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!

Easy Coconut Curry

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 85 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
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.

Ingredients

  • 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:

Instructions

  • 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, peas, and stir. Taste and adjust 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.

 

149 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Marcella Erthein from BIG%20LOVE!!!What%20a%20find%20for%20using%20up%20various%20extra%20veggies%20in%20frig!THANKS
    11.08.2022

    5 stars
    You are an inspiration for creativity using extra veggies and even fruits(apples, grapes, radishes, cukes etc!Yhanks!!!!

  2. Rebecca
    10.02.2022

    5 stars
    This is the first recipe that I’ve made from loveandlemons and I am really excited about it! It looks beautiful and tastes incredible, it is the best curry I’ve ever made in my kitchen and I followed the recipe to the letter. Thank you so much, I’ll definitely be back!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.02.2022

      Hi Rebecca, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Mel
    09.19.2022

    This recipe is a winner with adults and kids alike! I used the instant pot and it came out more like a soup but the flavors were incredible still!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.21.2022

      I’m glad everyone enjoyed it!

  4. Andrea
    09.19.2022

    5 stars
    So, this was yummy. Unfortunately I don’t think frozen butternut squash works (they had no actual in the store). I added a little sweetened coconut milk. The squash melted and made it very soupy. Still delicious but I shouldn’t have thawed the frozen vegggies first.

  5. JoAn
    09.17.2022

    Looks delicious. Is there nutritional value somewhere close?

  6. Kat
    08.25.2022

    5 stars
    So good!
    I loved the added basil.

  7. Cate
    07.05.2022

    Can I freeze this and reheat? If so, any special instructions?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.07.2022

      Hi Cate, yep! I thaw in the microwave or over the stove.

  8. Bill
    06.09.2022

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for me and a mate, decided to go with coriander at the end and was absolutely delicious is the best online recipe I’ve found for a while. My only complaint was it was only enough for two, but we are big eaters 5 stars

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.11.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Valerie
    05.02.2022

    Can I add tofu to this dish? If so at what point?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.04.2022

      yep! I would add it after the coconut milk.

  10. Julie Smith
    04.29.2022

    5 stars
    This dish is fantastic!!!
    Wow!
    The spice blend along with the lemon & lime juices are amazing.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.30.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Maria
    03.23.2022

    5 stars
    Ahhh- this was spectacular! We subbed sweet potato for the squash but otherwise did exactly as recipe states. The hit of lime+ Lemon at the end was the cherry on top. DELICIOUS! The only change I’ll make next time is wait to add the cauliflower since mine turned to a bit of mush. Even with that, though, the flavor was spot on- so fresh and tasty!! Can’t wait to make again.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.24.2022

      Hi Maria, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  12. Eric
    03.06.2022

    5 stars
    Trying to only eat Vegan for Lent. We loved this recipe. Mixed with homemade Naan bread…..delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.07.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  13. Judy
    03.01.2022

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe… I did play with the veggies a bit – adding zucchini, carrots and mushrooms, and chick peas, plus had no chili peppers but used a red bell and added a dash of cayenne to the seasoning. I had so much fun making this, and enjoyed the aroma as much as the flavor!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.03.2022

      Hi Judy, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      • Linda
        05.03.2022

        5 stars
        Just made this again for myself & daughter. I’d forgotten how easy & yummy it is! I won’t forget that again! Plenty for tomorrow too. I always put the baby spinach on top of the rice then place the curry over that. This let’s the spinach wilt nicely in between the heat of rice & the curry & when I reheat it the following day I stir the spinach into the curry after it has been reheated. It’s perfect!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          05.04.2022

          I’m so glad you both enjoyed it!

  14. Alison
    02.24.2022

    What size can of coconut milk? Because I used a 13.5 Oz can and it doesn’t seem like enough liquid.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.25.2022

      Hi Alison, that’s the correct size, it should be a thick stew.

  15. danielle
    02.21.2022

    Excited to make this today – just wondering if its freezer friendly and how long it will keep in fridge? Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.21.2022

      Hi Danielle, yep it freezes really well. I keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.

  16. Jodi
    02.17.2022

    Is this ground cardamom? Do you think I could use seeds instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.17.2022

      Yes, it’s ground cardamom, but you could crush the seeds and use them instead.

  17. Rhonda
    01.13.2022

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was so, so good!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.14.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  18. Angela
    01.07.2022

    5 stars
    The whole family liked it! Including the teenagers.

  19. Nora Crane
    01.05.2022

    there’s no curry in this! i’m in the process of preparing it but damn i’m adding some madras curry powder!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.05.2022

      The spices are common ones found in curry powder blends (curry powder is a blend). I hope you enjoy.

  20. Sandra
    10.29.2021

    5 stars
    Made this for the first time last night. My granddaughter who is a very picky eater and doesn’t like coconut agreed to try it although she didn’t think she would like it. Wrong!!! She loved it. We all did. Thanks for bringing all these wonderful vegetarian recipes to us!

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.