Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

This curry is everything I want on a weeknight. Scratch that – it’s everything I want… any time. I’ve been eating this as leftovers for lunch, dinner… I even ate a bowlful for breakfast the other day.

The recipe is particularly Monday night friendly – it’s quick to make yet packs a punch of flavor. It’s filled with cozy, nourishing vegetables that will help you recover from a weekend of maybe… I dunno… too much pumpkin cake?

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

The ingredient shot above makes this recipe look more complicated than it actually is. Once you’ve chopped the vegetables and measured the spices, you’re only about 20 (mostly hands off) minutes from a creamy, delicious hot curry dinner on the table.

I find this recipe really fun and soothing to make. There’s nothing better than this moment when the coconut milk and spices hit the vegetables. Of course, this moment will happen on the stove and not on the countertop, I just had to move my pot near the window to show you:

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

The ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom… it all smells so good! You’re going to have to take my word on it unless you can smell through your screen.

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

During the last five or so minutes, stir in the green things and add squeezes of lemon and lime to brighten everything up. So healthy!

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

This recipe is very flexible, so I encourage you to use it as a template. Don’t have butternut squash? Use sweet potatoes. Don’t have cauliflower? Use broccoli. If you want more heat, spice it up. You can serve it with basmati rice, brown rice, or even quinoa. You can also customize this with any type of protein that you like in your curry, or you can just make the recipe exactly as it’s written, a.k.a. my favorite version 🙂

Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry

4.9 from 9 reviews
Butternut Squash Turmeric Curry
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 3 red Thai chiles (or 1 serrano, or ½ jalapeño), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
  • Freshly ground black pepper
for serving:
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • a few big handfuls of fresh basil or cilantro
  • Naan bread, optional
  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and well-browned, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat to low halfway through.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the butternut squash and chiles to the pot, stir, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cauliflower and then add the coconut milk and the spice mixture. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Add the lemon juice, lime juice, spinach, peas, and stir. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding additional lime juice, salt, and pepper, as desired.
  5. Serve the curry over the rice with fresh basil, naan bread, if desired, and lime wedges on the side.


If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Susan on said:

    I can see why you would like this so much – it sounds wonderful. I would definitely add protein to this, simply because I can’t survive on high carb/low protein meals. I’m looking forward to trying it.

    • Hi Susan, I hope you enjoy it! It’s so flexible, any protein you like would work here.

  2. CINDY L LITTLE on said:

    This look delicious but agree with Susan, may need some protein such as tofu or cashews. Looking forward to making soon!

    • It’s a super flexible recipe – any of those things would be delish!

  3. amy on said:

    do you use raw butternut squash or do you cook it beforehand?

    • Hi Amy,

      Start with raw squash – it cooks in the recipe for 25 minutes (on the stove). I just moved the pot near the window for the photo because my stove area is a little dark.

  4. Gaby Dalkin on said:

    Mmmm, this curry is so cozy!!

  5. Danielle on said:

    Any ideas on how to sub out the coconut milk if I don’t have it on hand?

    • Hi Danielle, it’s the base of this recipe so I’d just wait to make it until you can get a can of coconut milk, there isn’t a sub 🙂

  6. Richie on said:

    This dish looks amazing, I’m going to try this out tomorrow night!

  7. Gil on said:

    Cooked it tonight and served with bastami rice. Added roasted cashews. So delicious. A+ keeper. Thank you.

  8. Sandie on said:

    Do you think this would freeze well?

  9. This is great! I love curries and as a coincidence, I have all the ingredients in my fridge! Except the butternut, but I’ll use sweet potatoes! Many thanks for this, will make it on Friday eve, but already loving it right now! 🙂

      • Michaela from 1001voyagesgourmands on said:

        We did love it, it’s delicious! 🙂 Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  10. Susie on said:

    Made this last night. It was astoundingly good. No Thai chiles in my market. Used one Serrano and one Fresno chile. Thank you so much for a perfect meal.

    • Hi Suzie! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much!

  11. Vickie on said:

    You’ve out done yourself with this one, Jeanine! I made this tonite with the squash, Serrano pepper, broccoli, carrots and spinach, then tossed in some shredded chicken=EPIC!! Anticipating it will be good for tomorrow’s lunch as well. So good. Keep it up!

    • Hi Vickie! Ha, yay, I’m so glad it was such a hit! I really love this spice combination together! I hope you had a terrific lunch the following day 🙂

  12. Cathy on said:

    I made this tonight, just as written with the jalapeno chili. So, so, good! I will be making this for all of my fall pot luck dinners. Thank you!

    • Hi Cathy – I’m so glad it was a hit! 💛💛

  13. Alexandra Phillips on said:

    Thanks for this tasty recipe….

  14. Teresa Bell on said:

    I made this last night and only thing I would suggest is if you like it spicy as I do then add more of all the spices. I doubled all the spices and the peppers. there were no red Thai chilis at the market I went to so I used green Serrano and it was delicious. Also can you please add in the cooking and prep time for your recipes it really helps when planning weekday meals. thanks for the lovely photos and tasty recipe ideas!

    • Hi Teresa, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. I’ll try to add the cooking times more often – thanks for letting me know that it’d be helpful!

  15. Fran on said:

    ❤️❤️❤️ I made this recently and it was delish!! I added mushrooms, cashews and .5 cup of veggie stock. Will definitely make it again. Thank you!! 😊

    • Hi Fran – I’m glad you loved it! ❤️❤️

  16. kate on said:

    made this tonight and had leftover yellow raisins from another recipe. Threw them in and they were a really tasty burst of sweetness that perfectly complemented the other flavors.

    • Ooh, I love the pop of sweetness – glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  17. KIm on said:

    I have cardamon pods, not ground spice so not sure how to use them….? Help pls!!!

    • Hi Kim, open up 3 or 4 of them, crush/chop up the little seeds inside (discard the pods), and add them with the butternut squash in step 3. Hope that helps!

  18. Ruth Kennedy on said:

    I rarely leave comments on recipes but I made this two days ago (sans butternut squash, since I discovered at the last minute that I apparently had already used it for something else, so used some baby carrots instead). I just ate leftovers over basmati rice and they were *so freaking delicious*–even better than when freshly made!

    • Hi Ruth! Thank you for commenting, I love hearing the feedback – I’m so glad you loved the recipe and it’s leftovers!

  19. Naomi on said:

    I made this for lunches this week and it was super delicious, I will definitely be adding it to my regular meals list. I added white beans to it for protein and served it with buckwheat which worked really well. This combination of spices is my favourite! Thanks you 🙂

  20. Susan on said:

    I made this for dinner last night and it was fantastic! Perfect dish for a chilly fall night. I loved how colorful it was. I found a beautiful dark yellow cauliflower at the farmer’s market that went great with the turmeric and the orange squash. I liked that it was very flavorful but not heavy. I ate the leftovers for lunch today and it was just as good the second time!

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