Vegan Butternut Squash Curry with Spinach


     You can add chickpeas and pan-fried tofu to the dish for additional protein. If you don’t have baby spinach, you can use chopped swiss chard or collard greens.
A note about spiciness: If you cannot handle spice, I recommend leaving out the red pepper flakes or only using 1/4 teaspoon of it. 

  Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes   Yield: Serves 4 

  • 2 tablespoons virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder (mild spice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (see headnote about spice)
  • 4 cups (about 18 ounces) diced butternut squash
  • 14-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 to 5 cups baby spinach
  • To Serve

chopped roasted peanuts for topping (optional)
4 to 5 cups cooked brown rice*

  • Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add the coconut oil, and then add the onions. Cook the onions for about 2 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute.
  • Next, add the curry powder, coriander, and red pepper flakes, and stir to coat the onions with the spices. Add the diced butternut squash, crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, water, and salt. Cover the pot with the lid and bring everything to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and let the squash simmer for 15 minutes. Remember to stir the pot every 5 minutes or so to prevent the curry from burning on the bottom. After 15 minutes, pierce a piece of butternut squash with a fork to see if the squash is tender. If the squash is still very firm, keep cooking the curry for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Add the baby spinach and stir the curry until the spinach starts to wilt. The spinach should start wilting in about a minute.
  • Serve the curry in bowls with a side of brown rice or your favorite grain. Top with chopped peanuts, if desired.


 1/4 of Recipe + 1 cup cooked brown rice: Calories: 507, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat: 14.7g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 826mg, Total Carbohydrate: 77.4g, Dietary Fiber: 9.4g, Sugar: 9g, Protein 10.3g

*I cooked my brown rice in the Instant Pot. I added 2 cups of long-grain brown rice with 2 1/4 cups water to the the Instant Pot. Then, I cooked it on high for 23 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release before serving the rice. I set the rice to cook before I began cooking the curry so that the rice and curry finish cooking at about the same time.
Virgin (or unrefined) coconut oil imparts the most flavor to a dish, so try to use that if possible.

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