A tasty, warming, and easy roasted butternut squash curry recipe with roast butternut squash, chickpeas and spinach in a creamy lightly spiced curry sauce. This curry is quick, easy and weeknight-friendly. It also tastes even better the next day and freezes well, making it the perfect make-ahead meal.
For more quick, easy and comforting vegetarian dinner recipes try my Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe, Pumpkin & Mushroom Risotto , Mexican Chilli Bean and Corn Soup and Indian Inspired Brussels Sprouts Curry.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
✅ 5 reasons why you will love this recipe:
- Healthy, satisfying and utterly yummy - if you are craving comfort food, this curry recipe has got you covered.
- Enjoy the sweetness and soft texture of roasted squash - bake the butternut squash in the oven or use your air fryer to save time.
- Everyday ingredients - all the ingredients can be found in your local grocery store.
- Easy, quick and weeknight friendly - with 30-40 minutes of cooking and prep time.
- It tastes even better the next day - an ideal candidate for meal prep. It freezes well too.
🛒 Ingredients & variations:
- Butternut squash, canned chickpeas and spinach are the key ingredients in this recipe.
- The creamy curry sauce is made from medium curry powder, garam masala, ground turmeric, ground cumin, vegetable stock and sour cream.
- Fresh coriander and toasted peanuts are added when serving. These are optional. The curry will still be yummy without them, but they do bring additional freshness, crunch and protein.
- Green chilli adds a moderate heat. You can switch this for chilli powder or reduce or omit the chilli if you are sensitive to spice.
Can I make the curry with sweet potato or pumpkin instead of squash?
Sweet potato or pumpkin can be used instead of squash. Use the same volume and roast first. The roasting time should be similar. Just make sure they are starting to brown and that you can easily get a fork through them when you remove them from the oven.
Can I adapt this recipe to make a vegan curry?
For an easy vegan butternut squash curry swap the sour cream for the same volume of dairy-free cream or full or low-fat coconut milk.
🧑🍳 Butternut Squash Curry In 5 Simple Steps
1. Roast the butternut squash in the oven or air fryer
Oven: Heat your oven to 200C or 400F. Place the butternut squash pieces on a baking sheet. Add olive oil and salt and mix with your hands until the squash pieces are evenly coated. Bake for 25-35 minutes, turning halfway until the cubed butternut squash pieces start to brown, and you can easily put a fork through them.
Air Fryer: Set the air fryer to 200C or 390F. Place the butternut squash pieces into a bowl and mix with your hands until the squash pieces are evenly coated. Transfer to the air fryer basket when the air fryer is hot and cook for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
Top tip: roasting times can vary depending on your oven or air fryer. Check on the pieces every 10 minutes and turn regularly to ensure the butternut squash roasts evenly and does not burn. The butternut squash is done when it is brown and you can easily get a fork through it. If in doubt, taste a piece to check.
2. Fry the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli
Place a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat, add oil and gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger for around 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
3. Toast the peanuts
You can toast the peanuts while the onion cooks - it only takes a few minutes. Place a small frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the peanuts. Toast for a few minutes, shaking the pan regularly to ensure they cook evenly. Remove them from the pan and set them aside when they begin to brown.
Top tip: toasting nuts is a quick process. They can go from nicely browned to burnt in a matter of seconds so make sure you keep an eye on them.
4. Simmer the curry
When the onion is translucent and softened you can add the curry powder, garam masala, ground cumin and turmeric. Pour in the vegetable stock, add the tomato puree, spinach, and chickpeas and simmer for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. Then add the sour cream and simmer for approximately 5 more minutes until the chickpeas are tender.
5. Add squash and serve
Remove the squash from the oven when it is done and add it to the curry. Top with fresh coriander and toasted peanuts. Serve with basmati rice or naan bread.
⏳ Time-saving tips
Get a curry in a hurry with these time-saving hacks:
- Use pre-cut squash - it's a little more expensive but will save time on peeling, de-seeding and chopping.
- Roast your squash in the air fryer - this will be at least 10 minutes quicker than using the oven.
