This butternut squash and chickpea curry dish makes a delicious plant-based meal. Made with lite coconut milk, fire-roasted tomatoes, spinach, shallots, and spices, you will have a complete meal or a hearty side dish.
I love cooking with butternut squash. It has a creamy texture and mild flavor that easily takes on the flavors of the seasonings and other added vegetable ingredients. But make no mistake: butternut squash is the star of this recipe!
Coconut milk is an important ingredient in this creamy veggie dish! Butternut squash and coconut milk perfectly balance the rich curry flavor in dishes like butternut squash sauce, and coconut curry butternut squash soup.
Veggie-centered main courses combined with legumes are a great way to make healthy delicious meals. Sweet potato black bean burgers are even better than store-bought and a veggie loaded sheet pan meal with chickpeas is a super easy way to get your veggies and your protein.
Ingredients you’ll need to make butternut squash curry with chickpeas
- butternut squash – You will need two whole squashes, cut in half. In total, you will have four butternut squash halves.
- baby spinach
- shallot – I use a shallot because it is the perfect size and flavor. If you would like to sub in your choice of onion, you will be using 1/2 cup chopped onion.
- canned chickpeas – If you make your own chickpeas then you will need about one and a half cups of cooked chickpeas.
- canned fire-roasted tomatoes – Do not drain the canned tomatoes. You can roast your own tomatoes if you’d like (recipe coming soon).
- lite coconut milk – I use canned lite coconut milk. I’ve made this recipe with full-fat coconut milk as well. I didn’t feel it was improved by using full-fat. The lite coconut milk is just as tasty and will not give you the added fat.
- coconut aminos (or sub soy sauce) – If you are not familiar with coconut aminos, this is a very nice addition to your vegan pantry. It’s a little sweetly salty and can be used as a general seasoning over veggies and rice. I use it in my must-try Savory Tofu Crumble Recipe. Coconut aminos lend a savory/sweet flavor. If you can’t find coconut aminos then use lite soy sauce with a pinch of sweetener.
- light flavored oil – The oil is used for roasting the squash and for sauteing the shallot. Leave out if you are eating oil-free and use a little veggie broth to saute the shallot.
- curry, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste – I have seasoned this dish to be “family-friendly” which means that the seasonings are mild and might need some adjustment for your tastes. After cooking, give a little taste and add extra curry and cumin if desired. I use sweet curry. If you like it a little hotter, you can use a hotter spicy curry to taste.
How to make butternut squash curry with chickpeas
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
The Butternut Squash:
This recipe uses two whole butternut squashes. Here is how to prepare and cook them:
Cut two butternut squash in half lengthwise. Lay them out on a cutting board or other flat surface and then scoop out the seeds. You can use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds or just use a sturdy spoon like I did.
Brush a little oil on the top including where you scooped out the seeds. (If eating oil-free then skip this step – the squashes just won’t brown up as well but will still be delicious.)
Place all four squash halves on a lined baking sheet and cook in a 375° oven for about an hour or until fork-tender. I line my baking sheet with foil or with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Tip for a quicker cook time
If you want to cut down on the cooking time, you can cook the butternut squash in the microwave for about 10 minutes first. Then cut and scoop the seeds out from the butternut squash havles before putting them in the oven. You will still get lovely roasted butternut squash but with less cooking time.
After roasting the butternut squash, you will be scooping out some of the flesh of the butternut squash, chopping it up, and adding it to the curried chickpea mixture. Ensure that the cooked butternut squash is tender enough to easily scoop out the flesh.
The Coconut Curried Chickpea Mixture
While the butternut squash is roasting in the oven, prepare the curried chickpea mixture. (After the squash has cooked, you will add the scooped-out portion of the cooked squash to the mixture.
Chop the shallot (or other onion of choice). Saute in oil (or veggie broth) until softened – about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the seasonings and continue sauteing for a short minute until fragrant.
Add in the drained chickpeas, fire-roasted tomatoes, coconut milk, and cornstarch. Continue cooking till bubbly and slightly thickened. Add in the baby spinach and give it a stir. It will wilt as the mixture is sitting.
Finishing and serving the butternut squash curry dish
Remember that after the butternut squash has cooked, take it out of the oven and scoop out some of the flesh around the “holes” widening and slightly enlarging them. If you haven’t done that yet, you will need to do that before you continue.
Chop the extra flesh into small pieces and add to the curry chickpea mixture. Reheat for a couple of minutes or until it is the best temperature for serving.
Spoon the mixture onto the butternut squash halves and serve immediately. This will serve four. It’s fun to serve this dish as a butternut squash “boat”.
If you won’t be eating all four right and want to save some for later, it’s better to just scoop out the flesh along with the chickpea mixture and place it in a container. Seal tightly and use within 5 days.
The Recipe For Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas:
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Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
- 2 butternut squash
- 1 teaspoon oil more for sauteing
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup shallot, chopped can sub in other onion
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 16 ounce chickpeas canned, drained
- 14.5 ounce fire roasted tomatoes NOT drained
- 3/4 cup lite coconut milk 1/2 can
- 1 Tablespoon coconut aminos can sub soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups baby spinach to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Roasted Butternut Squash
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Cut each butternut squash lengthwise – so four halves total.
- Scoop out the seeds
- Brush the tops with oil (or skip), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Roast for 60 minutes or until fork-tender when poked. The flesh should be easy enough to scoop.
- Widen the openings slightly to make room for the curry mixture by scooping out the flesh around them. Chop the extra scooped flesh and add to the chickpea mixture (below).
Curried Chickpea Mixture
- Chop shallot (or other onion). Saute for 3-5 minutes in oil (or veggie broth) for 3-5 minutes or until softened.
- Add in curry, cumin, and cayenne and continue cooking for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add canned (drained) chickpeas, undrained fire-roasted tomatoes, lite coconut milk, coconut aminos, and cornstarch. Cook until slightly thickened and bubbly.
- Taste and add in salt, pepper, and adjust other seasonings to taste.
- Add in the baby spinach and stir. It should wilt enough when sitting in the heated mixture. Set aside.
- After the butternut squash has cooked, scoop out a little of the flesh around the holes, chop and add to the chickpea mixture.
- Reheat for a couple of minutes or until temperature is warm enough to enjoy.
- Spoon mixture into the openings of the butternut squash and serve. Enjoy!