Looking for satisfying and healthy dinner options? This butternut squash chickpea vegetable curry beckons, offering a vibrant, plant-based delight for those yearning for a comforting, flavour-packed meal that nourishes the body and soul. It combines the rich flavours of roasted butternut squash, the earthiness of portobello mushrooms, and the creaminess of coconut milk, all in one tantalizing dish.

Chickpea and squash curry, garnished with lime slices and cilantro, in an Indian wok on a bamboo mat.
Explore the magic of whole-food, plant-based cooking with this recipe.

This vegan curry will always have my heart. When I was studying to be a dietitian, I discovered the incredible power of plant-based nutrition. I also learnt how to make butter squash chickpea curry during this time. And quite quickly, it became a beloved staple in my kitchen. 

This Indian-style butternut squash coconut curry embodies everything I adore about food – the perfect blend of taste, health, and heartiness. Whether you’re on a journey to better eating habits or simply crave a comforting, flavourful meal, this recipe is a gift, and I can’t wait to share its magic on the blog.

But the love for Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) cooking doesn’t stop here. I’m passionate about creating dishes that celebrate the goodness of whole, plant-powered ingredients. Some of my recent favourites include the luscious rajma (kidney bean curry), the vibrant raspberry salad with spicy chickpeas, and the crispy, flavourful red cabbage salad with air fryer cauliflower – each offering something for everyone.

An Indian wok filled with chickpea and squash curry, garnished with lime slices and cilantro leaves on a bamboo mat.

What is the nutritional value of butternut squash and chickpea curry?

Curious about the nutritional goodness in this curried butternut squash with chickpeas? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional perks of this easy and healthy dinner:

  • First up, we’ve got butternut squash – it’s loaded with vitamin A, which does wonders for your skin and helps keep those peepers sharp.
  • Next, the chickpeas bring along their plant-based protein prowess. They’re like little muscle-repair champions.
  • In terms of dietary fibre, this Indian-style curry boasts a couple of leading sources: chickpeas and butternut squash. This fibre duo is on a mission to keep your digestion in check and your blood sugar levels steady.
  • And let’s not forget the dynamic power of mushrooms and spinach! They’re here to supercharge your meal with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Ingredients

In this delightful butternut squash curry recipe, we combine an array of wholesome ingredients to create a delectable, plant-based masterpiece. Here’s what you’ll need to pull this off:

A tray holding food and spice ingredients in ramekins with bowls of chickpeas and spinach nearby.
  • Butternut squash
  • Coconut oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Red chilli powder
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh curry leaves
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafoetida
  • Tomato puree (not the tube kind)
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric
  • Portobello mushrooms
  • Cooked chickpeas
  • Coconut milk
  • Fresh spinach
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime juice

How to make Winter squash curry

Now it’s time to bring this butternut squash chickpea vegetable curry to life. I’ll walk you through each step with the help of visuals. First up are the visuals of how I prepare the butternut squash and portobello mushrooms – ready for cooking action.

How to cut butternut squash

Two halved and seeded butternut squashes, accompanied by a knife and peelings on the side.
Step 1: Begin by slicing off the top and bottom of the butternut squash to create a stable base. Use a large sharp knife to cut the squash in half. Peel the squash.
Two halved and deseeded butternut squashes, accompanied by a knife and peelings and seeds on the side.
Step 2: Scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh using a spoon to prepare the squash for slicing.
Two halves of butternut squash, each sliced into five pieces, with seeds and peelings on the side.
Step 3: For better control, place one of the squash halves face down and make four lengthwise cuts. Repeat with the second half.
A mound of diced butternut squash, with peelings and seeds neatly set aside.
Step 4: Then, dice the butternut squash into medium-sized cubes. You could clean and dry the seeds and roast them with your favourite spices.

How to clean and cut Portobello mushrooms

An overhead shot showcasing a Portabello mushroom face up with a golden spoon placed nearby.
Step 1: Remove the stem by gently twisting it off using a spoon. Apply pressure at the base of the stem and rotate the spoon to detach it easily.
An overhead shot showcasing a Portabello mushroom face down with a kitchen cloth placed nearby.
Step 2: Gently wipe the mushroom caps clean with a damp kitchen cloth to remove any dirt or residue.
An overhead view capturing a Portabello mushroom with its gills neatly gathered at the centre, accompanied by a golden spoon placed nearby.
Step 3: With a small spoon, gently scrape away the dark gills from the underside of the mushroom caps. This step helps improve the texture of your curry.
Two Portabello mushrooms with their gills scooped out.
Step 4: You should end up with nicely cleaned and scraped mushrooms.
Thinly sliced mushrooms on a wooden board.
Step 5: Slice the mushrooms thinly; they are now ready to use in your recipe.