- Serve with pre-cooked microwaveable rice - it only takes a few minutes to prepare and saves on washing up too.
The skin is perfectly edible, just make sure you wash the squash first to get rid of any nasties. I tend to peel butternut squash before I roast it because I prefer a smooth and soft texture.
Butternut squash is great for freezing. Prep it first, peeling if you don't want the skin and cutting it into pieces, place it into a freezer bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. You can roast frozen butternut squash. Just allow a little more time. It will take longer to cook than room-temperature squash.
Butternut squash is certainly one of the starchier vegetables out there. It is a complex carbohydrate. This means it's digested more slowly than a simple carb like potato chips and won't spike your blood sugar levels. It is advisable to eat squash in moderation if you are following a low-carb diet.
Curry paste and powder both add flavour and heat to a curry sauce. Curry paste is a wet ingredient that needs to be cooked with a liquid like stock or coconut milk. Curry powder is a dry ingredient that is made from a combination of spices that is cooked in liquid or oil.
Tofu, tempeh and starchy and hearty vegetables like butternut squash, chickpeas, sweet potato and pumpkin are great alternatives to meat. Coconut milk can be used instead of dairy-based creams to make the sauce in vegan recipes.
📦 Storage & freezing instructions
This butternut squash curry is one of those dishes that can taste even better the next day, making it the perfect make-ahead meal. Just place any leftovers or additional portions in airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Make sure you reheat the leftovers thoroughly on the stove or in the microwave
A note on rice: do not store additional or leftover curry portions with rice. Leftover rice can grow nasty bacteria, so it's best not to risk it and cook fresh rice each time. Any leftover rice you do decide to keep should be refrigerated as soon as it is cool, consumed within 24 hours and reheated until it is piping hot.
You can freeze the curry for up to 3 months. Just portion it out into airtight containers and place in the freezer when cool. Remove it from the freezer 12-24 hours before you intend to eat it and defrost in the fridge. Then reheat on the stove or in the microwave and serve with freshly cooked rice or naan.
🥘 Check out my other easy curry recipes
Curries are warming, delicious and nutritious. They also create tasty leftovers and freeze well. If you enjoyed this recipe, you'll love these other easy curry recipes too.
Did you try this recipe? It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
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Roast Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Roast butternut squash:
- 800 g (30 oz) butternut squash (note 1) cut into small pieces
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced/crushed
- 1.5 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp turmeric
- 300 ml (1.25 cups) vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 400g (14 oz) can of chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 250 g (1 cup) spinach
- 300 ml (1.25 cups) sour cream
- 4 tbsp peanuts optional
- 1 large handful chopped coriander
- Use the oven or air fryer method to roast your butternut squash.
- Heat your oven to 200°C or 400°F. Put the chopped butternut squash into a baking dish and add olive oil and salt and combine with your hands. (note 2)
- Place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, turning halfway.
Air fryer method:
- Heat the air fryer to 200C or 400F and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- Put the chopped butternut squash into a bowl and add olive oil and salt and combine with your hands.
- Place in the air fryer basket and cook for 20 minutes. Shake the basket halfway to ensure the butternut squash cooks evenly.
- Meanwhile, place a large pan on a medium heat and fry the onion, ginger and chilli for a few minutes.
- Then place another small frying pan on a medium heat and toast the peanuts for a few minutes until they begin to brown.
- When the onion is translucent add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant before adding the curry powder, garam masala, cumin and turmeric.
- Pour in the stock, increase the heat until it begins to simmer and stir in the tomato puree.
- Add the chickpeas and spinach and let them cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted.
- Stir in the sour cream, add the roast butternut squash (it should be cooked at this point). Allow the curry to simmer for a few more minutes until the chickpeas are tender.
- Serve immediately with rice or naan bread topped with fresh chopped coriander/cilantro and toasted peanuts.
- The butternut squash pieces should be no bigger than 1.5cm or ½ inch. Smaller pieces of squash cook more quickly so cut them small if you are in a hurry.
Butternut squash roasts better when it's not overcrowded. Use two roasting trays if you need to.