Easy Coconut Curry

This is my go-to vegetable curry recipe. It's easy to make, but it packs a punch of flavor from turmeric, ginger, more delicious spices & fresh chiles.

Curry Recipe

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

The recipe is particularly Monday night-friendly because 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?

Vegetable Curry recipe ingredients

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:

How to make vegetable curry spices in a pot with vegetables and coconut milk

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.

vegetables in coconut milk with peas and spinach

How to Make Coconut Curry

Most of the steps of this recipe are actually pictured above – it’s really that simple. Here’s all you need to do:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a medium pot over medium heat, add a chopped onion and cook until it softens.
  2. Stir in the butternut squash (or sweet potato) and chiles, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add the cauliflower, coconut milk, and spices, and simmer until the veggies are tender.
  4. 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!

Coconut Curry Recipe with rice in bowls

Vegetable Curry Recipe Variations

This butternut and cauliflower curry recipe is very flexible, so I encourage you to use it as a template. Here are some ideas to change it up:

  • Use different veggies. If you don’t have butternut squash, use sweet potatoes. If you don’t have cauliflower, then use broccoli. Green beans, carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes would be great here as well.
  • If you want more heat, spice it up. Add extra chiles or more turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cayenne, or red pepper flakes.
  • Vary how you serve it. You can serve this curry with basmati rice, brown rice, cauliflower rice, or even quinoa. You can also customize it 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 🙂

Vegetable Curry Recipe in bowls

If you love this vegetable curry recipe…

Then be sure to try my Curried Red Lentil Dip, Curried Cauliflower Soup, or Curried Lentil Soup!

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Easy Coconut Curry

rate this recipe:
4.92 from 117 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves 4
This is my go-to healthy vegetable curry recipe. It's easy to make, yet packs a punch of flavor from the turmeric, ginger, and other delicious spices.


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground 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 (13.5-ounce) 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


  • 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.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • Add the lemon juice, lime juice, spinach, and peas and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding additional lime juice, salt, and pepper, as desired.
  • Serve the curry over the rice with fresh basil, naan bread, if desired, and lime wedges on the side.



4.92 from 117 votes (51 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Diane

    5 stars
    Delicious. Made this for my young adult kids and nephew and we all gobbled it up. I added chicken (if you’re an occasional vegan cheat like i am…) cooked in olive oil, pepper and garlic salt; i also doubled up all the spices. Definitely making this again, and again

  2. Emma

    5 stars
    So good! Had to pivot dinner due to some ingredient issues and remembered I saw this recipe and we had all the ingredients! Omg so good! New recipe for the rotation. Lemon juice at the end was a winner.

  3. Kiara

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner and I loved it!! Full of flavor and so heart warming. Thank you!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Kiara, I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Helen

    Absolutely delicious I added spinach and Cannellini beans

  5. Barb P

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! It’s easy to make and tastes delicious. The lemon and lime juice really adds to the flavour!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Mandy

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!! Will make again!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you loved it!

  7. Suwanee

    I love all the warming spices and the extra veggies added to it! Looks great!

  8. Pat Winterton

    5 stars
    I made this tonight, and it is so delicious. I can’t wait to make this for friends and family.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was a hit!

  9. Cheryl

    I want to make this but would it work in a slow cooker

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I think it would be great in a slow cooker.

  10. Adrienne

    Hello. This looks great. If I were to make it as a freezer meal for a later date, which steps would I do the same and which, if any, would I change? Thanks so much!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Adrienne, this freezes great, so I would just make it as-is and freeze it into containers.

  11. Natasha Cotroneo

    5 stars
    I made this dish tonight and my mom said it’s the best thing I’ve ever cooked for her. So, we now have a new favourite. We added some sautéed tofu and it gave us a bit of protein which we really wanted. I have to say that the addition of the lemon and lime juice, plus using fresh cilantro to garnish the dish at the end really brightened the palate and was simply delicious. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. My mom is still kicking her chops!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it was such a hit!

  12. Kelly

    5 stars
    Let me start by saying this is a delicious recipe! The flavor gets 5 stars! The only thing I noticed and maybe I did something wrong, was when I added the lemon and lime juice at the end it caused the fat in the coconut milk to separate and curdle. Any suggestions on how to prevent that from happening?

    I did add a handful of golden raisins and I subbed chickpeas for the squash.

    Thank you for a delicious recipe!

  13. Michelle Black

    5 stars
    This easy curry dish was so good. I could all the different flavors. I am hooked on Love and Lemons recipes. I made creamy vegan pasta, yum and today I will make the broccoli salad. I can’t wait too taste that.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recipes!

  14. Nina

    Hello, this looks great. Would I be able to use sweet potato instead of the squash?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Nina, yes! Sweet potato would be great here.

  15. Mary Valente

    5 stars
    first let me say this was delicious. I did a trial run before preparing it next weekend for a big family dinner. I did have one problem – even though I didn’t cook the squash anywhere near the recommended time, the pieces fell apart and were shreddy looking. I used a le Creuset dutch oven. Any pointers will be much appreciated. (It still tasted great)

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mary, I’m so glad you loved the curry! If the squash is fully cooked, it will fall apart a bit. I wouldn’t worry about it too much! However, if you’d prefer for it to keep a clean cube shape, you could roast it separately and stir it into the curry when you add the spinach.

  16. Jessica W.

    I have made this recipe a handful of times now, with various substitutions based on what I have on hand and it is always delicious. I finally added some meat, at my teenage son’s persistent requests- pre cooked chicken breast at finish- still delicious and helped silence the growing beast. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it has really pushed me to expand my cooking repertoire.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jessica, I’m so glad you’re loving the recipe!

  17. Julia

    5 stars
    This was very easy and delicious! Used carrots, peas, spinach and broccoli. Served with basmati rice.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  18. Diana

    5 stars
    I am new to “curry” what is the best seasoning brand to buy?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Diana, we often use the 365 spices from Whole Foods, but if you’re willing to order online, Diaspora Co and Penzey’s both sell amazing spices.

      • Diana

        5 stars
        Thank you so much for answering me, I will definitely take your advice!


  19. Rosemary from Www.RecipeRose.com

    Did folks up the spices? I doubled and still a very mild spice flavor. I’m thinking about how to amp the flavor for the leftovers. Ideas welcome! Or, is Trader Joe’s full fat coconut milk more watery than others and diluted the curry??

    • Amy

      I’ve heard Harissa is a nice addition for spice level.

  20. Hazel Petkos

    5 stars
    Wonderful….the lime juice brought out all the beautiful flavours. A delicate curry! Definitely a change from our usual Greek menu.
    Thanks for your recipes

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.