Roast the butternut squash

Remember to preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) to give our butternut squash a warm, caramelized hug.

A mound of butternut chunks generously dusted with powdered spices, arranged on an oven tray.
Step 1: Toss the squash cubes with coconut oil, paprika, and chilli powder in an oven tray. Roasting brings out the squash’s natural sweetness and adds depth to this vegetable curry. 
Butternut squash chunks neatly lined up in a single row on an oven tray.
Step 2: Arrange the cubes in a single layer on the tray and pop them in the oven for about 45 minutes until they are tender and slightly caramelized.
An oven tray with roasted chunks of butternut squash.
Step 3: Then broil for 3 minutes for a lovely char.

Prepare the curry base

Now, let’s create the flavour foundation for our curry. 

A cast iron pot with oil, cumin seeds, curry leaves and a white powder.
Step 1: Heat up coconut oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium heat and fry the curry leaves, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. Listen for that sizzle and savour the aromatic magic.

Add tomato puree and spices

A cast iron pot with tomato sauce that's topped with spices.
Step 2: It’s time to build up the taste. Stir in tomato puree, curry powder, turmeric, and red chilli powder and simmer for a few minutes.

Incorporate Portobello mushrooms

A cooking pot filled with sliced mushrooms, generously coated in tomato sauce.
Step 3: Mushrooms are like the unsung heroes of this dish, adding a hearty, earthy character. Toss in the sliced portobellos and let them mingle until soft.

Introduce chickpeas and coconut milk

A cooking pot with chickpeas and coconut milk.
Step 4: Stir in the cooked chickpeas and coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. They’re getting cozy, infusing each other with flavour.

Add spinach and roasted squash

A cooking pot featuring a mound of roasted butternut squash, delicately layered on a bed of fresh spinach and sauce.

Step 5: Fresh spinach goes in next, gently wilting into the curry. And remember the star of the dish – roasted butternut squash. Toss it in, along with the salt, and you’ll see how it sweetens the deal.

Season and finish

Butternut squash curry with chickpeas garnished with cilantro in a cooking pot.
Step 6: A sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice – that’s how we bring everything together.

Serve and Enjoy

Now, all that’s left to do is serve this comforting homemade Indian curry. Whether you pair it with hot soft roti, crispy multigrain paratha, naan, rice, or quinoa, prepare to savour a plate full of home-cooked goodness. Enjoy!

Perspective image of chickpea and squash curry in an Indian wok, topped with lime and cilantro on a bamboo mat.

For a complete list of ingredient measurements and detailed step-by-step instructions, you can find everything you need in the printable recipe card located at the bottom of this post.

Food safe storage

When it comes to keeping your squash and chickpea curry fresh, here’s a handy tip: Allow it to cool down to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. This prevents excess moisture buildup – which can invite unwanted guests (like bacteria). Once it’s at room temperature, pop it into the fridge and enjoy it within 3-4 days to ensure it stays at its best.

Commonly ask questions (you asked):

Do you need to peel butternut squash?

No, you don’t necessarily have to peel butternut squash. The skin is edible and contains some extra nutrients and fibre. However, if you prefer a smoother texture in your curry or want a more refined presentation, you can peel it using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife. It’s a matter of personal preference and the specific dish you’re preparing.

What flavours go well with butternut squash?

