews and cilantro.
    2 Tbsp. lime juice, Cilantro, ½ cup cashews, Basmati rice

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 2 votes

Video

Notes

*Nutrition information is calculated with 1 can full-fat and 1 can lite coconut milk. No cashews or rice is included.

Meal Prep and Storage

  • How to prep ahead: You can chop the veggies and leave them in a bag in the fridge for up to 2 days.
  • How to store: Let the curry cool to room temperature, then keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days.
  • How to freeze: You can freeze your leftover curry for up to 3-4 months. Again, be sure it’s at room temperature, and then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before transferring to the freezer.
  • How to reheat: If refrigerated, you can reheat the curry on the stovetop (this is the recommended method). You can use the microwave to quickly reheat it. If frozen, let it thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Nutrition

Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Sodium: 531mg, Potassium: 509mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 9826IU, Vitamin C: 46mg, Calcium: 72mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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