Butternut squash has a naturally sweet and nutty flavour that pairs beautifully with a variety of other flavours. Here are some delicious combinations to try:

  1. Savoury Herbs: Sage, thyme, rosemary, and oregano add earthy and aromatic notes that complement the squash’s sweetness.
  2. Warm Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves bring a cozy, autumnal warmth to butternut squash dishes.
  3. Garlic and Onions: These savoury aromatics provide a balanced contrast to the squash’s sweetness and enhance its overall depth of flavour.
  4. Citrus: A splash of citrus, like orange, lemon, or lime (juice or zest), can brighten up the dish and provide a refreshing contrast.
  5. Creamy Dairy: Cream, butter, and cheese (like parmesan or goat cheese) add richness and creaminess that complements butternut squash beautifully.
  6. Nuts: Toasted nuts, such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts, provide a satisfying crunch and a nice textural contrast.
  7. Heat: A touch of heat from red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper can balance the sweetness with some spiciness.
  8. Maple Syrup or Honey: A drizzle of these sweeteners enhances the natural sweetness of butternut squash, creating a delightful glaze.
  9. Stock or Broth: Vegetable or chicken stock can be used as a base for soups, risottos, or stews, adding depth and complexity.
  10. Balsamic Vinegar: A splash of aged balsamic vinegar offers a tangy, slightly sweet contrast that elevates the butternut squash to new heights.

Cooking method tip: Make slicing butternut squash easier

If you find it challenging to slice whole butternut squash in half, here’s a handy trick: place it in the microwave, just as it is, for 2 minutes. This quick step will help soften the squash, making it much easier to work with. If it’s still a bit too firm, you can microwave it for an additional minute.

Close up image of an Indian wok that holds chickpea and squash curry topped with lime and cilantro on a bamboo mat.

If you decide to give this curry with butternut squash a try, I’d love to hear all about it! Share your thoughts, rate the dish, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram using #desiliciousrd. Your feedback and culinary adventures are always welcomed with a smile!

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi
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An Indian wok filled with chickpea and squash curry, garnished with lime slices and cilantro leaves on a bamboo mat.
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Get the Recipe:

How To Make Butternut Squash Chickpea Vegetable Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 5 people
Looking for satisfying and healthy dinner options? This butternut squash chickpea vegetable curry beckons, offering a vibrant, plant-based delight for those yearning for a comforting, flavour-packed meal that nourishes the body and soul. It combines the rich flavours of roasted butternut squash, the earthiness of portobello mushrooms, and the creaminess of coconut milk, all in one tantalizing dish.

Ingredients
  

Roasted butternut squash

  • 1 butternut squash, medium, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, organic, cold-pressed
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red chilli, powder
  • ½ tsp salt, adjust to taste

Curry

  • tsp coconut oil, organic, cold-pressed
  • 6 curry leaves, fresh
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp asafoetida
  • cup tomato puree, Not the tube kind
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli, powder
  • 2 portobello mushroom, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked, drained, unsalted
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups spinach, fresh
  • ¾ tsp salt, sea salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro, fresh, washed, finely chopped, including the stems
  • ½ lime, juice

Instructions
 

Roasted butternut squash

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Toss the cubed butternut squash with coconut oil, smoked paprika, red chilli powder, and salt. Place it on a baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelized. Broil for 2-3 minutes for a lovely char. Set aside.

Curry

  • In a large pot or deep skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds, and asafoetida. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.
  • Stir in tomato puree, curry powder, turmeric, and red chilli powder. Cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add diced portobello mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes until they start to soften.
  • Stir in the cooked chickpeas and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes to allow flavours to meld.
  • Add the fresh spinach, roasted butternut squash, and salt to the curry. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • Remove from heat, and stir in fresh cilantro and lime juice. Serve your Butternut Squash Chickpea Vegetable Curry hot with soft roti, paratha, naan or over quinoa or rice.

Notes

Food safe storage

  • Allow it to cool down to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container. This prevents excess moisture buildup – which can invite unwanted guests (like bacteria). Once it’s at room temperature, pop it into the fridge and enjoy it within 3-4 days to ensure it stays at its best.

Cooking method tip

  • If you’re finding it challenging to slice whole butternut squash in half, here’s a handy trick: place it in the microwave, just as it is, for 2 minutes. This quick step will help soften the squash, making it much easier to work with. If it’s still a bit too firm, you can microwave it for an additional minute.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 251kcal (13%)Carbohydrates: 44g (15%)Protein: 9g (18%)Fat: 8g (12%)Saturated Fat: 5g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0.002gSodium: 637mg (27%)Potassium: 1289mg (37%)Fiber: 10g (40%)Sugar: 8g (9%)Vitamin A: 17964IU (359%)Vitamin C: 72mg (87%)Calcium: 265mg (27%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions, and might fluctuate depending on ingredient variations, portion sizes, and recipe adjustments. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: Indian
Course: Main
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.